The SABC is not privatising SABC3, Metro FM, 5FM and Good Hope FM and had not had any discussions with the government about the future of these media assets.
In a statement, the SABC said it was, at the request of National Treasury and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies, 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”.
The issue was brought to the fore after an article appeared in the Inside Politics African Narrative that claimed exclusive access to a document titled ‘Repurposing the State Owned Enterprises as Instruments for Economic Growth’. The story reported that the document proposed selling off various SABC channels and stations.
It said that due to the “potential uncertainty” the information could cause, it believed clarity was necessary.
The SABC Board had approved comprehensive assessment criteria for determining core media assets, noting that a core asset was “not only a station or channel which contributes to the public mandate but also one which help funds the SABC’s public service obligations”. It added that the Board had already identified non-core property assets and had drawn up a list of properties for disposal, as required by National Treasury preconditions [for the recent bailout].
“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,” it said.
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