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STATEMENTS FROM CIVIL ORGANISATIONS
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In the Media
- BusinessTech — Controversial SABC Bill takes a major step
- Public Media Alliance — SABC Bill progresses, but critics still see threats
- SABC News — Proposed SABC Bill amendments suggest levy to replace TV licences
- 702 — Cabinet approves SABC Bill: Goodbye, TV licenses?
Media watchdogs SOS Support Public Broadcasting and Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) have outrightly rejected the new SABC Bill and call for its withdrawal. In a joint statement issued by SOS: Support Public Broadcasting, previously known as Save Our SABC Coalition, as well as Media Monitoring Africa, the two media advocacy groups say the Bill presents extreme threats to the SABC’s editorial and institutional independence. Interest groups say while the Bill is supposed to improve the functioning of the SABC as a multi- channel, multi-platform content services provider, making it better suited to fulfil its mandate, it seems to do the opposite, and it fails to address the public broadcaster’s funding model. Joining us now are SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition National Coordinator Uyanda Siyotula, as well as two media experts Professor Justine Limpitlaw, electronic communications consultant, also professor at LINK Centre, WITS, and BEMAWU President Hannes du Buisson.
SABC News — Media & Society | Proposed SABC Bill
The SABC is pinning its hopes on the passing of the SABC Bill by the end of the year, in order to become financially sustainable. The legislation aims to reform the corporation’s funding model and the TV licensing system. This is as the public broadcaster tabled its 2022/23 annual report in Parliament, which reveals that it recorded a net loss of over one-point-one billion rand.
Parliament has again been urged to process the SABC Bill speedily, as it is vital for the broadcaster to perform optimally. If not, the organisation may have to ask for another bailout. This is according to SABC board Chairperson, Khathutshelo Ramukumba who appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies. Ramukumba has told MPs this Bill needs to be finalised, to deal with the viability of the public broadcaster’s current funding model.
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