'No financial bailout' for SABC, yet - communications minister

2017-04-28 12:19
Newly appointed Minister of Communication Ayanda Dlodlo (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Newly appointed Minister of Communication Ayanda Dlodlo (Lerato Sejake, News24)

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Cape Town – There are no plans yet for Treasury to give the ailing SABC a bailout, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Friday.

Media reports of a potential R1bn bailout were incorrect, and her department and new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba had only been discussing how the broadcaster could revive its current revenue streams, she told reporters in Pretoria.

She was briefing media following Cabinet's bi-weekly meeting this week.

"There is no financial bailout. The discussion is about assistance to the SABC, which might not emanate in the financial bailout (sic)," she said.

The new interim board, which was tasked with turning the SABC around, did not have a person with financial expertise.

"I found it an anomaly that Parliament did not look at that issue," she said.

Investigations underway

A person from her ministry with a strong financial background had been assigned to help the interim board look into the public broadcaster's financial struggles.

"If the outcome of the investigations that are underway calls for a bailout, maybe that is the decision that will be taken. But right now we are talking about ensuring that the SABC is in a sound financial position."

Fin24 reported on Wednesday that the SABC was in talks with Treasury to secure a guarantee to help it claw its way out of its financial crisis, after it failed to pay some of its content suppliers in March.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago had said the financial difficulties were due to an economic crunch facing all companies in the country, and lower advertising revenue. He said a figure had not yet been discussed, but talks were ongoing.

Parliament's communications portfolio committee on Wednesday said the SABC had to fill vacant executive-level positions immediately to deal with poor performance, following a workshop in Stellenbosch.

Read more on:    sabc  |  ayanda dlodlo  |  media

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