(Flickr: Warrenski)

SABC: Broadcaster’s debt is 27 times more than what they have in the bank

The woes at SABC continue to mount, as their monthly finances were revealed to a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee.


(Flickr: Warrenski)

SABC are continuing to flounder in their own financial strife, with board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini laying his company’s money woes bare in Parliament.

Makhathini was addressing a Portfolio Committee regarding the broadcaster’s money issues. As EWN report, he explained that they are in the midst of a cashflow crisis that has left the coffers at a dangerously low level.

How much debt are SABC in?

As of Tuesday 21 August, SABC currently have just R26 million in their accounts. By contrast, their debt has spiralled to R694 million – a total which is almost 27 times more than all the money they currently have.

“We still have financial challenges. The situation is very dire. If you look at what we’ve been able to do, we prioritise salaries and freelancers. But we struggle to meet a lot of our monthly financial obligations.” – Bongumusa Makhathini.

However, the horror figures might look a little worse than they actually are. They are still in a dire position, but the reason their account is as good as empty is that they’ve prioritised paying their staff and freelancers. However, the chairperson also confirmed that “some obligations” couldn’t be met this month.

What caused the cash crisis at SABC?

Back in 2016, Hlaudi Motsoeneng was forcing his “90% local” agenda – the former Chief Operations Officer had demanded that almost all content going out via the TV network should be produced in South Africa, by South Africans.

He’s accused of doing little-to-no research on the massive upheaval his changes would cause. Ploughing ahead with the proposals, SABC began haemorrhaging money. Their debt initially increased to R400 million, with eNCA reporting that the broadcaster had lost R200 million since the quota was introduced.

“Hurricane Hlaudi” had devastated the state broadcaster, and the self-proclaimed “future president of South Africa” is still embroiled in legal action following his dismissal.