ANC demands more SABC coverage ahead of 2019 polls

The ANC is demanding more coverage from the public broadcaster ahead of the 2019 general elections, arguing that the SABC must recognise its majority share of the vote.

This was one of the issues presented by the party when it made submissions to the SABC’s commission of inquiry into political interference at the public broadcaster.

“People of South Africa in a constitutional democracy have expressed their preference. The ANC enjoys 62%, how that gets carried out in terms of editorial news is something, one way or another it must show,” said Zizi Kodwa, who is the head of the presidency at Luthuli House.

Kodwa was speaking to journalists after presenting to the inquiry. The inquiry is closed to the media.

“We are going to elections, we are not a 6% [party],” continued Kodwa. The EFF garnered 6% of the vote during the 2014 general elections.

He explained that the governing party wanted coverage allocated to political parties to reflect their share of the votes of South Africans. He suggested that the public broadcaster adopts the model used in Parliament to allocate speaking time to political parties. The parties are allocated time based on the votes they received in the elections, with the ANC getting a lion’s share of the time.

“The issue of equity does not mean we are all equal opportunity, that’s why in Parliament parties are not given equal time,” explained Kodwa.

In April, the SABC announced that it would hold two commissions: one looking into political interference and another, dubbed the “jobs for sex inquiry”, into sexual harassment claims. The commissions are a bid to transform the beleaguered public broadcaster into an accountable, independent and responsive organisation.

No ‘Luthuli House deployees’ at SABC

Last year, Parliament held an inquiry into the previous board’s fitness to hold office. In that inquiry, SABC journalists complained about political interference.

Kodwa said there were three key issues which the ANC raised, the first being around coverage. He said the party was also concerned with how often the media, overall, conflated party and state, which resulted in the ANC not being given a chance to give comment on critical issues.

“Ministers don’t represent the ANC; they are the state, not the ANC,” highlighted the head of the ANC’s presidency.

The third issue was political interference. Kodwa said the ANC was bothered by instances in the recent past where there was outside influence on operational and management decisions at the SABC.

Kodwa said the public broadcaster had to be protected from any influence by powerful individuals.

“We think we must protect the corporation from such influence, board members who can just, at the drop of a pen, can call a journalist.”

He said not even ministers had the right to directly call journalists and give “instructions” when it came to their editorial work.

“Independence means, among other things, hiring qualified people. Those not qualified are the name droppers who say I am here as a deployee of Luthuli House. We don’t deploy people in the management of the SABC,” said Kodwa. — News24

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Matshidiso Madia
Tshidi Madia
Love & Light•Journalist•decided to call myself a lover of things cause you know.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Zuma takes aim at Zondo following release of final report

Former president intends to review aspects of the full report, in which he has been directly implicated in wide-scale looting of the state

Gauteng ANC conference likely to produce mixed bag of leaders

No slate is expected to emerge victorious as poorly coordinated conference finally gets under way

Art imitates life at the National Arts Festival

This year’s National Arts Festival in Makhanda - the first live one since the pandemic - tackles unemployment, the Marikana Massacre and the manner in which black women in society are written about

Pride is a heavy price to pay

While constitutionally protected, the LGBTQIA+ community is being failed by the state
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×