SABC urged to be ‘sensitive to various political parties views’

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The South African National Editors’ Forum’s (Sanef) says the SABC needs to make careful editorial decisions when broadcasting the views of various political parties.

This comes after the Democratic Alliance (DA) announced that it was giving the public broadcaster until midnight on Wednesday to air its packaged land reform video.

The DA’s response follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement about land expropriation without compensation, in his capacity as ANC president, on the public broadcaster’s platforms last week.

Sanef’s Kate Skinner says the SABC needs to be sensitive to parties’ views ahead of the 2019 elections.

“My sense is that when it is the election period then it is specific about how much time various political parties have and there is the whole idea around equitable coverage.”

“This is quite a difficult period, which is this lead up to the elections, and it has to be the SABC editorial team. The SABC team has to be quite sensitive given its history.”

Meanwhile Media Monitoring Africa’s Director, William Bird, has warned that it will be catastrophic if the SABC does not get a government guarantee.

This comes as reports emerged that the public broadcaster is continuing to sink deep into a financial crisis and is unable to pay some of its service providers and producers.

The SABC says it’s engaging Treasury in a bid to secure a R3 billion government guarantee.

Bird says questions are being raised on why the public broadcaster is not receiving a guarantee, in the way that other SOE’s were granted.