The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies to urgently provide full details on the financial support that will be provided to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
This follows the announcement by Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni in Parliament Tuesday that Treasury will use its contingency reserve fund to “support” the SABC.
The DA says Mboweni provided little to no detail on the financial support, only saying that it will be provided in tranches and that a Chief Reorganization Officer (CRO) will be appointed.
“It is critical that Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams as the Minister under whose portfolio the SABC lies, provide the public and Parliament with full information regarding this financial support,” Phumzile Van Damme, the DA Shadow Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies said.
The DA believes that Parliament must be provided with the full details and Treasury’s full pre-conditions so it can exercise its oversight to ensure that the conditions are indeed being met and the funding is not being mismanaged.
The DA is seeking:
- Full details and amounts of the tranches of funding that will be provided to the SABC;
- Full details related to the position of the CRO, which must not infringe on the SABC’s independence; and
- The conditions related to the provision of the funding with clear deliverables, deadlines and accountability mechanisms.
The DA also intends writing to Chairperson of the Committee, Hope Papo, requesting for an urgent meeting to be held in this regard.
Van Damme says the SABC has been on the “precipice awaiting assistance from government” for over a year now, charging that Mboweni and Ndabeni-Abrahams are “worryingly late in their response to the calls for support following pressure from the DA and civil society.”
The DA added that it’s “imperative” that SABC staff are provided with full information.