Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SASFED Statement on SABC Board - Sept 2009

A PDF version of this press release / statement can be found here.

SASFED welcomes the announcement of a new SABC board towards stabilization of the SABC and the effective fulfilment of the SABC’s public service mission and mandate.
SASFED offers the new board it’s support and looks forward to working with it and building a genuine stakeholder partnership.
SASFED looks forward to the Board applying its skills and commitment to realizing high quality, independently produced local content that would serve the democratic and social, cultural and economic interests of the country and production industry.
The SABC has requested support from government to ensure that it is able to meet its mandate for the delivery of quality local content to a 24 million strong audience. SASFED fully endorses this request. The slashing of budgets in respect of local content obligations, and compromise to other public service imperatives, will impoverish the nation emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. The production industry’s hard achieved gains in skills development and retention, access to opportunity, improved demographic representation and content diversity are also in danger of being reversed.
SASFED takes this opportunity to restate its view that the procedure for selection of the new Board as has been employed is limited as a basis to win public confidence in the SABC. We continue to believe that it is imperative that procedures for the appointment of the Board include non-party political role players, constituted as an independent panel. This is vital for the appointment of a Board that would be accountable to a shared vision of the role of public broadcasting.
SASFED looks forward to the Board fulfilling its role against the following benchmarks:
  • appreciation of the dynamic, full spectrum role of public television in society and an overriding commitment to public service and the public interest
  • impeccable governance competencies
  • commitment to a co-determining and collaborative role by relevant role players and interests
  • commitment and accountability to a renewed, optimally shared vision of public broadcasting services
  • resolute independence from untoward state, party-political and civil constituency interests
  • a dynamic appreciation of the concepts of public service obligations and development
  • a bold commitment to free and diverse expression
  • unquestioned commitment to local content and independent commissioning regulations
  • commitment to conducive terms of trade with the independent production sector, including money for value and just property rights recognition
  • commitment to a bold, dynamic and visionary commissioning structure
  • ability to effect a credible, competent and responsive management and operational structure