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Money Monday for SABC as R2.1 billion cash injection due

The struggling public broadcaster was given a lifeline last week with Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announcing that it would receive a partial bailout of R2.1 billion.

FILE: The SABC is technically insolvent and has been struggling to pay service providers and honour contractual obligations. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is set to receive the first of its cash injection from National Treasury on Monday.

The struggling public broadcaster was given a lifeline last week with Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announcing that it would receive a partial bailout of R2.1 billion.

The remaining R1.1 billion will be transferred when the SABC meets the pre-conditions set out by Treasury. The SABC has already fully met five preconditions, partially met two - including identifying non-core assets for sale - while one has not been met, the ministry said.

“It is noted that the SABC turnaround requires more than the R3.2 billion short-term funding,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said, adding the broadcaster had submitted a turnaround plan which government was currently reviewing.

The SABC is technically insolvent and has been struggling to pay service providers and honour contractual obligations.

The public broadcaster said its dire financial situation worsened during the 2018/19 financial year and the corporation ended with a cash balance of only R72 million in the bank.

In January, the SABC scrapped a plan, which was prompted by the government, saying it would reduce financial support to lay off nearly 1,000 staff, adding it would find other ways to save money.

The SABC is among a clutch of heavily indebted state-owned firms that President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to wean off state funding and make more transparent and accountable.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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