Thursday, September 20, 2018

South Africa's broadcasting regulator, Icasa, moving its head office from 29 October from Sandton to Pretoria after 20 years.


South Africa's broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is moving its head office from Sandton to Pretoria from 29 October.

Icasa has been headquartered in Pin Mill Farm in 164 Katherine Street, Sandton for close to 20 years, but will now switch to 350 Witch-Hazel Avenue, Eco Point Office Park, Eco Park in Centurion from29 October, the regulator announced on Thursday.

"We have been operating from 164 Katherine Street in Sandton for almost two decades. It is time that we move to another location to improve ICASA accessibility to stakeholders. Our new premises will provide a conducive working environment for our people and enable us to serve," said Rubben Mohlaloga, the convicted fraudster and Icasa chairperson.

"The relocation will, in no foreseen way, affect the services to licensees and general stakeholders as well as consumers of electronic communications, broadcasting and postal services. We are working hard and tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition and look forward to continued engagement during our upcoming and currently underway regulatory processes," said Rubben Mohlaloga who was convicted of fraud in January 2018 and after 9 months is still the Icasa chairperson.

Labour court finds Mzwanele Manyi breached labour laws when he abruptly fired Afro Worldview staffers; orders workers to be reinstated at the shuttered TV channel that DStv dumped last month.


The Johannesburg Labour Court on Thursday ruled that Mzwanele Manyi breached the Labour Relations Act when he fired the staffers at the now shuttered and controversial Afro Worldview TV channel and ordered workers to be reinstated.

MultiChoice finally dumped the controversial Afro Worldview at midnight on 20 August with Mzwanele Manyi who abruptly told workers on 19 August not to come to work anymore.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) took Mzwanele Manyi to labour court that on Thursday ruled that Afro Worldview must reinstate staffers since they were not properly dismissed.

The court ruled that Afro Worldview and Infinity Media Networks "failed to engage in a retrenchment consultation process" and that workers who were fired with immediate effect must be reinstated.

Mzwanele Manyi and Infinity Media Networks breached sections 189 of the Labour Relations Act by failing to conduct retrenchment consultation.

Tasso Anestidis, lawyer for the fired Afro Worldview staffers says "We are elated with the court order and the judgement. It is a great order and we are looking to enforce it. Depending on what he does, we will act accordingly because we have relief. We are happy that all our hard work paid off".

The order does not apply to the second respondent in the case, Afrotone Media Holdings.

After 23 years on MultiChoice's DStv Turner Broadcasting switches the old TCM for the action-film channel TNT in South Africa and Africa.


Turner is dumping and replacing one of the last remaining original channels that DStv started with, with the old American films channel TCM from Turner Broadcasting that is being switched to the TNT channel from tomorrow, 21 September.

TCM has been available on MultiChoice for 23 years on DStv channel 137, as well as on Cell C's subscription video-on-demand streaming service, Cell C black, since late last year.

Tomorrow TCM, on DStv and Cell C black, that reaches 6.7 million monthly viewers across 49 English-speaking African countries, will switch to the blue-circled TNT.

TNT's programming is built on an action-driven, pulse-raising slate, mixed with some romantic films and comedies.

Despite a TCM brand fresh earlier this year and the addition of more recent films the past two years on the channel, DStv subscribers still saw TCM as old and outdated, prompting the final switch-out of the channel.

TCM - short for Turner Classic Movies - was one of the few original channels in 1995 that MultiChoice launched DStv with 23 years ago.

TNT that in the United States also carries drama and reality series, will be a film channel for South Africa and Africa and be a more contemporary film channel from Turner to be competition for channels like Studio Universal, SundanceTV, and M-Net's set of self-packed M-Net Movies channels.

"The TCM brand has had a strong classic association which doesn’t reflect the actual brand proposition, or deliver the right message, to our African audiences," says Guillermo Farré, head of general entertainment for Turner in Southern Europe & Africa, about TCM's demise and replacement with TNT.

"Even though we have listened to our viewers and worked hard towards modernizing the image of the channel, there was still a strong association of the TMC brand to 'classic Hollywood silver screen productions'. We therefore decided to switch TCM to TNT to fully reflect the new brand identity and perspective in line with our American blockbuster programming strategy," says Guillermo Farré.

Turner says TNT will offer a "young, fresh and entertainment-filled offering for the entire family" with "creative and relevant programming specially tailored for African fans".

TCM up until now was slightly male skewed with a growing number of viewers in the 25 to 49 age demo, particularly amongst black African viewers.

TNT will show films ranging from The Illusionist, The Green Mile, Crank, Robin Hood and Hellboy 2 to Doom, Tango and Cash and Gladiator.

Turner issued no September schedule for the mid-month TNT replacement.


Below is Turner's first teaser trailer promo for TNT.

While Turner says that TNT will be an "entertainment-filled offering for the entire family" Turner chose to deliberately include profanity like "Holy mother of Jesus!" in its official promo, something that will definitely be off-putting and be seen as blasphemous by certain families who are DStv or Cell C black subscribers who might choose to rather steer clear of TNT.

While TNT Africa is or African audiences, it doesn't seem as if Turner's marketing team for TNT knows Africa or audience sensitivities.


SABC abruptly cancels Frankly Speaking on SABC3 and SABC News, former spin doctor and presenter JJ Tabane gone and also fired from Power FM.


The SABC has abruptly and quietly cancelled Frankly Speaking with the former spin doctor JJ Tabane broadcast on SABC3 and SABC News (DStv 404), with JJ Tabane that was also fired by the MSG Africa owned radio station Power FM where he was the Power Perspective presenter.

While the SABC issued no statement nor programming advisory, JJ Tabane at the top of this past Sunday's episode of Frankly Speaking announced that his interview with Gwede Mantashe, ANC chairperson and mining resources minister, will be "the final episode of Frankly Speaking with me Onkgopotse JJ Tabane".

At the tail-end of the show he again said "that was the final episode of Frankly Speaking. I hope you found it useful."

Frankly Speaking was added to SABC3 and SABC News from 11 February this year, with the SABC that made no announcement prior to this Sunday's abrupt final episode that the programme is cancelled or why.

During the testimony of the ongoing state capture inquiry, Phumla Williams, the as acting head of the GCIS, spoke about the horrific things she endured under the disgraced former communications minister, Faith Muthambi.

JJ Tabane as a spin doctor helped Faith Muthambi as part of one of her advisory panels.

In a tweet JJ Tabane said "Sorry to Phumla Williams for having been complicit in your oppression by Faith Muthambi. I am ashamed of any role I had in it. Ready to appear before Zondo to testify."

A fight then ensued with Chris Vick, who took JJ Tabane to task, saying "But you used to work for Faith Muthambi when she was communications minister, bro. Didn’t you set up that huge advisory panel for her (the one I resigned from) and write those ridiculous opinion pieces in her name? Weren’t you advising her?"

Power FM that first suspended JJ Tabane, announced that he was fired from Power FM with immediate effect, on Monday, a day after his final Frankly Speaking episode on the SABC's SABC News.

"JJ Tabane committed serious material breaches of the provisions of our independent contractor agreement rendering it impossible to continue a contractual relationship with him," said Bob Mabena, Power FM's station manager on Monday.

"As a trust-anchored platform that disseminates and facilitates critical national conversations, POWER 98.7 strives to ensure that such conversations are conducted authentically, truthfully and credibly".

As Sky in Britain teams up with Netflix from November, how long until MultiChoice strikes a deal with Netflix SA to be made available to DStv subscribers?


As pay-TV operator Sky in the United Kingdom announced that it will be teaming up with Netflix from November for its new subscription package, it raises questions as to when Naspers' MultiChoice's might reach out and team up for a deal to make Netflix South Africa's offering available on DStv.

MultiChoice and M-Net over the past decade have closely mirrored Sky's service, innovations and self-packaged Sky channels plan for South Africa and Africa, raising the possibility that similar to what Sky in the UK and Comcast in the United States are now doing by linking up with Netflix, the global streaming giant's service could maybe be added for South African DStv subscribers as well.

Sky announced that Netflix is coming to its Sky Q and new subscription package "Ultimate On Demand" from November.

As part of a new seamless package, Sky subscribers will be able to get all of Sky's original productions, American series like HBO’s Game of Thrones and Showtime’s Billions, alongside Netflix’s original dramas, films, comedies and documentaries, like The Crown, Stranger Things, The Kissing Booth, Making a Murderer and Queer Eye.

Sky in a statement says "this integration means it'll be easier than ever to find what you love and discover hidden gems".

"We want Sky Q to be the number one destination for TV fans. Partnering with Netflix means we will have all the best TV in one great value pack, making it even easier for you to watch all of your favourite shows," says Stephen van Rooyen, Sky UK CEO.

Chris Whiteley, Netflix UK director for business development, says "Innovation is at the core of Netflix. We are delighted to partner with Sky to offer fans a new and exciting way to access the best of entertainment from around the world."

Payment for the new Netflix pack will be added to customers' monthly Sky bills, making it easier than ever to sign up and removing the need for separate payments for each service.

South African pay-TV customers are now wondering when this innovation might be given to them, with MultiChoice that currently only bundles Naspers' subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) Showmax for free to DStv Premium subscribers. 

DStv Premium subscribers as a percentage of MultiChoice's overall subscriber base keeps falling as people no longer see DStv Premium as offering enough value to make the monthly price worthwhile.

According to MultiChoice the free Showmax offer will expire on 31 March 2019 after which DStv subscribers will have to cancel it or pay an additional fee. Showmax, together with DStv Now, is currently being run under the Connected Video unit.

In May 2018 TVwithThinus asked Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice South Africa CEO why the pay-TV operator is not giving DStv subscribers access to Netflix in the way Showmax is made available, and in the way Britain and America's leading pay-TV services are now doing.

Calvo Mawela said MultiChoice is currently treating Netflix South Africa as "pure competition", and that although it hasn't yet engaged with Netflix over a possible partnership, that it is studying what's happening and is open to possible opportunities.

"We are following and making observations around what's happening in the rest of the world in terms of traditional pay-TV operators and how they engage with Netflix," Calvo Mawela said.

"We also recognise the kind of partnership they've done with Sky and as a business we are open to anything that will make commercial sense to us."

"However, we have not gone and engaged with Netflix at this stage. All we are saying at this present moment is we are competing with Netflix, hence we launched Showmax for us to capture that market."

"Once we get a full understanding of how the Netflix partnership works in the rest of the world with traditional pay-TV, we will be able to make a call as to whether it's good for us to partner or whether it's not good for us to partner."

"At the moment we treat Netflix as pure competition," said Calvo Mawela. "And we are trying to build Showmax to be able to compete with Netflix."

Naspers is set to spin-off MultiChoice in the first half of 2019 as its own MultiChoice Group company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

While streaming services like Showmax, Netflix SA and Amazon Prime Video are growing fast in South Africa it's from a very small base.

While MultiChoice had 13.5 million DStv and GOtv subscribers by the end of March 2018, latest research from New York's Pivotal Research Group projects that Netflix will have just 500 000 subscribers by 2020 in South Africa and across the rest of Africa combined.

Lifetime on DStv adds local makeover love finder show, Love at Second Swipe, from 25 October with Pabi Moloi.


A+E Networks' Lifetime (DStv 131) is adding a new local makeover love finder show, Love at Second Swipe, from 25 October at 20:00.

Love at Second Swipe, a South African adaptation of TLC's Love at First Swipe, has Pabi Moloi as the presenter with a team including a style expert, makeup guru, hairdresser and a life coach to give people a makeover in an attempt to help them find love with their new look.

The 6 hour long episodes are produced by Hi Mom, and will feature two participants per episode, getting style tips, online dating advice and an external makeover with an emotional reveal moment.

"These are personal stories, these are real human beings experiencing the anguish of wanting to love and be loved and not knowing how to navigate that and we're going to capture those moments," says Pabi Moloi in a statement.

"It excites me to demystify what online dating is and to help people discover the true connection with themselves before they make a match with somebody else."


Dr. Zenia Barnard, the Love at Second Swipe "life coach" says it won't be a "superficial exercise".

"We delve into their emotional challenges and what has possibly been holding them back and what they can let go of. You can put as much makeup on and change your hair but if the emotional shift isn’t happening then that person isn't going to find ultimate happiness and love."

Shaldon Kopman, the show's stylist, says "a lot of people don’t understand how to dress themselves or how to style themselves. So in the show my role is to makeover the participants from a style perspective so that they can feel good and comfortable in their space and go out there and conquer."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

SABC tells staffers the public broadcaster is undeterred and 'remains on course' with its retrenchment process to downsize its ballooning wage bill.


The SABC has told staffers at the beleaguered South African public broadcaster that it is undeterred and "remains on course" with its retrenchment process to downsize its ballooning wage bill.

On Tuesday Jonathan Thekiso, the SABC's head of human resources, in an internal SABC memo to staffers at the cash-strapped broadcaster, told staffers the SABC's board and top executives remain committed on following the retrenchment plan that was started.

"In line with our commitment of ensuring transparency, please note that this process remains on course, as approved by the board," Jonathan Thekiso told SABC personnel.

"Since we announced that the SABC contemplates implementing section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, there have been many confusing messages emanating from various stakeholders on this process," Jonathan Thekiso told SABC staffers, and noted that the SABC will "keep all employees fully informed of any developments in this matter".

There's been a chorus of criticism over the SABC's plan to fire hundreds of workers.

Nomvula Mokonyane, South Africa's minister of communications, on Monday slammed the SABC top executives for their turn-around plan to fire hundreds of staffers, saying she and the ministry of communications are opposed to the SABC's retrenchment plan that includes shutting down provincial offices and reducing provincial SABC staffers.

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) that also weighed in this week and likewise slammed the SABC's "cruelty", saying SABC staffers are "once again,at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence" at the broadcaster.

Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO has warned staffers about the South African public broadcaster's "dire financial state" after the SABC started the process of job cuts and retrenchments to downsize the SABC's staff numbers.

A week after the SABC chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini played coy, didn't want to talk about SABC staff firings and wasn't willing to be upfront about the SABC that has been looking at drastically shedding another 800 jobs, Madoda Mxakwe finally told SABC staffers following a meeting on Thursday with trade unions, that the SABC's wage bill is unsustainable.

The SABC posted a loss of R622 million for the 2017/2018 financial year with the country's Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu, saying he can't determine whether the cash-strapped South African public broadcaster remains a going concern.

Longtime staffers and producers who have been with SABC News since the channel's start-up five years ago already got axed at the end of August although despite the SABC renewed its controversial multi-million rand channel carriage carriage with Naspers' MultiChoice to continue carrying the news channel on DStv for the next few years.

Around 3 000 of the SABC's staff headcount are permanent employees, while the rest are fixed-term and freelance workers.

A staggering amount of the SABC's expenditure goes to just paying staffers, although just 60% are directly involved in programming. The SABC is supposed to spend the bulk of its money on creating and broadcasting content.

The SABC says one of the SABC's biggest cost drivers is the salary bill and that although it is a R7.2 billion revenue generating company, it's saddled with a massive annual salary bill of R3.1 billion.

Disney Africa to celebrate Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday in November in South Africa with exhibition of statues customised by local artists, Mickey's 90th Spectacular TV special on M-Net.


The Walt Disney Company SA will celebrate the 90th birthday of Mickey Mouse on 18 November in South Africa with a nationwide exhibition of 10 localised Mickey Mouse statuettes by local artists, as well the American TV special, Mickey's 90th Spectacular, that will be broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101).

18 November marks 90 years since the first appearance of Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie in November 1928 with a series of worldwide celebrations that will also include South Africa to mark the 9 decades of the Mouse House's most iconic character.

Disney will broadcast special programming Mickey Mouse's birthday on 18 November across its set of Disney channels on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform and in the days leading up to it on the Disney Channel (DStv 303), Disney XD (DStv 304) and Disney Junior (DStv 309).

Disney currently has the Mickey Mouse cartoon series on the Disney Channel and Mickey and the Roadster Racers on Disney Junior.

The 20-hour American TV special, Mickey's 90th Spectacular that will be broadcast in the United States on 4 November, will also be shown later this year on M-Net (DStv 101) with the special to celebrate the character's 90-year history that will be filled with star-studded musical performances, tributes and never-before-seen short films.

In a local design project, Disney Africa asked 10 South African artists to apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation to 182 centimetre high Mickey Mouse statues.

These 10 statuettes, once revealed to the public as part of Disney Africa's "Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, will form part of a nationwide exhibition that will be at Sandton City centre court (28 September - 14 October) in Johannesburg, the Gateway Theatre of Shopping's Expo explore court (19 October - 11 October) in Durban, and the Canal Walk's centre court (16 - 26 November) in Cape Town.

In Edgars Disney will have a new special collection of fashion, accessories and footwear for families, inspired by Mickey Mouse.

"Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the true original who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope," says Christine Service, the senior vice president and country manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa.

"With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities."

Disney says South African fans can share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media during November with the hashtag #Mickey90Africa.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Nomvula Mokonyane, minister of communications, slams SABC board's insistence of firing staffers 'as the only solution', opposes the SABC's retrenchment plan that includes shutting down provincial offices and reducing provincial staffers.


Nomvula Mokonyane, South Africa's current minister of communications, on Monday slammed the cash-strapped and struggling SABC top executive for its turn-around plan and the SABC's top brass plan to fire hundreds of staffers, saying she and the ministry of communications are opposed to the SABC's retrenchment plan that includes shutting down provincial offices and reducing provincial SABC staffers.

Nomvula Mokonyane, South Africa's 10th minister of communications in 10 years, said she is strongly opposed to possible retrenchment of SABC staffers, and that she had "expressed her dissatisfaction with the preferred methods of implementation of the turn-around plan submitted by the SABC board for to the minister for concurrence".

"While the minister appreciates the precarious financial position of the public broadcaster and the urgent need to contain costs, the minister has lamented the fact that despite numerous meetings with the SABC board on the need for a comprehensive approach to turnaround of the public broadcaster, the board has insisted on retrenchment as the foremost and only solution".

Nomvula Mokonyane's statement on Monday echoed a chorus of criticism directed as the SABC board and the broadcaster's top management, with the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) that also weighed in earlier during the day and likewise slammed the SABC's "cruelty", saying SABC staffers are "once again,at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence" at the broadcaster.

Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO has warned staffers about the South African public broadcaster's "dire financial state" after the SABC started the process of job cuts and retrenchments to downsize the SABC's staff numbers.

A week after the SABC chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini played coy, didn't want to talk about SABC staff firings and wasn't willing to be upfront about the SABC that has been looking at drastically shedding another 800 jobs, Madoda Mxakwe finally told SABC staffers following a meeting on Thursday with trade unions, that the SABC's wage bill is unsustainable.

The SABC posted a loss of R622 million for the 2017/2018 financial year with the country's Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu, saying he can't determine whether the cash-strapped South African public broadcaster remains a going concern.

Longtime staffers and producers who have been with SABC News since the channel's start-up five years ago already got axed at the end of August although despite the SABC renewed its controversial multi-million rand channel carriage carriage with Naspers' MultiChoice to continue carrying the news channel on DStv for the next few years.

Around 3 000 of the SABC's staff headcount are permanent employees, while the rest are fixed-term and freelance workers.

A staggering amount of the SABC's expenditure goes to just paying staffers, although just 60% are directly involved in programming. The SABC is supposed to spend the bulk of its money on creating and broadcasting content.

The SABC says one of the SABC's biggest cost drivers is the salary bill and that although it is a R7.2 billion revenue generating company, it's saddled with a massive annual salary bill of R3.1 billion.

On Monday Nomvula Mokonyane said "any retrenchment exercise must be a last resort and an integral part of a holistic, well-formulated and broadly canvassed turn-around plan aimed at steering the SABC towards future financial sustainability".

Nomvula Mokonyane says she has raised concerns about the "odd approach by the SABC board which ignores the advice and support" of the department of communications and that is "inconsistent with the principles of good corporate governance, mutual interest and public good".

"Throughout her numerous engagement with the SABC, Nomvula Mokonyane had insisted on the process being objective and open to technical support by the shareholder and the National Treasury, hence she established a turn-around task-team comprising the department of communications and National Treasury to work with the SABC in this regard."

Nomvula Mokonyane slammed the SABC's turn-around plan on Monday saying that it lacks "details regarding how much the said retrenchments will save the company both in the short-, medium- and long-term".

"The proposal to close certain offices and reducing staff does not demonstrate the service delivery impact analysis of the said restructuring and scaling down of employees per division, province and occupational category".

According to Nomvula Mokonyane the SABC's turn-around plan is "silent on revenue enhancement initiatives, including an improvement plan for the collection of TV licences and the possible disposal of non-core and under-utilised immovable assets and properties, which is crucial for the financial sustainability of the SABC."

"The SABC is a national asset and as a public broadcaster its well-being is not the exclusive domain of the board and its management but that of all stakeholders with an interest in its sustainability."

South African National Editors Forum slams previous SABC management for cruelty over plan to fire staffers after reckless mismanagement: 'Workers, once again, are at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence'.


The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has slammed the previous SABC management for its cruelty, saying its wrong for the South African public broadcaster to start firing staffers in order to downsize its massive salary bill before other cost-cutting options and that SABC staffers are "once again, at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence".

Sanef says "part of the dire financial situation the SABC finds itself in is due to the reckless management of the SABC epitomised by [former] COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng".

"This included his mismanagement of human resources. Also, Sanef notes the lack of oversight from parliament and the regulator during this dark period. Going forward it is critical that the capacity of htese governance and oversight structures are strengthened."

"Sanef notes that the cruelty of the situation is that workers, once again, are at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence. Sanef believes that only if all other cost-cutting options have been explored, should the SABC contemplate retrenchments."

Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO has warned staffers about the South African public broadcaster's "dire financial state" after the SABC started the process of job cuts and retrenchments to downsize the SABC's staff numbers.

A week after the SABC chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini played coy, didn't want to talk about SABC staff firings and wasn't willing to be upfront about the SABC that has been looking at drastically shedding another 800 jobs, Madoda Mxakwe finally told SABC staffers following a meeting on Thursday with trade unions, that the SABC's wage bill is unsustainable.

The SABC posted a loss of R622 million for the 2017/2018 financial year with the country's Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu, saying he can't determine whether the cash-strapped South African public broadcaster remains a going concern.

Longtime staffers and producers who have been with SABC News since the channel's start-up five years ago already got axed at the end of August although despite the SABC renewed its controversial multi-million rand channel carriage carriage with Naspers' MultiChoice to continue carrying the news channel on DStv for the next few years.

Around 3 000 of the SABC's staff headcount are permanent employees, while the rest are fixed-term and freelance workers.

A staggering amount of the SABC's expenditure goes to just paying staffers, although just 60% are directly involved in programming. The SABC is supposed to spend the bulk of its money on creating and broadcasting content.

The SABC says one of the SABC's biggest cost drivers is the salary bill and that although it is a R7.2 billion revenue generating company, it's saddled with a massive annual salary bill of R3.1 billion.

Sanef says that it "believes that the labour law must be closely followed with transparency and commitment to negotiate fairly with organised labour."

Sanef says "what is critical is that the SABC's public mandate is in no way compromised".

"SABC leadership needs to ensure that the SABC's news-gathering and content generation and management capacity is not cut. Sanef believes this capacity is essential for the SABC to play its key information, education and entertainment role."

"Further, we believe that the SABC's content capacity is core to ensuring its turn-around and long-term financial sustainability."

"Sanef calls on on the regulator, Icasa, to ensure that it monitors the SABC's adherence to its charter, licence conditions and local content regulations. The SABC's ability to deliver on its mandate must not be compromised.Non-core support staff and administration units should be cut if anything is to be cut."

BREAKING. Naspers to spin off and list its video entertainment business MultiChoice on the JSE as the MultiChoice Group including MultiChoice SA, MultiChoice Africa and Showmax in Africa during first half of 2019.


Naspers, as expected, announced late on Monday that it plans to spin off and list its video entertainment business, MultiChoice on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) during the first half of 2019, comprising of MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Irdeto and its Showmax streaming service in Africa.

Naspers made noise earlier this year signaling its plans to get rid of MultiChoice and its pay-TV division in the form of a separate stock market listing since it no longer offer as much value and more importantly as much growth potential as Naspers' main investment focus that is its internet business component.

By spinning out and essentially "unbundling" its video entertainment division, MultiChoice - that is profitable - helps to reduce the overall size of Naspers.

"This marks a significant step for the Naspers Group as we continue our evolution into a global consumer internet company," says Bob van Dijk, Naspers CEO, in a statement.

Imtiaz Patel, Naspers video entertainment CEO, says "Listing and unbundling MultiChoice Group is intended to create a leading entertainment business listed on the JSE that is profitable and cash generative. We offer an unmatched selection of local and original content, as well as a world-class sports offering."

"Our leadership team is diverse, experienced and well-positioned to take the company forward. I am particularly pleased that this transaction will further enhance the value for Phuthuma Nathi shareholders."

"There are significant growth opportunities for MultiChoice Group in Africa. The combination of MultiChoice’s reach, Showmax and DStv Now's cutting-edge internet television service, alongside Irdeto’s 360 security suite will provide a unique offering."

Naspers says its video entertainment business is one of the fastest growing pay-TV operators globally and thatits multi-platform business reaches 13.5 million households across Africa.

"In the last financial year, the business added 1.5 million subscribers, and generated revenue of R47.1 billion and trading profit of R6.1 billion. It employs more than 9 000 people in Africa and indirectly creates economic prosperity for over 20 000 more who are employed by its various partners and suppliers across the continent."

Naspers says the MultiChoice Group is expected to be unbundled "with limited leverage", "providing it with the necessary financial flexibility to pursue growth opportunities in African video entertainment".

"The business is also positioning itself for the future by offering online streaming services, including Showmax and DStv Now".

Naspers will retain its primary listing on the JSE as well as its interests in Media24. MultiChoice Group is anticipated to list on the JSE and simultaneously unbundle in the first half of 2019, subject to the approval of the requisite regulatory authorities.

Phumzile Zonke appointed as new SABC1 channel head, replacing retired Clara Nzima.


Phumzile Zonke has been appointed as the new SABC1 channel head to steer the South African public broadcaster's most watched TV channel and the most watched TV channel in the country.

Phumzile Zonke whose appointed is effective since 1 September 2018 replaces Clara Nzima who retired last month after 35 years at the SABCSane Zondi, SABC1's head of programming was acting SABC1 channel head until Phumzile Zonke was appointed. 

Phumzile Zonke was appointed a SABC1 continuity presenter in 2003 and in 2007 became a presenter on the SABC Eastern Cape radio station Imhlobo Wenene FM where he hosted a weekend entertainment show on Fridays and Saturdays until 2017.

Phumzile Zonke held various positions, including on-air promo producer and director, specialist on-air producer, acting network: on-air presentation manager for SABC1, and SABC TV network on-air manager since 2015.

He has a master of business administration (MBA), BA degree in media, communications and culture, a certificate in copywriting, an advanced diploma in travel and tourism studies; and is currently studying towards a masters of philosophy in international business (MPHIL in IB).

"Being appointed to the new role is an exciting opportunity that comes with great responsibility. It is an honour and a privilege that I don’t take for granted," says Phumzile Zonke about his appointment.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm ready to serve the public and contribute meaningfully to the journey of making sure that SABC1 remains at the top and continue to dominate the market through quality content and exciting youthful programming."

"Phumzile is passionate about broadcasting. He has shown exceptional talent and has proven to be a dynamic and highly capable all-round broadcasting executive," says David Makubyane, the SABC's general manager for TV channels, in a statement about Phumzile Zonke's appointment.

"I have no doubt that he will take SABC1 to even greater heights, strategically positioning it within the media and entertainment industry to win over more loyal viewers to the channel. We are proud of what Phumzile has achieved and we look forward to his contribution in his new role as head of SABC1".

In his role as SABC1 channel head the SABC says Phumzile Zonke will have to "ensure that SABC1 retains its market leader position and continue to deliver a compelling public broadcast service that attracts a major share of audiences and revenue."

"The SABC management wishes Phumzile well in his new role and hopes that his wealth of broadcasting knowledge and diverse skills will add great value to the business and entrench further the values of the SABC1 brand."

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Deranged Mark Zinde who brutally bludgeoned his mom and former SABC board member, Hope Zinde, to death, is sent to a mental institution for life.


The deranged Mark Zinde who brutally bludgeoned his mother and former SABC board member, Hope Zinde, to death, has been sent to a mental institution on Friday.

The court on Friday declared the killer and violent recluse Mark Zinde mentally ill and ordered him committed to a mental institution where he will be detained for life or until he's deemed fit to be let loose outside again after psychiatric evaluation.

Three psychiatrists from Weskoppies Hospital declared the schizophrenic Mark Zinde a danger to himself and to others and told the court he belongs in a mental institution where he should be under supervision constantly.

Mark Zinde who will be kept at a prison hospital until there's space at a mental institution, also suffers from narcissistic and other personality disorders.

Gauteng High Court Judge Bert Bam found that Mark Zinde murdered his mother, Hope Zinde (50) in June 2016  at their lux Pecan Wood Estate home after which he dumped her dead body in the boot of the car.

Mark Zinde later also tried to murder his father, Dr Lebohang Manoto., when he was released into his care, and also attacked his stepmother.

Mark Zinde can only be released at some point in the future if a judge in terms of South Africa's Mental Health Act, agrees to his release.

The SABC opposes paying artists residuals as the South African public broadcaster fights back and opposes the proposed Performers' Protection Amendment Bill to ensure artists are paid repeat fees.


The SABC opposes paying artists residuals as the South African public broadcaster is fighting back, and opposes the proposed Performers' Protection Amendment Bill to ensure artists are paid repeat fees.

The SABC that has been lax, had done little more than lip-service over years when it comes to ensuring the payment of royalties to musicians and residuals to actors and writers, and that owes hundreds of millions of rand in outstanding payments to music royalties collection agencies as well as to actors for repeat fees, doesn't want to support South African artists when it comes to payment of residuals.

The SABC in its submission in parliament on Friday, said there is no legislation forcing the South African public broadcaster to pay residuals. The SABC also doesn't want such a law and is opposing the Performers' Protection Amendment Bill that proposes such rights for artists that are long overdue in the country.

The SABC told parliament it doesn't make enough money to ensure the payment of residual fees for South African artists.

Mathapelo Matsaneng advising the SABC on intellectual property, told parliament: "Why are we going to be forced, as the SABC, to pay continued royalties for the next coming 25 years?"

Joanmariae Fubbs, committee chairperson in parliament, said Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO should appear and make further submissions.

"We’re inviting the CEO and that he must come, or I will summon him."

Jobless former Afro Worldview workers go to Labour Court, accusing Mzwanele Manyi of flouting procedure; demand notice and severance pay.


Furious fired workers at Mzwanele Manyi's shuttered Afro Worldview channel that was canned from MultiChoice's DStv on Friday filed an urgent application in the Labour Court in Johannesburg, accusing Mzwanele Manyi of not following proper procedure when they were suddenly told not to return to work.

MultiChoice dumped the controversial Afro Worldview (rebranded after Mzwanele Manyi took over the formerly Gupta-owned ANN7 in a "vendor licensing" buy-out) in late-August, after it announced in January that ANN7 will be shut down since MultiChoice decided not to renewed the contract of the controversial channel.

Hundreds of workers now left without jobs are saying that Mzwanele Manyi should have given them more notice.

The workers' legal representative Tasso Anestidis says Mzwanele Manyi knew in January that MultiChoice would be dumping Afro Worlview and that his company should have complied with labour regulations stating that there be 60 days consultative processes before workers are asked to vacate a workplace premises.

Workers now want a declaratory order to compel Mzwanele Manyi's company to pay them what’s legally due to them.

"We want a declaratory order that proper lawful procedures will be followed. All the employees must receive severance pay, at the very least notice pay."

Customers furious at MultiChoice over software update technical glitch that has left DStv subscribers without a signal.


Paying customers are furious at MultiChoice over a faulty software update that has left DStv subscribers without a DStv signal.

MultiChoice that isn't willing to say how may DStv subscribers have been affected by the software update fault, says a faulty software update on DStv Explora and HD single view DStv decoders caused the signal loss problem.

"Some customers who live in a complex or village where the DStv signal is distributed from a central point through a single cable, and who have a specific decoder model, the DStv HD 4U decoder, could experience an E48 error on their decoder. This error means the decoder is searching for a signal," says MultiChoice in a statement.

"We're assisting customers on a case-by-case basis to clear this error via our contact centre, our service centres and agencies. We encourage any of our customers who experience this problem, to get in touch with us – either via phone or by going to their nearest DStv service centre or agency," says MultiChoice.

Meanwhile DStv subscribers are furious with MultiChoice over the software update mistake, the long time it takes to get through to the call centre, and threatening to cancel their DStv subscriptions.

M-Net and MultiChoice doing a M-Net Movies DC Heroes pop-up channel for 9 days from 9 November.


M-Net and MultiChoice is doing a M-Net Movies DC Heroes pop-up channel that will run on DStv from 9 to 18 November showing several DC Comics related films.

At the first Comic Con Africa 2018 at Kyalami, M-Net's M-Net Movies division ran an activation, displaying a "M-Net Movies DC Heroes" banner that TVwithThinus noticed on Friday.

TVwithThinus immediately asked M-Net who confirmed the planned DC Heroes pop-up channel.

MultiChoice and M-Net Movies' DC Heroes channel will show 30 superhero films, along with 7 animation films between 9 and 18 November.

"Super hero fans are in for an amazing time as M-Net Movies showcases the DC Universe by bringing you the M-Net Movies DC Heroes pop-up channel on channel 109," said M-Net Movies. "Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and many more iconic characters will be exploding onto the small screens in November."

The M-Net Movies DC Heroes pop-up channel follows after the M-Net Movies Marvel Studios pop-up channel that ran on DStv in April 2018 for 10 days for DStv Premium subscribers.

At Comic Con Africa 2018 M-Net Movies ran a "DC Heroes" escape room with visitors who had to enter the secret room and find and solve clues and trivia in order to escape and win prizes like movie premiere tickets and DStv Explora decoders.


Music royalties collecting agency Sampra files R64 million lawsuit against the SABC over its non-payment of money due to artists.

The South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) has filed a R64 million lawsuit against the embattled South African public broadcaster over the SABC's non-payment of royalties owed to musicians.

The collecting agency filed court papers in the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday, demanding that the SABC pays the outstanding millions due to musicians for playing their music.

"We served them with summons on Wednesday for failing to pay for the license fees due to us for our artists," says Tiyani Maluleke, Sampra spokesperson.

"The SABC uses over 90% of music belonging to our members but they have never paid any cent towards the licence fees to us for our members for over 10 years while other broadcasters have been paying."

Sampra is trying to collect royalties on behalf of both local and international acts it represents, including artists like the rappers Common, Notorious BIG, Cassper Nyovest, AKA, Kwesta and DJ Euphonic.

"The SABC can confirm that it has been served with combined summons by Sampra. We are unable to comment any further on this matter," says Neo Momodu, SABC spokesperson.

SABC's local soap Isidingo on SABC3 distances itself from 'racist' talent agent who told extras 'to go and take an Aids test' and to 'go sleep in your little caves where you come from. Maybe you can ask Mandela if he can resurrect you'.


The SABC's local weekday soap Isidingo has distanced itself from the "racist" talent agent Mary Ann Miller who told potential extras in a series of messages in a Whatsapp group "to go sleep in your little caves where you come. Maybe you can ask Mandela if he can resurrect you".

Mary Ann Miller fought with actress Gugu Xofsa in a Whatsapp group entitled "The revolution starts now".

Mary Ann Miller claimed that the Pomegranate Media produced show was allegedly looking for 17 extras and those "who comment on the group and are actually c*nts" won't get work on the show through her.

"We at Isidingo distance ourselves from her racist remarks that she has made," says Isidingo in a statement, denying that the show has ever worked with Mary Ann Miller.

"We have never worked with this said individual as she has never provided extras for our show. We do not condone any form of racism."

In the string of Whatsapp messages and voice notes, Mary Ann Miller said "English is a universal language, the sooner you realise that the better because without us, you won't have jobs," and "Remember your forefathers and our forefathers. We are not responsible for what happened to you, and you are not responsible for what happened to me. So, you want to stick by my side, fit in or f**k off."

"Those are my very good words because I'm only willing to help people that are rational and straight in their mind. Don't come with history and all the sh*t. It's not my problem. If it's your problem, go and take an Aids test or something, either than that stick by my back and you'll get work."

"You are black and it means that your skin is black. I am white because my skin is white. Why do we have to fight about this all the time? You guys clearly did not get work, that is why you are frustrated on another group or something."

"If you have acting ability, you will be in an acting agent. Either than that you are just useless piece of people who sit on the street. So, go and find somewhere to belong and then we can talk."


"Don't send messages anymore, go and f**k off and go sleep in your little caves where you come. Maybe you can ask Mandela if he can resurrect you. Here we are trying to get work and we do work and everything, so you guys can go and sleep now, alright."

Neo Momodu, SABC spokesperson, said the South African public broadcaster is investigating the matter.

"As the public broadcaster, we condemn and are against actions and comments which go against the spirit of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and social cohesion. We distance ourselves from such comments and we'll investigate, as far as it relates to our suppliers and people that we do business with."

SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe warns staffers about the South African public broadcaster's 'dire financial state' as SABC starts process of looking at job cuts.


Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO is warning staffers about the South African public broadcaster's "dire financial state" after the SABC started the process of job cuts and retrenchments to downsize the SABC's staff numbers.

A week after the SABC chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini played coy, didn't want to talk about SABC staff firings and wasn't willing to be upfront about the SABC that has been looking at drastically shedding another 800 jobs, Madoda Mxakwe finally told SABC staffers following a meeting on Thursday with trade unions, that the SABC's wage bill is unsustainable.

Madoda Mxakwe spoke to SABC staffers on Friday, 14 September, and "communicated the fire financial state that the SABC finds itself in", the SABC says in a statement.

"He explained that the SABC had a demanding financial year with total revenue of R6.6 billion against a budget of R7.3 billion resulting in an under-performance of R709 million (10%).

The SABC posted a loss of R622 million for the 2017/2018 financial year with the country's Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu, saying he can't determine whether the cash-strapped South African public broadcaster remains a going concern.

Longtime staffers and producers who have been with SABC News since the channel's start-up five years ago already got axed at the end of August although despite the SABC renewed its controversial multi-million rand channel carriage carriage with Naspers' MultiChoice to continue carrying the news channel on DStv for the next few years.

Around 3 000 of the SABC's staff headcount are permanent employees, while the rest are fixed-term and freelance workers.

A staggering amount of the SABC's expenditure goes to just paying staffers, although just 60% are directly involved in programming. The SABC is supposed to spend the bulk of its money on creating and broadcasting content.

The SABC says "one of the SABC's biggest cost drivers is the salary bill. The put this into context, the SABC is a R7.2 billion revenue generating company with a salary bill of R3.1 billion. The current ratio of revenue to wage bill is not sustainable given the SABC's dismal financial situation," says Neo Momodu, SABC spokesperson in the statement.

"It is for this reason that the SABC is contemplating other cost cutting measures to further reduce costs. The next step is for the SABC to engage in joint consensus seeking consultations with organised labour."

Former president Jacob Zuma forced Bosasa to pay over R1.1 million of Hlaudi Motsoeneng's legal fees after he was fired by the SABC - reports.


An auditor says that South Africa's former president Jacob Zuma through Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson forced the payment of over R1.1 million of Hlaudi Motsoeneng's legal fees after the controversial and famously matriclesss former SABC COO was fired by the South African public broadcaster in June 2017.

The Sunday Times reports that the alleged corruption-riddled Bosasa has been "used as an ATM for politicians and those who are politically connected".

After the SABC and Hlaudi Motsoeneng racked up over R22 million in legal fees, Jacob Zuma reportedly dispatched his acolyte and former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni to force Bosasa through its CEO Gavin Watson to get Bosasa to pay and contribute to Hlaudi Motsoeneng's legal fees.

This comes from a sworn affidavit by Petrus Venter, an auditor employed by a company contracted by Bosasa.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng's massive legal bills come after he went to the CCMA and the High Court in Johannesburg to fight against his SABC firing in a case that is continuing with legal bills that keep mounting in 15 different cases.

Bosasa was asked for comment about the legal fees payment but declined comment.

The City Press newspaper on Sunday reported on the same story reported on the same story.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s highest legal bill was R5.3 million, accrued during a fight with the Democratic Alliace (DA) political party over the former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s 2014 report that found that he had lied about having a matric certificate, as well as finding corruption, mismanagement and illegal salary hikes orchestrated by Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The SABC told the DA that it's unable to pay the R1.7 million in legal fee costs that the SABC is supposed to pay the party under the court order.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng told The Sunday Times that "I have known Zuma for many years, since my days as a reporter for the SABC, and our relationship has nothing to do with politics. If I support my president whenever he goes to court as a matter of principle, then why can't he support me?"

China's StarTimes grabs UEFA Europa League rights for 3 seasons until 2021 for sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.

China's StarTimes pay-TV operator in Africa has acquired exclusive broadcasting rights for the UEFA Europa League in sub-Saharan Africa until 2021, excluding South Africa and StarSat, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Coverage of the UEFA Europa League will start on 20 September on StarTimes Sport in Africa. StarTimes will broadcast UEFA Europa League in all sub-Saharan Africa except South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

StarTimes has acquired exclusive English- and Portuguese-language rights to the UUEFA Europa League for the next three seasons, grabbing advantage from Econet's Kwesé TV that has been experiencing financial strain the past few months.

StarTimes has replaced Kwesé Sports as the English-language rights holder of the French Ligue 1 across sub-Saharan Africa for the next three seasons to 2020/2021, and now besides the UEFA Europe League and French Ligue 1 also holds the rights to the German Bundesliga, the Ghanaian Premier League and the Uganda Premier League.

It also held exclusive rights to this year's International Champions Cup - again replacing Kwesé as broadcaster of the league - and becoming the African continent's strongest competitor against MultiChoice's SuperSport.

"We are very happy to bring UEFA Europa League to our subscribers. This summer FIFA World Cup was a success and fans really appreciated that we brought them the International Champions Cup. We then thought that they would be delighted to watch another European club competition on StarTimes," says StarTimes in a statement.

"We are working hard to bring the best sport content to our subscribers.This season will be intense for football fans with Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, FIFA Club World Cup, French & Italian Cups and now UEFA Europa League."

Watch-guide: 2018's coverage of the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on E!, M-Net, Twitter, Facebook and IMDb.


Giuliana Rancic and Jason Kennedy will co-host E! Entertainment's coverage of the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, with M-Net that will broadcast the awards show, as well as special coverage on Twitter, Facebook and IMDb.

Coverage on E! Entertainment will start on Monday night at 22:30 South African time with Countdown to the Red Carpet: The 2018 Emmy Awards with Kristin Cavallari from Very Cavallari, stylist Brad Goreski, the pop culture personality Nina Parker and E! correspondent Kristin Dos Santos.

They will count down 18 of the most anticipated stars and Emmy nominees gracing the red carpet.

Giuliana Rancic and Jason Kennedy will co-host E!'s Live from the red carpet: The 2018 Emmy Awards for 2 hours, starting at 00:00 on Tuesday morning, 18 September, alongside E! correspondents Zuri Hall and Morgan Stewart. This coverage will be repeated on Tuesday at 20:00.

The "E! Glambot" also returns to the Emmys with music video director and creative director, Cole Walliser, to capture unique red carpet moments.

E!'s red carpet coverage is produced by Wilshire Studios with Gary Snegaroff, Eddie Delbridge, Shaun Smith and Gerry Johnston as the executive producers.

On Wednesday 19 September on E! News at 19:05 Giuliana Rancic and Jason Kennedy as well as E!'s team of correspondents will do a special Emmys edition.


Twitter
E! will also introduce its first-ever E! Stream the Red Carpet digital show on Twitter at @enews starting at 00:00 on Tuesday morning, 18 September, featuring Jeannie Mai, Brad Goreski, and Kristen Dos Santos.

This is an opportunity for fans to comment on the red carpet arrivals and fashion in real-time and interact with E!'s panel of Hollywood experts reporting from the red carpet.


M-Net
On Tuesday morning 18 September at 02:00 M-Net (DStv 101) will broadcast the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in South Africa and throughout Africa, as well as online on DStv Now until 5:00. On Tuesday at 21:00 M-Net will show the Emmys during primetime in South Africa.


Facebook
On the Television Academy's Emmys.com and Facebook page at Facebook.com/TelevisionAcad people will be able to watch Backstage LIVE!, the Television Academy's companion programme.

This will include the Thank You Cam, a first look at award winners fresh off the stage as they thank additional friends, family, colleagues and fans, the Trophy Cam, where viewers can watch the winners pick up their official Emmy statuette before entering the press room, and the Interview Cam where Marc Istook will share fan comments and questions with the winners throughout the evening.


Online
For the third year in a row, the Television Academy has joined forces with IMDb, the movie,  TV and celebrity content site, to produce the official 70th Emmy Awards online post-show, IMDb LIVE After the Emmys.

On Tuesday 18 September at 05:00 after the Emmys award show ends, IMDb will report live from the Winners Walk inside the press centre.

The one-hour live show, co-hosted by The IMDb Show 's Tim Kash and Amanda Salas, will feature interviews with winners and presenters, expert analysis, social media fan Q&As and red carpet arrival replays.

IMDb LIVE After the Emmys can be watched on IMDb, Emmys.com, Twitch, and Twitter.