SABC in the spotlight

The board chair said this week that the SABC needs to be run like a commercial entity.

Bongumusa Makhathini, SABC board chairperson, speaking during a media briefing this week, said that it is time the SABC was run like a business based on affordability. He also alluded to the need for the broadcaster to review some of its offerings. The SABC currently relies on commercial advertising for 85 percent of its revenue, with 12 percent originating from TV licences and three percent from government grants.

Makhathini said: 

"When you understand that model, it gives a clear indication that the SABC is a commercial entity, and it needs to be run as such… When you try and cost the public mandate, it costs around R4.2 billion [per year]."

He added that while the model is still relevant, the organisation needs to be “structured like a commercial entity”.

Earlier this week the SABC announced the appointment of a new Group CEO and CFO – Madoda Nxakwe and Yolande van Biljon respectively – which Makhathini said indicates that at a leadership level, the entity is stabilising. “But we [now] have to look at things that will make the SABC sustainable going forward,” he added.