Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications and
Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee
Board Chairperson and Board Members of the South African Broadcasting Corporation
As well the Executive Leadership of the South African Broadcasting Corporation
Thank you for this opportunity. I happen to think that this is a very important moment in our history. Today Honourable Members we have the opportunity to assess and reconstruct the path of the SABC. Since its formation on the 5th January 1976, the SABC was administered by the broederbond.
With the winds of democracy, numerous parliaments have carried the mantle of being vanguards of change. I can think of no better symbol of change than the transition of the SABC from a State Broadcaster to a Public Broadcaster.
Honourable Members, it is not my intention to detain you with the history of the SABC nor it is my intention to whitewash some of the mistakes we have made during the transition from State Broadcaster to Public Broadcaster. One hopes that one can deduce, that the SABC is an integral part of South Africa’s nationhood, history and dare I say future.
In the same way, in which one can say we inherited a failed state, one can say we inherited a failed broadcaster. A broadcaster which was built divided instead of uniting the people of South Africa. A broadcaster which was used to project a South Africa which did not exist. Today our broadcaster is radically different. I can say without a doubt that the SABC makes its own decision’s guided by the values of our Constitution.
The creation of a new SABC can be analogous to the reconstruction of our State. It is becoming increasingly evident that dismantling the architecture of oppression, cultural appropriation and ideological propagation does not happen overnight.
Honourable Members today we sit here collectively as lawmakers to answer and interrogate, critical question which is: how do we turnaround the SABC once and for all, how do we put to bed its historical problems and how do we reconfigure it in a way that speaks to all South Africans.
All of us seated here want an SABC that is loyal to South Africans in spite of their political affiliation, race, class and gender. The Board will present a strategy that will speak to the SABC’s reconfiguration. Part of the strategy speaks to building a sustainable financial model for the SABC.
It entails creating an environment where the SABC is an employer of choice and a platform to which producers can want to bring their content because of the public broadcasters offering.
Of course, Honourable Members this will not be an easy exercise given the fact the SABC, faces strong competition from pay-tv platforms, over the top services and other players in the broadcasting sector. The nature of the competition challenges the very future of the SABC, but where the challenges there are opportunities and the SABC will illustrate in this presentation how it will rise to the challenge and seize the opportunities before it.
Part of the opportunities come with some technological advances as well, which will change the way in which citizens experience the SABC. One thing is certain, it is no longer going to be business as usual at the SABC various considerations will manifest themselves.
A testament to how things have changed for the better at the SABC in the sporting fraternity we are proud to announce that SABC has secured the rights to broadcast the upcoming Global T20 Cricket Tournament which will be hosted by Cricket South Africa.
Honourable Members before I hand over to Mr Makhathini and his team to take us through the details of the Turnaround strategy, I want to make it plain to South African Citizens, the SABC cannot turnaround without your help. For those us with television sets, you must know that the content we view costs us 72 cents a day.
This 72 cent a day helps the SABC create jobs for numerous South Africans without our small contribution the SABC remains poorer and worse off financially. In essence, paying our TV licenses does not only save the SABC it saves many South African families from unemployment.
In the beginning of my address I had said that various parliaments were the vanguards of change. We do not think that this 5th Parliament will be any different, today we table a plan that will help reaffirm this important responsibility. Honourable Members help Turnaround this important institution.