National Assembly, Parliament
MR NAREND SINGH, MP
The South African Broadcasting Corporation is today a cautionary tale replete with all the high drama and trappings that could easily make up a complex thriller in one of the many fictional movies on its channels. It is a tale of unchecked greed, power, corruption, mismanagement, incapacity, incompetence, irregularity and unlawfulness.
It finds itself today in an almost crippling state in which there is no silver bullet or universal panacea that can be applied to return its operations to that of a healthy and well-functioning corporate entity. It will require concerted effort, time, energy, resources and continuous oversight by the Department and this parliament to ensure its eventual return to a model of good corporate governance and profit, whilst at the same time serving the broadcasting needs of all South Africans.
Honourable Speaker aside from its current status quo of abysmal operational, financial and management defects, it is also straying with wanton impunity from the reserve of its founding charter, one example being its defiance of the corporation’s code of practice in ensuring that its services provide for the equitable treatment of all segments of the South African population, and another being that it must provide for a wide range of audience interests, beliefs and perspectives.
The ultra vires decision in respect of 90/10 content being played on SABC channels has in some instances alienated large sections of listener bases and is not only contrary to the express mandate as contained in the code but also detrimental to the SABC as advertising revenues have tapered off with business no longer being able to satisfactorily reach certain target audiences.
Honourable speaker, evidence before the committee and as stated in our report will show that the current Minister of Communications has not fulfilled her mandate as required by the act. In certain instances it seems that she has gone way beyond what was required of her and exerted undue pressure on the board and management to take decisions which one cannot be proud of. It is for this reason amongst others that our report recommends that the President seriously consider removing the current minister from this portfolio.
The IFP according agrees with the recommendations calling for an immediate formal dissolution of the Board and appointing of an interim board and that such process must be expedited.
Senior positions must be filled with suitably qualified and experienced individuals and the work of rebuilding the image and services of the public broadcaster begin de novo [anew].
The lesson we have learnt from this process is that the keen interest by the public in Ad hoc committee workings like this one and ‘Nkandla’ must cause this parliament and its Portfolio Committee to spend more time on investigation into the likes of other monuments to incompetence and mismanagement such as Eskom, SAA and SASSA amongst others.
The IFP supports this report.
I thank you.
Hon. Narend Singh, MP
083 788 5954
IFP Media, Parliament