It has emerged that the government is one of the SABC’s biggest debtors according to a report by the Sunday Times (2 August). National and provincial government departments owe the SABC more than R300m in advertising fees. The money is owed for airtime sales, outdoor broadcast ventures and advertising on both television and radio.
With losses at the SABC now believed to be just on R1bn, the government could ease the cashflow problems of the Corporation.
Revelations of the government’s debt was made by chairman of the interim board Irene Charnley when together with her fellow board members she addressed parliament’s communications portfolio committee for the first time last week. She said that the arrears were due to administrative and bureaucratic issues rather than an unwillingness to pay.
While the public broadcaster has paid a few independent producers it owed money to, there is still an estimated amount outstanding of more than R60m.