CAPE TOWN – Reports of a bail-out of up to R1-billion for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) were false, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Friday, without ruling out the eventual possibility.
“There is no bail-out,” Dlodlo told reporters at a post-Cabinet briefing.
She said talks between the SABC and government had focused on lending the broadcaster financial expertise, while also tackling issues of human resources and labour.
The chairwoman of the SABC’s interim board, Khanyisile Kweyama, earlier this week said the broadcaster was in financial crisis and would need a lifeline of “at least” R1-billion from National Treasury.
But Dlodlo said: “There is no discussion about a bail-out. The discussion is about assistance to the SABC which might not eminate in a financial bail-out.”
She added however: “If the outcome of the investigations that are underway call for a bail-out, maybe that is the decision that will be taken.
“One of the things we have looked at, because if you look at the composition of the board which is responsible for turning the SABC around now, that board did not have a person with financial expertise experience or competence for that matter. We then, from our office, availed to the board someone that would assist them.”
Dlodlo said she found it strange that Parliament did not think, when it appointed the interim board, to include members with financial skills to help put the broadcaster back on a sound footing.
“I found it as an anomaly that Parliament did not look at that issue of ensuring that the board is balanced in dealing with the problematic areas of the SABC.”
– African News Agency (ANA)