SABC must publish the plan of the changeover – Phumzile van Damme – POLITIEK

DA says in the wake of possible cuts, now is not the time for a veil of secrecy

DA calls on SABC to disclose the plan of the turnaround in the wake of possible austerity

September 18, 2018

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the SABC to publish its reversal strategy urgently as a result of reports of possible cuts in public service broadcasting.

Now is not the time for a veil of secrecy.

It is vital that the SABC takes the public's confidence and fully explains the reasons for its reported plan to dismiss the staff.

Reports that up to 800 hard-working and dedicated SABC employees face the possibility of losing their jobs is heartbreaking. These are people who have school fees, mortgages, rent and other living costs that will struggle if they join the long-term unemployment queue in South Africa.

The DA takes note of comments from the Minister of Communications, Nomvula Mokonyane, regarding her opposition to these possible cuts and warns her against interference in SABC matters.

The minister, in a statement, expressed "Her concern about what she believes is a strange approach by the board of the SABC, which ignores the advice and support of the shareholder in this necessary and critical process to reverse the SABC".

The minister seems to forget for the sake of convenience that she is not legally permitted to interfere in the SABC's business.

She also seems to have effective amnesia from her party, the ANC, and her complicity in the financial crisis in which the SABC is. It was the incessant political interference of the ANC, the deployment of cadre and the protection of Hlaudi Motsoeneng who lost the SABC billions, and the public broadcaster now sees that he can not pay his creditors and is considering firing staff.

The current SABC board, although not responsible for the crisis, took on the task of serving the public broadcaster, fully aware of the monumental task ahead of them. We want to hear the board of directors talk and assure the public that the financial status of the SABC will be taken from red to black.

We trust that the board will trust South Africa and explain the reason for their reversal strategy to ensure that it has stopped solving the financial crisis at the SABC. Cuts must indeed be an absolute last resort.

Published by Phumzile Van Damme, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, 18 September 2018

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