Ricochet News

“New bill would turn SABC into a state broadcaster” - DA

By Charl Bosch - Dec 7, 2015
“New bill would turn SABC into a state broadcaster” - DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has expressed concern over the passing of a Bill by embattled Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, it claims would turn the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) into a state run entity.

In a statement, party Shadow Minister of Communications Phumzile van Damme said the bill, tabled last week Friday, calls for the removal of Parliament as a key role player in the appointing of non-executive board members, a move the party claims would “remove the independence of the SABC”.

“The Bill will also reduce the number of the non-executive board members from 12 to nine, reduce the quorum from nine to seven and specifies a new procedure for their re-appointment, removal and resignation of non-executive board members,” van Damme said.

“Along with the SABC Memorandum of Incorporation secretly signed by Muthambi in September last year, which gives the Minister of Communications the right to usurp the board’s powers reducing it to a mere rubber stamp, the Bill will give the ANC complete control over the SABC”.

Labeling the bill as “undemocratic [and] possibly unconstitutional”, van Damme said the party would make use of any available mechanism to prevent it becoming law.

“The Constitution requires that South Africa’s broadcasting system be in the public interest, to ensure fairness and a diversity of views broadly representing South African society,” she said.

“We will oppose this Bill for the benefit of all South Africans who have a right to impartial news, not ANC good stories and propaganda”.