Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa has weighed in on the protracted broadcast saga between the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and pay channel MultiChoice.
Kodwa says he will do everything in his power for the two warring factions to find common ground. The broader South African public is likely to miss out on the Rugby World Cup action which will not be screened by the SABC. The SABC is unable to pay the millions of rands expected by MultiChoice.
The SABC is refusing to pay MultiChoice a sum of about R40 million to be able to show live matches of the Springboks at the World Cup in France. MultiChoice has the exclusive rights to broadcast the 2023 Rugby World Cup live. The public broadcaster wanted to show all Springbok games live from the group stages. The Rugby World Cup defending champions open their campaign against Scotland this coming Sunday.
“There’s an issue now between SABC and SuperSport, we must intervene on that issue because the people of South Africa look up to us to intervene on that issue. I’m very optimistic based on the discussions we have had that there won’t be any national blackout, that issue will be resolved soon,” says Kodwa.
Kodwa says it will be unfair for ordinary South Africans who don’t have the most expensive DSTV Premium package to be unable to catch all the action live.
“There is something that we need to address just in terms of what defines our national interest, our national interest among others. We must make sure that some of the national sporting bodies whether it’s rugby and so on, those that we have identified that they are an instrument of national building, we must make sure that no section of our community is denied of an opportunity to watch the game of their choice,” Kodwa elaborates.
Minister Kodwa was speaking at the sidelines of the official handover of the Pitso Mosimane Multipurpose Sports Court at Lofentse Girls’ High School in Orlando East, Soweto. The handover was conducted by various dignitaries on behalf of Orlando Pirates, the winners of the 2022/2023 Nedbank Cup.
The sports court was erected by the Sports Trust and financed by the bank.
“It is a momentous occasion because we’ve never had an all-girls school actually being chosen and it’s important because we sending a message to young girls that you can be anything you want to be in setting up a multi-purpose sports centre here,” says Khensani Nobanda of Nedbank Marketing.
The court will also be available to be used by the surrounding schools, and the community of Orlando. This is seen as a way of helping revive schools’ sports in South African townships.
“I have made my debut here full house Orlando Stadium, full house cup final of the schools, big full house so schools sport is important. I hope we revive schools’ sport and I know you know my programme, it’s in the schools because we cannot all be with clubs, we cannot be all with academies. We need to go to the basics, where do the players come from. Where do we come, we come from the school first,” says soccer coach Pitso Mosimane.
Minister Kodwa says government and various stakeholders will host a two-day Schools’ Sports Indaba next week to help fast track what was put on hold by COVID-19.