Public broadcaster the SABC has published its financial statements for the 2017/18 financial year, reporting a net loss of R622 million, compared to a loss of R977 million for the previous year.
Total revenue was R6.6 billion against a budget of R7.3 billion, resulting in an underperformance of R709 million (10%).
The year on year performance showed an improvement of 1% (R56 million), however, driven mainly by commercial revenue, the SABC said.
Total expenditure for the year was R7.27 billion, compared to the budget of R7.28 billion. The R11 million underspend was due to the amortisation of content and other expenses, the group said.
“The SABC still faces tough economic challenges, which sees expenses exceeding the revenue generated,” it said. “There are significant liquidity challenges which have resulted in the SABC not being able to settle its creditors timeously.”
The broadcaster said that its current turnaround strategy was developed subsequent to the financial year end, and is designed to ultimately return the corporation to financial stability.
During the year under review, the auditor-general issued a disclaimer audit opinion mainly attributable to, among other, uncertainty regarding the SABC’s going concern assumptions, property, plant and equipment and irregular expenditure.
“However, significant improvements have taken place in the past few months,” it said. “We have developed a robust turnaround strategy which focuses on financial stability, restoring integrity, credibility, and culture of excellence in the public broadcaster.”
“We continue to drive to stabilise the SABC financially through the reduction of operating costs,” it said.