Facts give lie to claims of SABC incompetence
It would seem that Roy Robins (“The timid and ugly state of the SABC”, June 29) lacks a lot of information about the SABC. Yet he states his assumptions as fact, which is disturbing when he could have approached the SABC for clarity on the issues he has raised.
The first incorrect fact is that SABC1 replayed an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful without apologising to viewers. It is not true: the channel did apologise.
In terms of the alleged tension between the group chief executive officer, Lulama Mokhobo, and the acting chief operations officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC is on record as saying there is no such tension. Had Robins contacted the SABC, he would have been told so.
Robins says the SABC never officially explained Phil Molefe’s special leave, which was not a suspension, as he states. A media statement made it clear that the SABC board felt the group chief executive was within her rights, in terms of the SABC’s employment policies, to put an executive on special leave.
Also, the group chief executive, in terms of the editorial policy, is the editor in chief and as such is accountable for the quality of news on our platforms. Molefe was placed on special leave because of human resources issues and it is therefore strictly an operational matter.
On the issue of programming, Robins should have indicated what exactly he means when he says the SABC has no original programming.
Requests for proposals
For example, for the period January 1 to December 31 2011 the SABC commissioned 142 productions. It released 42 requests for proposals in November 2011 from which an average of 50 productions will be commissioned.
In the same period, the SABC’s total commissioned contract value was R648million. For January 1 to December 31 2010, the SABC’s total commissioned contract value was R649million.
So, to say the SABC does not have original programming when so much is spent on local productions is completely untrue.
On digital terrestrial migration, this process is led by the department of communications and the projected launch is at the end of October.
When we are ready to launch, the SABC will tell its viewers and listeners what we will offer through digital terrestrial television.
At this stage, it does not make sense for the SABC to divulge its trade strategies because other broadcasters do see it as their competition.
We appeal to Robins to interact with the SABC on matters unclear to him, instead of making statements devoid of truth.
The SABC, as a public service broadcaster, expects and appreciates input from all its stakeholders. But we ask that criticism be constructive and have the aim of building the SABC and not attempt to destroy it with untruthful and malicious information.
Kaizer Kganyago is manager of group communications at the SABC