Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said it was important to make SABC the best public broadcaster and that meant key to it, was to ensure that the broadcaster sourced local content that would help raise revenue as well as to explore the technology. Photo: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – The SABC has decided to turn to over-the-top services to ensure that viewers consume content on their mobile devices in a bid to help the public broadcaster up its revenue, Communications and Digital Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said on Wednesday.

Ndabeni-Abrahams said it was important to make SABC the best public broadcaster and that meant key to it, was to ensure that the broadcaster sourced local content that would help raise revenue as well as to explore the technology.

The Minister’s remarks come as that government makes a push to lead the public broadcaster back to financial sustainability and less reliant on bailouts.

“Recently we have had the chief executive of the SABC mentioning that they are embarking on over-the-top technologies (OTT) to make sure that people can access their services as and when they want, wherever they are. They need not be in their cars or in their homes to [watch] their TVs, but they can access them on their mobile devices,” she said.

Last month, the SABC received the initial tranche of R2.1 billion of its R3.2 billion bail-out after meeting several pre-conditions set to it by the National Treasury. The remaining R1.1 billion will be transferred to the ailing public broadcaster when three outstanding conditions had been met.

Ndabeni-Abrahams said that in its response to the preconditions submitted by the SABC in August, it had been found that the broadcaster had met five of the eight conditions set by national Treasury.

The SABC said it would be able to pay all its creditors after it received the bailout of R2.1 billion from the National Treasury. The public broadcaster said it would also ensure that the outstanding R1.1bn in bailouts will cover its remaining creditors in due course.

BUSINESS REPORT