South Africa’s public broadcaster SABC is asking the country’s government to provide it with a Rand 3.2 billion (€1.9bn) guarantee to help stop a blackout of broadcasts. The guarantee is needed to permit SABC to secure commercial borrowings.
The country’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that SABC is “saddled” with debts to local authorities, signal distributors and the pay-TV broadcaster MultiChoice, citing SABC’s chairman Bongumusa Makhathini.
“We have also not maintained any of our infrastructure and a communications blackout is imminent,” Makhathini was quoted by the newspaper. The board is in the process of a “clean-up” including a number of probes by the country’s Special Investigative [police] Unit and an internal audit, he said.
SABC’s chief auditing executive, Thami Zikode, recently survived an alleged assassination attempt that Makhathini linked to the cleanup at the broadcaster, where 180 people have been implicated in wrongdoings.