Thursday, May 15, 2014

The 'stuck' SABC is politically hamstrung, the ruling party effectively owns it; SABC also beholden to commercial forces, says SOS Coalition.

The beleaguered SABC remains politically hamstrung is also beholden to commercial forces - both unduly influencing the SABC, says Sekoetlane Phamodi, coordinator of the public pressure group, the Support Public Broadcasting or SOS Coalition.

Sekoetlane Phamodi was speaking at a public forum meeting of the Open Society Institute of South Africa which held a post elections forum.

"The SABC is politically hamstrung. The ruling party essentially and effectively owns it. That means in practice that the SABC is not enabled to be as independent as it should be. The SABC can't ask the probing questions, and give a critical analysis of what the major issues in our society are," says Sekoetlane Phamodi.

"One case in point is when it comes to the financing of the SABC, we're told the story 'the fiscus is too stretched, where will the money come from?' The truth of the matter is, the SABC gets most of its money from commercial advertisers - 80 percent".

"That means that the SABC is also beholden to these commercial forces to sell to particular customers; to frame messages in a particular way in order to keep them attracting and retaining those advertisers. So the SABC is stuck," says Sekoetlane Phamodi.