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Communities comment on the SABC’s Charter

Background

The SOS Coalition has discussed in some detail the importance of taking its campaigns to community level. One of SOS’s most important campaigns is to call for a complete review of broadcasting policy and the development of a new SABC Act. One of the key areas in this process that needs analysis is the SABC’s Charter. The Charter sets the vision and mandate for the SABC.

SOS Coalition Urges Motlanthe to Sign Broadcasting Bill

The Save our SABC Coalition has come out in support of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), urging President Kgalema Motlanthe to sign the Broadcasting Amendment Bill as soon as possible.

“The president needs to sign the Broadcasting Amendment Bill as soon as possible so that an investigation of the SABC board could start right away”, says Coalition spokesperson, Kate Skinner.

NGO Criticises Disciplinary Hearings Against UKZN Academics

The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has warned against what it sees as a trend of disciplinary proceedings being instituted against staff for criticising their working conditions.

In a press statement, SANEF’s says it learned that Professors Nithaya Chetty and John van den Berg are facing such proceedings for talking to the media about University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) vice-chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.

Political Parties Accuse SABC of Bias

The African National Congress (ANC) and opposition parties have accused the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) of alleged political bias in its news coverage.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has lodged a complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) about the SABC being a “serial offender when it comes to bias in favour of the ANC.”

SOS Coalition explores the impact of digital migration

On 24 October the SOS Coalition met to discuss the feedback from the plenary held on 9 October and look at the way forward with regard to the new programme.

In line with the new programme, the Coalition will be writing a civil society position paper that is hoped will act as the base document for new SABC legislation. A special session was also held at the meeting which looked at the impact of digital migration issues for public broadcasting.

For more information on this, please see the following documents that came out of the meeting:

Oral presentation to the Select Committee

The SOS Coalition presented an oral presentation to the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises on the Broadcasting Amendment Bill.

Presented by William Bird of the Media Monitoring Project, attention was given on a small scale to the crises at the SABC, legislation and our constitution and on a bigger scale; he looked at the support given to institutions that are central to democracy – the public broadcaster and parliament.

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