Original Research

The South African public broadcaster’s financial sustainability: Internal stakeholders’ perceptions

Vuyo Nyembezi, Chantal Rootman, Madele Tait
Acta Commercii | Vol 19, No 1 | a711 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v19i1.711 | © 2019 Vuyo Nyembezi, Chantal Rootman, Madele Tait | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2018 | Published: 31 July 2019

About the author(s)

Vuyo Nyembezi, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Chantal Rootman, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Madele Tait, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


Orientation: The existing funding framework of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has proved to be unsustainable.

Research purpose: Because sustainable funding has an impact on the organisational outcomes (customer benefits and performance) of the public broadcaster in South Africa, this study sought to identify factors that influence its financial sustainability.

Motivation for the study: Past studies have mainly focused on defining public service broadcasters or ascertaining the future of public service broadcasters. These researchers did not attempt to develop a sustainable funding framework.

Research design, approach and method: The study adopted a positivistic paradigm and a quantitative approach that used a self-administered, structured questionnaire for data collection. An EFA was conducted, Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were calculated and the relationships between variables were measured by calculating Pearson product-moment correlations and conducting multiple regression analyses. The respondents were selected through a stratification sampling technique that drew participants from each provincial SABC office by accessing the database of managers, unionised and non-unionised employees, as well as freelancers. A total of 167 respondents completed the survey.

Main findings: The study determined that internal stakeholders, a competitive environment and the management of resources have a significant positive influence on the sustainable funding of the SABC. In turn, sustainable funding of the SABC has a significant positive influence on organisational outcomes.

Practical/managerial implications: It is envisaged that this study could assist the SABC in understanding the factors influencing financial sustainability, thereby assisting the organisation during strategy development and decision-making. Furthermore, this study provides practical recommendations that could improve the financial sustainability of the SABC.

Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to the body of knowledge relating to sustainable funding in the context of public broadcasting.


public broadcaster; South African Broadcasting Corporation; SABC; financial sustainability; sustainable funding


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Crossref Citations

1. The emergence of isiZulu in Skeem Saam (2011): sociolinguistics factors and the politics of the ‘loss of ethnolinguistic pluralism’ at the SABC 1
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