Ndlozi: If the SABC collapses, we can kiss democracy goodbye

04 December 2020 - 12:00
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has weighed in on the SABC.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has weighed in on the SABC.
Image: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has warned about the dire consequences of letting the SABC collapse, warning that it could compromise our democracy.

The broadcaster was the subject of a heated debate in parliament this week after it announced the suspension of retrenchments until the end of December.

Last month SABC employees embarked on a go-slow after the broadcaster announced that it would be retrenching 400 staff members as a measure to stay afloat. The SABC had reported a R511m loss for the financial year ending in March and a decline in revenue from R6.4bn the previous year to R5.7bn.

Responding to a report that only R16.71bn of the R200bn loan guarantee scheme was paid over to businesses in need of financial relief by October 24, Ndlozi asked if the rest could be given to the SABC.

He argued that democracy would be in trouble if the SABC was allowed to collapse.

We must save the SABC. If it collapses, we can kiss democracy goodbye! SABC is at the core of holding the powerful accountable through news, especially in the most neglected places.

“If the powerful know they can abuse power and not be exposed, they thrive.”

While some agreed with him, many argued that the broadcaster was making a loss and should not be a burden on taxpayers.

DA MP and shadow communications minister Phumzile Van Damme this week took minister Stella Ndabeni-Abraham to task, telling her not to interfere in the broadcaster's retrenchment process.

“The SABC is not a Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams show, it is a public broadcaster which is protected by law from political interference so that it can provide content that reflects the plurality and the variety of news in SA in advancing the national and public interest.”