01 August 2018: This week, many production companies providing programmes to the SABC received a letter saying that they would not be paid this month. Alarmingly, there was no indication of when the SABC would be able to pay them.
The implications are extremely serious. Most producers cannot afford to continue work without contracted scheduled payments and will not be able to pay the people working on productions. Not paying producers for work they have done means that literally thousands of actors, technical crew, caterers and support staff will not be paid. In addition, it harms the sustainability of the local production industry and thereby the transformation agenda of the government. This translates into thousands of bounced debit orders, unpaid bonds and school fees as well as untold hardship for many people. Producers will already have paid VAT on the unpaid invoices.
The IPO recognises the progress made by the current board in attempting to stabilise the institution. For the first time in many years there is a full complement of executive management. However, the legacy of the years of erratic and irrational management of Hlaudi Motsoeneng has left the organisation in an appalling financial position. However hard the board works to provide a framework for long-term sustainability, the short term cash needs of the organisation are severe and urgent.
The IPO urgently calls on the Government to urgently help the SABC financially. It is arguably a much more important national asset than SAA as it holds the dreams and ideas of our nation. It also employs tens of thousands of people directly and indirectly and by faltering in its contractual obligations causes havoc and hardship all over the country.