Home National Opposition party DA wants Minister Ntshavheni to blame herself for SABC failures

Opposition party DA wants Minister Ntshavheni to blame herself for SABC failures

by Thys Khiba
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By Thys Khiba – The Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Communications Dianne Kohler Barnard demanded accountability from Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni for the challenges faced by the state-owned enterprise(SOE) South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) workers. 

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

“SABC staff once again find themselves between a rock and three hard places – with the Trade Unions pushing for a strike, and the extraordinary move by Minister Ntshavheni who is reportedly threatening the outgoing Board and the sitting Executive driving the SABC to a R530m loss,” said KohlerBarnard. 

This comes after it was reported unions representing SOE media house staff are expected in the next 12 days to engage their members in the country to finalise where workers will be picketing over wages. 

democratic alliance
Opposition party DA wants Minister Ntshavheni to blame herself for SABC failures 4

“What is still outstanding is where where we are going to picket. You must remember we are going to picket in nine provinces. For example, in Cape Town, we must get the input from parliament as the landlord to say they agree with us on whether we can picket where we suggested,” said Communications Workers Union’s Nathan Bowers. 

The CWU indicated that they are also want to finalise arrangements with their Free State, KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape members.

The SABC recently under the support of CCMA met with the Unions, Broadcasting, Electronic Media and Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) and the Communications Workers Union (CWU) at Auckland Park in Johannesburg. 

“CCMA has given the Unions and the Management two weeks to come up with a solution; the Board is dissolved in 20 days’ time; and the mass retrenchments, plus the irregular sacking of the head of news, have seemingly achieved nothing.” 

The DA suggested that Ntshavheni should blame herself for what is taking place at the SABC.

On Sunday the opposition party confirmed they will be writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio committee demanding that the Minister be called in to explain ‘these disparate issues personally,’ and what steps she has taken to resolve them.

“To demand a financial turn-around strategy just days before the end of term of the current Board, seems a bizarre move indeed. One must ask why she did not demand to receive it the day after the deadline for the report, on 30th June. Instead, she has waited for three months, and now that the SABC failings are back in the headlines, she has woken to the fact that it’s an issue.”

The DA alleges that neither Parliament nor Ntshavheni, responsible for oversight have called the Board to account for such failures previously. 

“What has been done by them in terms of the massive debt incurred, the analogue switch-off soap opera, the irregular axing of the former news editor” 

The SABC faced rejection of their three offers, one of which is a 3% increase, not backdated, by the unions. 

The unions demanded a R20 000 one-off payment for the 2021/22 financial year, an 8% increase across the board. This includes a R500 housing allowance hike for 2022/23.



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