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Alcohol ban ‘will cost SABC millions’

| Economic factors

The SABC has warned that it would lose more than R500 million in revenue if Parliament went ahead with the banning of alcohol advertising in the country.

The public broadcaster, which tabled its corporate plan in Parliament yesterday, said it was battling under the tough economic environment with revenue streams declining.

The SABC lost more than R500 million in revenue last year, when it tabled its financials in the national legislature. Parliament has been piloting the legislation on banning alcohol advertising.

The industry and broadcast sector warned of the dire financial implications should this legislation be passed into law. In the public hearings last year the stakeholders raised concerns on the legislation.

The SABC said in its corporate plan it was expecting to grow revenue in the next three years.

“The envisaged legislation banning alcohol advertising, advertising of fast foods and advertising to children is expected soon,” said the SABC.

“It is estimated that the removal of alcohol advertising alone will result in an annual loss of R537 million,” said the public broadcaster.

The SABC also said the Broadcasting Amendment Bill has been tabled before Parliament. “This will lead to changes in the governance structure of the SABC,” said the SABC.

The portfolio committee on communications last week shelved the Bill after it emerged that there were currently court challenges related to the public broadcaster.

The Bill strips Parliament of its powers to appoint members of the SABC board, and accords this power to the Minister of Communications.

In the Bill it is also envisaged that the number of non-executive directors of the board would be cut down from 12 to nine.

There has been a bitter fight in the SABC board which led to the axing of three members and resignation of three others.


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