SABC calls for public participation for its editorial policies

The State broadcaster, SABC, is calling on the public to contribute towards reviewing of the six policies which were implemented in 2004. The company is also inviting the public to contribute in reviewing the 2016’s policies concerning the ban on broadcasting violent protests. The move to ban airing of destruction of public property during violent protests was made by controversial former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng in May last year. Motsoeneng argued that ban was meant to prevent others from doing the same.

These policies are news editorial‚ programming‚ local content‚ language‚ religion‚ and universal service. The call was made SABC chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama during the launch of the editorial policy on Thursday. “This project is intended at making sure that the public is properly consulted and that the final policies that will emanate from the process are compliant, legitimate and reflective of South Africa’s views and sentiments,” Kweyama said. “We are today launching the review project of the SABC’s editorial policies. The process of the policies is to resuscitate the consultation process with the public following the ICASA’s complaints and compliance committee that the SABC had not complied with the requirement of Section 6 of the Broadcasting Act of 1999, ” she added.

Views from the public will be combined to form a revised editorial code and policies document. The revised document will be released for public comment before finalisation.

According Kweyama, nine provinces would be visited to give communities an opportunity to contribute through oral and written submissions. Deadline for submissions is 31 August. Following which the public will be informed about the schedules and venues of the hearings through radio broadcasts.