South Africa - Johannesburg - 18 June 2019 - Signage at the SABC, Auckland Park. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) tabled its 2018/19 Annual Report in parliament on Monday, following "challenging conditions", it has said. 

At the end of March 2019, the corporation reported a net loss of R482.4 million. 

But according to the broadcaster, the net loss was a 35% improvement on the restated loss incurred in the 2017/18 financial year. 

The main contributors were losses incurred on sporting events and interest incurred as a result of liquidity constraints. 

A further contributor to the loss was the decline in total revenue by 3% to R6.4 billion from that of the 2017/18 financial year, according to the SABC. 

Total expenses declined by 6%, or R475 million, to R7 billion from that of the 2017/18 financial year.  

"While the SABC pursued cost containment measures actively, the decline was mainly as a result of cash flow constraints leading to a significant curtailment of investment in content, infrastructure, repairs and maintenance and marketing.

"The SABC’s liquidity constraints resulted in an increase in total liabilities, mainly due to an increase in trade and other payables amounting to R1.6 billion as at 31 March 2019, with creditor payment days nearing 143 days," said the broadcaster. 

The cash on hand as at March 31, 2019 amounted to R 72 million - a decline of R 58 million from the balance of the prior year.

"During the year under review, the SABC placed extraordinary effort in improving its internal controls and ensuring that governance is restored in the organisation.  

"The corporation is encouraged by the decline in irregular expenditure incurred in the financial year by 41% to R 336 million with most of this irregular expenditure relating to transgressions in previous years. 

"Although fruitless and wasteful expenditure increased, 63% or R141 million of the amount reported for the 2018/19 financial year related to transactions incurred in prior years.  Of the remaining R83 million, R81 million was incurred as a result of interest and penalties due to late payments caused by cash flow constraints."

Of importance, said the organisation, was that the auditor general opinion improved from a disclaimer opinion for the 2017/18 financial year to a qualified opinion for the year under review. 

"This follows improvements to the management of property, plant and equipment, in addition to the assumptions underpinning the going concern status of the corporation. In particular government announced that it would provide a capital injection to the SABC that will assist the corporation’s liquidity issues. In addition the corporation managed to resolve 96% of the audit findings related to the 2017/18 financial year.

"During the year under review and despite its severe liquidity challenges, the SABC performed well in meeting obligations to nation-building and social cohesion by acquiring and scheduling content that reflects the South African story on both its radio and television platforms," said the broadcaster. 
 
African News Agency (ANA)