Written Submission by the SOS Coalition on the Broadcasting Act Amendment Bill (72 of 2008)

Thursday, 9 October, 2008 - 18:21

The SOS Campaign made a detailed written submission endorsed by 12 organisations covering a diversity of interests and perspectives.

The SOS Campaign made a detailed written submission endorsed by 12 organisations covering a diversity of interests and perspectives. The organisations included all those represented on the working group as well as IDASA, the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ), SANGONET, the South African History Archives (SAHA), the Freedom of Expression Network (FXN) and the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO).

The submission included the following:

  • A brief analysis on the challenges facing public broadcasting
  • A call for an inclusive, public, consultative process to draft a Green Paper / White Paper leading to the  promulgation of a new SABC Act. (The Coalition argued that a piecemeal approach to legislative changes would not solve the SABC crisis in the long term.)
  • A set of arguments about the problems surrounding the narrowness of the focus of the Committee’s proposals. (The Bill’s focus was specifically on removal of board members.)
  • A set of proposals regarding the appointment procedures to ensure greater public participation and transparency and a set of clauses to deal with the appointment of executive members to the Board, presently a gap in the Broadcasting Act.
  • A set of proposals regarding qualification clauses to ensure board members are committed to freedom of expression, are broadly representative of South African society and its various interest groups and have the necessary qualifications and experience.
  • A set of wide-ranging disqualification and conflict of interest clauses to better safe-guard the independence of the SABC.
  • A set of proposals on the appointment of an interim board.

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