This week, Parliament’s Communications Portfolio Committee will be seized with matters playing out at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The committee is set to meet for two days during which SABC affairs will be discussed.

Most committees sitting from Tuesday will be dealing with budget adjustment matters in mini plenaries. The recent Constitutional Court judgment, relating to the eligibility of independent candidates to stand in provincial and national elections will also be in the spotlight in Parliament.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) is expected to brief MPs again on the implementation of the judgment.

However, it’s the two-day sitting by Communications MPs on Tuesday and Wednesday, which is likely to draw the most attention.

On the agenda are the SABC‘s turnaround plan, skills audit and the impending retrenchments. The SABC has indicated that it needs to shed around 600 permanent jobs and 1 200 freelancers.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Communications & Digital Technologies, Phumzile van Damme, has called for staff to be invited to make a representation.

“We believe that it is important that both sides of the story are told to parliament regarding this process. The committee is due to hold virtual meetings, over the next two days, to discuss among other matters, the retrenchment process, the skills audit, as well as other matters relating to the public broadcaster. We look forward to hearing both from the SABC management, as well as its staff.”

 

In the video below, SABC unions on looming retrenchments at the public broadcaster: