Among the findings of a probe into the SABC’s dire financial state that parliament is about to act on, are dubious contracts — including one to collect R1.7bn/year in unpaid licence fees awarded to a company with a distinctly convoluted mode of operating. James Aguma was in fine fettle when he appeared before parliament last week. The urbane acting chief executive of the SABC batted away awkward questions from MPs like flies on a hot summer’s day. Was the SABC teetering on the brink of insolvency, as parliament’s ad hoc inquiry has suggested? Rubbish, he said. The SABC boasted a net asset position of R2.7bn and a cash balance of R881m. Against these numbers a net loss of R411m could be considered almost trifling. Aguma blamed increasing losses on rising pension fund costs, growing competition from new media for advertising spend, a downturn in the global economy and lack of government funding.The SABC derived 85% of revenue from advertising, 12% from TV licences and only 2% from gov...

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