Note to Editors: Please find attached a soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP.
The DA will today submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to the Department of Communications, to gain access to the full application and motivation for the SABC’s request for a R3 billion bailout.
Last week, during a presentation to Parliament, National Treasury revealed that it is currently considering a R3 billion guarantee for the struggling public broadcaster.
The DA has on previous occasions requested that Minister Ayanda Dlodlo reveal the full bailout amount the SABC was requesting, to which she replied that the amount did not matter.
Now that the R3 billion amount has been revealed, it is clear that it does, in fact, matter.
This is an astonishing amount of money, which could be much better spent on more pressing matters affecting the people of South Africa.
It is for this reason that the DA is requesting a PAIA application. The South African public needs to know the exact reasons for requesting this amount, considering that the SABC Interim Board recently revealed that there has been an improvement in the SABC’s financial position.
The fact that Parliament’s Communications Committee has been bypassed is also a major cause for concern.
It is exactly this secrecy and lack of transparency that led to the SABC’s fall from grace.
Since the Minister and the SABC will not reveal the reasons for requesting this amount, the DA has no choice but to pressure them into doing so.