South Africa - Johannesburg - 25 June 2019 -South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Business In The News South Africa

SABC continues to eke out a living, MPs hear

PARLIAMENT, August 26 – The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) remains technically insolvent as it awaits a bailout from the National Treasury, members of Parliament (MPs) were told on Wednesday.

Briefing Parliament’s select committee on public enterprises and communications, SABC board chairman Bongumusa Makhathini told MPs the corporation was working with the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC), a government mechanism assisting State departments and companies with turnaround strategies, and National Treasury to agree on a set of pre-conditions before the cash is injected into the broadcaster’s bank account.

The broadcaster remained in dire financial straits — still able to pay salaries but unable to pay creditors.

SABC chief financial officer Yolande van Biljon said as of June 30, the broadcaster owed creditors R1.8 billion.

The corporation’s signal distributor, Sentech, was owed R554 million, Supersport R259mln, SAMRO (South African Music Rights Organisation) was due R135mln and various other providers of content were due R174mln.

When quizzed by MPs, van Biljon said they had R200mln in the bank. This would decrease to around R75mln by Friday. She said the SABC had to prioritise salary payments, which cost around R260mln monthly, followed by utilities and content. The rest was used for emergencies. This meant prime content and marketing spend was severely affected, which in turn would impact future revenue.

“We are faced with daily tough choices,” she said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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