Fedusa General Secretary Dennis George.Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has appealed to government to grant the R3 billion guarantee that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has requested to save nearly 1 000 threatened jobs and return the public broadcaster to operational viability. 

The SABC has notified all staff that it might have to cut 900 jobs as the financial crunch largely triggered by irregular expenditure amounting to billions of rands begins to bite.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and SABC Board are scheduled to meet National Treasury officials next week to negotiate the guarantee and agree on other strategies of lifting the SABC out of the crisis and taking it forward.

Fedusa believes such turn-around strategies should include plans to recover SABC monies that were lost through corruption and unauthorised expenditure and a renewed nationwide campaign to get users to pay for their television licences.

“The SABC Board must take urgent steps to recover an estimated R5 billion that was lost through irregular expenditure by acting decisively against former and current officials who are believed to have been involved in scandalous activities; this should include withholding their pensions where necessary. Workers should not be made sacrificial lambs of financial mismanagement, irregular appointments and corruption,” said Fedusa general secretary Dennis George.

“There is also a legitimate basis for mounting a renewed nationwide campaign to recover millions of rands that continue to be lost to the SABC daily as result of unpaid television licence fees. This will also help to entrench a user-pay culture that underpins all successful democracies and South Africa should be no exception”.

If the current financial difficulties are allowed to fester, the SABC could find itself adding another heavy financial loss of R803 million at the end of the current financial year up from R622 million in the previous one.

Content supplied by Fedusa.