ANALYSIS | SABC retrenchments and past mismanagement: How staff are paying the costs now

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A general view of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) offices in Durban.
A general view of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) offices in Durban.
Darren Stewart

Five columnists give their view on the SABC debacle - on what went wrong and what should happen going forward if the public broadcaster is going to be saved.

The SABC was thrown into turmoil this week, when staff were handed Section 189 retrenchment letters.

Following a meeting with staff and top management in the news department after the letters were issued, it was thought there was a respite on Tuesday when head of Current Affairs and News, Phathiswa Magopeni announced that the issuing of retrenchment letters to staff would be reversed. This was later rescinded though when an internal notice was circulated to staff on Wednesday. 

The SABC has been dealing with severe funding issues in recent years and at one point didn't pay staff on time. Government offered a R3.2 billion loan to help the broadcaster stay afloat. 

This week, however, the SABC reported a net loss of R511 million and net cash outflows from operations of R1.2 billion for the financial reporting period to 31 March. 

Five columnists takes a look at the SABC debacle and tries to analyse where the problems started for the broadcaster and what needs to happen going forward. 

You can take a look at their views below, exclusive to News24 subscribers: 

The SABC is messing with Stella's groove

The public broadcaster is one of the few entities giving the Minister of Communications sleepless nights. But what cripples the SABC's ability to make the leap is the poor funding model it maintains, writes Khaya Sithole. 

SABC paying the cost for the reign of emperor Zuma and his faithful servants

Ron Derby writes the legacy of former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's handling of salaries and bonuses is reflective in the public broadcaster's current economic woes. 

SABC retrenchments:  Role of public broadcaster needs to be defined

The public broadcaster needs to become the primary source of news for the majority and not the mouthpiece of certain interest groups, writes Mbhazima Shilowa.

Managing the SABC into the ground: A long-term exercise in venality and stupidity

The SABC will not be a true public broadcaster as long as present management structures are in place and as long as there is any government involvement, writes Cobus Bester.

The SABC needs to be saved but hard decisions also need to be made

Vanessa Banton writes that when she joined the SABC in 1997, she had high hopes for the public broadcaster, but it just never seemed to reach its potential.


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