Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
The “Save our SABC” (SOS) Coalition representing unions including COSATU, the Communications Workers Union, BEMAWU, a host of media NGOs including the Freedom of Expression Institute, Media Monitoring Africa, the Media Institute of Southern Africa, independent producer organizations and individual freedom of expression and communication activists and academics welcomes the recent statements and actions of the Minister of Communications, General Siphiwe Nyanda (ret).
Firstly, the Coalition welcomes the Minister’s statements as regards some of the root causes of the present crises at the SABC. The Minister acknowledged that the appointment process of the 2007 Board was flawed due to political interference and that serious implications arose from this fact. SOS believes that this frank acknowledgement of the issues allows us, going forward, to ensure that all future appointment processes of SABC boards and staff are free of political interference and further ensure maximum public participation and maximum transparency. This is an excellent starting point for resolving SABC problems in the long term.
Secondly, the Coalition welcomes the Minister’s assessment of the SABC crisis as multifold. SOS believes that the crises stem not only from problems with the SABC Board but also with SABC management and further with a lack of rigorous oversight from Parliament and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). Moving forward SOS believes that we now have an excellent opportunity to clarify the roles of these various governance and oversight structures so as in the future to hold them to the highest possible standards of governance and oversight.
Thirdly, the Coalition welcomes the Minister’s statements as regards the drafting of new legislation for the SABC. The Minister announced that his department will be amending the Broadcasting Act, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders. Further, he stated that the new legislation would bring the Charter in line with international best practice and that a more appropriate funding model, less dependent on advertising, would be introduced. SOS believes that new legislation will be one of the most effective ways of ensuring that the root problems of the SABC’s multiple crises are decisively and holistically dealt with. SOS is ready and willing to engage with the Department on these substantive issues.
Finally, moving forward SOS has a few further recommendations as regards the solving of the SABC crises. As stated on numerous occasions, SOS believes that Parliament needs to move swiftly as regards the appointment of an interim Board. Parliament should provide the President with its recommendations on the men and women with the necessary credentials to stabilize the SABC and to steer it towards financial health and good governance. Parliament must recommend people who are independent of vested interests, who have impeccable integrity and records of public service and who have skills and experience in corporate governance, finance, media, broadcasting and journalism. The interim Board’s mandate needs to include:
- The commissioning of an independent forensic audit (comprising of people outside the SABC) into the financial affairs of the SABC. These findings need to be reported to Parliament so as to ensure a public airing of issues. The recommendations of the forensic audit need to feed into new policy and legislation for the SABC. Further, the recommendations need to assist with the implementation of strict new financial systems within the SABC and the simultaneous rooting out of corruption and the dismissal of corrupt staff members.
- The negotiating of a financial bail-out of the SABC with National Treasury
- The urgent implementation of sustainable agreements as regards payment issues with key SABC stakeholders such as SABC unions and independent producers.
- Finally, the appointment of an executive management that is skilled and has impeccable integrity and the relevant broadcasting experience.
Also, immediately upon the appointment of the interim Board, Parliament must begin the public process culminating in the recommendation of a permanent Board to replace the interim Board which will sit for a maximum period of six months. The permanent board appointment process must be beyond criticism if the SABC is to have a chance of regaining public credibility. Thus it requires maximum transparency and public participation in the nominations, short-listing, interview and recommendations processes. Parliament must take responsibility for the caliber of people appointed to the SABC Board as they are responsible for making the necessary appointment recommendations to the President. We need a permanent board made up of men and women who are independent of major vested commercial and political interests, who have impeccable integrity and records of public service, who have skills and experience in corporate governance, finance, media, broadcasting and journalism and who broadly represent South Africa through being drawn from various sectors including labour, business and civil society.
For more information please contact:
Kate Skinner: (082) 926-6404
William Bird: (082) 887-1370
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
THURSDAY 23 JULY 2009
THE COCA-COLA DOME, NORTHGATE, JOHANNESBURG
When you know more, you achieve more!
A one-day conference covering broadcast issues and low budget content creation.
|MORNING CONFERENCE PROGRAMME|
|ARE YOU READY FOR 2010?|
|07:00-08:00||Registration and welcome refreshments|
|08:15||Welcome and introduction to overall programme|
Presiding chairman: Lynn Mansfield, Chairman SADIBA & SABC Strategic Adviser to the Group CEO
|08:25||Introduction to keynote speaker|
Nic Bonthuys, GM SABC Air Time Outside Broadcasts
Richard Waghorn, CTO SABC Technology
He was formerly the BBC's Controller of Distribution and was responsible for setting strategies for delivering digital switchover and directing the implementation of the BBC's switchover infrastructure. He is an acknowledged industry expert on digital broadcasting.
|09:00||PREPARING FOR 2010|
Discussion includes the recent FIFA Confederation Cup, the forerunner event for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup; Communications strategy; Role of technology; Opportunities for the industry.
Overview: Gary Shaw, HBS for FIFA
Panel discussion: Thami Magazi, Telkom Group Executive : Multi-National Customers;
David Swannack Programme Director Siemens;
Nic Bonthuys, SABC - Air Time Outside Broadcasts
Panel Convenor: Lynn Mansfield, SADIBA
|10:00||UPDATE ON DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TV TRIALS AND DELIVERY STRATEGY|
The panel will discuss how the trials are proceeding, the definition of digital standards specifications, the management of the technical platform, marketing the concept of digital transition to the public, whether the Set Top Box subsidy system is feasible, and if 2011 is a realistic deadline for the analogue switch-off?
Introduction: Lara Kantor Digital Dzonga chairperson
Panel discussion: Dave Hagen, M-Net Digital Dzonga representive;
Yusuf Nabee, DTT Project Leader at SABC;
Zubair Munshi, e.tv Digital Dzonga representative;
Marius du Plessis, SADIBA
Panel Convenor: Johann Koster, NAB
|11:30||AFRICA READY TO DO BUSINESS|
The International Monetary Fund recently forecast a 3% growth for the continent. Even though only six countries have a national GDP of more than $50bn, Africa has a population of more than 900-million potential capital market participants which represents a huge audience for broadcast, Internet and mobile communication. The panel will discuss personal experiences of working in Africa, the possibilities for broadcasters and the crucial areas of training which need to be undertaken if the continent is to develop its full broadcast potential.
Overview & Panel Convenor: Phil Molefe, Acting Head of SABC News;
Panel: Dr Melanie Chait, Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking;
GlobeCast Africa, further speakers to be confirmed
|12:30||THE NEW TELEVISION EXPERIENCE|
The impact of cheap broadband on broadcasters and how they must adapt and change or face extinction.
Marcos Gonzalez-Flower, Global Head of Media Consulting Siemens IT Solutions and Services Ltd, UK
|13:00||Networking luncheon sponsored by Siemens Southern Africa|
|AFTERNOON CONFERENCE PROGRAMME|
|LOW BUDGET PRODUCTION|
|13:00 - 13:30||Registration|
|13:45||Welcome and introduction to overall programme|
Presiding chairman: Prof Christo Doherty, Head of Digital Arts, Wits School of Arts
Industrial Development Corporation - Film funding criteria
In the current economic downturn, it is tougher than ever before for filmmakers to find the money to make a film. There were well over 10 South African feature films made last year and to exceed this number in the next 12 months, traditional government and organisational film funders will need to rethink the financial equation round supporting the development of the industry.
Basil Ford, head of the IDC Media and Motion Picture Division:
The rationale behind the IDC's funding criteria; industry misconceptions and how the IDC views low budget projects.
|14:15||SUCCESS ON A SHOESTRING|
Hollywood isn't going to come knocking on your door to get you to direct the next blockbuster film. Truth is you are going to have to do it on your own. Learn how to get your movie made by people who are proof that with a little creativity and a lot of hard work, you can be a success without spending millions.
Panel: UE Ukpong, Nigerian filmmaker - the Nollywood model, and current developments in Nigerian low budget filmmaking;
Jann Turner, award winning filmmaker and director of the successful box office low budget feature White Wedding;
Charlie Sepadin, writer / producer of Swop! specifically made for DVD release;
Aryan Kaganoff, award winning filmmaker, who shot SMS Sugar Man, the first full length feature film on a mobile phone camera.
|15:35||ARE LOW BUDGET FILMS THE SOLUTION TO CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FILM INDUSTRY?|
Will cost-effective filmmaking become the order of the day for local films and co-productions? The role of government and the funding of low budget films.
Panel discussion: Department of trade & industry (dti);
SASFED - Robbie Thorpe, IPO, Basil Ford, IDC and Paul Raleigh, Film Finance SA.
|16:30||BROADBAND INTERNET THE NEW OPPORTUNITY?|
As broadband penetration and speeds increase, content owners, channels, online video platforms, social networks and mobile networks will have to rethink their business models. Will traditional ways of distributing content via film distributors and cinema or television broadcasters change under the pressure of broadband Internet?
Indra de Lanerolle, independent media and communications consultant;
Jason Probert, General Manager Entertainment: DStv Online. Q&A
This premier 6th Screen Africa Talent & Technology Conference, which takes place on 23 July 2009 alongside the Mediatech Africa exhibition, is dedicated to thebusiness of broadcast, film, new media and communications media in South Africa and Africa. It represents an excellent platform for learning and sharing experiences in the fields of technology developments and trends as well as content creation, management and delivery.
With a strong focus on 2010 and Low Budget Production, the conference highlights include panel discussions on 2010 Preparations, New Media, Digital Terrestrial TV, Doing Business in Africa, Film Financing, New Technologies and Platforms, Funding Update and Broadband Internet Opportunities.
- Africa broadcasters
- New Media developers
- Telecommunications companies
- Producers & Creators of Non-fiction Content
- Film, Television, Commercials companies
- Post Production facility houses
- Production equipment rental companies
- Production service providers
- Commissioning editors & programmers
- Financiers & funders
- Government bodies & industry organisations
- Broadcast/Film technology & professional equipment suppliers
- Broadcast consultants
- Training institutions
- Explore issues & uncover trends
- Discover new opportunities
- Get the right information
- Get updated on new entertainment platforms
- Establish Contacts
- Find out who's doing what
- Have Fun Doing Business
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION - BOOK & PAY BY MONDAY 6 JULY FOR MASSIVE 20% DISCOUNT.
PLUS! PLUS! A COPY OF THE JUST PUBLISHED 2009/10 SCREEN AFRICA DIRECTORY & INTERNATIONAL GUIDE - VALUE R380
|MORNING ONLY||:||R500 + VAT = R570|
(after 6 July R684)
|AFTERNOON ONLY||:||R350 + VAT = R399|
(after 6 July R479)
|FULL DAY||:||R850 + VAT = R969|
(after 6 July R1162)
For the registration form on email, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
- huge losses totally hundreds of millions of Rands which in turn has resulted in:
- acting management throughout the organisation, which has been unable to take the hard decisions necessary to stabilise the organisation
- content-related crises that directly impact the public such as the still-unresolved black-listing saga.
Press Release June 18th
Press Release June 18th
The SABC’s response to the Television Industry Emergency Coalition’s memorandum indicates that the management fails to appreciate the real need to work with the independent production sector to find solutions that can help shield the industry and our viewers from the present crisis. They continue to act with arrogance. They continue to decide who will and won’t be paid monthly with no input from ourselves. Reasonable requests put forward by the TVIEC such as to have an independent professional (accounting firm or individual) representing our industry on their financial committee that determines the payment plan to our industry through the crisis are met with resistance. We will not standby idly while production houses are forced to fold and people loose their jobs. We are demanding that a payment plan be developed through a bi- lateral process and the onerous bureaucratic administrative processes recently imposed and used as excuses for non payment be lifted immediately.
The SABC Management needs to build genuine partnerships across the board, and specifically with content creators – the true custodians of public broadcasting who through changing boards and management, through battles between executives at the SABC continue to ensure that quality programming remains at the centre of SABC’s offering. It is the independent sector that truly deliver on the SABC’s public mandate and are central in promoting the values of the society.
There is no sustainable future for the SABC outside of real partnerships with content creators. We seek to see the SABC being built into a truly public broadcaster, free of government or state interference.
Over the last three years expenditure at the SABC has outstripped revenue. Despite this, senior management salary levels have increased dramatically and the number of middle management has grown without any check. The organization has been characterized by a top down approach to all things, an increase in bureaucracy and a deteriorating relationship with all its partners, including workers and the production industry.
The production sector’s deteriorating relationship with the SABC has been compounded by the unilateral imposition of new, onerous administrative contractual burdens on producers. What is also painfully evident over a five year period is that budgets have decreased. A good deal of the cost of programming goes to supporting this increased bureaucracy, and not to what appears on the screen.
Writers, actors, directors, editors, producers and other creative crew’s fees have been adversely affected over the past few years; this while SABC executives earn salaries equivalent to an entire years operating costs for a production company.
This situation has forced professional industry organisations to come together of late and assert that as key custodians of the public broadcast mandate we will no longer tolerate the de-professionalisation of the industry and in turn the public broadcaster. The recent and ongoing failure of the SABC to pay producers and their inability to give assurances as to when and if producers will be paid is highly informative and illustrates the degree of melt down.
The SABC need to demonstrate to the independent production constituency a true willingness to listen to their concerns. The industry is tired of years of lip service regarding partnerships we need to see some movement.
President Jacob Zuma has called for public institutions to be accountable, transparent, responsive, honest and committed to service delivery. There is dire need to translate this into reality at the SABC. We are therefore extremely disappointed that the SABC management still fails to appreciate the depth of the crisis they have caused in the industry and an unwillingness to take active steps to remedy this situation.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
SABC’s Future Debated in Parliament
Three members of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board could learn their fate today – June 18th. The remains of the board appeared before Parliament’s Communications Portfolio Committee on June 17th. Members of Parliament (MPs) indicated they could explore various options including taking steps to dissolve the board. News of an eighth member of the board resigning had MPs calling for decisive action to stabilise operations at the public broadcaster.
Opposition party MPs were quick to call for an establishment of a commission of inquiry to get to the root of the financial and management problems at the SABC. ANC MPs on the other hand have indicated they would push to use the new Broadcasting Amendment Act to dissolve the board. Opposition MPs said even if the board is dissolved, an investigation should be conducted to ensure there is no repeat of the financial mismanagement at the broadcaster.
ACTING SABC HEAD STEPS DOWN
The Communications Ministry confirmed acting SABC chair Ashwin Trikamjee has resigned. He sent a letter to Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda on June 17th. The move meant there are only three board members left of the 12 appointed by former president Thabo Mbeki in December 2007. “The minister has received the letter of resignation from Mr Ashwin Trikamjee as a member of the board of the public broadcaster and the minister has accepted it,” said the Communications Ministry’s Tiyani Rikhotso. Nyanda announced an interim board is to be established as soon as possible.
SOURCE: Radio 702