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SA: Statement by Siphiwe Nyanda, Minister of Communications, on the SABC bailout (24/11/2009)

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SA: Statement by Siphiwe Nyanda, Minister of Communications, on the SABC bailout (24/11/2009)

24th November 2009


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The Minister of Communications General (Ret) Siphiwe Nyanda is pleased to announce the approval of a bank guarantee for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) by government.
The Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan approved the Public Broadcaster's application for a government guarantee of R1.473 billion.
National Treasury has stated that the guarantee will be released in tranches, with a draw-down of R1b made available immediately. Through newly introduced tight control measures that include regular management reports, the shareholder will ensure that the money given to the Public Broadcaster is utilized properly and to settle urgent outstanding financial obligations.
The release of the remaining R473m will be subject to the development of a detailed project plan by the Public Broadcaster committing itself to explicit revenue targets and cost cutting measures to enable effective oversight and monitoring of projections by government.
These undertakings will be included in the Shareholder Agreement between the Minister of Communications and the SABC board.
Minister Nyanda wishes to thank the Minister of Finance and staff who worked on this project both at National Treasury and the Ministry of Communications.
"I also wish to acknowledge and express my sincere gratitude to the Interim Board led by Ms Irene Charnely for working tirelessly to get us to this stage. The interim board, working together with the Ministerial Task Team, has done tremendous work under trying circumstances and tight deadlines to deliver on this major milestone," said Minister Nyanda.
Minister Nyanda believes that this intervention by government will go a long way towards stabilizing the Public Broadcaster after a very tumultuous period marked by anxiety and uncertainty among staff in particular and the public in general.
"The SABC is a national asset that needs to be guarded with jealousy by those put in charge of looking after it on behalf of all South Africans.
We hope that the financial injection by government will help the SABC meet its urgent needs such as payment of outstanding debts and other matters of priority", said Minister Nyanda.




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