SAGA has received a number of requests from our members seeking clarity on our Guild’s position on recent SABC policy changes and our relationship with CCIFSA, which has publicly stated its support for SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. The following statement is intended to satisfy those requests and to reassure our members and industry partners that SAGA remains faithful to its mandate.
- It is of concern to us that recent media interviews by CCIFSA President Tony Kgoroge created a misleading perception that his organisation speaks on behalf of all professional actors. We wish to assure our members that SAGA does not recognise CCIFSA as a mouthpiece of the performance industry generally, nor has our Guild awarded a mandate to CCIFSA to speak specifically on behalf of our members.
- SAGA views recent SABC news and editorial policy changes to be tantamount to censorship, which is a violation of the SABC’s public broadcaster mandate. We regard the enforcement of such draconian restrictions which resulted in the suspension of SABC journalists as an affront to the kind of transparent, impartial and fair news reporting expected of our national broadcaster in a constitutional democracy.
- While SAGA welcomes the announcement that more local TV content will be commissioned, we do so with caution. We still have questions around:
- Transparency of the producer selection and commissioning process.
- The allocation of funds to such hand-picked producers.
- What research (if any) was conducted into the efficacy of the new local content quota system, given that the COO by his own admission does not believe in ‘scientific research’?
- Will SABC’s newly implemented censorship policies equally be applied to scripted TV content that challenges creative boundaries and stimulates political debate?