Reported on News24, the SABC announced a R411m net loss for the 2015/2016 financial year on Thursday, 29 September 2016, a slightly bigger loss than the previous year’s.
“I know some expected the losses to be in the billions. I am sorry to disappoint,” acting chief executive officer James Aguma told reporters. In the 2014/2015 financial year it reported a R395m loss. Aguma attributed the current loss to the SABC having to cover events of national importance, including former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the Rio Olympics.
Covering Mandela’s funeral cost a “handsome sum of money.” Reporting on such events provided a huge social return on investment but a negative financial return.
Other factors contributing to the loss included the growth in post-retirement service costs, the impact of tax adjustments arising from previous years and that the SABC got less than three per cent of its funding from government.
Aguma said the broadcaster’s annual salary increases had been above the norm. It used private sector wage increases as its benchmark. “We are a very good employer,” Aguma said.
The auditor general gave the SABC’s financial statements a disclaimer in 2013. In the years since then the financials have improved to a qualification. In the current year the SABC had a qualification relating to irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.