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SABC bailout in interest of South Africans - minister

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said her department was working with National Treasury to see whether the public broadcaster, which needs a reported R3.2 billion in financial assistance, could be granted more funding.

FILE: The SABC headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said that a turnaround strategy was being developed to ensure that the SABC did not ask for another bailout in the near future.

Ndabeni-Abrahams addressed Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee on Wednesday, where she emphasised that a bailout for the public broadcaster was in the interest of South Africans.

The Communications Department was working with National Treasury to see whether the public broadcaster, which needs a reported R3.2 billion in financial assistance, could be granted more funding.

Thirteen staff members from the department meets with the SABC on a weekly basis to ensure it meets Treasury's requirements for a bailout.

Ndabeni-Abrahams reminded the committee that set rules and regulations for a bailout still needed to be followed.

"A responsive turnaround strategy that must give confidence not only to advertisers and not only to people who are listening to the SABC but also to government and everyone that in the next 3 to 5 years, the SABC will not come back and ask for a bailout."

The minister emphasised that the mandate of the SABC to inform was paramount.

"SABC has to be bailed out, as I said, for the interests of the public not for the interests of the shareholder, the board members or the executives at the SABC but the for interests of the public to ensure that their mandate of educating, informing and entertaining the people of South Africa is realised."

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