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Yearbook Jan 2019

16 yearbook 2019 RADIO SA SABC bailout money were to be invested into the community sector, thousands of sustainable jobs would be created. This is true, but as the commercial environment has proved, we need more than radio passion to survive in the long term. We need broadcast acumen. The new minister of communications, Stella Ndabeni- Abrahams, would be well advised to take a portion of the proposed SABC bailout and invest it in structured broadcast education programmes. The SABC and community sector have proven in the last 10 years that we need it. South Africa’s public broadcaster has been on its knees: juggling, begging and in parliament, all in an attempt to prevent itself from becoming a has-been. Though the request for R6 billion to reposition the corporation may actually be better spent in closing it down and starting a brand new entity, designed to deliver on the needs of a diverse audience in a non-influenced and cost-effective manner. This doesn’t seem that far-fetched considering the wild antics over the last few years. There is no doubt that 2019 will be an important year for the SABC with the national elections front and centre, while last year will be synonymous with threatened retrenchments and reports of technical bankruptcy. It’s not a question of whether the government will bail the corporation out, it’s a matter of when. There is no doubt that the SABC employs too many staff with the wrong skills in the wrong positions at an inflated rate. We must, however, remember that the move (albeit a slow one) to digital will require more, not less staff. on The comercial front The Free State and Eastern Cape have been waiting years for their licenced commercial stations to be fully operational. Some mediocre signal testing has taken place, but there’s been no real commitment to investing in talent that can and does make a difference at provincial level. Majority shareholder, MSG Afrika, should make a concerted effort to fulfil the terms of the licences in the near future. Commercial radio has embraced creativity in commerce and there seems to be a shift in how stations


Yearbook Jan 2019
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