The SABC has announced that it will remove standalone sports bulletins from its radio stations in an effort to cut costs, according to a report by the City Press.
This has resulted in more than 30 sports bulletin readers at the company facing retrenchment, unless their stations are able to motivate for their retainment.
In an email sent to radio stations managers and sports readers last week, the SABC confirmed the changes to its radio business and said the function of sports bulletin readers would be taken up by news bulletin readers.
“As from April 1, SABC Sport will no longer provide sport bulletins on all radio stations,” SABC Sport Radio programme manager Gilbert Nyadzhiwa said in an email to staff.
“As a result, SABC Sport will not renew any contract with the bulletin readers, i.e., sport will not continue contracting bulletin readers at SABC Sport as this function will be collapsed together with the news bulletin readers.”
Nyadzhiwa added that stations which want to retain their sports bulletin readers would have to motivate for their decision, as SABC Radio would have to carry the cost.
A source told the City Press the public broadcaster was also considering shutting down Sport Info Hub, which would result in even more job cuts at the company.
In response to questions from the publication, the SABC said it is always looking for more effective ways to optimise its operations.
“It must be noted that any changes made on its programming will not affect the delivery and quality of sports bulletins,” the SABC said.
Fight with former COO
The SABC is also currently embroiled in a conflict with its former Chief Operations Officer Chris Maroleng.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the public broadcaster refuted allegations made by Maroleng against the company,
Maroleng had argued that his previous dismissal in April 2019 was unfair and had submitted papers in the Johannesburg Labour Court to challenge the decision.
He demanded that the broadcaster pay him R16 million or give him his job back.
The SABC called Maroleng’s statements false and misleading, and explained how a disciplinary process had found him guilty on various charges.
Maroleng was charged for breaching his fiduciary duties as a director and for acting in a manner which breached good faith, trust, honesty, loyalty and confidence.
He was also found guilty on two charges of gross negligence.
“Mr Maroleng’s baseless allegation that members of the SABC Board are to blame for his dismissal rather than his own actions, clearly demonstrates his unwillingness to assume responsibility for his own serious misconduct,” the broadcaster said.