Minister of communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has announced that the SABC will receive R3.2 billion as part of a bail-out.
The bail-out follows an announcement made by the minister of finance earlier this year in which it was said that the SABC could approach the Treasury for funding through contingency reserves.
“However, National Treasury attached preconditions to the funding allocation. Following a consultative process, SABC submitted updated responses to the set preconditions on 30 August 2019. These have been jointly assessed by National Treasury and DoC; revealing that of the eight preconditions, SABC has fully met five, partially met two, whilst one has not been met,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.
The condition the SABC has not met is the development of a Private Sector Participation strategy that highlights initiatives that will be undertaken with the private sector and the value of those partnerships.
The SABC did meet the following pre-conditions:
- Determine immediate cash requirements supported by detailed cash flow projections for the next 12 to 18 months;
- Submit a list of identified initiatives for revenue enhancement and costs-cutting initiatives;
- Conduct a thorough investigation into what caused the financial collapse of the SABC and why previous turnaround plans have failed to be successfully implemented;
- Provide an update of how the entity is dealing with the people implicated in the investigation report; and
- Develop a turnaround plan incorporating measures to prevent the reoccurrence of the identified factors. This must also take into account various reports including those of the Special Investigating Unit, Public Protector, Auditor General and Parliament.
The Department of Communications together with Treasury have decided to grant SABC R3.2 billion of which R2.1 billion will be transferred to the broadcaster next week.
The remaining R1.1 billion will be granted once the SABC meets the preconditions it hasn’t or has not fully met just yet.
“The SABC plays an integral role to inform, educate and entertain the public. As a department, we remain committed to ensuring a public broadcaster that is able to effectively discharge its mandate, whilst being a commercially viable organisation,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.
The minister reiterated that more needs to be done to turn the SABC around but she is confident that the broadcaster can turn the ship around. Here’s hoping she’s right.