SABC programming 'stuck in 1985'

2011-01-18 18:32

Cape Town - Too many re-runs of old movies, such as those starring actor Sylvester Stallone, are costing the SABC its television audience, Parliament's communications portfolio committee heard on Tuesday.

In the first of 14 interviews aimed at selecting four new members for the national broadcaster's board, business administrator Sethe Makhesha told MPs that while the SABC had made a "lot of effort" with regard to local content, the international film fare it served left a lot to be desired.

"The kind of material that we need to be buying... internationally should be the latest, the [most] recent.

"Because with the low quality that we are currently experiencing - I mean, for example, we have Sylvester Stallone movies being featured on Friday night, something we used to have in 1985 - I don't think that is attracting a good target audience."

Audiences were switching to satellite channels because they wanted to see recently-made films, she said.


Fourteen nominees have been shortlisted by MPs to fill four vacancies on the SABC board left by a spate of resignations last year.

The candidates are being interviewed over three days this week. The committee is to present the names of the final four to the National Assembly on February 3. If approved, they are expected to take up their positions during the first quarter of this year.

The four posts became vacant when board members David Niddrie, Barbara Masekela, Felleng Sekha and Makgatho Mello left last October. Their exits followed months of infighting and complaints over a failure to produce a financial strategy for the cash-strapped SABC.

The highly-qualified Makhesha, who told members she had completed her MBA and then progressed towards a doctorate in business administration, including a stint at Harvard University in the United States, currently serves as a senior executive in the local forestry industry.

She worked for the SABC in the mid-nineties.

Responding to questions, she told the committee she believed the SABC had the potential to be financially self-sustaining.

"[But] they need to go back to the basics."

The corporation had huge potential. Among other things, what it needed to do was look at all the companies currently not using the SABC for their advertising.

"And sell to them, don't wait for them to approach you."

Asked what circumstances she thought might warrant the communications minister, as political head, intervening in the running of the SABC, Makhesha replied that ministerial intervention was a sign the board had failed to do what it was supposed to do.

"I think the board should be strong enough to drive the process," she said.


The other 13 board nominees include academic Govin Reddy, who is also a board member of the Mail & Guardian; Mahavishnu Padayachee, head of the school of development studies at KwaZulu-Natal University; Sadhasivan Perumal, an associate professor at the same university; and Unisa vice-chancellor David Mosoma.

Also still to be interviewed are Peter Druchen, head of DeafSA; Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw, Eskom's business support manager; Maureen Manyama-Matome, South African forestry company Safcol's chief financial officer; and former SABC journalist Fawzia Moodley.

Others include company director Sembla Danana, advocate Cawekazi Mahlati, media company director Lumko Mtide, and Johannesburg regional government administrator Vusamuzi Mavuso.

The second nominee to be interviewed on Tuesday was radio and television engineer Kenneth Herold.

More interviews will be conducted on Wednesday and Friday this week.

  • Trevor - 2011-01-18 18:54

    DSTV is guilty of the EXACT same thing, they rehashing the same old movies and series year in year out...January will be my last month with Multichoice, switching to ADSL/Internet,cheaper,more informative and useful.

      Perfume - 2011-01-18 19:29

      ADSL/Internet is much cheaper and as you say more informative and usefel...I dont even watch the news!!!!!

  • Jorge - 2011-01-18 19:07

    It is not only SABC, comment on DSTV, costs a lot of money same programmes always for R550 plus a month, while SABC is an yearly subscripting that you need to buy a new tv or upgrade it, never watch it, but let us start a petition against these money suckers. If you enter any of their comps. you never know who wins and how it is judged, my opinion it is a scam only new sign ons win, never mind us that have supported them from the beginning, we get repeats. anybody agrees? Looking forward to hear from you guys, let us not pay our subscription for a month and see what happens. Tired of being ripped off, are not you? We are getting an increase soon with another excuse of new programes, what rubbish, start fighting against these thiefs

  • Christo - 2011-01-18 19:25

    Lets be honest with each other, you can never have enough Sly movies on TV.

  • Hennie - 2011-01-18 19:34

    why must we pay for TV License if we don`t even watch sabc 123 or E???People should have the choice whether they want sabc 1 2 3 or e or not. The programs are crap and all sucks!! They must bring out n decoder like dstv if you want to watch sabc 1 2 3 or e.I wont buy it but some might,

      NinjaDevil - 2011-01-21 14:49

      Hennie E is not part of the sabc package. they are completely independent as far as I know and out of principle I will not even put sabc on even if there is something interesting on.

  • briansmith702 - 2011-01-18 19:35

    You are hoping for a miracle. Nothing run by the ANC ever works. SAFM radio was great and now it has been taken over by non English speaking indiginous people and is absolutely useless with a couple of exceptions. They cannot speak the language properly and only play African music on the English channel Why the hell do they not do this on their own indiginous language channels??? It is an absolute shame to have ruined the radio program and they are doing the same to SABC TV. Fortunately I have not watched it for the last ten-twelve years. I prefer DSTV. No wonder why the govt. has to bail out these poluckas every year despite their exhorbitant salaries and perks. like everything run by the ANC a complete f***K*P.

      Great White - 2011-01-19 05:16

      I agree with you Brian. It was great to have a radio program dedicated to the English speaker, with presenters that were absolutely fluent in the language. The same applied for the Afrikaans program. It wasn't racist. It just gave one the choice. The government of the day pretty much controls the media. In this case the ANC has opted to bring the previously advantaged down to their level, instead of using us as a benchmark and building on it. They don't realise that they are politically immature and really needed to be weaned into leading a country. Instead they continue with revolution politics and firmly believe in the adage 'To the victor the spoils'. What is of concern is that a government, no matter how arrogant, corrupt or incompetent, can remain in power as long as they have the popular support of the masses. We're doomed.

      NO-BULL - 2011-01-19 09:54

      ...and yet the international community praises South Africa for it's good work. I was working in the UK and a co-worker asked me if I enjoyed being able to watch TV. At first he didn't believe me that I was a South African because I am white... and when he finally decided to take me on my word, he asked me what is was like to live in a hut. Yes, doing brilliantly indeed. I guess if the world thinks we are all black and living in huts then hearing that we made a deal to give our electricity to another country or that we now embrace digital TV makes us look real "advanced" and, again, doing a bang up job! Good show!

  • Marc-Andre - 2011-01-18 20:06

    It's not just the programming on SABC; it's SATV in general! We deliberately being dumbed down as a nation! One shouldn't be watching the entertainment programmes to see this, but what goes on BETWEEN the programmes: bland, uncritical, ever-so-polite, sycophantic interviews with public officials, mindless Americak & kwaito throd-throd-throd music videos, blatant propaganda messages about 'our one nation', a la communist public political education programmes, tv ads putting an African shine on all things middle-class to appease an apparent emerging black middle-class (at the cost of our 'Rainbow Nation' society!), subtle censorship & editing that reflects the party line..... Is there still ANY doubt that we're living in a communist-style one-party state, run by corrupt, nepotistic, oligarchic minority, while the poor majority follow mindlessly & obediently like sheep? Read Orwell's ANIMAL FARM, people!!!!

      Great White - 2011-01-19 06:06

      "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

  • Macho Mike - 2011-01-18 22:54

    Eish, it's not just the SABC / SAUK that's stuck in 1985, is it? Ag Pleez Daddy Won't you take us to a drive-in All 6, 7 of us, 8, 9, 10 We wanna see a flick about Tarzan and the ape men When the show is over You can bring us back again. Popcorn, chewing gum Peanuts and bubblegum Ice cream, candy floss, and Eskimo Pie Knickerpulls and liquorice Pepsi Cola, Ginger beer, and Calico Rye

      Great White - 2011-01-19 06:03

      I think that might originally have been 'Niggerballs and...Canada Dry'. Not quite PC. Jeremy Taylor, methinks, might still be rubbing his bum as a result of the original ditty.

  • Pragmatist - 2011-01-19 00:30

    I have not had a TV for eight years... I dont miss it at all

  • coolwaynie - 2011-01-19 07:02

    The SABC is nothing more than a propaganda machine for the ANC regime. Education programs and black news.

      Phambili - 2011-05-06 12:51

      racist bitch.

  • Janina - 2011-01-19 09:16

    I love the Sly movies, but I have to agree that we need some variety.

  • NommerEen - 2011-01-21 14:55

    SABC - Select Another Boring Channel - 2011-01-27 20:11

      again the anc{sabc] fails us.

  • Heidi Lin - 2011-01-25 13:35

    I think there is plenty of potential for good quality local productions. For example, I really enjoyed last year's series MAN and wish we had more productions like that.

  • pro9406 - 2011-01-31 09:01

    Local theater plays like Joe Barber will be great.

      Gladyz - 2011-02-04 00:58

      Exactly!! get off the couch and rather support the Performing Arts/ Theatre!!

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