Thursday, May 19, 2016

The SABC as a public broadcaster has spent R733 930 in the past 2 years on buying the Gupta family's The New Age newspaper, 3 times as much as in 2011.

The SABC has spent R733 930 in just the past 2 years on buying copies of The New Age newspaper - SABC TV licence payers' money spent by the SABC, that's a public broadcaster, to buy print newspapers.

According the the minister of communications, Faith Muthambi, "the SABC had concluded contracts with The New Age for newspaper subscriptions at a cost of R733 930 since May 2014 to date".

Faith Muthambi's response was to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) political party.

"This amounts to a tripling in the SABC's financial support of The New Age from R238 356.52 in 2011‚" said the DA's Phumzile van Damme.

"It is deplorable that the SABC has completely disregarded the finance minister's calls for austerity in order to financially anchor a newspaper with paltry readership, owned by the friends of president Jacob Zuma," says Phumzile van Damme  in a statement.

"I will be urging Faith Muthambi to instruct the SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, to withdraw any active subscriptions with The New Age."

"The SABC's funds should be focused on growing the national broadcasters capacity and providing viewers with quality programming and not endless repeats."

"The gross extent of state capture by the Gupta's is robbing our economy of alleviating poverty and unemployment in our economy."

"We will continue to fight to hold those responsible for wasteful spending at the SABC accountable. The people of South Africa need a national broadcaster that does not only serve the ANC cabal but all communities in our country," Phumzile van Damme  said. 

The New Age newspaper is owned by the controversial Gupta family and the SABC broadcasts The New Age breakfast briefings on SABC2's Morning Live in a TNA Media trade deal.

The SABC broadcasts the breakfast briefings and says it gets content, while TNA Media has to pay for and organise the catering and venue and find sponsors.