SABC investigations: SIU progress; SABC cost cutting, with Minister & Deputy Minister

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Communications and Digital Technologies

27 November 2018
Chairperson: Prof H Mkhize (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The new Communications Minister and her Deputy were present for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) briefing on the outcome of 38 SABC matters that the SIU investigated in Phase 1 of the 2017 Proclamation. As a result of the investigations for Phase 1, court ready evidence was gathered and compiled along with draft charges for:
- Civil litigation on five matters to the value of R166 million
- Three matters to the value of R200 million are with senior counsel who are drafting the court papers;
- Provision of evidence to SABC to assist in defending one civil matter for R350 000;
- Six criminal referrals;
- 23 disciplinary referrals.
The SIU has arranged with the NPA for a dedicated prosecutor to deal with all the SABC prosecutions.

Phase 2 has involved detailed investigation between 1 June 2018 to 28 February 2019 on The New Age, SABC security tender, irregular appointments of seven SABC officials, irregular payment of bonuses, irregular expenditure, conflicts of interest. Referrals will be completed on 31 March 2019. SIU will submit final report to Office of the President on 30 April 2019.

SIU found the R183 million SABC security contract was awarded irregularly and it is currently preparing the disciplinary and criminal referrals.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was invited to the meeting and it confirmed that for the 2017 Proclamation, six matters were referred to it and one matter is in court.

Members were impressed with the progress made by the SIU. Members asked if SIU looked at political interference. On the security contract awarded during the term of the SABC interim board, the Committee asked if the current SABC board members are implicated as delinquent directors.

SIU responded that it found irregularities in the security contract and it is joining the SABC as co-respondents in the civil proceedings and that investigation is still ongoing. On executive political interference SIU reported that to date it has not received any evidence pointing to executive interference. However, it would make findings if it came across this.

The SABC Board and management briefed the committee about the latest developments on the section 189 notice and their cost cutting measures. For financial stability SABC has to reduce costs and increase income. The target is reducing general operating expenditure by R30 million and growing combined revenue by R500 million. They have been struggling to get a government guarantee or to borrow money from the banks as cost cutting is not enough to save the SABC.

Members said that the SABC briefing was not addressing what the Committee had requested which was how retrenchment can be avoided. The SABC should report on other intervention scenarios. Committee members agreed that retrenchment must be the last option. SABC must present its cost cutting measures, a skills and salary audit, the wage bill and possible moratorium on appointments. The SABC must say if it has money for severance packages. The regulation framework that disadvantages SABC and the TV licence fees must be re-looked at. Members complained that TV coverage of the SABC appearances in Parliament present only the view of the Board and not what Parliament was saying. Members proposed having meetings with the unions separately to get the views of the SABC staff on how the SABC can be saved. The Committee was emphatic that it will not be able to go forward when it still has questions. The Committee was not convinced about the government guarantee until the SABC is able to put forward costed scenarios.  The costing of the R3bn recapitalization is needed. The Deputy Minister apologized for the miscommunication about the briefing topic and confirmed that they will report accordingly.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams to her first meeting with the Committee as Minister for Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services. There had been much publicity about a young minister being appointed. The new Minister commands respect and the Committee will support her. The Committee was also honored to have Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana present. She also welcomed the SIU, NPA and SABC. This was a follow up meeting with the SIU since its 13 February 2018 meeting. It was important that the Committee receive a SIU progress report on investigations at SABC. The NPA has also been invited as issues relating to mandate were raised previously. The special parliamentary committee conducted the SABC hearing but the public conception is that nothing will be done. It is thus important to consider the impact especially on governance and corruption.

Adv Andy Mothibi, Head: Special Investigating Unit (SIU), referred to Proclamation R29 of 2017 published on 1 September 2017. The SIU had to have the proclamation extended to have it cover a security contract at SABC which was previously out of the scope. The amendment to the SABC Proclamation No R29 of 2017 was published on 6 July 2018, proclamation No R19 of 2018 (SABC security contract). For Proclamation 29 of 2017 SIU issued an interim report on 21 September 2018. It anticipates to issue a final report on 21 March 2019. SIU investigated the security contract and plans to submit an interim report to the President on 30 November 2018. Litigation is pending in court and SIU wants to speed up so the findings can contribute to the litigation.

SIU receives allegations which are first scoped. The draft proclamation goes through an approval process, first via the Minister of Justice then to the President. After the President signs the proclamation, SIU begins the investigation, invoking the powers given. In its findings SIU reaches one or either of these outcomes:
• Irregularity of process — it puts together the findings and evidence and institutes civil proceedings to set a contract aside and approaches court for a just and equitable order.
• Evidence pointing to criminal action which it sends to NPA
• Evidence of misconduct which it refers to the accounting officer to institute a disciplinary process
• Referral to regulatory authority
• SIU also recommends systemic improvements.
The outcomes are pursued as soon as there is evidence, SIU does not wait for the final report to take action.

The SIU adopted a phased approach for Proclamation No R29 of 2017 as the investigation methodology due to the significant volume of matters to be investigated. The presentation summarized the outcomes of the matters SIU investigated in Phase 1 and the status of Phase 2 matters which included the amended SABC proclamation R19 of 2018. Phase 1 found evidence of irregularities in the awarding of these contracts:
• Vision View Productions CC
• SekelaXabiso CA Incorporated
• Lornavision (Pty) Ltd
• Lezaf Consulting
• Gekkonomix (Pty) Ltd
• Asanta Sana (Pty) Ltd
• Foxton Communication (Pty) Ltd
• Mott MacDonald (Pty) Ltd

Evidence indicated that there were irregularities in the awarding of a success fee to Mr Motsoeneng as well as various appointments and salary increases awarded by Mr Motsoeneng.

SIU confirmed the Public Protector's findings that the appointments and/or salary increases of Ms Sully Motsweni, Ms Thobekile Khumalo and Ms Guga Duda were irregular. As a result of the investigation, court ready evidence was gathered and compiled along with draft charges for the 38 matters:
- Civil litigation on five matters to the value of R166 million
- Three matters to the value of R200 million are with senior counsel who are drafting the court papers;
- Provision of evidence to SABC to assist in defending one civil matter for R350 000;
- Six criminal referrals;
- 23 disciplinary referrals.
The SIU has arranged with the NPA for a dedicated prosecutor to deal with all the SABC prosecutions.

On the six criminal referrals, the matter of Sully Miranda Motsweni, a former SABC executiv,e could be shared with the Committee since the suspect had been charged. Ms Motsweni is being charged with fraud of R18 290.12.The trial is set down for 12 April 2019. The other five matters could not be shared but the matters involve private companies who contracted with SABC, its directors and 3 former SABC executives, the combined values of the cases is approximately R82m.The charges are fraud and contravention of the Companies Act and the PFMA.

On the disciplinary referrals, evidence implicates 14 officials who have all been charged, seven of the matters have been finalized. The impact of the disciplinary referrals is that 5 SABC executives are no longer with the SABC and 2 SABC officials were dismissed. Adv Mothibi went through the names of the officials, their position at SABC and the updated status of the disciplinary process.

The progress in the civil litigation cases was reported on (see document) in the civil claims against Lornavision and James Aguma for R62.7m; Vision View R34.4m; Sekelaxabiso R9.8m; Hlaudi Motsoeneng for R11.5m success fees and R10.2m for irregular appointments, salary increments, suspension and unlawful terminations of employment.

The criminal fraud case against Ms Sully Motsweni was in relation to eleven fraudulent travel claims that Ms Motsweni and her relatives benefitted from to the value of R45.1m.The evidence was referred to the NPA. The criminal trial was set down for 22 November 2018 but was postponed to 12 April 2019 and SIU will continue to monitor the progress on the case.

On the MultiChoice contract, the contract with MultiChoice ended in July 2018. A new contract has been entered into from 1 September 2018 for 5 years. The investigation will focus on the legality of the agreement and the roles played by individuals involved and if they benefited unduly; whether the agreement was viable and in the best interests of SABC and if SABC has received all payments due to it. Important additional issues have been identified which are also being pursued.

On Phase 2 project milestones, detailed investigation is being conducted between 1 June 2018 to 28 February 2019 on The New Age, SABC security tender, irregular appointments of seven SABC officials, irregular payment of bonuses, irregular expenditure, conflicts of interest. Referrals will be completed on 31 March 2019. SIU will submit final report to Office of the President on 30 April 2019.

On the SABC security contract covered by the amended 2018 Proclamation, SIU found that the contract was awarded irregularly. It is preparing the disciplinary and criminal referrals. On the TNA Breakfast contract, this is in the hands of the TNA liquidators. TNA initiated arbitration proceedings against the SABC for R144m due to SABC’s repudiation of a renewal agreement. SABC brought an application to have the contract reviewed and set aside. SIU is joining the SABC claim to have the contract declared void ab initio. SIU may apply for a further proclamation to extend the investigation to include the sponsorships given to TNA by other state owned entities and government entities.

On the role of the SABC boards and executive directors, the evidence and findings of all the individual investigations are being collected and considered by the SIU, with a view to bringing an application to declare the former SABC board members delinquent directors. The SIU is investigating possible contravention of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act at all levels of the SABC including the boards.

The Chairperson was impressed with the progress made. She congratulated the SIU major step in ensuring matters are resolved. She referenced the SIU proposal to re-establish a special tribunal headed by a judge.

Mr M Kalako (ANC) requested that the NPA present before Members ask questions.

The Chairperson explained that the NPA did not have a presentation prepared but the NPA will be invited early in 2019 to make a presentation.

Mr Kalako said the SIU briefing spoke about matters that have been referred to the NPA and he thought the NPA will have something to report.

The Chairperson replied that the NPA can respond to some of the questions.

Mr B Bongo (ANC) said the presentation is detailed for a progress report and Members may ask questions that compromise the investigations. He proposed that the Committee should not entertain questions. He appreciated the important briefing and was happy that there is good work being done by SIU

The Chairperson responded that Members can ask questions of clarity

Ms P van Damme (DA) said that Members should be allowed to ask questions. She did not like restrictions being placed on Members by Members themselves.

Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana stated that the SIU appearance in Parliament is not the first one. Members can engage on questions of clarity. SIU is capable of saying it can go only this far in responding to questions. The NPA can also comment.

An NPA official confirmed that the NPA had been invited although the briefing was by SIU. On Proclamation 19 of 2017, he confirmed that six matters were referred to it and only one matter is in court. The NPA cannot provide details on the other matters. He added that engagement provides an opportunity to solidify relations with other bodies.

The Chairperson added that when security agencies cooperate, the impact will be felt by the people.

Ms van Damme congratulated SIU for its work. It is pleasing to see the work bearing fruit and progress being made. On the SABC board members being held accountable, she did not see anything about executive and political interference at SABC. She asked if SIU had looked at political interference. On the staff members who resigned before disciplinary action took place, she asked if those cases will be followed up. She asked if NPA could comment on James Aguma being a flight risk. There is an ICASA investigation on MultiChoice and ICASA was granted confidential contracts between SABC and MultiChoice. She asked if SIU has been in contact with ICASA. She noted that the security contract was awarded during the term of the SABC interim board and asked SIU to clarify if current board members are implicated as delinquent directors.

Mr N Khubisa (NFP) was pleased to see the detailed report since the Committee wants to see some money returned to SABC and credibility restored to SABC. It is a work in progress and the directors and managers found to be delinquent should be brought to book.

Ms van Damme added that from her calculations there is approximately R364m in recovery. She asked what timelines SIU has set to ensure the money is recovered.

Mr N Xaba (ANC) commented that state agencies working together indicates a new dawn. On the MultiChoice five-year contract, he asked if the contract could have been renewed annually or did it have to be for five years. He asked if it is within the ambit of the Committee to include terms of reference that were not there for example on political interference.

Mr R Tseli (ANC) welcomed the report. He asked if there is a willingness on the side of contractors to settle the matters. He asked if the matters SIU referred for disciplinary action were already being investigated by SABC. He asked what is prompting SIU to include sponsorships in its investigations.

Adv Mothibi replied that SIU, as a law enforcement agency, appreciates that it has to update parliamentary committees. When SIU is in the process of an investigation and it has to strike a balance so as not to compromise the investigation. He appreciated the encouraging comments from Members. He replied that the SABC security contract was awarded during the tenure of the interim board. SIU looked at the process and the supply chain management (SCM as to who approved, who was supposed to approve and the process that was followed. The SIU looks to Section 217 of the Constitution, company policies, the PFMA and regulations. If it finds an approval was not done, there will be a finding of irregularity. In terms of the PFMA the accounting authority is the Board. If the approval was not given in accordance with this process, SIU makes appropriate findings. This means irregularity at any level including the Board. SIU has found irregularities in the security contract and is joining the SABC as co respondents in the civil proceedings. The investigation is still ongoing, once complete, if evidence shows that the Board is in contravention of the Companies Act and has not acted in the interest of SABC then SIU will make an irregular finding.

On executive interference, he said the investigation is evidence based, should there be any evidence pointing to executive interference, SIU will indicate that finding. To date SIU has not received evidence pointing to executive interference. On the question about including executive/political interference in the terms of reference, he said if allegations point to above the accounting authority and it is still within the scope of the proclamation, SIU will look at it.

On staff resignations, Adv Mothibi reported that most officials resign during disciplinary process. He added that James Aguma left the SABC but SIU is in the process of civil recovery. SIU will in conjunction with NPA consider the flight risk matter. Once a staff member resigns, he/she can be followed up criminally and there are also considerations around asset recovery and asset forfeiture.

On the ICASA enquiry into MultiChoice, he confirmed that SIU is cooperating with ICASA and has received all the agreements for review and consideration. Members had made reference to the SABC Inquiry done by the parliamentary committee. SIU read through the SABC Inquiry parliamentary committee report and most of the focus areas are based on that report. On the timeline for the recovery of money, once SIU makes a finding that a contract is irregular, it engages the High Court judge president. Those representing SIU have to specifically raise it saying that SIU needs assistance to speed up the process. There is a case management process which assists in speeding up court matters. SIU cannot pin up specific timelines but it would not want delay in the process.

SIU is in the process of working towards establishing the special tribunal for civil litigation. Where there is a criminal element, SIU uses the asset forfeiture process to enforce recovery. On the MultiChoice contract, he responded that the SABC Board is in a position to comment on whether it was in its business interests to make it annual or renewable every five years. SIU is looking at the previous agreement and whether those matters are perpetuated in the current agreement. Some parties do come forward during investigations wanting to settle, however SIU has not come across any such party. Should a party come forward, SIU will consider the rationale for settlement, the interests of the public and whether it is shortchanging any party by settling. SIU does not have statistics for the disciplinary matters that SABC has begun investigating. SIU is considering sponsorships state-wide as the evidence gathered indicates that some state institutions and government departments will pay an amount for The New Age (TNA) breakfasts. SIU is still investigating and where there are irregularities, SIU will look at that.

The Chairperson stated that SIU is likely to meet again with the Committee considering there is Phase 2. The Committee appreciates the speedy resolving of the matters. There is need for a deadline. There should be indications of lessons learnt so that the new administration does not inherit the mess.

Minister for Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, appreciated the presentation. She confirmed that working together, more can be done. The cooperation will re-instill the confidence of the public in the law enforcement process irrespective of who the head of government is. The Department will take the SIU report as a work in progress. It will observe the comments on and the information in the report. The Department will comply fully with the recommendations and findings. She thanked the Chairperson for the opportunity to give her maiden speech in the Committee.

The Chairperson thanked the SIU and NPA for having participated.

Ms van Damme said she was not satisfied with the response on the security contract. She asked why SIU is joining SABC as co respondents having found that the contract was awarded irregularly. She asked why SIU is joining people that have done wrong when it is supposed to be on the other side holding SABC accountable.

Adv Mothibi replied that SIU sat with the legal team when considering joining the proceedings. The other party is making prayers to the court asking that the court grants the contract. SIU found the contract was irregularly awarded and should be set aside. As co respondents, the views of SIU still remain. It however has fundamental differences with the other party which is saying that the contract should be given to them. On the interim board’s involvement, SIU is looking at the process and is in the process of finalizing recommendations.

The Chairperson noted that the SABC board briefing would be a follow up to the 13 November meeting dealing with concerns raised by Members.

SABC Board progress report on section 189 of Labour Relations Act
Mr Bongumusa Makhathini, SABC Board Chairperson, stated that SABC will present details on the cost cutting measures and alternatives it explored before arriving at section 189. He updated the Committee on engagements with the unions, saying SABC had one meeting with organized labour on 13 November. The process of consultation will give more details on how we will mitigate this.

Ms Yolande van Biljon, SABC CFO, presented on the cost cutting measures. On cost containment, SABC has developed and implemented a budgeting framework. Deep dive areas have been identified and a detailed review is to commence by December 2018. For operational efficiencies, gap analysis has commenced in developing a financial manual. Six policies are currently being reviewed. There is process automation and enhancement through the SAP Customer Competence Centre (CCC). A KPI dashboard is to be developed in Quarter 4 of 2018/19. The SABC is developing a financial model to support business planning for working capital and compliance. The model has been developed and is undergoing review. The audit findings are being tracked on a SAP automated tool developed in house. For financial stability, SABC has to reduce costs and increase income. The target is reducing general operating expenditure by R30 million and growing combined revenue by R500 million. The savings target for operating expenditure starting from a zero base and aggressively pursued is between 10 and 20% in Year 1. In Year 2 onwards, the realisable savings target will reduce. Cost discipline has become a way of life.

Mr Kalako noted that the presentation is detailed and he asked the SABC to highlight the key areas.

The Chairperson pointed out that in a previous meeting Members had raised pointed questions and are expecting a response to their questions.

Ms van Damme added that Committee does not want to be given information it already knows. She asked the SABC Board to talk to how it is going to cut costs and the broad strategic plan of changing SABC.

The Chairperson requested SABC focus on the previous questions by Members.

Mr Madoda Mxaxwe, SABC CEO, responded that the presentation is a reflection of what Members asked for, it is in line with the letter received and the strategic plan presented to Members on 27 September. Slide 10 addresses cost cutting measures, optimizing costs vis a vis savings in terms of cutting programmes. The total expenditure year to date was R3.5bn which was R463m (12%) below the YTD budget of R3.95bn. SABC has reduced investment in content and cost cutting on marketing is R15m. Cost savings on professional and consulting fees is R22m.The saving is not sufficient to carry SABC forward. There is the need for a government guarantee. On content, SABC has reduced acquisition of sporting rights, it had decided that there will be no salary increase in 2018/19 but following discussions with labour it arrived at 5% with back pay to April 2018.

Mr Mxaxwe referred to slide 15 which talks to the various options including a government guarantee. SABC has tried borrowing but banks are not willing to take the risk. Television licence tariff fees have been increased eight times over 28 years from 1990 to 2018. Applications for a tariff increase have been rejected. There have been engagements with ICASA to review the sports regulations and must-carry regulations.

Mr Tseli commented on the CCMA process and said that in light of its 13 November meeting with this Committee, the focus of the SABC should have changed but on the contrary it looks like it is business as usual. The Committee position is that retrenchment should be the last option yet the SABC in its presentation is highlighting retrenchment. He referred to slide 19 stating that it has arrived at the decision that retrenchment is the only option. The Committee had previously presented options of how the TV licence tariff increase can be handled. The presentation was not assisting since a conclusion has already been reached on the side of SABC.

The Chairperson was concerned that SABC is saying “no matter what, retrenchment is contemplated”.

Mr Bongo agreed with Mr Tseli that the report is not addressing what Members want. The content advisor should have given the SABC a briefing framework. Members requested a skills audit of the SABC staff, who is there and their qualifications. He asked why SABC will hire a legal advisor yet it has 18 legal advisors. He asked why there is no moratorium on hiring. He said that there is a process for SABC to get a government guarantee. The Committee wants details on how much SABC executives are earning. Retrenchment must be avoided. Members want intervention scenarios. How much was SABC going to spend on retrenchment? The notice to staff on possible redundancy is not in line with section 189 and that notice was scaring staff members. He asked why the SABC Board, when it appears on TV, does not talk about what Parliament is saying. He asked the Board if it is impossible to get the information Members are requesting.

Ms van Damme agreed with Mr Bongo. She said the two times the SABC appeared before Parliament, it appeared on TV and only gave its side of the story. Someone made a decision to remove what Parliament is saying. She asked who made the call that only the SABC board and management comments must be shown. She asked for the investigation outcome on Mr Kgalema Mohuba hiring someone to write his doctorate thesis. The presentation is telling us the same information and SABC should have come to the Committee with a skills and salaries audit. The Committee will not support retrenchment until SABC provides a skills and salary audit. It will not allow SABC staff to lose their jobs. Had SABC engaged with the Finance Minister?

The Chairperson clarified that the questioning by Parliament is meant to assist SABC.

Mr Khubisa said that retrenchment should be the last option. The SABC turnaround strategy must talk to human capital. The enterprise is in a crisis and it may not be able to give staff salaries in March. Members need a guarantee to assist the SABC. He asked how the Committee can assist the SABC Board and management to turn around the situation.

Mr N Kwankwa (UDM) noted that SABC was saying that the cost cutting measures are not enough and there is need for recapitalization. There should be a discussion on recapitalization otherwise there will be a back and forth. SABC should tell the Committee what it has and what surplus there is. In any business petty practical matters have to be dealt with when it comes to cost cutting measures since there is nothing one can do with fixed assets. It is important that SABC quantify the cost cutting measures. Other strategic matters will be clear, once one has clarity on what is being discussed.

Mr Kalako agreed with Mr Kwankwa. He referred to the SABC Board Chairperson’s media statement the previous Sunday about retrenchment. This affects human beings and the Board has to be sensitive. He asked SABC not to present the question of a government guarantee as a threat to Parliament since parliamentarians know the situation. Being in the newspapers all the time is not good and SABC should consider the statements it issues. We want to save the SABC. All of us let us push for the SABC to get this R3 billion, all of us and government by all means must come to the party. We cannot just fold our arms and say an institution as big as it is and very important for the country just dies. We cannot do that but that depends on how the SABC leadership is perceived by both government and the public out there. He asked if SABC has had meetings with Treasury on recapitalization. The Committee needs to have meetings with the unions separately to get the views of SABC staff members.

Mr Tseli said that Members have raised had been raised in the past and this has not been responded to by the SABC. The focus should not be only on the staff but should also look at lower level senior executives. The position is that the Committee is not for retrenchment.

Mr Kwankwa clarified that his position is that since Members are against retrenchment, then the Committee must be pro recapitalization. It is important that some of the questions not answered by SABC should be answered. The SABC has not demonstrated that it has not considered other measures before retrenchment.

Ms van Damme said that SABC staff may have other ideas about saving the SABC. The Committee needs to hear from the unions. The Committee will not support retrenchment until a proper audit is presented. She asked if Members can hear from SABC staff the following week.

Mr Xaba said the Committee had asked SABC what can be done for retrenchment not to happen.

Ms M Matshoba (ANC) said that SABC must go back and prepare. The Committee can give a timeframe for SABC to present the correct report. She suggested that the Committee goes to Johannesburg to meet the unions in order to reduce costs.

The Chairperson replied that the previous request to have the committee meeting in Gauteng was turned down by Parliament. Members will be advised as soon as it is possible. They are talking about retrenchments. She did not know what difficulty will emanate if the board retracts the letter to staff to start with — as the actual CCMA process will unfold only next year. So this letter is causing a lot of anxiety to staff. It does not talk to the human element in this matter. There are procedures to be followed. If a minister submits a memo to Cabinet, it has to be guided by facts and numbers. The Committee cannot ask Finance to meet with it because it does not have a clear direction in terms of numbers. She confirmed that the public broadcaster portrayed only a small aspect of the conversation in Parliament in its TV coverage. She advised that faith and confidence in the structure can easily be lost. She too wanted to know what kind of instruction was given and by whom since the distorted information is wrong and unacceptable. Further assistance from the board in engaging the Standing Committee on Finance will be appreciated. The Committee will not be able to go forward when it still has questions. It also needs costing on the R3bn. The Committee and SABC have the same agenda but there are technical matters that must be done and both parties must be professional.

The Deputy Minister committed to forwarding the comments by Members to the Minister. These were that the SABC was not responding to issues as required. She apologized and stated that she has the letter of 21 November comprising pointers that Members spoke to but SABC has not responded to. The Committee is saying retrenchment must be last option. SABC must present its cost cutting measures. It must present a skills and salary audit. It must present on the wage bill and give details on possible appointments vis a vis retrenchment and a possible moratorium on appointments. The SABC must say if it has money for severance packages. The Department will follow up on the notice to workers on retrenchment. The Committee is not convinced about the government guarantee until the SABC is able to put a scenario on the table. The Auditor General is to assist and proactively look at the scenarios. The Department will canvas and recommend to the Minister about the regulated framework that disadvantages SABC. It will look at that without being confrontational. It will also look at TV licence fees and report to the Committee on how much revenue it can raise. She will review and see if there is balanced reporting when SABC appears in Parliament. She will also report back on Mr Mohuba. She confirmed that there have been engagements with the Minister of Finance and the Department will put its house in order. It will talk to the Board to be sensitive about retrenchment. She apologized again about the miscommunication and confirmed that the Department will report accordingly.

The Chairperson was happy that the Deputy Minister was championing the matter.

Meeting adjourned.

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