SABC News has described bringing elections coverage to South Africans with limited resources as tough. Group Executive of News and Current Affairs, Phathiswa Magopeni, says the News department has to come up with solutions to ensure thorough coverage despite the financial constraints.
The SABC is facing serious financial challenges that have seen the public broadcaster knocking on government’s door seeking assistance.
Communications Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says the new SABC Board has been deliberating to make sure that the turnaround strategy that is required from the National Treasury is approved.
In a statement, the National Treasury says it’s still going through internal processes in considering a guarantee application for the SABC.
The Treasury says they have been engaging with the SABC, the Banks and the Department of Communications in order to come up with a sustainable solution.
William Bird of Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) says the lack of adequate funding for the SABC is a fundamental threat to the democratic system. The organisation says the fact that government has known about the SABC’s dire financial situation for over a year – and is yet to act on it – is a disregard for the importance of the public broadcaster.
MMA says, despite of the dire financial problems at the public broadcaster, the elections coverage has been free and fair. Bird says this shows that the SABC takes its role of reporting independently more seriously.
Magopeni states that: “We had to think about how we navigate our coverage, given that we have limited resources.
And how we allocate our resources that are actually limited.”
The SABC Executive is expected to meet with the different banks this week in a bid to secure the much-needed funding.
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