ZBC board chair says corporation’s finances have improved, pledges to pay outstanding pensions

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation board chairperson, Dr Josiah Tayi says the corporation’s financial situation has improved significantly and the organisation has therefore put in place a plan to pay outstanding pension contributions for retrenched and existing employees.

He said this during a press conference held this Saturday at the Pockets Hill studios.

We publish below the full statement from Dr Tayi:

Payment of Pensioners & Retrenchees
Sometime in 2015/16 ZBC retrenched over 500 employees and some of these employees have been unable to access their pensions due to the financial constraints that have existed over a period of time. It is against this background that we wish to announce that in the past year, ZBC has implemented a quick turnaround strategy in order to address these financial constraints. These initiatives have been bearing fruit evidenced by the improved revenue position that the corporation now enjoys.

The ZBC Accumulation Scheme which is administered by Old Mutual Life Assurance Company and has around 1,100 members. The fund has more than ZW$200m as at 31st Dec 2021. This amount could be much higher as at today and is proportionately credited to individual account holders.

A request was made that the fund pays out pension benefits as per fund rules 5.1.1 to:
All participants over 60 years.
All male members above 55 years and still employed by the ZBC
All female members above 50 years and still employed by the ZBC
All participants who were compulsorily retrenched in 2015.

The Board has resolved for the payment of the pension fund to beneficiaries and once all internal processes have been completed, a formal announcement will be made to beneficiaries by the Fund Manager Old Mutual.

Improved Financial Position
ZBC ‘s financial position has improved significantly mainly buoyed by the Licensing initiatives being employed. Revenues are currently totalling some ZWL$1,4 billion YTD compared to some ZWL$94 million YTD for the same period last year. This is a revenue jump of some 1 513%.

The Corporation has been working to comply with governance protocol. In order to achieve this, the Auditor General’s Office is on site auditing ZBC’s books and the audited results will be made public and accessible to stakeholders that may want to view them.

An AGM is scheduled for the third quarter of the year. As ZBC Financial Situation improves, the organisation has started to re-tool the organisation, purchasing also the necessary tools of trade for employees. Below is an extract of some of the CAPEX purchased YTD using own funds. This amount adds to some ZWL$95 million considering the recent purchase of a NEW UPS System for Pockets Hill.

Employee welfare remains at the core of our operations and to date the following have been achieved since June 2021.

Employees were not on medical aid, funeral policy as well as pension fund. Due to legacy issues, contributions to both NSSA and ZIMRA were in arrears.
This has since been resolved and ZBC employees are now on a working medical aid (either CIMAS/PSMAS) as well as a funeral policy.

We are also currently working on a Group Life Assurance Cover for all employees and a new pension fund with Old Mutual.

Salaries and Wages
ZBC employees are currently earning above their NEC’s pegged wages. Salaries have been reviewed a record four times since June 2021 with a recent increment averaging 90% awarded just last week. We continue to examine other areas of improvement of staff welfare such as the Safety Health and Environment that employees operate in. We have employed a full time SHEs resource to assist us in implementing a safer working environment and create a new work culture for the benefit of all our employees and our stakeholders.

Content Acquisitions
We are currently on a robust content acquisition drive for all our platforms. To date we have acquired some 19 new titles for ZTV and are in the process of changing the face of ZTV as well as the quality of our productions for the benefit of our audiences. We remain thankful to our audiences who have continued to be loyal to ZBC channels registering a growth in audiences on all our platforms.

Corporate Social Responsibility
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation remains a responsible corporate citizen. To this end, and in line with our mandet, ZBC will on 3 August launch its CSR campaign- the Safe Kids Campaign with its partners. The Safe Kids Campaign aims to provide information and trekking of all missing children. It is a campaign against Child Trafficking and ZBC will utilise all its platforms to assist the responsible authorities to trek missing children and hopefully find them and re-unite them with their families. We hope your media houses can join us in this effort and that you will come and witness as well as support this launch.