20 March 2017

South Africa: DA Calls for Full Briefing On SABC Finances

The Democratic Alliance wants a briefing on the real state of the SABC's finances.

DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the party would be requesting an urgent meeting of Parliament's communications committee for a full briefing by Treasury on the status of the SABC's finances.

This after the City Press on Sunday reported that the public broadcaster was so broke that the production of new TV shows has been halted and staff members fear they won't be paid.

A confidential Treasury risk committee report leaked to the media reportedly shows that the SABC's reserves plummeted to R174m in December 2016 compared to R1bn in cash reserves a year before, Van Damme said.

"The DA will request that National Treasury urgently conducts an assessment of the current status of the SABC's finances and brief Parliament, particularly as the SABC's current management cannot be trusted to provide accurate information to Parliament in this regard."

She also questioned acting group CEO of the SABC James Aguma's truthfulness when he told Parliament that there was no financial crisis at the SABC.

"It is apparent now that he was not fully honest. The financial crisis at the SABC is concerning and should be treated as a matter of urgency, especially when people's jobs are at risk. We trust that the portfolio committee on communications will also view this matter as urgent."

Source: News24

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