South African citizens demand a public broadcaster that has the resources and strategic leadership to meet the information needs of all South Africans. The coalition demands a SABC that holds government and corporate power to account and provides the information and platforms for discussions vital to the functioning of our democracy.
However, instead of leading the vision of a quality public broadcaster that the public can confidently invest resources in, the SABC board chairperson, Dr Ben Ngubane
, has provided little or no leadership. Further, he has in fact been directly involved in corporate governance breaches. SOS members have called for his resignation. However, he has not resigned. SOS members are now calling for parliament to remove the chair.
In its letters, the Coalition has asked for information on:
- delays regarding the appointment of the CEO, CFO and COO;
- reasons behind the contentious employment of Justice Ndaba to run the SABC's critical turnaround strategy;
- SABC's plans on the turnaround;
- reasons and process on the suspension of the company secretary
- explanations to the R20m car scandal;
- why the SABC has not adequately utilised its 'Request for Proposals' book to transparently commission local content
Although Parliament is investigating instances of fraud and mismanagement, SOS wants to make sure that the forensic reports are released and the people implicated in these scandals are actually brought to book. New era of transparent financial accountability
The coalition believes that the public needs to be given constant updates and feedback on what the Board is doing to resolve these issues and how they intend to bring the culprits to book. We need a new era of transparent financial accountability and good corporate governance.
Since its inception, SOS has been calling for a new funding model for the SABC, including important public funding. However, in good conscience it cannot call for this if the problems of corruption and fruitless and wasteful expenditure are not being dealt with.More quality South African stories
Finally, in terms of local content and public programming, the coalition would like to see excellent public service programming on our screens and fair and transparent commissioning processes to ensure this. It demands that the SABC comply with the Regulator's local content regulations and that the Regulator is strengthened to ensure compliance. We need more quality South African stories told by South Africans.
For more, contact any one of the coalition member representatives:
- Kate Skinner - coordinator, SOS - (082) 926-6404
- Patrick Craven - spokesperson, COSATU - (082) 821-7456
- Tuwani Gumani - general secretary, Media Workers Association of South Africa - (082) 743-3867
- Matankana Mathapo - spokesperson, Communications Workers Union - (082) 759-0900
- William Bird - director, Media Monitoring Africa - (082) 887-1370
- Elston Seppie - director, Freedom of Expression Institute - (079) 260-4326
- Marc Schwinges - deputy chair, South African Screen Federation - (083) 901-2000
- Hannes du Buisson - president, Broadcasting Electronic Media and Allied Workers Union - (082) 920-8669
- Mark Weinberg - Alternative Information Development Centre and Right 2 Know Campaign - (074) 103-6704