SABC doesn’t intend to ask for further bailouts, says CFO Yolande van Biljon

The broadcasting agency plans to break even or profit in the next three financial years.

At a meeting of the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), SABC CFO Yolande van Biljon has made it clear that the broadcasting company would not be requesting another bailout, even if it has experienced a decline in revenue.

Yolande said that the SABC’s corporate plan showed it doesn’t intend to come back for a bailout. “This business is run by a group of people and a board that have building blocks in place to return it to fiscal sustainability.”

She told Scopa that the SABC’s revenue was about R1.4 billion less than what they budgeted for this year and that the expenditure was about R1.8 billion less than what was budgeted for, but noted that the decline was mainly in the first and second quarters of the 2020-21 financial year, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.

Furthermore, the SABC has not used its available R15 million overdraft and R280 million debt financing facility, and plans to invest in marketing this year, among others. The public broadcaster also did not have loans, except the financial management leases for its fleet of vehicles.

“We are likely to end with around R200 million to R300 million loss this financial year against the budget of R600 million loss,” Yolande explained. “We have just finalised our corporate plan for the next three years. We will endeavour to make break even or profit in the next three financial years.”

She added that the big item on their agenda was the regulatory environment to create regulations that were permanent, among others.