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A picture taken on October 20, 2010 shows the logo of SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) at its headquarters in Johannesburg. South Africa's crisis-hit public broadcaster posted a modest profit in the first six months of the 2010 financial year after a financial meltdown forced a government bail-out the previous year. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

SABC goes ahead with massive cuts

By tomorrow, 1 April, a total of 621 employees will have been let go via the SABC’s protracted Section 189 process and cuts.

The state broadcaster on Tuesday said that it had concluded the process and would transition into the new “fit-for-purpose” structure effective 1 April 2021. It faced resistance from employees and worker unions since it initially announced the process in June 2020 and the last week saw the departures of headline stars such as Sureshnie Rider and Ryan Nair.

Indian Spice, through its founder, Naufal Khan, was a constant pressure on the once-proud organisation to reform its bloated structure. He exposed the link that poor management had, opening the door to corruption and sexual harassment and jobs for favours.

We continue his record of investigations and thereby building better radio and TV for all South Africans. Email us if you have something to share.

Read:
Sureshnie Rider leaves 5fm, releases official statement
Ryan Nair leaves 5FM – in his own words
all our SABC related news going back 10+ years

Simply bad financial management leads to SABC cuts

Further investigations done by Business Maverick have revealed the ridiculous cost base:

Notwithstanding the claims of unions, the organisation had embarked on a thorough benchmarking exercise prior to the retrenchment process and had come to the unsurprising conclusion that the organisation was overstaffed.

The total staff complement was just under 3,000 in 2020, with a further 1,800 contracted freelancers. The total annual salary bill stands at R3.2-billion a year. The aim of the Section 189 process was to slash around R700-million from this bill.

Compared with other media houses, salaries at the SABC remain absolutely enormous. The eight senior managers get paid on average R2.4-million a year, with 27 managers earning not much less. But the big spend is on 374 middle management posts, where the average annual salary is R1.2-million a year, costing the organisation nearly half-a-billion rand a year.

Read: Merlin Naicker To Head SABC TV

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