The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition welcomes the appointment of the new Chief Financial Officer, Gugu Duda. This is a critical appointment given the importance of stabilising the SABC’s financial situation and ensuring the effective implementation of the SABC’s turnaround strategy.
The SOS Coalition reiterates its position on the importance of ensuring that the turnaround strategy prioritises the broadcasting of quality public programming. We will support Ms. Duda to ensure this happens. Further we will support the SABC’s calls for the revision of the Corporation’s present funding model to include greater percentages of public funding. However, our calls for greater public funding are obviously in the context of SABC installing sound financial systems. Duda will need to prioritise the immediate implementation of such systems at the Corporation.
Finally the Coalition would like to reiterate a point that it has made on several occasions – the fact that the SABC Board needs to drive appointments at our public broadcaster. We are disturbed by the fact that the Minister has played such a high profile role and that the announcement of Duda’s appointment has been made by the Minister rather than the SABC Board.
The SABC’s Articles of Association do allow the Minister to play a role in the final approval of the CEO, CFO and COO appointments at the SABC. However, in terms of international good practice, the Board should take sole responsibility for appointments. This is to safeguard the public broadcaster’s independence from all vested interests be they government or commercial. The role of the Minster is to set the overall policy for the sector but not to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the broadcaster.
The SOS Coalition represents a number of trade unions including COSATU, COSATU affiliates CWU and CWUSA, FEDUSA, BEMAWU and MWASA; independent film and TV production sector organisations including the South African Screen Federation (SASFED); and a host of NGOs and CBOs including the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-SA); as well as a number of academics and freedom of expression activists.
For more information contact:
Mobile: 082 926 6404
Congress of South African Trade Unions
Mobile: 082 821 7456
Media Monitoring Africa
Mobile: 082 887 1370
South African Screen Federation
Tel: 011 483 - 8801
Media Workers Association of South Africa
Mobile: 082 743 3867
Hannes du Buisson
Broadcasting Electronic Media and Allied Workers Union
Mobile: 082 920 8669
For more about SOS: Support Public Broadcasting, refer to www.supportpublicbroadcasting.co.za.
To sign onto SOS: Support Public Broadcasting’s public broadcasting principles petition, refer to www.supportpublicbroadcasting.co.za.