The DA says it expects Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to announce a loan guarantee for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in his budget speech on Wednesday.
DA Shadow Finance Minister Alf Lees says a substantial loan guarantee will allow the SABC to go to the major banks and seek finance as it moves towards stabilising its operations and returning to profitability.
He was commenting on what he expects from Mboweni’s maiden budget speech.
The public broadcaster has been in a dire financial crisis, with senior management reporting late last year that the organisation won’t be able to pay salaries after March 2019. The SABC said at the time it had to retrench over 1000 full-time employees to reduce its heavy wage bill.
However, the SABC announced in January that it has decided not to renew the notice to invoke Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.
Lees has warned that higher electricity tariffs are likely and has urged that South African Airways (SAA) be placed into business rescue.
Regarding the public broadcaster, Lees says cost cutting measures remain very likely at the SABC.
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Meanwhile, Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on Saturday met with the task team working on the recapitalisation of the SABC.
The team sought to provide the Minister with a progress update as she prepares to pursue Cabinet approval for the allocation of a SABC government bailout.
This will enable the public broadcaster to normalise operations and position it for a turnaround.
The team tasked with the recapitalisation comprises of senior officials from the Department of Communications, National Treasury and the SABC.
During the meeting the Minister reiterated her unreserved apology for the incident involving SABC journalists, amongst others.
READ: Full details of the outcome of the meeting…
Today we met with the team that is working on the Government Bailout for SABC in preparation for presentation to the cabinet committee. ?? pic.twitter.com/kfnqtF8JTM
— Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams (@Stellarated) February 16, 2019