The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it will wait for the Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams to indicate what needs to happen next, following the resignation of four board members. The public broadcaster has also postponed the CCMA-facilitated meeting that was supposed to discuss the planned retrenchments next week.
“The SABC has noted media reports confirming that President Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted resignations of four SABC Board members, namely: Khanyisile Kweyama, Krish Naidoo, John Mattison and Mathata Tsedu. The SABC will await the Minister of Communications to pronounce on the way forward before making further comments,” reads a statement by the SABC.
Communications Workers’ Union (CWU ) says it hopes some of the four SABC board members did not resign to evade accountability over a multi-million-rand security tender which was allegedly irregularly awarded.
CWU General-Secretary Aubrey Tshabalala says the Special Investigating Unit’s probe must not end with the security tender.
“We want the probe to go beyond that and look at every other contract that is there including the one of ‘Kwesa Sport’, that basically prioritised the European of the English Premier League over ours. because we believe the broader agenda here is to commercialise the SABC and we think that we should be aware of such activities and be told and people must account. So, the resignation alone does not exonerate people from accounting. “
Meanwhile, trade union Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) has called on the SABC to withdraw the Section 189 notice following the postponement of the CCMA-facilitated meeting.
The union says the SABC can terminate contracts of employment after 60 days have lapsed from the date of the notice and this poses risk to staff.
Bemawu’s Hannes du Buisson says they have requested the SABC to completely withdraw the notice and if it wants to proceed with section 189 notice, it must re-issue it.
“We hope that we can sit down with the SABC as we have pleaded for a long time now … SSt with expertise within the organisation and jointly come up with a plan, turnaround strategy that will involve all staff … (all staff) have the input and then all staff can own this turnaround plan to turn around the SABC properly and restore it to its former glory.”