SABC can’t guarantee salaries at the end of March

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The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has told Parliament that it cannot guarantee it will be able to pay its employees salaries at the end of the March.

Executives from the public broadcaster appeared on Tuesday before parliament’s Communications Committee to detail SABC’s turnaround strategy.

SABC CEO, Madoda Mxakwe, has told the committee it will take a while before it is financially stable, despite various cost-cutting measures. He added that cash flow is depleted and they have been engaging with the Department of Communications.

“At the end of February 2019 our total trade and other payables were at 1.4 billion and in terms of the credit payment they are at 114 days. So the SABC’s projected figures show factual insolvency by the end of March if nothing is done. ”

Immediate interim relief

Meanwhile Communications Postal Services and Telecommunications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says the SABC will have an immediate interim relief from Treasury by the end of this month.

She says although the money is not requested for salaries, the SABC should be able to pay salaries of its staff.

Questions were raised in Parliament’s Communications Committee on whether workers at the public broadcaster would be paid at the end of March.

Mdabeni-Abrahams responded, “We are guaranteed that by the end of the month that what we have requested from Treasury as an immediate intervention, remember we have not met all the requirements of Treasury to fund SABC, –  so the immediate that we needed to attend to, – we have made a submission as per the team led by the CEO. And they are guaranteeing us that we would have received that. So we did not ask money for salaries, we asked money for certain things. SABC did that but in their own if we put this money, they will be able to pay for salaries. And like I said Treasury has just given us a nod that they are working on that …so by the end of March.”

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