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SABC reportedly needs R3.2bn government backing to avoid shutdown

‘We have also not maintained any of our infrastructure and a communications blackout is imminent.’

The South African government is considering a R3.2 billion guarantee for the country’s cash-strapped national broadcaster to help it raise money from lenders, according to the Sunday Times.

The broadcaster is saddled with large debts to the municipality, signal distributors and Pay TV business MultiChoice, the newspaper reported, citing the chairman of South African Broadcasting Corporation, Bongumusa Makhathini.

“We have also not maintained any of our infrastructure and a communications blackout is imminent,” Makhathini was quoted as saying. The board is in the process of a “cleanup” including a number of probes by the country’s Special Investigative Unit and an internal audit, he said.

The SABC is one of a number of state-owned companies in dire need of financing, with power utility Eskom straining under a R440 billion debt pile, and South African Airways also needing to repay debts. The National Treasury is being pressured to provide guarantees and bailouts to these businesses.

The crises have come to a head following nine years of alleged looting and mismanagement of government businesses under President Jacob Zuma. Zuma denies any wrongdoing.

The SABC’s chief auditing executive, Thami Zikode, recently survived an alleged assassination attempt that Makhatini linked to the cleanup at the broadcaster, where 180 people have been implicated in wrongdoings.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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The problem with state owned companies is that they destroy wealth. To create wealth the amount of value coming out must exceed the amount of value going in the front end. We see the reverse is true with bailouts and crumbling infrastructure. The SABC uses a license fee to partly fund the operation. If you have a TV receiving apparatus you must pay. Even if you never watch SABC. This is a form of extortion and results in the SABC becoming far removed from its clientele as they have a captive market without competition- yet they still cannot make a go of it. How pathetic. If the SABC funded itself through subscriptions e.g. by using a decoder it would cease to exist in a very short time due to lack of funds. This is simply because the SABC think they know what viewers want to see. The truth is as far as the east is from the west. They have no clue. The SABC is not market orientated. The pathetic excuse for a broadcaster should be sold to the highest bidders who will then be welcome to fund their enterprise as they see fit. No extortion license fee for owing a TV which is a right in this day and age. The state has no business running airlines, broadcasters and power companies. These are black holes for taxpayer funds that simply make all poorer. Time to clear out the rubbish.

Not forgetting the 90% local content. That has really done well for them.

Communication blackout… no more propaganda machine… this is a real issue for our lords…

Divide that by the number of households and it comes to more than my TV licence. So I must pay double? That makes real good business sense.

Who needs it anyway.

Another heart warming,I mean heart wrenching story from our government.

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