SABC listeners share their views as the public broadcaster in Mpumalanga celebrates 85 years of existence

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SABC listeners say the public broadcaster should focus on programming that has content of building unity within the society as it celebrates 85-years of existence.

The public broadcaster held its Mpumalanga SABC 85 years’ celebration in Mbombela.

The SABC has 19 radio stations and four television channels broadcasting in various languages across the country. The organisation has a mandate of informing, educating, and entertaining.

Some listeners feel that political parties are abusing their power on the SABC platforms. They say the organisation has a public mandate of rebuilding the country and also promoting all marginalised indigenous languages.

“Stop giving people who are abusing the platform to settle personal scores they shouldn’t give them a little publicity,” says one listener.

“Personally, I believe there should be more focus on the empowerment of black family unity content. We mainly see not just on TV, but on social media more black families against each other or young people against elders, females against males. I think there should be more content that brings people together, that builds our community,” says another listener.

Mpumalanga being a rural province, residents still rely on the SABC radio stations and television for information. SABC says it’s investing in technology to ensure it continues to be relevant in delivering on its mandate of serving the public.

SABC Mpumalanga Regional Operations Manager Hosea Jiyane says, “SABC has a mandate and responsibility that ensures that languages don’t become existent. It gets promoted and developed and we are doing that and the new technology is going to allow us to ensure these languages are in various platforms to make sure they are spoken not only in the province but throughout the country and abroad.”

The SABC is the largest public broadcaster in the continent of Africa. Its leadership believes that it should always be independent and impartial when reporting the news.

SABC head of Regional Operations, Carmen Schnider says the public broadcaster must and should stick to its mandate and the editorial policy.

“We need to stick to our editorial policies. We need to realise we are serving the public, we are not here for ourselves; we are not here to serve any political party. We are here to serve the public and the public has a multi-party system and we need to be independent.”

As the SABC celebrates this milestone its responsibility to serve the public remains in the spotlight.