Monday, July 7, 2014

The SABC 'plagued by a myriad of problems'; SABC 'remains dysfunctional', says minister of communications, Faith Muthambi.

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"The SABC has been plagued by a myriad of problems in the past and currently," says Faith Muthambi, South Africa's new minister of communications, calling the SABC "dysfunctional" and revealing that her department is going to look and compare the SABC to other great public broadcasters to see how the SABC should be changed.

"The SABC remains dysfunctional and requires urgent attention from me," Faith Muthambi told parliament's portfolio committee on communications on Friday.

"Whatever the intervention is, it must recognise that the SABC is a public broadcaster and must act independently from government."

"We are currently as a ministry looking at other public broadcasters who perform on their public mandate," Faith Muthambi revealed.

"These are the likes of the United Kingdom [BBC], Canada [CBC] and Australia [ABC]".

"It appears that these countries have sought to balance the independence of the public broadcaster with the governance requirements, by separating the appointment and removal of board members from the reporting function where the board reports to parliament," Faith Muthambi said.

"We will  study how these jurisdictions have dealt with issues of accountability and ensuring that the public broadcaster remains independent".

"We want an SABC that performs on its mandate and one which is a true public broadcaster. This task is urgent but we are not blind to the SABC's other challenges," said Faith Muthambi.