Mboweni to SABC: Don't take bailout requests lightly

2019-02-20 14:25 - Khulekani Magubane, Fin24
A general view of the SABC headquarters on July 11
(GALLO IMAGES) ~ Gallo Images

Minister of Finances Tito Mboweni warned the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) against assuming that a bailout from National Treasury would come with no strings attached.

The minister was briefing reporters ahead of his first Budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

His speech did not mention the SABC or other troubled entities such as the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) and PetroSA in great detail.

When asked why this was the case, he told reporters that he, personally, did not believe in subsidising businesses which were losing money for the sake of having parastatals.

"SABC needs R6.8bn and the director general (Dondo Mogajane) is having conversations with them on what they need. But if you take, something has to give," said the minister.

In a blunt and acerbic remark, Mboweni said that, if the SABC were to receive the R6.8bn it requires, another entity will have to do without.

"If they get the R6.8bn they want, the chief reorganisation officer that is dealing with Eskom will be on his way to Auckland Park. My advice to the SABC is to stay far away from National Treasury. But we will find a way to help them," Mboweni said.

The SABC board warned Parliament late last year that, if it did not get financial assistance from Government, the public service broadcaster would struggle to pay salaries by April.