South Africa's minister of communications Dina Pule told parliament today that she will be appointing an Production and Content Advisory Board soon as part of the SABC's digital terrestrial television (DTT) migration process to advise the SABC - and South African's TV industry - about content.
The SABC wants to expand from 3 TV channels to eventually 18 in total during South Africa's switch-over to digital broadcasting, a process known as digital migration.
Part of the new channels will be a new 24 hour news channel to replace SABC News International which was closed down and a sport channel, SABC Sport. Dina Pule said she and the department of communications fully support the SABC's 24 hour news channel plans.
The Production and Content Advisory Board will help the SABC but also the broader South African TV industry with content development.
"First, it's not going to be full time. Two, it's going to be an Advisory Board which is going to advise the minister - not necessarily the SABC. Thirdly it is going to advise on content production and advise on strategies for content production in the digital television era," Dina Pule said.
Opposition parties are very concerned and said that such a Production and Content Advisory Board will have to be free of political interference.
Eric Kholwane, the chairperson of parliament's portfolio committee on communications, said chapter 9 of the Broadcasting Act of 1999 says that the minister of communication must establish a South African Broadcasting Production Advisory Board which has to advise the minister on the development, production and display of local television and radio content can be supported.
"We urge the minister to do so," said Eric Kholwane.
ALSO READ: When it comes to the SABC, the minister of communications, Dina Pule, says she chooses to ''feed the white wolf".
ALSO READ: The minister of communications, Dina Pule, tells parliament that they're "happy with the progress of the SABC".
ALSO READ: The minister of communications, Dina Pule, tells parliament that South Africa's process of digital terrestrial television is ... on track.