SABC suffers R482m loss, spends R81m on interest, penalties

The South African Broadcasting Corporation suffered a net loss of R482.4m in the period ended March 2019, following a financially difficult year, the broadcaster has said.

It tabled its 2018/19 annual report in Parliament on Monday.

The main contributors were losses incurred on sporting events and interest incurred as a result of the liquidity constraints, it said. 

According to Parliament's announcements tablings and committees circular released on Monday morning,Auditor General Kimi Makwetu's audit opinion for the SABC improved from a Disclaimer Opinion for the 2017/18 financial year to a Qualified Opinion for 2018/19.

In a statement, the SABC said that while irregular expenditure declined by 41% to R336m, fruitless and wasteful expenditure increased. Some 63% of this amount related to prior years, it said. 

R81m was incurred as a result of interest and penalties due to late payments caused by cash flow constraints.

The SABC further said while its net loss was significant, it was still a 35% improvement on the restated loss incurred in the 2017/18 financial year.

"The year under review was a financially difficult one for the SABC. At the end of March 2019, the Corporation reported a net loss of R482.4m," it added.

The SABC statement said while it pursued cost containment measures, the decline in expenses was mainly a result of cash flow constraints leading curtailed of investment in content, infrastructure, repairs and maintenance and marketing. 

"A further contributor to the loss is the decline in Total Revenue by 3% to R6.4bn from that of the 2017/18 financial year. Total expenses declined by 6% or R475m to R7bn from that of the 2017/18 financial year," the statement said.