The media magnate is facing the PIC breathing down his neck for repayment of over R5-billion as staff face deep salary cuts.
An estimated 1500 staff, including journalists, have been warned of salary cuts of up to 45% from April at Iqbal Survé's Independent News Media (INM) and the African News Agency (ANA).
In a letter that arrived without consultation with staff on Friday, 3 April, divisional heads wrote to staff members saying "Our payroll bill is one of our highest expenditures. Unfortunately, we are left with no alternative but to take the extreme measure of applying a salary reduction. This will come into effect from this month of April until such time as the situation has stabilised."
The letter then sets out a complicated table based on five scenarios, the realisation of which will see cuts ranging from zero to 45% of salary packets. From the tone of the letter, it implies that the worst-case scenario - a cut of 45% - is likely. Staff are said to be panicking after the bombshell arrived on their emails as the first week of a Covid-19 lockdown ended and the economy showed signs of tanking.
Yet three weeks ago, one of...