SABC must account to Parliament – Phumzile van Damme

DA MP says liquidity crisis must be addressed as a matter of urgency

SABC must account to Parliament over liquidity crisis as a matter of urgency

2 August 2018

On Wednesday, a letter circulated in which the SABC’s Group Executive: Television, Nomsa Philiso, informed the public broadcaster’s service providers and producers that it would not be able to pay them for the month of July “due to the current liquidity challenge experienced”.

The authenticity of this letter has since been confirmed in the media by the SABC’s spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago.

It is disappointing that the public once again has to be informed about the SABC’s financial challenges through media reports. Furthermore, in the interest of transparency and openness, the SABC ought to have informed Parliament’s Communications Committee of its financial distress.

As such, the Democratic Alliance will write to the Chairperson of the Communications Committee, Humphrey Maxegwana, to request that the Committee convenes as a matter of urgency in order to be briefed by the SABC on these latest revelations and to provide a plan of action on how they will resolve it.

The financial crisis at the SABC has a direct impact on job security for many, as reports suggest that five production companies have been affected by the SABC’s failure to pay its bills. The SABC’s financial crisis has allegedly resulted in some producers having to take out loans to stay afloat.

If the SABC is to support the development of local television and music, it must make sure that they are paid, and on time. These are often struggling artists with families to feed, bills and employees to pay.

It is a matter of public record that the SABC’s financial challenges stem from years of mismanagement, corruption and a culture of secrecy. However, it is incumbent on the public broadcaster's new board to play open cards with the public and Parliament on the full status of its financial distress.

Issued by Phumzile Van DammeDA Shadow Minister of Communications, 2 August 2018