SOS to call for visionary leadership at SABC picket


The SOS: Support Public Broadcast Coalition is calling on all concerned citizens to join a picket during lunchtime on 24 November outside the SABC calling for “visionary leadership now’.

SOS is a broad-based, civil society coalition committed to strengthening public broadcasting. They encourage those taking part in the picket to wear red and black and to make bright, loud, witty banners and placards.

The coalition has emphasised that the protest will be a peaceful and will be controlled by marshals. “It is important to stress that we are adopting a positive tone,’ the organisers said in a statement.

The picket will start at 12:45am outside the SABC, Auckland Park, Johannesburg and at the Parliament Visitor’s Centre in Cape Town. At 1pm SOS members will address those taking part in the picket, and at 1:30pm there will be a live feed from Cape Town. At 1:45pm a memorandum will be handed over to the Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Communications.

According to a statement, the SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and its members demand:

  • A public broadcaster that has the resources and strategic leadership to meet the information needs of all South Africans.
  • An SABC that holds government and corporate power to account, and provides the platforms for discussions vital to the functioning of our democracy.
  • For the Chair of the SABC Board to be removed by Parliament. We believe that the Chair has not crafted a collective public service vision for our public broadcaster. Further, he has been directly involved in corporate governance breaches.
  • For a permanent Group Chief Executive Officer, Group Chief Operating Officer and Group Chief Financial Officer to be employed with the requisite qualifications, skills and experience.
  • Transparency around the ongoing scandals taking place including the contentious employment of Mr. Justice Ndaba, the R20m car scandal and the allegedly unlawful suspension of the company secretary. We call on Parliament to ensure this transparency is enforced and that the SABC communicates with the public – through Parliament and other means – about the new systems and plans it is putting in place, to ensure that these kinds of scandals do not occur in future.
  • Transparency around the SABC’s vital turnaround strategy.
  • Excellent public service programming on our screens and on the airwaves.
  • Fair and transparent commissioning processes.
  • The SABC complies with the Regulator’s local content regulations and that the Regulator is strengthened to ensure compliance.
  • We need quality South African stories told by South Africans now!

    For more information contact:

  • Kate Skinner – Coordinator, SOS – 082 926 6404
  • Patrick Craven – Spokesperson, Cosatu – 082 821 7456
  • Elston Seppie – Director, Freedom of Expression Institute – 079 260 4326
  • 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.


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