There has been heated commentary in the public discourse over what many perceive as biased media coverage by the public broadcaster towards government at the expense of opposition political parties. While the discontent is not without merit, it is largely borne out of ignorance.
The public broadcaster is unapologetically the mouthpiece of any sitting government. The SABC exists to serve as a platform for the current administration to communicate its programmes and policies to the nation.
This is not to mean that the voices of the opposition need to be stymied; however preference is given to the government, rightly so because it is what the government says that affects the price of bread. It is a simple matter of what is in the public interest versus what interests the public.
For instance; if etv; an opposition mouthpiece yet no one makes noise about it; was to broadcast a DA event while at the same time the SABC is broadcasting the budget speech; which station will command the highest viewer ratings?
What the finance minister says might change the economic fortunes of the country and its people yet the DA can rant and rave for hours on end; and the rand will not move an inch.
The opposition should reconcile itself with the fact that the SABC is a government mouthpiece; one of the perks that comes with being in government; and if they too want to be accorded the same status they should simply win the elections.
With the elections in the offing, opposition parties have a chance to be in government. One of the opposition parties might win the elections and it will be the ANC turn to accuse the SABC of bias.