SABC Chief Financial Officer, Yolande van Biljon, has warned of the possibility of a communication blackout amid the public broadcaster’s dire financial situation but says executives are doing their best to avoid a Day Zero scenario. She says the cash-strapped public broadcaster is stuck with large debts including to the City of Johannesburg municipality.
Van Biljon has warned that Day Zero could strike at any time if major creditors call-in their debts.
She says there have been engagements with financial institutions.
She says salaries are expected to be paid at the end of June.
Explaining the reasons behind the SABC‘s long-standing plea to government for a R3,2 billion loan guarantee and the possibility of Day Zero, van Biljon says every month it’s “a balancing act” where they prioritise salaries.
“I think Day Zero can happen tomorrow. It depends on if one of these big partners are unable to support us financially, or (we) must be forced to switch off our signal and distribution network, or where the maintenance situation impacts one of our critical infrastructure facilities in one of the studios and there is actually a real on-air situation because the equipment just couldn’t do what it’s supposed to do anymore. So, we try and manage it and I think sometimes the fact that we manage it keeps presenting a front that everything is fine, that doesn’t serve our purpose. But we have got phenomenal people; we’ve got fantastic support from our partner to ensure that we remain on air as is required.”
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