The SABC has come under severe pressure from the ANC, opposition parties, and industry stakeholders over the past year.
The public broadcaster has been hit by multiple scandals, court orders, and claims of corruption and incompetence.
A few examples of the epic fails and controversial decisions at the SABC include:
- It posting a R411-million loss for the 2015/2016 financial year.
- Its controversial 90% local content quota, which may lead to further financial pain.
- It spending over R2.5 million on a failed music concert.
- It reportedly approving a “dodgy” R44-million studio deal.
- Former COO and current executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng being told by several courts that his appointment was improper.
- Former journalists taking the SABC to the Constitutional Court over how the broadcaster is run.
- Multiple SABC board members resigning due to the state the broadcaster is in.
- It banning the broadcasting of footage of violent protests.
- Parliament forced to investigate the broadcaster, due to the severe problems it faces.
To give you an idea of how the SABC is plagued by scandals, all the articles linked to above are from between the end of September and the beginning of November – just over a month.
“News” coverage by the SABC
While the scandals and poor decisions at the SABC have undoubtedly affected the quality of its content, an article on the broadcaster’s news website from today shows just how much trouble it is in.
The piece is about Communications Minister Faith Muthambi’s views on the Digital Migration Project. There is no way to sugar-coat this – it is pathetic and should offend any South African who values news reporting.
As the public broadcaster and main source of news for many South Africans, the SABC has to do better than this.
The headline of the article is “Minister says digital TV is important”.
Thanks for clarifying SABC – I was beginning to think a process which could free valuable spectrum and allow the mobile operators to provide faster and cheaper broadband was not important at all.
I was also glad to learn that the digital TV project “contributed in generating the economy of the country”.
“The network is installed all over the country to assist communication in digital revolution.” Another valuable piece of almost-coherent information.
And while the article was only six lines long, the SABC managed to squeeze in how the Acting Director General at the Department of Communications, Ndivhuho Norman Munzhelele, said “working with Muthambi is a humbling experience in building the migration”.
The full article is posted below.
Minister says digital TV is important
The Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi says the 28th of October was a historical day for South Africa Digital Terrestrial Television.
Muthambi says the digital project has been a success as they installed 95% of the signal in other places.
She says working together with other stakeholders played a big role to make sure that the migration is a success.
Muthambi stresses that the DTT project contributed in generating the economy of the country.
Meanwhile, Acting Director General Department of Communication Ndivhuho Norman Munzhelele says working with Muthambi is a humbling experience in building the migration.
Munzhelele says the network is installed all over the country to assist communication in digital revolution.
This is an opinion piece.