Mum on bailout, Gungubele stresses importance of a functional SABC

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Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, Mondli Gungubele, has highlighted the importance of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) remaining functional, especially as the country approaches next year’s elections.

He was answering questions in the National Assembly during an oral reply session for Economic Cluster Ministers yesterday.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa, wanted to know whether the SABC would get a bailout.

“What I am asking minister is…SABC has all these commitments and obligations to the nation and so on, they all come at a cost and the situation is that what you’ve said, planning for the next World Cup whatever, it needs money. So, the point is, is government now working towards another SABC bailout and if so, how much is it? So that we know what you are dealing with.”

Responding to Mhlenwa, Gungubele said it’s important for the SABC to carry out its responsibilities.

“There is no question about the fact that SABC is working around dealing with resource challenges and that we are attending to that, but I am not going to say whether there will be a bailout or not.”

He said: “I’ll tell you, the key issue to us, maybe I must say it upfront, whatever happens, SABC will need to be functional, especially when it comes to the elections. That will have to happen.”

“How then that happens? It’s a matter with regard to how do we play around (with) the resources at our disposal and what gaps are there and if there are any other area resources can come. But the basic principle is that we are working to ensure that SABC stays afloat to carry its broader responsibilities.”

VIDEO: In 2019, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announced that the cash-strapped SABC would get a bailout of R2.1 billion.