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SABC seeking ways to reduce wage bill
15 October 2019, 9:24 PM

South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Executive Officer Madoda Mxakwe has told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications that the public broadcaster is seeking ways of reducing its huge wage bill.

He was responding to a question by Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) committee member Zandile Majozi.

She wanted to know how the SABC could reduce the wage bill which currently stands at 40% of its budget.

This is after Mxakwe and various board members presented the corporation’s annual report for the 2018/2019 financial year.

“The reduction on the wage bill, this is a matter that we are engaging the key partners. We are in the process, working closely with the shareholder to do a skills audit and we are going to be presenting to the unions. We are also looking at the future structure of the SABC as well as the operating model. So, all of these, if you look, for example, at the R2.1 billion of the salary bill, about R450 (million) of that is the impact or the compensation of freelancers. We are also looking into aligning both the permanent staff and the freelancers,” Mxakwe responded.

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Meanwhile, SABC Chief Financial Officer Yolande Van Biljon says the public broadcaster will strengthen its disciplinary policy to address consequence management. This is in response to the Auditor-General’s concern that there is a lack of consequence management at the public broadcaster.

The SABC has received a qualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General for the 2018/2019 financial year.

“The AG (Auditor General) was concerned with the work that we have done on this topic or rather not have done on this topic. The main problem is that we don’t have systematic and methodical processes to address consequence management. It is there. It is in various adhoc manners, being done in the business, but it is not consistent. So, what we are doing is a few things. There is an SOP (Standard Operation Procedure) that is being developed. The disciplinary policy will be further strengthened to ensure consistency in how we tackle the topic of consequence management. We are in a process of establishing a recovery committee to oversee the consolidation of all matters related to this topic.”

Cogta to oversee district development model
15 October 2019, 8:30 PM

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says her department is expected to oversee the district development model that will boost projects at local level.

President Cyril Ramaphosa first announced the district-based model in his third State of the Nation Address in June 2019.

The aim of the model is to break down the silos between the different spheres of government, in a bid to improve the delivery of basic services in the 257 municipalities across the country.

Speaking in Durban ahead of the launch of the model on Friday, Dlamini-Zuma said the model would enhance initiatives such as integrated development plans.

“Then we have a good profile of what each department and how much is being spent by government, not just by one sphere but by government in eThekwini, what infrastructure capital investment is being made available by government as a whole in eThekwini so there is better transparency about budget; so better monitoring when the plan is there and the budget is there. We will be able to see if it is being implemented and implemented properly and what the impact on the ground is.”

CRL Rights Commission hosts dialogue on xenophobia
15 October 2019, 7:22 PM

A dialogue in Pretoria has heard that South Africans are not xenophobic but the high unemployment rate in country and competition for resources create opportunities for some people to use xenophobia as an excuse to commit crime.

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) organised the dialogue to discuss the challenges foreigners face in South Africa.

StatsSA and the United Nations estimate that there are 4 million legal and illegal immigrants in South Africa. Of those only about 800 000 are highly skilled.

The commission’s chairperson Luka Mosoma says the reasons for the recent so-called xenophobic attacks are complex.

“We then generate programs of action,  among those programs of action is what we call public engagement and education. That’s one element. But the second element to that is the issue with conflict resolution mechanisms of making sure that communities that are under strife are brought together by negotiating borders, the possibilities of social will in order for people to work together.”

Voters queue to cast their ballots in municipal elections at a voting station near Gorongosa in central Mozambique.
President Ramaphosa wishes Mozambique a successful election
15 October 2019, 7:19 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has wished the Mozambican people a successful election. Thousands of Mozambicans went to the polls on Tuesday to choose the country’s next presidential, parliamentary and provincial leaders.

The main contenders of Mozambique’s presidential election come from the country’s two rival parties, Frelimo and Renamo,  whose leaders are the incumbent Filipe Nyusi and Ossufo Momade respectively.

President Ramaphosa was speaking in Pretoria where he accepted letters of credence from newly-arrived representatives of the diplomatic corps.

“As South Africans we wish the people of Mozambique the best as they hold a peaceful election to choose the government of their country and this to us deepens democracy and it strengthens it. We look forward to continuing our wonderful relations with Mozambique and the people of Mozambique.”

SABC reduces net losses by 35%
15 October 2019, 5:42 PM

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has reduced its net losses by 35% in the 2018/2019 financial year. The public broadcaster’s board Chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini said this in his opening remarks when briefing Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications.

The SABC board and executives were presenting the annual report for the 2018/2019 financial year.

The SABC has improved its audit outcome from a disclaimer in the 2017/2018 financial year to a qualified audit opinion for the year under review.

Makhathini says the SABC is on a road to recovery.

“If you look at all key indicators they are all showing serious improvement. When you look at the net losses, we have been able to reduce net losses by 35%. Irregular expenditure has gone down. Our expenses have gone down. So, there is a significant improvement and one of the exciting things (is) that we finally got the bailout injection of R2.1 billion. We are still short of R1 billion. So, in essence, the SABC is doing very well. We are bringing the change, the renewal, the rehabilitation process. It is very exciting to be where we are and we are grateful for the support we got from the shareholder and everybody that supported the SABC.”

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