The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) – South Africa’s public broadcaster – has announced that it does not need a bailout and will return to profitability in a few years.
“We have no intention of returning for a bailout. The corporation is governed by a group of people and a board of directors who have put in place the building blocks to return it to fiscal sustainability,” Yolande van Biljon, Chief Financial Officer, said, adding that their corporate plan reflected this.
The SABC board of directors and management informed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts on irregular expenditure and finances on Wednesday, March 2.
The public broadcaster’s recovery plan, which entailed significant layoffs, is currently in its second year.
The SABC had seen a reduction in revenue, according to Deputy Minister of Communications Philly Mapulane, which was a serious concern for both the shareholders and the corporation. However, he said that the broadcaster was meeting specific targets in the turnaround plan.
“Management has assured us that it is working around the clock in that, and that is the diminishing revenue they are seeing,” he said, adding that the SABC has been relatively stable since the turnaround. However, if it is not addressed, it could pose a serious threat to the SABC in the future.”
But there is no need for a bailout: “Management insists that no further bailout is required. Nevertheless, I believe it is still a source of concern.”
A public media levy to replace TV licenses, according to the SABC, would be one possibility for returning it to profitability.