SABC, the embattled state-owned broadcaster, is facing a serious financial crisis. At the end of May it was forced to choose between paying salaries and paying municipal bills – and it now owes the City of Johannesburg more than R13.5-million.
According to MyBroadband, apart from its municipal bills, the SABC owes Sentech R317-million and MultiChoice division SuperSport R208-million.
The SABC is now looking for a R3.2-billion government guarantee to help it to raise money from lenders to stay afloat.
During an interview on SABC, the company’s chief financial officer, Yolandi van Biljon, warned that Day Zero (leading to total blackout) could happen “tomorrow”.
The SOE has debt of approximately R1.8-billion. If debtors stop supporting them, the broadcaster could go under.
The ten institutions owed money by the SABC could call in their payments at any time.
“I think Day Zero can happen tomorrow. It depends if one of these big partners are unable to support us financially,” says Van Biljon.
She warned that the SABC can also be forced to switch off its signal and distribution network or its critical infrastructure can fail, which would lead to a total blackout.