'Day Zero' looming for SABC

The public broadcaster is warning of an impending "Day Zero" scenario.

JOHANNESBURG - Static and blank screens. That's what SABC listeners and viewers are facing.

The public broadcaster is warning of an impending "Day Zero" scenario while salaries are also at risk.

It's while the company waits to hear from government about a requested R3.2-billion bailout.

READ: Cash-strapped SABC needs R3bn to stay on air

The broadcaster needs continued support from strategic partners which it owes "large sums of money” – including SuperSport, the City of Johannesburg and Sentech.

Its financial head Yolande van Biljon says it needs the money to stay afloat until September.

"I think Day Zero could happen tomorrow. It depends on whether any of these big partners are unable to support us financially," said Van Biljon.

At the moment, the SABC is still planning to pay salaries next month.

READ: SABC on the brink of bankruptcy

But a dejected Van Biljon says there's no guarantee.

"It is indeed crunch time, but we are doing everything we can to protect the payroll," she said.

This has unions concerned about the livelihoods and future of their members.

READ: SABC blames technical glitch for non-payment of salaries

“At this point in time, we haven’t seen anything of this turnaround strategy that we have been talking about," said Aubrey Tshabalala, General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union.

"It tells that instead of people trying to save the SABC there is nothing tangible that they can give to us.”

The SABC is still waiting for formal feedback on its request for a government bailout.

The SABC's financial head Yolande van Biljon says it needs R3.5-billion urgently to stay afloat until September.

Source
eNCA