Monday, January 14, 2019

SABC doesn't have money to pay for covering South Africa's upcoming 2019 national elections - report.

The embattled and commercially insolvent South African public broadcaster doesn't have money to cover the country's upcoming 2019 national elections.

This is according to the newspaper Rapport that on Sunday reported that the SABC doesn't have money for its SABC News division to cover the upcoming national elections in 2019, something that previously cost the embattled broadcaster around R35 million.

The Sunday paper spoke to unnamed SABC management sources, telling Rapport that the out-of-cash SABC needs tens of millions of rands in order to cover the 2019 national elections - in addition to freelance workers.

Ironically the SABC is doing away with freelance staffers. The broadcaster fired all the freelance producers working for SABC News (DStv 404) in 2018 and plans to do away with 1 200 freelance workers as part of its dramatic staff cost-cutting plan that forms part of its latest turn-around strategy.

A source told the newspaper that the SABC needs millions of rands to cover a national election as it had done in the past.

"This includes additional logistical expenses, the cost of distribution of video and sound recordings, technical staff and journalists to physically attend the respective election campaigns and voting points, the vehicles and outside broadcast units and the hiring of facilities."

According to previous SABC annual reports, the South African public broadcaster had to spend R2.4 million alone on connecting the SABC's network to that of the Independent Election Commission's (IEC) computer system in order to get voting results and to report it nationally.

Neo Momodu, SABC spokesperson, on Sunday told TVwithThinus in response to the report that "The SABC is unwavering in its resolve to meet its public service mandate of delivering compelling news and public affairs programming, including elections in line with its mandate"