SABC says it won’t privatise Metro FM, 5FM or SABC 3 – but will sell other assets

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it has no plans to sell its SABC 3, Metro FM, 5FM and Good Hope FM properties, but will look to sell other ‘non-core assets’.

This follows reports that government is looking to privatise the stations alongside other properties as the SABC faces mounting debts.

“Because of the potential uncertainty this information can cause, the SABC believes it is necessary to clarify that it is not intending to sell the assets mentioned in the article and has had no discussions with Government in this regard,” the national broadcaster said in a statement on Monday (10 February).

“As requested by National Treasury and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies, the SABC is conducting a thorough process of assessing all its assets, determining which are core and non-core, taking into account a range of factors including public mandate, licence conditions and financial contribution,” it said.

The SABC said its board has approved a comprehensive assessment criteria for determining core media assets, noting that a ‘core asset’ is not only a station or channel which contributes to the public mandate but also one which helps fund the SABC’s public service obligations.

“With respect to non-core property assets, the board has already identified noncore property assets and has drawn up a list of properties for disposal, as required by National Treasury preconditions,” it said.

“The potential disposal of any of the SABC’s media assets involves a much more complex decision matrix, with factors such as the public interest, the public mandate and the future financial sustainability of the SABC being central to any decision.”

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SABC says it won’t privatise Metro FM, 5FM or SABC 3 – but will sell other assets