President Zuma must appoint new SABC Board as annual report paints grim picture

Note to Editors: Please find attached a soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP.
Yesterday, the SABC Interim Board’s term expired. It is now up to President Jacob Zuma to immediately appoint the new SABC permanent Board to get the SABC’s business back on track.
The work of the SABC permanent Board is especially important following yesterday’s tabling of the public broadcaster’s annual financial report for the 2016/17 financial year, in Parliament.
The report paints a grim picture about the state of the SABC’s financial affairs.
The SABC’s contingent liabilities currently stands at R956.7 million, which the report flags as a major risk to the broadcaster. This is due to corporation currently being embroiled in a number of lawsuits. This exorbitant amount could potentially cripple the already ailing SABC. Other areas of concern include:

  • Recorded losses – R997 million after taxes;
  • Fruitless and Wasteful expenditure – R 145.99 million;
  • Irregular expenditure – R 4.4 billion, of which R514.95 million was due to procurement policies not being followed;
  • Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s bonus – R11.5 million for 2016/17 financial year; and
  • Total Director and key personnel’s compensation – R 79.71 million.

It is of absolute importance that the SABC and Communications Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo, engage Parliament on how they plan on ensuring that the SABC’s finances recover.
In light of National Treasury’s proposed R3 billion bailout for the SABC, civil society and Parliament deserve to know the full scope of the SABC’s financial affairs and how this proposed bailout will turn things around for the embattled public broadcaster.
Thus, there cannot be any delays. President Zuma must appoint the Board immediately to ensure that they get to work on restoring the SABC back to the world-class broadcaster it once was.
The South African public has clearly lost faith in the SABC, and it is now up to the new Board to restore our faith in the public broadcaster.