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The SABC's Hlaudi Motsoeneng this morning called South Africa's journalists lazy, said he will be asking ministers for more money, and reiterated the public broadcaster's editorial stance of telling 70% good news.
The highly controversial and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng spoke at the The New Age Business Briefing breakfast the morning after president Jacob Zuma's chaotic and highly embarrassing State of the Nation Address which saw people arrested before the event had even started, and a brawl inside the National Assembly during which the police forcibly removed EFF members, and the DA walking out.
Parliament also came in for sharp criticism from the South African and international news media, various publications, several civil society watchdog organisations and the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) over the shocking censorship of the press on Thursday evening.
A secret scrambler inside parliament was activated on Thursday evening to prevent the press from using cellphones and internet enabled devices to cover the live proceedings and to report the news.
Addressing various ministers and president Jacob Zuma at the breakfast briefing, Hlaudi Motsoeneng called South African journalists lazy.
"You know this days, our journalists today are so lazy. It is a fact," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
"You know a good journalist is someone who go and investigate a story and covers both sides of a story. Not making hullabaloo about headlines. And SABC, we are not selling news, we are informing people of South Africa," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
'You need to spend money on SABC'
"I want to say to some of the ministers here: You need to spend money on the SABC. And those people who are progressive, like SABC," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
"Because I don't understand where, why are you spending more money on people who are not even appreciating what government is doing. And we are not talking about propaganda here. We are talking about the facts."
'SABC we are doing very, very well'
"So it is important that as a public broadcaster, we are going to stick to what we believe. And SABC we are doing very, very well financially. We are stable. We have even paid government guarantee. People are just talking but they don’t know what they’re talking about," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
During his speech before the ministers Hlaudi Motsoeneng said people must pay their TV licence as a ripple of laughter echoed through the audience.
"I also think you are paying your TV licence. Because it is very important for all people of South Africa to pay TV licence."
Hlaudi Motsoeneng said in his speech that the SABC believes in 70% good news coverage.
"While we have this relationship with New Age, they share the same views with us – 70% good story to tell. And we must do that."
While Generations – The Legacy’s viewership has plunged by millions since the principal cast was fired in 2014 and replaced with new actors since last December when the SABC's biggest moneyspinner returned to TV after an absence of two months, Hlaudi Motsoeneng told the attendees on Friday morning that its signature programming is doing well.
"The new Generation is doing well. The Muvhango is doing well. If you have been following SABC we have been introducing more local content, dramas and so on and so on."