Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Private SABC is urged

The Democratic Alliance has called for the SABC to be privatised. DA spokesperson Niekie van den Berg said yesterday that the public broadcaster had decided that to cut costs it would no longer commission any new local content.
But the Television Industry Emergency Coalition warned that this decision would effectively kill the local television industry, with 80000 crew and cast losing their jobs, among other things.

The DA welcomed the SABC’s attempts at cost- cutting, but said the broadcaster’s almost R1billion losses were largely as a result of internal financial mismanagement and mass fruitless and wasteful spending.

“An example of worrying trends at the SABC includes the fact that despite the corporation’s dismal performance, and while being on paid suspension for most of the year, suspended CEO Dali Mpofu received a R2,1million bonus during 2008, 47,3percent higher than the previous year’s R1,4million.

“Mpofu’s salary was also increased by 19,7percent to R4,5million.

“He was also paid out more than R6,5million for the remainder of his contract after being refused reinstatement,” Van den Berg said.

Another disconcerting fact was that the SABC’s biggest debtor was national and provincial government, which owed it over R300million in advertising fees. The money is for airtime sales and outdoor broadcast ventures. – Sapa

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