SABC to get a bailout

Date: Jul 11, 2019

Broke SABC to get a government bailout

The bankrupt SABC is due to receive urgent "interim" financial relief from the Treasury in the next ten days, with the balance to be released 45 days after that.

The long-awaited announcement was made by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams in parliament during a debate on her department's budget vote.

The SABC had been waiting for more than a year for the government to respond to its request for a R3.2bn bailout or a loan guarantee, after it went broke.

The national broadcaster has since last year been battling to pay service providers amid threats of large-scale retrenchments and uncertainty over the payment of salaries.

This was while Ndabeni-Abrahams and the national treasury, under finance minister Tito Mboweni, refused to approve or reject the broadcaster's request for financial assistance, as they were not happy with the turnaround strategy SABC top brass had presented to them.

Addressing MPs, Ndabeni-Abrahams did not indicate how much the SABC would be receiving in the next ten days.

"Government is actively looking at strengthening the SABC. As we reported in the portfolio committee last week, we continue to engage with national treasury on a lasting financial solution for the public broadcaster.

"To this end, working with the national treasury, we will in the next ten days, provide a portion of the interim relief and the remaining within the next 45 days.

"However, this is subject to the SABC meeting all the set conditions and requirements. In this regard, we'll work with the minister of finance towards an institutional mechanism to support the turnaround effort and this includes the appointment of the CRO (chief restructuring officer," said Ndabeni-Abrahams.

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