SABC CEO threatens to quit

SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe has threatened to quit over alleged meddling by certain SABC board members, according to report by The Sunday Times.

Mxakwe, along with COO Craig can Rooyen and CFO Yolande van Biljon, accused the board of abusing its access to the SABC executives and interfering in the public broadcaster’s activities.

The three executives complained of board members attempting to trade political favour for free access to SABC news, interfering with editorial practices, and demanding free tickets to various events.

Additionally, the executives also said that board members were spreading a lie that the SABC CEO, CFO, and COO were planning to pay themselves large bonuses after the government bailout came through.

In an SABC board meeting, Mxakwe threatened to leave the company unless implicated board members rectified their behaviour.

“I think this board needs to take a decision whether they want us here or not, because these few board members are continuing to add chaos and havoc in this organisation,” Mxakwe said.

“I cannot be expected to lead an organisation where there’s constant undermining of what we are doing, particularly in the circumstances we find ourselves in at the SABC.”

On the other hand, members of the SABC board have reportedly said that these three executives are targeting them as a way to avoid answering difficult questions.

Turnaround plan

The implicated board members said that the executives and other board members lashing out at them were doing so because they did not want to answer questions regarding the SABC’s turnaround plan.

A source told The Sunday Times that the SABC has not met its bailout conditions, with the government refusing to pay out until the public broadcaster complies with various conditions.

These include a detailed cash flow projection for the next 12-18 months, as well as the formation of a plan to increase revenue and cut costs.

This follows a report which stated that the SABC is technically insolvent and struggling to honour contractual obligations.

Some suppliers who won bids at the SABC have been unwilling to take up the contracts due to their financial dire straits.

van Biljon recently stated that the SABC’s financial position has worsened and that it ended the previous financial year with a cash balance of only R72 million.

“Currently, the organisation is technically insolvent. We are also under tremendous strain towards being factually insolvent as a result of our liquidity issues,” van Biljon said.

“The crisis is a matter of urgency and certain terrible scenarios like black on air are a possibility.”

A total blackout would result in the SABC cutting off its entire broadcast, leaving millions of viewers around the country without access to its free bouquet of content.

The company has been close to a complete blackout before, and stressed its need for a government bailout to resolve the situation.

Now read: The SABC is technically insolvent

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SABC CEO threatens to quit