SABC to restructure to avoid need for future bailouts

The SABC has launched what it calls a “target operating model”, designed to ensure it is self-sufficient and financially sustainable so it doesn’t again have to go to government, cap in hand, for a bailout.

The new operating model has been developed in compliance with national treasury’s bailout preconditions and “has been developed in response to new business requirements and market conditions … as well as the need to effectively implement the approved turnaround strategy”.

This comes after taxpayers, through national treasury, forked out R3.2-billion to the SABC to bail it out of the dire financial straits it found itself in following the ruinous tenure of former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

In a statement on Thursday, the SABC said it has been “severely impacted by the ongoing economic downturn, ever-changing consumer needs and content consumption patterns, as well as rapid technological advancements”.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has added further complexity and has accelerated the need for the corporation to act with urgency in ensuring that crucial business fundamentals are preserved as the trading environment continues to deteriorate”.

The new target operating model will allow the SABC to “reinvent itself, review its business model and revenue portfolio, and to holistically reassess its input costs as well its resource capacity”, it said in the statement.

“This is to ensure alignment between the public broadcaster’s operational responsibilities and its sustainability imperatives. The model further provides an ideal business template to create and support the long-term viability of the SABC.”

It will be used as the “foundation to develop optimal, fit-for-purpose organisational structures for various operations of the corporation. Accordingly, the outcome of the skills audit process that is under way will be used to assist and support decision making in the matching of skills to tasks and in guiding training and development interventions”.

“The SABC has started engagements with employees, labour representatives and other key stakeholders, outlining the unavoidable and urgent need for this strategic renewal initiative.”

The statement makes no reference to job cuts, which had been looming at the SABC prior to the bailout being awarded by national treasury.  — © 2020 NewsCentral Media