Unfortunately for the SABC, and its large low-level employee base, the government is now taking a hard-line approach to bailouts.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is facing an imminent meltdown following claims that government has refused the parastatal a much-needed cash injection.
State owned enterprises have managed to bleed the national fiscus dry, with ordinary taxpayers baring the worst of the financial brunt. The SABC is a prime example of the costly quagmire currently enveloping mismanaged national entities.
Unfortunately for the SABC, and its large low-level employee base, the government is now taking a hard-line approach to bailouts. As the taps begin to run dry, the National Treasury is left having to priorities its bailout commitments and loan guarantees. Almost every single state owned enterprise has, until now, been able to rely government hand outs to stay afloat.
This is changing, and it seems likely that the SABC will be the first victim of the government’s newfound unwillingness and inability to keeping injecting cash into flailing state owned enterprises.
SABC board faces dissolution
In a recent report published by the Sunday Times, SABC board chair, Bongumusa Makhathini, blasted the government for refusing to bail the national broadcaster out.
While the government has, in the past, been forthcoming with exorbitant cash injections, Makhathini claims that the Treasury has resolved to let the company die a slow and painful death.
The report indicated that the SABC will, without governmental assistance, run out of cash by March 2019 – effectively giving the embattled public broadcaster only three more months to live.
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The prognosis seems dire. The SABC has already initiated mass retrenchment procedures in order to cut its wage bill in an attempt to avert complete financial collapse.
Company CEO Madoda Mxakwe has admitted that the SABC is bankrupt and indebted beyond the point of no return. The broadcaster has failed to settle its accounts with service providers and will struggle to pay salaries in December.
Last week, senior executives Krish Naidoo, Khanyisile Kweyama, John Mattison and Mathatha Tsedu all tendered their resignations –effectively rendering the SABC board defunct. This comes at a time when the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee is struggling to fill other vacant positions emanating from earlier resignations.
In an attempt to stave off complete collapse, the board has called for a R3 billion government bailout, which, it says, will help save jobs.
Trade Unions have also blasted the government for letting the public broadcaster collapse.
It’s been argued that recent board member resignations have political undertones which could be a precursor to the dissolution of the SABC’s perceived impartiality and independence ahead of the 2019 general elections.
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