SABC to get content advisory board

2012-05-09 15:02

The government is creating a Production and Content Advisory Board which will advise the SABC and South Africa’s TV industry on the local content they should be producing.

South Africa’s minister of communications, Dina Pule, told Parliament yesterday that she will be appointing a production and content advisory board soon as part of the SABC’s digital terrestrial television migration process.

This board will advise the SABC – and South African’s TV industry – about content.

Opposition concerns

Opposition parties voiced concern in Parliament that such a board will have to be free of political interference.

The SABC wants to expand from three TV channels to eventually 18 in total during South Africa’s switch-over to digital broadcasting, a process known as digital migration.

The new channels will include 24-hour news channel to replace SABC News International (which was closed down) and a sports channel, SABC Sport.

Pule said she and the department of communications fully support the SABC’s 24-hour news channel plans.

The SABC’s new CEO, Lulama Mokhobo, told Parliament last week that the SABC plans to start test broadcasts of the new 24-hour news channel at the end of the year.

Temporary board?

The aim of the Production and Content Advisory Board is to help the SABC but also the broader South African TV industry with content development.

“First, it’s not going to be full time. Two, it’s going to be an Advisory Board which is going to advise the minister – not necessarily the SABC.

Thirdly, it is going to advise on content production and advise on strategies for content production in the digital television era,” Pule told Parliament.

Eric Kholwane, the chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications, said chapter nine of the Broadcasting Act of 1999 says that the minister of communications must establish a South African Broadcasting Production Advisory Board which has to advise the minister on the development, production and display of local television and radio content.

“We urge the minister to do so,” said Kholwane.


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