SABC Board presents its 2023/2024 corporate plan to Parliament

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The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board has presented its corporate plan for the 2023/2024 financial year to Parliament on Tuesday.

This was supposed to have happened in May this year but was delayed because they were only appointed in April.

The Board says it took time to develop, finalise and submit its 2023/2024 corporate plan to the Minister of Communications who then tabled it to Parliament.

According to the Auditor General’s latest report on the SABC, the broadcaster is not self-sustainable and is in a dire financial situation.

The current plan was drawn up in May and revenue projections were based on the new digital platform, also known as the Over the Top (OTT) platform, SABC Plus. The current plan needs to be updated and revenue projections adjusted.

SABC Board Chairperson Khathutshelo Ramukumba says, “But importantly the main reasons we are taking a view that we are not making amendments to the corporate plan is that as the DM indicated the board is currently involved with the management on the long-term strategy for the SABC which should address the challenges that the SABC is facing now and going into the future to address amongst other things the financial sustainability which happens to be the biggest challenge that the org is facing.”

It is against this backdrop that the minister of communication requested the board and management to draw up a corporate strategy from 2023/24 through to the 2025/2026 financial year.

MPs have raised concerns about the public broadcaster’s poor financial position and said they should attempt to intervene on their side while it matters before it’s too late.

The shareholder representative also raised concern about the SABC’s ability to service its debt owed to Sentech which stands at an amount of R745 million.

DM Communications Philly Mapulane says, “This is a significant figure chairperson which if allowed to continue like this, it’s going to impact heavily on the sustainability, it is already impacting heavily on the sustainability of the other entity in the department which is Sentech and has the ability to collapse this entity if you consider that the revenue of Sentech is hovering around R1, 4 billion.”

The committee has resolved to help by approaching the Appropriations Committee to try to get funding for the SABC. It’s also agreed to allow the SABC to come back after it presented its updated plan to the Minister of Communications to present the updated strategy to the committee.