SABC expects a shortfall of R1.5bn this year due to Covid-19 pandemic

The SABC offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Photo: Karen Sandison / African News Agency (ANA)

The SABC says its normal programming has been disrupted, leading to less advertising.

The SABC says it will be asking government to review its budget this year after finding it has a revenue gap of R1.5 billion rand.

This, the broadcaster says, is due to an expected steep shortfall in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The SABC’s bosses told parliament’s communications committee this week that it had been forced to displace a number of its programmes to accommodate Covid-19 related broadcasts.

This was unplanned for and has led to financial consequences.

SABC group CEO Madoda Mxakwe said the company’s strategy of growing audiences through the broadcasting of compelling content had been disrupted.

“Many of our clients have withdrawn their advertising spend either to redirect those funds to assist within their efforts to curb the virus or because they are concerned about the return on their investments as they are not able to trade during this period.”

Last year the state broadcaster received a R3.2 billion bailout from government.

Sunday newspaper reports earlier this year put the SABC’s shortfall at R2 billion. This was denied by the corporation at the time.

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