To reflect a nation

2010-07-30 14:34

The best and worst

thing to happen to the SABC was the World Cup.

The best because other than

gripes about the presenters and their wardrobe, people watched without

­question.

The worst ­because now that the World Cup is over, attention returns

to the real state of affairs.

A year ago, everyone was up in arms because each day brought us

more information about the ­shenanigans behind the scenes as well as the depth

of the public broadcaster’s financial woes.

The World Cup served as a welcome distraction from the fact that

the SABC has a bailout plan in the billions.

It is ­estimated that broadcasting

rights for the World Cup couldn’t have been less than R200 million, while the

SABC spent R26 million to rent the Sandton ­Convention Centre for broadcasting

and R3.3 million on World Cup tickets.

This is a lot of money from an organisation that served as the

catalyst for the growth of the ­local production industry.

I do not have a vendetta or anything else against the SABC.

My

concern last year, which is the same today, is that when the SABC ­decided to

cut down on ­local productions and subject us to cheap, outdated, foreign

content, many lost their livelihoods.

Individuals and companies had to tighten their belts because of the

large-scale incompetence of others.

We are quick to point fingers when others come into SA to tell our

stories.

Without broadcasting platforms like the SABC sharing the work of local

productions – ­despite their often limited ­budgets – this will only continue.

Hopefully, DStv’s new local ­entertainment channel Mzansi Magic

will serve as an avenue for the creativity that exists in Mzansi.

It has

launched with three local shows – Redi Direko’s talkshow Redi on Mzansi, Thabo

Mokwele’s music countdown My Top 10 @ 10 and Kuli Roberts’ ­celebrity gossip

show Headline – and they have ­committed to ­working with the local ­production

­industry to create ­relevant ­content that ­reflects South Africa.

I sincerely hope that this will be the case and that the

­creativity and understanding that exists will finally have an outlet.

I also

hope that the SABC can sort itself out to the point where we have an industry

with multiple platforms.



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