The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) issued the following statement on 16 August regarding its meeting with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications.
“The SABC board is encouraged by the meeting with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications today. The SABC reported to the Committee that it had made significant progress in terms of turning the SABC around.
“We reported how far we have gone to meeting the conditions imposed by the Government Guarantee, including that we have performed better financially than targets set in the Guarantee. The SABC presented its plans for its continued recovery and stabilisation. These included requests for further funding from government for its digital terrestrial television rollout, delivering on the sports broadcasting mandate and establishing a 24 hour news channel.
“We have also noted the concerns raised by the National Treasury, which related mainly to co-ordinating our turnaround strategy and progress with the Treasury more closely. Accordingly, the Portfolio Committee instructed the three bodies (National Treasury, SABC and the Department of Communications) to continue their work and consolidate a report to the Committee, to be presented in mid-October.
“Members of Parliament raised concerns about investment in content, and how cost-cutting measures may affect staff. The Board has taken note of these concerns and has already highlighted the importance of content and retention of skill in its turnaround strategy.
“We believe we are on a path towards establishing a public broadcaster that is vibrant, that serves the public interest and that invests in quality content. We also aim to be an employer of choice for those who are committed to broadcasting.’