SABC not under liquidation, says acting CEO

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Johannesburg - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is not in a financial crisis and not under liquidation, says the public broadcaster's Acting Chief Executive Officer Gab Mampone.

Addressing reporters on the SABC's financial turnaround strategy in Johannesburg on Thursday, Mr Mampone said while the broadcaster was not insolvent there was a concern about the liquidity of the organisation.

The SABC's financial woes emanated from the SABC's funding model, the global credit crunch and the rapidly rising costs of content.

"It is imperative that we deal with the situation to ensure that the corporation stays sustainable and that there are no job losses," he explained, adding that management and the board of directors were working together to find long-term solutions while continuing to provide quality content.

Mr Mampone said as part of its turnaround strategy, the corporation would be looking at various measures to ensure its sustainability and viability.

"These measures include the implementation of the Austerity Plan, the freezing of vacant posts, optimisation of TV license revenue and continuous engagement with government to find solutions on the funding of the organisations," he said.

The strategy will further address the working capital dynamics and unnecessary spending.

Mr Mampone added that revenue growth would be boosted through the development of their aggressive and robust advertising strategy.

Sport sponsorship had continued to decline and there was a slow uptake on revenue growth in their new media offering and the high rate of company insolvency and liquidation has impacted significantly on the Advertising Debtors Book.

The Internal Credit Risk assessment had been re-enforced to guard against defaulting debtors.

"Despite a weakening economy, increase in collection cost and lack of television licence tariff increase, year-on-year cash collected for television licence grew marginally," he said.

The SABC Board of Directors Chairperson Khanyisile Mkonza said the SABC was a global player buying content on an international market and negotiated major sports right with other global players.

"There is no way that we will not be affected by the economic downturn that is affecting other players in the world. Our advertising revenue has also gone down due to the global financial crunch."

She said therefore the SABC was in the process of engaging with the Department of Communication and National Treasury to find solutions on the funding model of the SABC.

The SABC has the responsibility of broadcasting the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup plans and successful implantation of Digital Migration as well as world class technology infrastructure.