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Dlodlo sets up team to fix SABC

Politics
Johannesburg – The newly-appointed Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo, has set up a team that would include National Treasury to fix the SABC.

This followed meetings between Dlodlo, President Jacob Zuma and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on the state of finances at the public corporation.

However, Dlodlo has not said how much would be required to fix the SABC, but said the public broadcaster was in dire financial straits.

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Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo Picture: Siyabulela Duda

Dlodlo got down to business on Thursday when she met with the interim SABC board to discuss issues affecting the SABC.

She had also met with other entities this week falling under her Ministry.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago also confirmed that the interim board, chaired by Khanyisile Kweyama, met with the minister.

Dlodlo said she had also met with the executives of the SABC this week when she got a briefing on the functioning of the public broadcaster.

She said in the briefings she had with the officials of the SABC she was told about the poor state of finances.

She then met with Zuma and Gigaba to seek help to fix the finances of the corporation.

“I am setting up a team that will work with the SABC. It’s a team from National Treasury and my office and they will work around those issues,” said Dlodlo.

The SABC has been moving from crisis to crisis over the last few years.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts last week visited the SABC where it raised red flags on the irregular expenditure of R5 billion.

This is the issue that has been raised by the Auditor-General in the past few years, and urged the SABC to deal with it.

Despite the irregular expenditure of R5bn the SABC has suffered financial losses of hundreds of millions in the past six years.

In 2009 it received a government bailout of R1.4bn after it faced a similar financial crisis that almost crippled it.

The SABC was able to borrow money from Nedbank and repaid the loan in two years and told Parliament it had turned the corner.

However, a combination of factors has led to the SABC experiencing a cash flow crisis.

It said three weeks ago declining revenues had pushed it to crisis levels and plunged the cash.

It also blamed people who gave evidence in the inquiry in Parliament into its problems, and said they had chased away potential businesses.

The interim board met this week and Dlodlo also had discussions with it to fix it.

Political Bureau

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