SABC News - SABC interim board appeals for bail-out from govt:Wednesday 10 May 2017

SABC interim board appeals for bail-out from govt

Wednesday 10 May 2017 21:55

Abra Barbier

The SABC seized by a cash crisis and in need of R4 billion to deliver on its mandate requirements.

The SABC seized by a cash crisis and in need of R4 billion to deliver on its mandate requirements. (SABC)

The SABC interim board has formally asked Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo for assistance to secure funds for the cash-strapped public broadcaster.

Board Chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama is part of a delegation briefing Parliament's Communications Committee on the SABC's annual plans as well as progress on the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee.

Kweyama wouldn't divulge the exact details of the request but she did say the public broadcaster is in dire straits. The public broadcaster seized by a cash crisis and in need of R4 billion to deliver on its mandate requirements.

Acting CEO, James Aguma gave some reasons for the desperate situation.

"The SABC's involvement in a number of legal matters and litigation cases have also had financial and reputational consequences for the organisation and we found that a lot of reputation issues had a direct consequence on the attitude over TV Licence payers to meet their requirements.

"We also highlight the leadership instability with the SABC board members either being removed, or resigning, leading to the board finally being dissolved."

But this answer was not accepted by the Democratic Alliance. DA Phumzile van Damme says, "Mr Aguma, to be deadly honest, it's very strange that you are sitting here today, presenting matter about the SABC's finances, like you weren't directly part of causing the problem."

Interim Board Chair Khanyisile Kweyama told MP's the SABC had not been behaving like a public broadcaster.

"Very early, we found that there was indeed collapse in governance within the SABC, and areas such as the board charter had not been adhered to and that the board had not carried out its' duties."

She also reported on the implementation of recommendations made by the Public Protector and Parliamentary ad-hoc committee.

These include steps against individuals, including former board members complicit in irregular financial activities.

"To this end the board as early as this week, has formed a task team that will engage with the special investigations unit, on conducting a forensic audit, on fruitless and wasteful expenditure, that was incurred between April 2012 and March 2017."

The low moral and emotional state of employees is a concern to most MP's, who recommend counselling.

ANC Sisisi Tolashe says"Majority of very highly educated young women in the SABC you got to hear them on a daily basis being abused, as women, and the kind of things were done."

On the issue of former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the board confirmed that his disciplinary hearing will take place on the 17th of May.

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