The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it will be opposing an application by the African Content Movement (ACM) for the public broadcaster to have live coverage of the party’s manifesto launch on Saturday. This after the party brought an urgent application to the South Gauteng High Court on Saturday.
The party is demanding that their election manifesto launch which is set to take place in Durban, receive live coverage on SABC 2 and SABC News Channel 404 on DStv.
The position of the SABC is that ACM’s manifesto launch will be covered by its News division as a news story.
The SABC has not provided live coverage of manifesto launches of any of the new and existing parties with no representation in Parliament.
SABC Group Executive: News and Current Affairs, Phathiswa Magopeni, has emphasized that there is no obligation by the public broadcaster to offer live coverage to political parties.
“This is an editorial decision that has taken into account, amongst others, resource constraints and equitable coverage treatment of political parties contesting the elections. In addition as per ICASA regulations, there is no obligation on the SABC to provide live coverage to any political party.”
The public broadcaster through a statement further stressed that no political party can dictate to the SABC how it provides coverage of election-related activities.