#HandsOffSABC: Withdraw the SABC Bill

As South Africans, we love watching television to see shows and stories that are made for us and about us. The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is our public broadcaster and many of us rely solely on the SABC for freely-accessible, quality news, information and entertainment.

The SABC has shaped our understanding of the world from childhood through numerous locally-produced shows. Historically shows like Yizo Yizo, Umzi Wezinsizwa, Generations, etc. reflected the stories and the diversity of South African citizens. Currently, locally-produced shows such as Skeem Saam, 7de Laan, and Uzalo are telling our unique stories.
This also means that South African producers, directors, actors, and artists are employed.

The SABC plays a significant role in shaping public opinion, setting the national agenda andpromoting social cohesion and cultural diversity. The SAB C has six television channels and
19 radio stations, with millions of South Africans relying on them for information. Throughthese channels SABC news and information helps us citizens make informed decisions about our lives, communities and the country at large. The SABC provides information in all our official languages so that each of us are spoken to in a language we understand. Our South
African musicians and cultural groups are able to showcase their music and other artistic forms through the SABC, which helps to foster social cohesion and promote our diverse cultures.

Over the years, the SABC has faced numerous challenges including financial problems, political interference and lack of credibility and transparency. These challenges have led to the deterioration of quality news and information and have severely tainted trust in the public broadcaster. A new SABC Bill is necessary for mitigating the ongoing challenges at the
SABC, such as granting it greater independence from political interference, bolstering its ability to hold the government to account and providing a sustainable model for the
Corporation to play its role in providing diverse content to reflect the needs, interests, and perspectives of the South African public.

The SABC Bill poses a threat to the SABC’s existence and to our democracy. Instead of cultivating the public broadcaster to ensure it is more sustainable and effective in achieving its objectives if the Bill is passed in its current state it will jeopardize the SABC’s independence and prevent citizens from getting the impartial, credible, and quality news and information.

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Statements and articles on this issue

What are the problems with the bill?

Why should the Youth care?