Muthambi: SABC broadcasts a variety of news

Johannesburg - The SABC broadcasts a variety of news that helps deepen democracy, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said in an opinion piece in The New Age on Wednesday.

"On the news front, the Broadcasting Act commits the SABC to a plurality of views and a variety of news, information, and analysis from a South African point of view," she said.

"The corporation's content must allow citizens to exercise their rights and reflect the rich diversity of a united society."

She said the broadcaster played a crucial development role in the country.

"The public broadcaster empowers citizens to interact better with the institutions of society and deepen the democratisation of the country.

"It ensures that citizens can make responsible and informed choices."

Drastic change

Muthambi said in the past 20 years, the SABC had to undergo drastic change from an "apartheid mouthpiece" to "the voice of the people".

"The SABC has in many respects helped to move us closer towards a national identity built on mutual respect, tolerance, and acceptance," she said.

Last month, the Economic Freedom Fighters accused the SABC of withdrawing its promise to provide live coverage of the party's one-year anniversary in Soweto.

The party accused the SABC of pulling out at the 11th hour.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said at the time he was not aware of the matter.

The EFF said it seemed the broadcaster was only committed to events held by the ruling African National Congress.

"Its major programs only cater for the ruling party," EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said at the time.

"The SABC is supposed to be a public broadcaster, and serve the interests of the entire citizenry equitably."

DA accused broadcaster of bias

In the run-up to the May election, the Democratic Alliance accused the broadcaster of bias for refusing it live coverage but devoting a two-hour live broadcast to the ANC's final election rally in Johannesburg.

The DA also took the SABC to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) over an advertisement that was not aired.

Icasa upheld the SABC's banning of the DA's Ayisafani advert, which contained a photo of a police officer firing rubber bullets.

The SABC banned the advertisement because it said it incited violence.

Court bid against Motsoeneng appointment

Icasa ruled that the offending part of the advert be removed.

In recent months, Muthambi and the SABC board have also come under heavy criticism over the permanent appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operations officer.

In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report on Motsoeneng, while he was acting COO.

She found that his salary increased from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year, that he had purged senior staff, and misrepresented his qualifications - that he had passed matric - to the SABC. At the time, Madonsela recommended that a new COO be appointed to the SABC within 90 days.

In early July, Muthambi announced Motsoeneng's appointment, saying the decision was taken following a recommendation by the SABC board. She said he was cleared of all wrongdoing by a legal firm before being appointed permanently.

The DA launched a high court bid to have the appointment set aside.

Muthambi has filed court papers opposing it.

Plastiek Spies 2014/08/06 12:26:52 PM
I decided not to pay my tv license in future.
BraSteve Myaluze 2014/08/06 12:32:25 PM
...the SABC had to undergo drastic change from an "apartheid mouthpiece" to an "ANC mouthpiece." There. The statement looks more realistic now.
Baba Goeters En Tupperware 2014/08/06 12:38:36 PM
The NAZI tv with Hludi as a head.
Stephanes Heunis 2014/08/06 12:39:20 PM
. 2014/08/06 12:40:29 PM
Everytime I watch SABC i bleed from every oriface
proudlysa 2014/08/06 12:43:17 PM
Since when was what any act stipulates important to the ANC and their cronies? They do as they please ( Zuma spy tapes, outstanding Nkandla report, fraud going unpunished, unions striking illegally etc etc etc)
Archie Dempster 2014/08/06 12:44:46 PM
But with government political appointments how can this happen
Ria Cook 2014/08/06 12:47:45 PM
How would she know what is being broadcast on SABC? They all have dstv decoders (paid for by the SABC, and indirectly by taxpayers). That's all they watch.
Maki Motaung 2014/08/06 12:56:30 PM
SABC, is no longer useful to the people of south africa unless you are an ANC supporter. The news the so called minister is talking about at SABC you will find them being edited to suite the anc needs not the nations feeling. To pay tv licencse is just waist of time an hard earn cash. They working for one part of the nation not all of us. The program are not even into good standard or value to keep watching them, its useless to watch the repeat of many years no other new fresh ideas to inspire people and educate them. Its seems like everybody they choose to lead this department they are even worse clueless as to what they must do with it.
Rty Rty 2014/08/06 01:22:23 PM
as for me - the sabc offers nothing - and for that reason i tend not to worry about it nor do i spend time in trying to look at solutions in fixing it. i rather spend 80% of time contributing to initiatives that are open to change / suggestions. the sabc, the saa and most other co-owned ANC institutions are not even in the gutter - they are the gutter.