As one of the many responses to the ongoing failure of the President to appoint the SABC Board, SOS Support Public Broadcasting (SOS) and Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) are running a joint digital campaign calling on the President to fulfil his constitutional mandate and appoint the SABC Board.
With such a campaign, we seek to ensure that “we as citizens…shout loudly and publicly, make our disdain known, so the president can be clear we are not only irked by the blackouts, but also by other aspects of his leadership stasis,” as Eusebius McKaiser put it in his op-ed on the Sunday Times this past Sunday (26 February 2023).
This campaign will give a voice to industry experts, media activists, and most importantly, ordinary citizens from different social backgrounds. This is because the South African Broadcasting system is owned and controlled by South Africans and the Board fulfils a key role in enabling the public broadcaster to provide news and information to the nation.
Further, the SABC has an indispensable role in fostering democracy and the free flow of information; and each day that goes by without a Board, the proper functioning of the public broadcaster is jeopardised, which in turn threatens the functioning of our constitutional democracy.
If there is no Board, then there is no governance, no independence, no credibility, no accountability at the SABC and the ability to fulfil its important constitutional role is jeopardised. In the Board’s absentia, whose responsibility includes providing financial and ethical oversight to the corporation, and with the auditor general in her 2021/2022 annual report casting doubt on the SABC’s ability to continue due to significant financial loss and inability to generate substantial revenue – the future is bleak.
This means that the millions of South Africans who rely on the SABC for news and information face the possibility of their fundamental right to access to information being denied, which in turn is a huge threat to our democracy.
The SABC has been without a Board for four (4) and a half months and President Cyril Ramaphosa must immediately appoint the Board without further delay.
The dangers of the SABC operating without a board have been highlighted before here and here.
For further information, please contact:
Uyanda Siyotula, National Coordinator, SOS Support Public Broadcasting
Contact: 060 691 2462, [email protected]
Azola Dayile, Advocacy Litigation Lobbying Programme Manager, MMA
Contact: 0658917220, [email protected]
#AppointSABCBoard #ACTNOW! #DefendPublicBroadcasting #SaveOurSABC