'It is a disgrace and it's shameful that the SABC hasn't been given a guarantee'

According to the Sunday Times, if the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) doesn't deal with its financial problems, it could face a blackout.

Read: 'If minister doesn't release funds, Icasa will not be able to pay rent'

To discuss the crises at the SABC, 702's Bongani Bingwa speaks to Media Monitoring Africa executive director William Bird.

It is a national disgrace, and it is shameful and embarrassing that the SABC has not been given a guarantee to ensure that they will be able to deliver the elections.

William Bird, Executive director - Media Monitoring Africa

That said, what we have witnessed at the SABC has been doing various election programming, and our interim monitoring report on the SABC shows that the overwhelming majority of their coverage has been fair and despite the economic crisis they have covered the elections well.

William Bird, Executive director - Media Monitoring Africa

He says the SABC still doesn't have a guarantee, and Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announced in March that the broadcaster would get money, but the money has yet to materialise.

It is entirely ultimately insane that you are putting the SABC under that much financial pressure, it just looks as though you want it to fail deliberately.

William Bird, Executive director - Media Monitoring Africa

Bird believes the broadcaster is not looking for a bailout - it is looking for a guarantee.

When you know that an institution is in dire financial constraints and you know they have to cover the elections, why on earth are you not making money available?

William Bird, Executive director - Media Monitoring Africa

The situation at the SABC does suggest that somewhere within government, there have been deliberate plans to keep the SABC in crisis.

William Bird, Executive director - Media Monitoring Africa

Listen below to the full interview:


This article first appeared on 702 : 'It is a disgrace and it's shameful that the SABC hasn't been given a guarantee'


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