SABC seeks government bailout - TechCentral

SABC seeks government bailout

The SABC is in talks with national treasury to secure a guarantee to help it claw its way out of a financial crisis after it failed to pay some of its content suppliers in March and April.

We are “currently in talks with the treasury and the department of communications on how we can possibly secure a guarantee from government,” spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said by phone on Wednesday.

The SABC is one of the key state companies that have been marred with allegations of poor management. The broadcaster’s entire board quit last year after parliament instituted an inquiry into its conduct following a series of scandals, administration blunders and legal disputes. An internal report shows SABC risks running out of cash.

“The financial difficulties that we have already come out and said we are having are due to the economic crunch that all companies are currently operating in and the fact that advertising revenue has decreased,” Kganyago said.

The state broadcaster hasn’t had a permanent CEO since 2015 and the nation’s graft ombudsman found that the former chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, lied about his qualifications and the high court barred him from working at the broadcaster. Motsoeneng introduced a controversial policy to ensure 90% of music on its 22 radio stations was by local artists.

Government guarantees to state companies totals R477,7bn, or 11,5% of GDP, according to the February budget review.

The SABC’s interim board is seeking at least R1bn, according to a report by Johannesburg-based Eyewitness News citing Khanyisile Kweyama, who was appointed chairwoman at the end of March.

TechCentral cartoonist Jerm on former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s legal travails

“There’s no figure that has been put out by the SABC in terms of how much money we need,” Kganyago said. “The talks are ongoing.”

SABC’s management met with suppliers two weeks ago to explain the broadcaster’s financial difficulties and to inform them some payments might be delayed, Kganyago said.

The broadcaster failed to pay some production companies in March according to a statement issued by the Independent Producers Organisation, which represents 100 producers in South Africa. Some producers have also not been paid for April.

“The failure of the SABC to pay not only places the industry in crisis but also puts thousands of livelihoods, bond and loan repayments, school fees and living expenses at risk,” Naomi Mokhele, a spokeswoman for the IPO, said in a statement on 31 March.  — (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP

5 Comments

  1. Very simple solution to the SABC’s cash flow problem (apart from canning the entire works, which seems a damned good idea in itself) is to call in all those Hlaudi groupies, aka, local musicians and pass the hat around. After all what’s a piddly little R400m between friends?
    Whaddya mean? They wont be around to bail out their ol’ bud from the Free State? Surely their hearts are not so cold as to turn their melodic backs on the township rose who grew through the pavements?
    PS So just when is the township rose gonna have his day in court to do his Please Explain on that nasty little matric con of the HR dept at Auckland Park anyway?

  2. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Your maths seems poor for an engineering graduate…

    It’s 4 Kandla residents unless your engineering buddies in KZN are now offering bulk discount for the construction of these provincial heritage sites.

  3. Hlaudi Motsoeneng, is 100% the idiot who drove the SABC into this mess! 90% local content, Lotus FM losing 200 000 of their 300 000 listeners! He should be shot for the mess he caused at the SABC!