. 14th September 2017

#TonysColumn: 12 September 2017

TonysColumnThere’s nothing more annoying than people poking their unwanted noses into your business. I have decided because part of my income goes towards their existence I have a shareholders right to do so. Thus I address you “my fellow shareholders”.


Has for decades drained our pockets without satisfaction for our investment.

For the last 20 years and long before that, aunty (tannie) SABC has chosen board members from politicӧs, academics, teachers and of course despotic chommies. Never have they appointed people who have worked in broadcasting. I fail to understand this kind of thinking, I ask you in all honesty if you want a foot operation would you allow a bookkeeper to do it, of course not so why has it never come to pass a broadcast engineer, an ex or retired broadcaster, an advertising executive, producer or director has been considered.


Many of my industry colleagues and I mean almost every one I spoke to when I suggested they should consider such a move resulted the same report “are you crazy, it’s a poison chalice riddled with politics.”

This in fact condemns the SABC to what it is today a 3 channel service that serves a population of people who have no choice unless they tune into E-TV or can afford DSTV. Now we all know DSTV is for the rich whites, wrong what a load of rubbish just drive past any township and count the amount of satellite dishes on the roofs. Now what does that tell you, yes indeed they do not want to watch SABC TV.

What is it that SABC cannot do where DSTV and to a lesser extent E-TV can do. The answer is simple.


Give folk what they want and not what the SABC wants to give them. Suffer no illusions the Brits learnt years ago. That if you satisfy your listener/viewer with entertainment. You can subject them to propaganda, news and politics of your choice. However entertainment must come first. It’s a simple formula

E 1. Entertainment

V 2. Variety

E 3. Education

The SABC ignores this. Which is why they cannot attract enough advertising or license payments to balance the books. Thus you and I have to dig into our pockets via a tax payment bail out to it every year.

The SABC cannot continue like this and the appropriate ministers in government with the portfolio know this both past and present. This is borne out by a refusal and lack of consultation with those that could possibly assist to address the situation.

Poor old Joe Public cannot keep on bailing them out nor does the tax payer have the desire to do so the majority of tax payer’s certainly are not viewers of SABC programming.

There is a simple way of solving the situation and that is just as the as the SABC did with its radio stations by selling off some of them to private concerns, they could do exactly the same with at least one of their TV channels.

If it were up to me. My choice would be either totally sell off SABC 3 or enter into a 60% to 40% deal with a private entity, who could surely turn it into a profitable business using available expertise currently not working. The SABC 40% could be then invested in SABC 1 and 2 which together with license fees that would ease the burden on the tax payer as well as divesting the government of the burden of another parastatal failure.

Well at least that’s my pipe dream




Category: Tony's Column

Comments are closed.