SABC board taken to task by SOS coalition
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is facing fresh accusations of a "complete lack of vision, poor corporate governance and mismanagement" by SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition, which is demanding the broadcaster answers its critics.
The civil society coalition, which played a key role in putting forward names for the 2010 SABC Board had, it says, hoped for "good corporate governance and financial prudence" along with "quality, local public programming reflecting the rich diversity of South African experience and opinion," in a letter to Dr Ben Ngubane, SABC's chairman.
However, since January 2010 when the board took shape, the SOS says "there has been a litany of problems including a complete lack of vision, poor corporate governance, ongoing financial mismanagement, and multiple resignations of board members."
It points to the absence of a permanent chief executive officer, chief operating officer, or chief financial officer at the SABC since the current board were appointed, and the omission of any significant local content commissions since 2008.
"We want to register our disillusionment and disappointment," the letter reads.
The coalition has asked the SABC board to respond by 1 November to a litany of specific criticisms over alleged scandals, appointments, contract terminations and a lack of local programming.
SOS has also asked Dina Pule, South Africa's new Minster of Communications, to move swiftly ahead with the promised broadcasting policy review - and with it a Green and White Paper which will lead to new broadcasting laws for the country.
The SOS Coalition represents a number of trade unions, independent film and TV production organisations, a host of NGOs and CBOs, and academics and freedom of expression activists.