The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) Acting Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chris van Rooyen, says the fate of the public broadcaster now lies in the hands of the banking sector.
His statement comes after Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee that National Treasury had rejected the SABC’s turnaround strategy.
Van Rooyen says the Department of Communications together with Treasury and the SABC are working together to allay the bank’s concerns over awarding the public broadcaster a R3.6 billion guarantee.
He says there was never a problem with the turnaround strategy impeding getting the guarantee as Treasury or government do not have to approve it.
“I recall the Minister saying that if she had the funds available, she would give those funds to the SABC immediately. I don’t think that there’s even a challenge in terms of Treasury giving the guarantee. Right now it’s up to the five banks who collaboratively are reviewing a guarantee. All five banks need to agree to collectively give this guarantee and I believe that there’s one bank that’s challenged to give that money and the condition is that all five of them need to come to an agreement. I don’t think that there’s a problem with the turnaround strategy because that’s not the communication that we have been receiving,” says Van Rooyen.
Van Rooyen also says the turnaround strategy includes reviewing ways of reducing the amount of money it spends on salaries.
“The percentage of revenue sits at about 20%. Expenditure on employment sits at about 48%. That’s an indication that it is bloated. Given that we are in that situation, since we’re talking about people who unfortunately have died, those who have resigned and those who have been dismissed and how we replace those people from within the company.
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