'Give SABC more state money'

2009-06-24 17:19

Cape Town - Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda on Wednesday called for state funding for the embattled SABC to be increased.

Nyanda told reporters it was not sustainable that the public broadcaster received only some 2% of its money from government, as the recession had shown that it could not rely on fluctuating advertising revenue for its survival.

"It is a public broadcaster and a public broadcaster that is funded only 2% from the coffers of the state and 98% otherwise cannot be sustainable... and therefore we need to find some new way that the government has got to fund the SABC," he said.

"The SABC has been able to generate funds from advertisements, but because of the economic downturn it has not been able to do so. Its revenue from advertisements has declined substantially."

Funding model needed

Nyanda said the government needed to devise a funding model more in line with international practice.

He warned however that the state was not in a position to provide half, or even 40% of the broadcaster's funding.

"It won't be 50-50, nor will it be 60-40."

The SABC currently gets some 80% of its funds from advertising, about 17% from licence fees and the rest from the state. It has asked government for a R2bn bailout.