SABC task team to sort out financial woes

2013-07-30 15:54

A task team has been established to sort out the financial problems at the SABC.

“We have decided to set up a high-level team made up of the SABC, the department of communications, National Treasury and the Auditor-General of South Africa to set a firm foundation for financial stability of the public broadcaster,” Communications Minister Yunus Carrim said today.

“The team will ensure that all the challenges emanating out of the government guarantee targets are addressed within reasonable means and that the SABC is appropriately skilled at the right levels.”

This was a resolution informed by the progress made by the joint task team set up two weeks ago between the department and the SABC.

Carrim and his deputy, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, met the SABC board and management today to take forward issues discussed at a meeting on July 17.

In April, President Jacob Zuma approved the interim board, which was installed after the resignations of most of the previous board’s members in March, and its eventual dissolution by Parliament.

Their departure came after a reported clash between previous chairman Ben Ngubane and the board about the tenure of previous acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

At the meeting earlier this month, Carrim said the board and management had agreed to settle problems relating to digital migration and to urgently fill senior management posts.

Carrim said today’s meeting also took note of the progress made on Digital Terrestrial Television readiness. The joint task team would continue to work to ensure the launch of Digital Terrestrial Television.

The SABC would launch a 24-hour news channel on August 1. Carrim said a degree of consensus had been reached about the launch and how to deal with the outstanding finances, and legal and other aspects of the launch.

“South Africans need to have access to a constant stream of news, information and entertainment.

“The SABC has a responsibility to ensure that,” he said.

SABC board chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala said the national broadcaster was using the launch to fine-tune its readiness for the Digital Terrestrial Television launch.

“I am satisfied with the progress made in addressing the issues at the SABC.

“We remain committed to playing our full role in turning the SABC around,” she said.

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