The Democratic Alliance (DA) says Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has no power to give instructions to the SABC Board.

The party says the fact that the Minister has decided to desist from all engagements with the SABC Board because it refused to heed her instruction to halt the retrenchments, is in violation of the public broadcaster’s independence.

However, the DA says the SABC has until January to present both the results of an independent skills and salary audit as well as a clear strategic plan.

DA shadow minister of Communications, Phumzile van Damme says that they are not blind to politics at play.

“The minister of Communications has an oversight role over the SABC. She does not have the right to give it instructions. This is her over stepping her role as a minister and is violating the SABC’s independence. The ball is ultimately in the SABC Board’s court, as well as its management. And we will trust that when they appear next in parliament they will present both very clearly hard thought strategy as well as the results of the skills audit.”

The SABC says that it is not commenting at this stage.