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.”