SABC denies it is 'on the brink of collapse' following job cuts, broadcast interruptions

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The SABC building in Auckland Park in Johannesburg.
The SABC building in Auckland Park in Johannesburg.
Veli Nhlapo / Gallo Images

The SABC has hit back at criticism by the Communication Workers Union, saying that it is not on the "brink of collapse". 

Earlier in the week, the public broadcaster, which has been battling financial challenges for years, announced that its long-running restructuring process had at last been concluded. To cut its salary bill, 346 of its employees had opted for severance packages, while 275 has been made redundant.

Two days later, it suffered the embarrassment of broadcast interruptions on some radio stations due to a power outage. 

The job losses were slammed by the CWU, who said they were "grossly unfair" and lacked transparency.

"We think that there will be more retrenchments coming in the future and an unsustainable public broadcaster," said the union's General Secretary Aubrey Tshabalala.

In a statement, the union said the broadcast interruptions were just the "tip of an iceberg".

The CWU said the broadcaster's management caused the disruptions by not appreciating the "dynamics and complexity" involved. 

But on Saturday, the SABC said that the interruption to its broadcasts came as a result of power supply issues from City Power in Johannesburg.

"The SABC has put in place mitigating plans to ensure continuity in broadcasting on all its platforms and remains fully committed to fulfilling its mandate of informing, educating and entertaining the public," it said. 

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