How the SABC lost R200 million through failed radio adverts – Report

A new advertising management system at the SABC is costing the broadcaster dearly, contributing around R200 million in losses to the balance sheet, according to a report. The City Press[1] reported that the system – which was introduced at SABC Radio in 2016 – has resulted in:

  • Ads going into limbo.
  • Ads being lost in transmission.
  • Ads being cancelled.
  • Ads flighted without being billed.
  • Ads in the wrong language.

The report stated that sources at the SABC said the new system – called Landmark – is not suitable for tracking radio adverts. The system has been used successfully by SABC TV and international TV operators for several years.

One of the issues contributing to the system’s failure is the fact that the SABC has 18 radio stations which cover 11 languages. The system also cannot track live radio advertisement reads, or ads between midnight and 05:00. The sources at the broadcaster said the SABC is having to issue credit notes to advertising agencies to the value of R15 million per month.

This works out to R200 million in total so far. A fee of R300,000 per month to use Landmark for the radio stations is also charged, stated the report. SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago denied the totals reported by the City Press, stating that they are “grossly exaggerated”, but acknowledged that radio sales bookings through the system have been “particularly difficult”.

The report comes after a recent statement by Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo that she is looking for a long-term fix[2] for the SABC’s financial troubles.

Former SABC acting CEO James Aguma said the SABC was in a financial mess[3] earlier in May.

Now read: SABC still using 80s technologies, similar to VHS and Betamax[4]


  1. ^ The City Press (
  2. ^ long-term fix (
  3. ^ financial mess (
  4. ^ SABC still using 80s technologies, similar to VHS and Betamax (

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