SABC responds on the financial health coverage

Johannesburg – Thursday 16 March 2017 - The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) financial situation has been portrayed negatively in the media from October 2016, inter alia, being a major focus of this attack.

The SABCs major sources of revenue are advertising revenue and sponsorships (85%) and TV licenses (12%) and we can confirm that these revenue streams are under pressure with the SABC now funding its activities from its reserves.

The depressed global and local economic market condition is having a negative impact on advertising and sponsorship revenue in South Africa generally. Advertisers have progressively reduced their advertising budgets from October 2015 to date a factor that is affecting the broadcasting and print media industry equally.

The utterances made by various individuals and organisations at the Adhoc Committee have negatively portrayed the SABC and this has had an adverse impact on the revenues of the SABC in the form of payment of TV licenses, advertising spend and the withdrawal of strategic partners who were engaged to finance additional channels that the SABC intended to launch in preparation for Digital Terrestrial Transmission/Television (DTT).

The former COO, Mr 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 these additional channels. This project has been negatively compromised from October 2016 with these planned revenues not being realised. The sustainability of the current SABC News and Encore channels has also been jeopardised.

The SABC has cautioned on numerous occasions that the contribution from government (2%) to fund the public broadcasting mandate is miniscule in comparison to the cost. As a result, the SABC cautioned that the collapse of its finances was imminent if due care was not exercised in dealing with the confidentiality of contracts with its strategic partners. These continuous attacks on the SABC, affects its business relations with its partners, which could unfortunately lead to the retrenchment of staff members.

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

ENDS

Issued By:                   Group Communications

Media Enquiries:       Mr Kaizer Kganyago

                                       082 306 8888

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