File picture: Independent Media

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Thursday announced its annual results for the 2016/2017 financial year, confirming earlier reports that it posted a net loss after tax of R977 million during the year under review.  

The embattled organisation said it experienced financial constraints owing to revenue streams deteriorating at a rate of six percent 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. The broadcaster said this significant decrease in cash reserves had 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, compared to R8.1 billion in 2016, which is a six percent decrease year-on-year. 

The SABC mainly derives revenue from the primary revenue stream of advertising which decreased by five percent to R5.6 billion, with sponsorships revenue also decreasing by 18 percent to R384 million, and TV license revenue decreasing by seven percent to R915 million. 

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

Acting group chief executive 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".
 
Philiso 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 enjoyed a strong presence at a number of awards.
 
The SABC said it is committed to serving the public of South Africa as it provides quality programming that is informative, educational and entertaining.
 
- AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY