Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has announced that the SABC, which has been buckling under financial strain, will over the next 10 days receive a portion of the interim relief it has been waiting for.
Ndabeni-Abrahams said this when she tabled the department’s budget vote speech in Parliament on Wednesday.
The announcement comes after the public broadcaster — which has told the previous Parliament of its increasingly dire liquidity issues — has been waiting for National Treasury to approve its request of a loan guarantee amounting to R3.2 billion to ease its financial pressures.
“…Government is actively looking at strengthening the South African Broadcasting Corporation. 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 National Treasury, we will in the next 10 days, provide a portion of the interim relief and the remaining balance within the next 45 days,” she said.
For months, the SABC has been struggling to get the government guarantee because the Minister and National Treasury were not satisfied with the turnaround strategy that the SABC’s top executives initially presented.
Debating on the department’s budget vote on Wednesday, Ndabeni-Abrahams said the interim relief is subject to the SABC meeting with all the set conditions and requirements.
“In this regard, we will 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].”