Thursday, August 6, 2009

SABC coffers should cope, says Charnley

The SABC is confident there will be enough in its coffers to pay workers an additional 1.5 percent, the broadcaster's interim board chairperson, Irene Charnley, said on Tuesday.

This follows its announcement last week that it had agreed with labour unions to up its pay increase offer from 8.5 percent to 10 percent.

Charnley said the board had investigated whether it would be able to sustain the extra 1.5 percent.

"That is why we are proposing to the unions that the 1.5 percent be effectively implemented by December this year, and backdated to April," she said.

Harsh cost-cutting measures had been implemented to ensure the broadcaster did not overspend, including board members forfeiting some of their privileges.

These included board members forfeiting household appliances such as cable television.

"We do not want that privilege... We already have such televisions in our house, the board accepted a loan laptop, G3 card and phone, that is all," she said.

Charnley said board members would fly economy class, not business class, which was part of their privilege package.

As a cost cutting measures, the board had put a halt on conferences and seminars.

Flanked by interim board members Libby Loyd, Susan Vos, acting chief executive officer Gab Mampone, and spokesperson Kaiser Kganyego, Charnley said the board had not taken a decision on closing the international bureaux.

"We are not closing them... we are checking on how much they cost us to run, thereafter we will consult with organised labour if they should be closed."

She said during its tenure the interim board was focusing mostly on stabilising the SABC and would make sure that some of the key vacant posts were filled.

- Sapa