It's funding crunch time for the SABC

17 March 2017 - 08:38
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago.
Image: Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago.

The SABC has confirmed it is facing a financial crisis and is funding operations from dwindling reserves.

"The SABC's major sources of revenue are advertising revenue and sponsorships (85%) and TV licences (12%), and we can confirm that these revenue streams are under pressure with the SABC now funding its activities from its reserves," SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said yesterday.

Reports emerged last week that the SABC treasurer had warned its management that the broadcaster would soon run out of cash unless it raised new funding urgently.

A confidential treasury risk committee report up to January 31 2017 indicated that cash reserves had plunged to R174-million in December, down from more than R1-billion in 2015.

  • Running on empty: SABC is down to reserves to fund operationsThe SABC has confirmed that it is facing a financial crisis that has forced it to fund its operations from its dwindling reserves.

Kganyago said utterances at parliament's recent inquiry into the SABC's affairs had portrayed the corporation in a negative light. This had an adverse effect on revenue generation.

There was also a significant drop in advertising spend, and the withdrawal of strategic partners who were engaged to finance additional channels that the public broadcaster intended to launch in preparation for digital terrestrial television.

"The former chief operating officer, [Hlaudi] Motsoeneng, was at an advanced stage of discussions with funders to generate additional revenue from strategic partnerships with provincial governments and the private sector to fund additional channels," he said.

"Despite these challenges, the SABC will meet its obligations and continue to discharge its public service mandate of educating, entertaining and informing South Africans and other audiences."