Treasury to hand SABC bailout to pay staff salaries

Charles Molele

Communications and Telecommunications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announced today that National Treasury will grant the SABC a bailout to enable it to pay salaries at the end of the month.

This follows a briefing by the SABC in Parliament on Tuesday, where it was revealed that the public broadcaster cannot guarantee that it will be able to pay its staff salaries at the end of March.

“We have just made sure with Treasury that there will be a release to the SABC and so they can pay salaries at the end of the month,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.

She said Treasury’s intervention this month will be for urgent issues, as the SABC has still not complied with all the government guarantees requirements.

The minister also stressed that the money must be used for what it was intended for.

SABC Group chief executive officer (GCEO) Madoda Mxakwe said the state-owned entity has implemented a turnaround strategy and this has led to savings of R785-million.

Mxakwe said financial statements showed that the SABC will be in factual solvency by the end of March.

He said that at the end of February, creditors were owed more than R1.4 billion.

Some of the creditors include SuperSport, the SA Music and Royalties Organization (SAMRO) and Sentech.

“We cannot even commission local content production as a result of all of the severe liquidity challenges that we’re facing. The situation is so bad that several major content providers of key programmes actually refuse to engage with us. Understandably, because we have not been able to pay them in the past couple of months,” Mxakwe told Parliament.

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