SABC wants to sweat its assets

Johannesburg - The SABC, which is facing a reported R501m loss this financial year, is looking to sweat its assets and has put out a tender for a new gym at its Auckland Park headquarters.

The public broadcaster wants to replace its old gym with a “wellness studio” and new equipment for its 2 931 head office employees, according to the “request for proposals” on its website.

“The daily management of the gym facility is currently outsourced. The current gym equipment is old and needs to be replaced. The SABC would like to upgrade the facility from a normal gym to a wellness studio and all the gym equipment [cardiovascular, resistance and all other accessories], must be replaced with new and more current commercial graded gym equipment,” reads the request, which was also advertised in the Sunday Times.

“The SABC invites companies that have a proven track record and appropriate expertise, knowledge, capacity to provide gym equipment, ensure maintenance and repairs of all the equipment and professional gym services.”

The closing date for bids is June 23.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago could not be reached for comment.

DA MP Gavin Davis said more and more companies were taking an interest in the health of their staff, which was generally a good thing.

“Of course, when it comes to public entities like the SABC, due care needs to be taken that public money is not abused on items that are outside the entity's core business,” he said in a statement.

He had submitted a question asking Communications Minister Faith Muthambi how much this studio would cost to staff and maintain each year.

Last month, in a reply to a parliamentary question, Muthambi said the broadcaster spent R3m a year on its own choir. On at least one occasion it has sung “Hlaudi Motsoeneng reya o leboha” (“Hlaudi Motsoeneng we thank you”) to its chief operating officer during a staff meeting.

The Sunday Times reported in April that according to an internal financial report, the SABC's loss for the year to March this year would be R501m.

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