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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Greg Nicolson.]

President Jacob Zuma’s office has denied it held an irregular meeting with SABC leaders on Monday. Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo claims Zuma will appoint the public broadcaster’s board within two days. Given Zuma’s history with the public broadcaster, there are reasons to doubt him on both fronts. 

The SABC is slowly recovering from years of abuse. In 2016-17, the public broadcaster suffered losses of R977-million. Production companies’ fees, musicians’ royalties and the businesses that rely on them weren’t paid, or their invoices were paid in trickling portions. The SABC’s most influential leader, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, in 2016 enforced an untested local content policy, banned violent protest footage – to the benefit of the ANC before an election – and persecuted eight journalists who opposed his rule. 4

Like many other state-owned entities, the SABC has continuously been defined by poor leadership. Zuma is complicit in supporting the corrosion, in fact benefiting from it, as he backed a system that, despite a Public Protector’s report, public criticism, and repeated losses in court, gave the country’s favourite masochist puppet, Motsoeneng, the keys to the safe and the remote control to the country’s culture.

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
5.1% y/y in September 2017 (CPI) & +4.2% y/y in August 2017 (PPI)
2.5% q/q for the 2nd quarter of 2017
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