Media Monitoring Africa has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to spell out solutions to the financial crisis faced by the SABC, as he prepares for Thursday’s State of the Nation Address.
This after SABC Chief Financial Officer Yolande van Biljon, on Monday warned of the possibility of a communication blackout amid the public broadcaster’s dire financial situation.
She says the cash-strapped public broadcaster is stuck with large debts including to the City of Johannesburg municipality.
Van Biljon says executives are doing their best to avoid Day-Zero scenarios and that salaries are expected to be paid at the end of June.
Media Monitoring Africa’s Director William Bird says government’s refusal to respond to the SABC’s R3.2-billion loan guarantee may be an attempt to crash the public broadcaster.
He has urged President Ramaphosa to take seriously the SABC’s situation.
“We have to hope that he does. The irony of it being that one of the biggest services that will be bringing his State of the Nation Address to the public is the SABC. This is something that they are deliberately allowing to get to that point is an absolute crisis. I think South Africans must use whatever type of social media capabilities they have to write to the President and Department of Communications and Treasury and demand that they get their guarantee and show their support for the SABC – and if necessary call for a blackout to demonstrate the actual impact of what would happen if the SABC were to go off air.”
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