The SABC releases its 2016/2017 annual results


The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) announced its annual results for the 2016/2017 financial year. The SABC posted a net loss after tax of R977 million during the year under review. The organisation experienced financial constraints owing to revenue streams deteriorating at a rate of 6 per cent higher than the costs reduction. Cash and cash equivalents as at the end of 2016/17 financial year were R82 million compared to the previous year’s R881 million. This significant decrease in cash reserves has resulted in the SABC not being able to pay its debts as they fall due.

Revenue and other income for the period under review was R7.6 billion (2016: R8.1 billion) which is a 6 per cent decrease year-on-year. Revenue is mainly derived from the primary revenue stream of advertising which decreased by 5 per cent to R5.6 billion (2016: R5.9 billion), sponsorships revenue also decreased by 18 per cent to R384 million (2016: R469 million), and TV license revenue also decreased by 7 per cent to R915 million (2016: R986 million) compared to prior year.

The corporation received an adverse audit opinion for the period under review. The factors which contributed to this adverse opinion include amongst others; going concern basis of accounting, property plant and equipment, irregular expenditure and deferred government grants.

Despite all these challenges, the SABC was able to deliver on its on its public service mandate, as set out by the Broadcasting Act No 4 of 1999 as amended, as well the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

SABC radio which consists of 15 Public Service Broadcasting (PBS) stations and three Public Commercial Service (PCS) stations, services all South Africans in their preferred language. The combined average number of 28.9 million listeners per week makes the SABC’s radio offering a unique one that no other broadcaster can match. Radio stations embraced the effective synergy that digital media and radio offers to both the consumer and trade markets. All stations made extensive use of their respective websites to publish programming and marketing content and to keep listeners engaged beyond the point of traditional broadcasting.

In terms of television, the network continued to dominate the broadcasting landscape with the public service broadcaster’s five television channels attracting, on average, 28.8 million (SABC1), 26.9 million (SABC2), 21 million (SABC3), 2.2 million (SABC News) and 1.4 million (SABC Encore) viewers in a typical month. Seventeen of the nation’s Top 20 television programmes are carried on the SABC.

The organisation was also able to deliver on its local content quotas with SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 achieving 80 per cent, 67 per cent and 53 per cent respectively. Across its radio stations, SABC also delivered local content above ICASA regulations. There were however some difficulties, when the local content directive distorted the licensing formats of some radio stations, leading to audience and revenue losses.

With regards to SABC News, it successfully delivered on the most anticipated political event of the year – the 2016 Local Government Elections. As South Africa’s only public service broadcaster, the SABC’s role is most critical during an election period.

SABC Sport ensured the broadcast of sporting events such as the 2016 AFCON tournament; SA Sports Awards; 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games; the FIFA Club World Cup; Euro 2016; and an International Boxing Tournament featuring a local South African Boxer, the first international event to be showcased since the return of Boxing in 2015, the Cricket Inbound Tour as well as the Comrades Marathon, which is considered as amongst the best in terms of production and broadcast.

The acting group chief executive officer (AGCEO), Ms Nomsa Philiso stated that “We are naturally disappointed with financial performance for the 2016/17 financial year. We are however encouraged by the great progress that is starting to show in the first quarter of the current financial year.”

The AGCEO further commented that “In particular costs containment measures are in place and financial prudence is exercised throughout. We are working hard to sustain this progress and to deal with all the outstanding issues raised by the auditor-general’’.

During the year under review, the public service broadcaster won many prestigious awards and received numerous accolades, thereby confirming its status as South Africa’s top broadcaster. A total of 31 radio awards were won by the SABC, and SABC TV reclaimed its rightful spot and enjoyed a strong presence at a number of awards.

The SABC is committed in turning around its financial performance and will continue with the measures which have been put in place. The public service broadcaster will continue to serve the public of South Africa as it provides quality programming that is informative, educational and entertaining.

For the complete 2016/2017 SABC Annual Report, visit the SABC website.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here