The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will receive a much-needed government bailout, after failing to improve its financial position in 2019.
Government, by way of the National Treasury, has, once again, been persuaded to open its coffers up to the embattled broadcaster.
Telecommunications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams confirmed that the finance minister was expected to finalise the bailout plan, which includes guarantees on loan agreements, and, in due course, release the figures to the public.
SABC bailout “to prevent the broadcaster from collapsing”
While the Treasury has remained mum on details relating to the bailout, Ndabeni-Abrahams explained that the finance minister would sign-off on the agreement “to prevent the broadcaster from collapsing”.
Speaking to SABC News on the current challenges, both financial and operational, facing the public broadcaster, Ndabeni-Abrahams explained:
“It is in our best interest to ensure that SABC survives and thrives in everything that they do. That is why we committed that we will be giving SABC money.”
In 2018, the SABC received numerous government bailouts, totalling several billion rand. This, however, has barely been enough to keep the broadcaster afloat. Dire financial circumstances have threatened mass retrenchments and frustrated service providers. The fightback from major trade unions almost singlehandedly prevented job losses in the organisation yet staff still remain on tenterhooks.
Diesel leak sparks outrage from Trade Unions
Following a disastrous diesel leakage on the 15th floor of the public broadcaster’s Radio Park headquarters in Johannesburg earlier in the week, the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) has, once again, threatened legal action.
BEMAWU’s qualms centre on the issue of inadequate building maintenance, which the union says is to blame for the Radio Park leak. BEMAWU spokesperson, Hannes du Buisson, said that the union would institute legal proceedings against the department of Telecommunications, the Treasury and even President Cyril Ramaphosa himself, should a bailout be denied.
It is unclear, in light of the recent bailout confirmation, whether this threat has been retracted.
This report does not necessarily reflects the opinion of SA news