New 'Outbound' Strategy for South African Broadcasting

25 April 2006

A broadcasting culture for total citizen empowerment is the new objective of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, as it shifts from "an inward-orientated, self-assessing entity to become a people-centered broadcaster able to fully meet the challenges it faces in the context of a rapidly-changing environment".

Such a mission statement will delight students of psychobabble the world over - but SABC group chief executive Dali Mpofu, speaking to a press briefing in Johannesburg last week, pledged to make it happen.

"Total Citizen Empowerment will be our keyword that will guide all our corporate goals as we move from a simple public broadcaster to a people-orientated and more technology-driven entity.

"The SABC will no longer be judged by the services that it is providing or the amount of money it is bringing in, but by the impact it is making in the daily lives of South African citizens." Mpofu proclaimed.

"Each drama, news bulletin, current affairs, sports programme and other functions and support services must, from now on, impact positively on the viewers and listeners and answer the question 'in what way did we empower the South African citizen today?' "

Currently, 85% of SABC's funding comes from advertising; 10% to 12% is generated from television licences; and the remaining 3% comes from the national government.

Which facts (especially in the light of the italicized sentence below) could explain the real reason beneath the elaborate prose evangelizing the facelift.

Mpofu again: "Television and radio operations are the means through which we interact with people. And in today's digital age, an organisation cannot achieve its goals without the necessary technology. And lastly, unless you get maximum funding you will not get what you want."

He also assured the assembled press pack that SABC's systems will be fully digitized and ready in time for South Africa's hosting of the 2010 soccer World Cup.

Data sourced from (South Africa); additional content by WARC staff