Unpaid licences blamed for SABC losses
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Johannesburg – The R401 million financial loss by the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) during the 2014/2015 financial year was largely due to unpaid television licenses and a tough economic environment, CEO Frans Matlala said on Wednesday.
“The loss is caused by under performance in television licences and the economic downturn,” Matlala while presenting the public broadcaster’s financial results in Johannesburg.
The loss is 201 percent below budget, and you might want to ask yourself why we budget for a loss…? The answer is that we have a public mandate to execute.”
He said the broadcaster’s mandate included covering national events.
“We cannot sit and say we did not budget for such an national event for example, we go cover it because we have a mandate to do so,” said Matlala
“But if each and everyone paid their licenses, we would not be having such a loss.”
Matlala said pay increases for employees and benefits such as bonuses, and investments in films and sports also contributed to the loss in revenue.
Chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the SABC was not in the business of making profit.
“We are not like Telkom or any other state enterprise… what we care about is to give people what they want which is quality programming and good local content.”
The embattled public broadcaster has been experiencing heavy financial losses and irregular expenditure over the years. This week, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi revealed the SABC had paid R42 million to departing staff in the past seven years.