Friday, July 24, 2009

SOS Update: letter to Parliament, criteria for nominations, public service discussion document, petition etc.

Dear SASFED Affiliates,

The following was revived from SOS as an update.

Hello there

Just a number of quick updates.... Firstly, have sent off a letter to Parliament re: problems with the administration of nominations. The Parlliamentary contact person went on leave. I have now just called Parliament and they have said that they have rectified the problem. Apparently Noluthando has just returned and has acknowledged receipt of all the CVs she has received. Further to that if you have any problems getting hold of her you need to contact Tebello on (021) 403-3755. He will also be able to assist you.

Secondly, in terms of the petition I have had some technical problems. I wanted to update it because we had won our demand re: the deadlines for nominations. I have now realised that the petition can not be updated. There are very strict rules that prevent people from changing the wording of petitions. I will come back to you on a way forward on this. Possibly we will be creating a new one.

Thirdly, I attended the Cosatu Media Forum yesterday. We had some good discussions - particularly about the criteria for nominations. Members of the Forum were insisting on the importance of representativity. They were saying that it was critical that the SABC becomes more public service focused. One of the ways to do this was to ensure that the people nominated to the Board broadly represented and had a track record in terms of serving poor and working class constituencies i.e. the majority of the population. They were saying that we had to move away from a more business-orientated and technicist way of approaching the Board. Strong technical skills needed to be represented on the management. We needed people with strong skills and experience but in a more activist, organising environment. What do people think?

Fourthly, I have now gone through the new Public Service Broadcasting Discussion Document (here). It is a mini "Green Paper" covering public, commercial and community broadcasting issues. It contains a long list of questions on a host of issues including governance, funding, the impact of digital migration etc. The scope is huge! The most serious problem we have at the moment are the deadlines. Submissions need to be in by the 20th of August. This is clearly impossible! We will need to ask for extensions. Will get back to you on that.

Warm regards