Despite assurances from the SABC that the broadcaster has begun paying out severance packages to retrenched former employees, unions say former staffers remain concerned about delays.
The SABC issued a statement on Saturday saying rumours that it was unable to pay salaries for its employees were unfounded.
“The SABC would like to categorically refute the allegation that it is not able to pay the salaries of its employees. The corporation has a comprehensive and established cash management process in place that is aligned with best practice,” said the organisation’s acting spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo.
Worry over the company’s cash flows stem from unions that have reported members who were concerned over non-payment of severance packages.
The SABC concluded its retrenchment process at the end of March. The move was part of the company’s long-term strategy and sustainability plan, the public broadcaster said.
A total of 346 employees took voluntary severance packages and left the company in January. The last tranche of staffers, 275 employees, left at the end of March.
Communications Workers Union (CWU) secretary-general Aubrey Tshabalala said some concerns had been reported from the group that took the voluntary severance packages.
He said, at the moment, the union was still consolidating numbers of its former members who had yet to be paid. The staff that lost their jobs during the retrenchment process have become concerned about delays in their payments, Tshabalala said.
“It’s not a rumour, there are a number of people who have come to us and complained that they have not received money. Those that have left now have become more concerned as their colleagues who left in January have not received payment. We now have to figure out how many of these people have not received their pension funds,” Tshabalala said.
Seapolelo said the process of paying out severance packages had already begun.
“The process of paying severance packages has begun and is anticipated to be concluded shortly with the majority of the payments having already taken place,” she said.
The SABC said it was on route to recovery after having decreased its salary bill.
“The SABC has significantly reduced its salary bill and has begun to witness substantial improvement in revenue generation to assist the organisation to be self-sustaining,” Seapolelo said.
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