SABC board chairman Bongumusa Makhathini (left) and acting SABC chief executive Nomsa Philiso briefed MPS on the broadcaster's first quarter performance for 2017/18. PHOTO: Chantall Presence/ANA

Parliament - The cash-strapped South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) owes its creditors in excess of R600 million, its acting chief executive told Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday.

"As at the end of the June, we were owing our creditors R597 million, which has subsequently grown over the months," said acting SABC CEO Nomsa Philiso while briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on communications on the broadcaster's first quarter performance for the 2017/18 financial year.

The broadcaster missed many of its targets for the first quarter, including that it break even. Instead it recorded a loss of R74.4 million, before interest and tax.

The cash crisis meant the SABC could not reach another goal - that of paying its outstanding debt to creditors on time.   

"We did not succeed in maintaining the 60 days settlement," said Philiso.

She pointed out that despite the difficulties, the SABC was still able to deliver on its programming objective.

Revenue for the first quarter stood at R1.57 billion, falling short of the target of R1.77 billion.

However, the expenses for the same period was down R229 million from the target of R1.87 billion to R1.64 billion.

Newly appointed SABC board chairman Bongumusa Makhathini earlier told MPs that he and other board members had "hit the ground running" since assuming their positions three weeks ago.

Makhathini said they are working on an application to National Treasury for a government guarantee so it could loan from banks to alleviate its financial woes.

"We need to rework our submission for the guarantee...so we are clear now what needs to be done and we set up a team of the board to work on the detail of that submission."

Another priority of the boad would be to appoint permanent executives. The position of chief executive, chief operating officer and chief financial officer is yet to be filled on a permanent basis.

"No decision is taken at the moment. We are searching for the right people, profile to turn around the SABC," said Makhathini.