Protect the SABC’s Independence #HandsOffSABC

SOS, MMA, and SANEF submission on the SABC Bill
January 19, 2024
Press Statement Documents
February 16, 2024
SOS, MMA, and SANEF submission on the SABC Bill
January 19, 2024
Press Statement Documents
February 16, 2024
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Protect the SABC’s Independence #HandsOffSABC

Join SOS in its Call for the SABC Bill to be Withdrawn.

The SOS Supporting Public Broadcasting Coalition calls on all organisations within the civil society sphere and beyond, who are cognizant of the vital role the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) plays in deepening country’s democracy, to join its call for the SABC Bill to be withdrawn. 

In its advocacy efforts to safeguard the SABC from political and editorial interference and boost sustainability, the Coalition is mobilising like-minded organisations to collectively lobby the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies (PPCC). The Coalition aims to request that the PPCC urge the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) to withdraw the SABC Bill and redraft the sections that are problematic. 

The SABC Bill should ideally provide solutions for  the SABC’s ongoing challenges, instead it undermines its independence thus jeopardising its ability to fulfil its mandate. The Bill’s provisions risk exacerbating the SABC’s financial woes and perpetuating a climate of political interference.

The SABC plays a pivotal role in our society, serving as the primary source of freely-accessible news, information, and entertainment for millions of citizens. As we approach the 2024 elections, the independence of the SABC is more crucial now more than ever in ensuring an informed electorate and fostering a vibrant democracy.

The proposed SABC Bill will take us back to past times of political interference and corruption within the SABC, most notably under Hlaudi Motsoeneng where we experienced unlawful dismissals of journalists, interference in operations, abuse of finances, and widespread censorship and corruption. All of this undermined public trust in the SABC. History cannot repeat itself.

The endorsement form is available here, for organizations across various sectors to fill out and stand in solidarity against the SABC Bill. The Coalition is urging organisations to join in on amplifying our collective voice and compelling the PPCC and the DCDT to heed our call to withdraw the Bill. Concerned organisations are urged to mobilise their constituencies and stand united under the banner of #HandsOffSABC, rallying to safeguard the independence and integrity of our public broadcaster. Together, we can protect our democracy and preserve the vital role of the SABC plays in our society. 

The online petition calling for the withdrawal of the Bill can be signed here

If your organisation is interested in joining our call, please feel free to contact us to arrange a meeting or to further discuss this urgent matter. 

For more information contact: 

Noor Ahmad 

Campaigns’ Coordinator

campcoord@soscoalition.org.za

079 363 2126 

Uyanda Siyotula 

National Coordinator

natcoord@soscoalition.org.za

060 691 2462