South Africa: 3 SABC board members resign amid political interference
14 December 2018
Three board members have resigned from the SABC after reports of political interference, reports News24.
Deputy chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama, DA nominee John Mattison, and board member Krish Naidoo are the trio who have left the public broadcaster’s board.
“The inability of some of the board members to understand the difference between corporate independence, accountability, and political interference has led to a breakdown in the relationship with the minister,” said Naidoo, referring to new Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Ndabeni-Abrahams was previously reported to be fighting against the SABC’s proposed job cuts, which include the retrenchment of nearly 1,000 permanent and 1,200 freelance workers.
She has previously said that it is in the government’s best interest to avoid retrenchments because the government has a responsibility to reduce unemployment.
SABC committed to retrenchments
However, the SABC board has reportedly stood firm on its job cut plans.
“The board made it clear at the meeting that, irrespective of the success of a government guarantee or bailout, they will still proceed with retrenchments,” wrote Ndabeni in a leaked letter.
She added that she was forced to stop engaging with the SABC due to its refusal to cancel the job cuts.
The SABC needs at least R3 billion by March 2019 to continue paying wages and other expenses.