SABC employees not paid - broadcaster blames 'bank glitch'

2019-01-29 07:52
SABC headquarters. (Gallo Images)

SABC headquarters. (Gallo Images)

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South African Broadcasting Corporation employees woke up on Tuesday morning only to find that their salaries had not been paid. 

EWN reported that it had received a number of calls from current employees confirming that their salaries had not yet arrived.

Union Bemawu has confirmed that it is aware of the situation and is seeking an answer from the employer.

SABC spokesperson Neo Modomu told News24 on Tuesday morning that staff would be receiving their salaries "within a few hours", as soon as a "glitch" with its banks had been resolved. 

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Momodu told Morning Live on SABC1 that the non-payment of salaries had nothing to do with the public broadcaster's liquidity, but was due to a "bank glitch". 

Interviewer Leanne Manas wanted to know from Modumo whether "day zero" - the much anticipated day that the SABC ran out of funds - had finally arrived. 

In December, City Press reported that the public broadcaster's liabilities exceed its assets by R1.8 billion. 

The paper added that only half of the television production houses who do work with the broadcaster were paid for December.

"Is there still money available at the SABC or is this the day people had been dreading?" Manas asked. 

"We have been told that there is a technical error at the bank. It's got nothing to do with 'day zero'," Momodu replied. 

Manas then asked whether staffers can be assured of payment on Tuesday, should the "glitch" be remedied, or whether it would take place at a later stage. 

"The glitch is not from the SABC," Momodu said. "We [have been] assured that [staff] will be paid on the 29th [Tuesday] as has always been the case. Payment has been made by the SABC to the banks." 

Manas asked Momodu whether media reports that the SABC had run out of money were then false. 

"I'm telling you that the speculation and fake reports are not true. We at the SABC are saying that staff will be paid today [Tuesday]. There is a technical error that has nothing to do with the SABC. It comes from the bank's side. Staff will be paid today." 

The broadcaster earlier said that by March 2019, it would not have enough money to pay salaries.

The wage bill amounts to almost half of the SABC's revenue, and not enough for operations and other costs are left after that expense has been levelled.

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