Johannesburg/Bloomberg

Economy

SABC needs $220 million government backing to avoid a shutdown

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The national broadcaster is one of a number of state-owned companies in dire need of financing, with power utility Eskom straining under a $30 billion debt pile and South African Airways also requires repaying debts.

Monday 17, June 2019

(Bloomberg) --The South African government is considering a ZAR 3.2 billion ($220 million) guarantee for the country’s cash-strapped national broadcaster to help it raise money from lenders.

Bongumusa Makhathini, the Chairman of South African Broadcasting Corporation, said that the broadcaster is saddled with large debts to the municipality, signal distributors and Pay TV business Multichoice.

“We have also not maintained any of our infrastructures and a communications blackout is imminent, the board is in the process of a cleanup including a number of probes by the country’s Special Investigative Unit and an internal audit,” Makhathini said.

The National Treasury is being pressured to provide guarantees and bailouts to these businesses.

The crises have come to a head following nine years of alleged looting and mismanagement of government businesses under President Jacob Zuma. Zuma denies any wrongdoing.

The SABC’s chief auditing executive, Thami Zikode, recently survived an alleged assassination attempt that Makhatini linked to the cleanup at the broadcaster where 180 people have been implicated in wrongdoings.

 

TAGS : SABC, SAA, Multichoice, Bongumusa MakhathinI, former President Jacob Zuma

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