SABC cannot guarantee March salaries if it doesn't get funding

SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe.
SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe.

The SABC cannot guarantee that it will be able to pay its employees' salaries at the end of this month.

This is revealed in a document the broadcaster presented to parliament on Tuesday morning.

The document also warns that should the financial crisis not be addressed as a matter of urgency‚ the SABC would be unable to operate and the "black-on-air" scenario is a real and highly possible threat.

SABC bosses are appearing before the national assembly's portfolio committee on communication to talk about progress made on the turnaround strategy‚ labour relations issues and the implementation of the recommendations of the SABC board inquiry.

Group CEO Madoda Mxakwe warned the broadcaster was facing factual insolvency by the end of March if nothing is done in terms of the request for more funding.

The SABC applied for government funding due to its severe liquidity crisis which‚ according to the document‚ is threatening the corporation's status as a going concern.

The application is based on the corporation's dire financial situation‚ along with its approved strategic roadmap and turnaround plans designed to stabilise the SABC and return it to profitability while fulfilling its public mandate‚ it says.

"The SABC's cash flow is depleted and therefore the SABC cannot honour payments to service providers‚ adhere to its committed contracts‚ and commission local content productions‚" reads the document.

The document also shows that several major content providers of key programming like soapies have ceased production and are retaining content until outstanding payments have been received.

It says the public broadcaster relies heavily on these programmes to generate advertising revenue and the inability to invest in content negatively affects the financial sustainability of the SABC and the local production industry.

The meeting continues.

- TMG Digital

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