Broadcasting Services

South Africa's SABC Warns Of Imminent Communication Blackout Due To Financial Woes

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is in the midst of some serious financial issues, and has warned South Africans that a communication blackout is ‘imminent’.

The Chairman of the SABC board, Bongumusa Makhathini, told the Sunday Times publication that the national broadcaster had found itself in the difficult position of having to choose between paying staff or paying municipal accounts at the end of March this year.

It had opted to pay its staff and now owes the City of Johannesburg’s municipality over $900 000.00. However, even after non-payment of municipal bills, the broadcaster is still facing a severe shortfall when it comes to salary payments.

Makhathini said that he is not sure how the SABC is going to pay for salaries come end of June.
He added that the national broadcaster had also not maintained its infrastructure, and therefore, a communication blackout was imminent.

Makhathini said that the SABC also owes SuperSport $14 million and the signal company Sentech $21 million.

However, it seems that South Africa’s government is not prepared to let the broadcaster fall apart just yet.

A spokesperson from the nation’s department of communications told the Sunday Times that it was in the process of organising a $200 million bailout for the SABC.

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