SABC Chief Executive Officer Madoda Mxakwe has raised concerns about the safety of employees at the public broadcaster.

Mxakwe says the safety of employees is not guaranteed at the SABC since the building has not been maintained for years.

The public broadcaster’s board briefed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications on Wednesday.

The SABC is seeking a R6.8 billion government guarantee.

Earlier, Communication’s Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said National Treasury rejected SABC’s turnaround strategy.

Mxakwe says the much-needed funding will be used to address all safety concerns, among other things.

“We’re running an organisation where we cannot necessarily guarantee the health and safety of our employees. As we speak from an occupational health and safety point of view, we’re leading a group of employees who are committed but we are in a building that has not been maintained for years and part of the requirement of that funding would be to invest in maintaining and upgrading all of those broadcast critical facilities.”

Challenges at the SABC 

Earlier, Mxakwe says the challenges at the public broadcaster have reached crisis point.  He says while employee salaries are a priority, they do remain a big challenge which has caused a ripple effect.

He has emphasised that the SABC has managed to remain afloat because of its dedicated and competent staff.

“Salaries are a big issue. Because we’re prioritising salaries, it then take us away from the importance of investing in our content. We cannot pay out suppliers as a result; they cannot provide us with the required content that we need. Not all is well. It is a crisis situation. The only reason we’ve been able to keep the SABC afloat is really because of the commitment and the dedication and the competence of the employees of the SABC.”

Media Monitoring Africa Director William Bird speaks to Peter Ndoro about the cash-strapped public broadcaster’s battle to secure a government guarantee.