SABC retrenchments 'would be lazy thinking and no solution to financial crisis'

The Communications Workers Union says the SABC should move away from bailouts and find ways to create revenue. Recently, SABC Board Chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini has warned of a blackout if the public broadcaster does not have the funding required.

The SABC's Chief Financial Officer Yolandi van Biljon has also warned that Day Zero is imminent as the broadcaster had to choose between paying salaries or municipal bills.

Bongani Bingwa speaks to Aubrey Tshabalala General Secretary of the Communications Workers Union to find out the union's response.

We were taken aback by the announcement because a couple of months ago there was an announcement from government and treasury that they would inject funds into the SABC.

Aubrey Tshabalala, General secretary - Communications Workers Union

He says the union agreed with the condition that a task team set up to ensure oversee the turn around strategy.

You cannot throw money into a bottomless pocket.

Aubrey Tshabalala, General secretary - Communications Workers Union

We agreed there should be a turnaround strategy that makes the SABC self-sustainable and will not be continuously looking for bailouts.

Aubrey Tshabalala, General secretary - Communications Workers Union

We said the funding model of SABC is not working and we need to come up with a new model.

Aubrey Tshabalala, General secretary - Communications Workers Union

He says the communications regulator, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), needs to be involved.

The union opposed job cuts at the public broadcaster and could be held responsible in part for the financial overload.

Tshabalala disagrees.

That is very lazy thinking to say that to cut jobs it saves funds. It never works and is not a very thoughtful strategy.

Aubrey Tshabalala, General secretary - Communications Workers Union

He says retrenchments are not the solution and blames SABC management and the board for the crisis.

Listen to the interview below:


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