SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe has warned that the public broadcaster is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and likely to go broke by the end of March if no action is taken.
The details of an agreement between National Treasury and SABC to provide urgent interim financial relief to the public broadcaster has yet to revealed.
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announced treasury's decision while briefing Parliament’s communications committee on Tuesday.
Eyewitness News (EWN) Parliamentary Correspondent Gaye Davis says it is unknown how much will be given to the broadcaster.
She says they don't know that yet, what they needed from Treasury was an assurance that there would be some relief for the SABC.— Gaye Davis, Parliamentary correspondent - EWN
They are looking for a total of R 6.8 billion which they say will get them back on track toward financial sustainability. This amount which the minister announced is being cost to the SABC as a lifeline won't be anywhere near that size amount.— Gaye Davis, Parliamentary correspondent - EWN
They still have to update their turnaround plan and they won't be getting a bulk handout in the billions but they will be getting some money which will enable them to pay some critical debt so that they can continue to receive critical services and that will allow them to meet their salary bill which is around R 240 million each month.— Gaye Davis, Parliamentary correspondent - EWN
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Meanwhile National Coordinator at the SOS Coalition Duduetsang Makuse says the terms need to be made clear.
We need to refrain from calling it a bailout because that makes it sound like there is money leaving the fiscus to go to the SABC when essentially what is going to happen is that the SABC is going to be able to borrow money from a bank.— Duduetsang Makuse, National Coordinator - SOS Coalition
She adds that the interim relief looks like a form of charity that may be enough to sustain the broadcaster until after the elections.
The fact that Fikile Mbalula could be so brazen to go directly to the head of news at the SABC, that should scare everyone. We are looking for a public broadcaster that will be representative of everyone, not a public broadcaster that is beholden to any interests in this country.— Duduetsang Makuse, National Coordinator - SOS Coalition
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