Carrim establishes SABC task team

A task team has been established to sort out the financial problems at the SABC, Communications Minister Yunus Carrim said on Tuesday.

“We have decided to set up a high-level team made up of the SABC, the department of communications, National Treasury, and the auditor general of South Africa to set a firm foundation for financial stability of the public broadcaster,” Carrim said in a statement.

“The team will ensure that all the challenges emanating out of the government guarantee targets are addressed within reasonable means and that the SABC is appropriately skilled at the right levels.”

This was a resolution informed by the progress made by the joint task team (JTT) set up two weeks ago between the department and the SABC.

Carrim and his deputy Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams met the SABC board and management on Tuesday to take forward issues discussed at a meeting on July 17.

In April, President Jacob Zuma approved the interim board, which was installed after the resignations of most of the previous board’s members in March, and its eventual dissolution by Parliament.

Their departure came after a reported clash between previous chairman Ben Ngubane and the board about the tenure of previous acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

At the meeting earlier this month, Carrim said the board and management had agreed to settle problems relating to digital migration and to urgently fill senior management posts.

Carrim said Tuesday’s meeting also took note of the progress made on Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) readiness.

The JTT would continue to work to ensure the launch of DTT.

The SABC would launch a 24-hour news channel on August 1.

Carrim said a degree of consensus had been reached about the launch and how to deal with the outstanding finances, and legal and other aspects of the launch.

“South Africans need to have access to a constant stream of news, information and entertainment.

“The SABC has a responsibility to ensure that,” he said.

SABC board chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala said the national broadcaster was using the launch to fine-tune its readiness for the DTT launch.

“I am satisfied with the progress made in addressing the issues at the SABC.

“We remain committed to playing our full role in turning the SABC around,” she said.

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Carrim establishes SABC task team