IFP Calls On Minister Pule To Intervene In Latest SABC Crisis

October 7th, 2012 


When the IFP marched on the SABC on the 14th of September 2012, we did so in recognition of the fact that we have tried every other avenue of engaging the SABC to address the entrenched political bias evident in our public broadcaster. It is therefore no surprise that today's media reports have again vindicated the IFP's concerns.


It is a matter of great concern to the IFP that the public broadcaster is again, today, making news for all the wrong reasons. We were optimistic that the SABC would be able to rise from the ashes, address its critical challenges and chart a new way forward. Clearly, this has not been the case.


Reports today that the SABC struck a deal to buy a 1000 copies of the ANC-aligned New Age newspaper every day, despite concerns from staff that the broadcaster was spending a fortune on newspapers that were not being read, coupled with the fact that it gave the newspaper free exposure worth millions on Morning Live, is more evidence that political interference has been built into the SABC system and ruthlessly exploited by the ANC-alliance. It is again abundantly clear that the SABC is not an independent public broadcaster, but a state broadcaster that panders to the ruling party.


The IFP also remains concerned with reports that continue to resurface that rules were bent to appoint the allegedly politically-connected Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng as Chief Operating Officer, under irregular circumstances.


One wonders how the SABC can legitimately claim that it trying to turn around the fortunes of the ailing, cash-strapped broadcaster, when it dishes out R3-million in sponsorship to a now discredited ICT Indaba willy-nilly, while losing R438-million through fruitless and wasteful expenditure.


This renewed crisis at the SABC hampers its ability to operate efficiently in fulfilment of its mandate as a public broadcaster.


Quite clearly, we cannot, in the national interest, allow the present paralysis to continue. The latest internal squabbles, scandals and ugly in-fighting at the public broadcaster is cringeworthy to say the least. One feels sympathy for the staff at the SABC, who continue to work under very difficult circumstances.


The IFP is of the view that it would be prudent of the Minister of Communications to launch a full Commission of Enquiry into the state of affairs at the public broadcaster. Such an enquiry will help all people concerned, that is those who serve on the Board and the Executive management, to have their names cleared or otherwise, of all sorts of unsavoury accusations and allegations and most importantly whether there has been any political interference and manipulation.


The IFP hopes that Treasury will not consider granting the R180-million now needed for the SABC's 24 hour news channel. Surely, struggling South African taxpayers, deserve answers first?


Issued by:

Ms Liezl van der Merwe MP,

IFP Spokesperson on Communications.

Twitter: @Liezl_vdMerwe.


Contact: Mr Phendulani Biyase, IFP Media Officer on 073 024 5675.