The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)’s financial officer Yolande van Biljon has told Parliament that the organisation is technically insolvent and struggling to honour payments to service providers and contractual obligations.
The SABC said its dire financial situation worsened during the 2018/19 financial year and the corporation ended with a cash balance on only R72 million in the bank.
The public broadcaster’s top brass was back in Parliament on Wednesday to brief Members of Parliament on its finances and human resource matters.
The SABC said one of the main contributors to the corporation’s dire financial status was the funding model of the corporation which has an over-reliance on commercial and advertising revenue.
Another factor is the changing media consumption and audience needs, as well as how multi-national advertisers have reduced spending over the past 24 months.
Van Biljon has told the select committee on public enterprises and communications that the corporation was also unable to honour certain payments due to a shortage of cash.
“There are instances where we are unable to honour payments and even adhere to committed contracts which means we often need to negotiate and renegotiate because we’ve been unable to meet the requirements. Naturally, it has a significant effect on our content productions and the creative industry.”
The SABC said it hoped its turnaround strategy would yield results in a couple of years.
It will also be entering into payment arrangements with major suppliers and service providers.
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