PRETORIA – SABC is set to receive a cash injection of R2.1 billion to help stabilise the public broadcaster.
Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams made the announcement at a media briefing on Friday.
Ndabeni-Abrahams said of the eight preconditions set for the funding allocation by National Treasury, the public broadcaster has fully met five and partially met two, whilst one has not been met.
Based on joint assessments, Treasury and Communications have worked together to facilitate the initial tranche of the R3.2 billion allocation to be transferred to the SABC.
“R2.1 billion will be transferred to the public broadcaster on Monday, 7 October 2019. The remaining balance of R1.1 billion will be transferred once the public broadcaster fully meets the three outstanding conditions or firmly demonstrates evidence to fully comply,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said.
The SABC has not met the condition to develop a comprehensive Private Sector Participation (PSP) strategy, clearly highlighting initiatives to be implemented and the net value to be derived from the partnerships.
However, Ndabeni-Abrahams said that willingness to work on this condition has been expressly provided and this is welcomed by the two departments.
She said the Department of Communications has communicated the SABC funding allocation to the Auditor General to assist in addressing the going concern matter and conclusion of the 2018/19 Annual Financial Statements.
“As a result, the SABC obtained a qualified audit opinion instead of a disclaimer,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said.
The Minister also noted that the SABC turnaround requires more than R3.2 billion short-term funding.
However, she said, the public broadcaster was required to submit a fit-for-purpose turnaround plan, which would respond to short, medium and long-term requirements and the changing broadcasting landscape.
“The SABC has since submitted a board-approved Turnaround Plan which is currently being reviewed by both departments. The Department of Communications will further continue with National Treasury to source funding through the normal Medium-term Expenditure Framework processes,” the Minister said.