State-Owned Media in South Africa

Friday, December 30, 2011


Under apartheid rule, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) was notorious as a megaphone of the ruling National Party. Now with three major TV channels and several radio stations broadcasting in 11 languages, the SABC continues to dominate the broadcast media market. With new media legislation in the pipeline, some are accusing the ANC government of employing the apartheid-era control tactics. Bob talks to a smattering of journalists and media watchdogs on the ground in Johannesburg. (This segment originally aired on 10/21/2011.)

Sam Amidon - Prodigal Son

Comments [3]


"four major print-media conglomerates"
Its an illusion Bob. Can you prove this media ownership?
You seem to know very little of SA history and how the apartheid propaganda machine functioned and how they morphed into the media conglomerate it is today. Remember it was the ANC who were instrumental in crafting free speech rights and getting rid of the death penalty, into the SA Constitution. Having suffered the brunt of apartheid's oppressive laws, the ANC are still the true guardians of free speech not the the white controlled media!
This was plainly evident during the FIFA 2010 World Cup, when FIFA had to crack down on LOCAL SA journalists from sabotaging the event by spreading fear and hysteria about "machete wars", police brutality, warning them to buy "stab-proof vests", vuvuzelas causing deafness, xenophobia and whatnot! Where was the press watchdogs then? Where was the diversity in the media to counterbalance this type of unethical reporting!

btw. You still haven't addressed why you choose to spread fear by calling the Protection of State Information Bill the "Secrecy Law".

" most of the voices in the piece are black veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle"
Yeah, just like you can find Uncle Toms who are against affirmative action laws e.g. Clarence Thomas and Ward Connerly, you can also find many blacks in SA who will also speak for corporate interests. You instead chose to selectively air the views of certain blacks whose "struggle credentials" are questionable.

" Obviously, economic apartheid continues to exist "
Its not just "economic apartheid" Bob, but a widening racial economic disparity where blacks (Africans, Coloreds and Indians) continue to be economically oppressed while whites still control the economy and in a recent report, occupy over 90% of CEO positions!!! Why deny this reality!

Jan. 02 2012 01:56 PM
Bob Garfield from spare bedroom

Interesting comment. Your only errors were in your assertions and your assumptions. As to the facts, there are four major print-media conglomerates, not one. There is also a major independent television channel and several independent radio stations with broad reach.

Secondly, most of the voices in the piece are black veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle. To suggest they have been co-opted by the forces of lingering colonialism is a careless and irresponsible rebuke.

Obviously, economic apartheid continues to exist in South Africa, but that's not what this story was about. Certainly, the persistence of that evil does not excuse the ANC from its rampant corruption and failures at governance -- at the SABC or anywhere else.

Jan. 02 2012 12:57 PM

This kind of biased reporting is shameful!
With the exception of the SABC and a handful of newspapers and radio stations, the entire mainstream media in South Africa is owned and controlled by a single media conglomerate in a Rupert Murdoch like fashion serving the interests of the corporate minority. Rampant corruption in the private sector with the toothless watchdog organizations are largely ignored by SA media while it carries out the nefarious agenda of pinning the blame of the country's ills on the black government instead of addressing the explosive issues created by centuries of colonialism and apartheid that continue to stalk the nascent democracy - festering racism, growing socioeconomic disparity between blacks and whites, lack of land reform etc. etc.

To call the Protection of State Information bill a "secrecy bill" is disingenuous and simply spreads misinformation. Just like the US neocons skillfully used the "Death Tax" to scare the general public against the Estate Tax that was actually supposed to help them!!! Go figure!

Sad to see your half-baked coverage only serves the interests of the white minority who continue to control the media and the economy and are still enjoying their ill-gotten gains from centuries of colonialism and apartheid.

Jan. 02 2012 11:48 AM

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