Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - Parliament has called on Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams to continue talking to the SABC and the National Treasury to secure a R3.2-billion bailout for the public broadcaster.

Ndabeni-Abrahams has been under pressure since it emerged she did not back the rescue package for the SABC.

Earlier this year, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told Parliament that the SABC needed a bailout of R6.8bn.

However, the public broadcaster needs an emergency bailout of R3.2bn before it runs out of cash in September.

The portfolio committee on communications on Tuesday called on Ndabeni-Abrahams to continue to engage the SABC and the national Treasury on the bailout.

The chairwoman of the committee, Hope Papo, said they fully backed the SABC.

“In the meantime, the committee will wait for the enhanced turnaround strategy, which should be available by the end of September,” Papo said.

The call for the engagement between the minister, the SABC and the national Treasury comes before Parliament debates the Department of Communications budget today.

Opposition parties were up in arms this week after they found that Ndabeni-Abrahams may have misled Parliament last week concerning the SABC. This was after the DA found that Mboweni had written to the minister of communications last month telling her he would not give the SABC the R3.2bn bailout.

Instead, Mboweni asked Director-General in the National Treasury, Dondo Mogajane, to look at the contingency reserves.

Ndabeni-Abrahams told the committee she would rather quit her job than give the SABC money without a turnaround plan.

The SABC has not made a profit in the past six years, and has suffered billions of rand in losses and irregular expenditure.

Political Bureau