SABC, Muthambi to face Parly grilling

Minister Faith Muthambi will be grilled on the SABC’s editorial policy and its finances.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will be appearing before Parliament's communications committee today.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, the SABC board and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) are expected to be grilled by members of Parliament (MPs) about recent developments at the public broadcaster. These include the decision to censor coverage of violent protests and the SABC's recent legal battles, including the axing of senior journalists, who were reinstated after going to court.

Today's agenda includes a presentation by Muthambi on the SABC's editorial policy, the changes to it and their impact on the public broadcaster.

The SABC's financial position will also be under the spotlight, with reports suggesting it is deeply in the red.

A Communications Department statement yesterday said Muthambi had adopted a hands-off approach to the goings-on at the SABC because they were "operational issues" and she had full confidence in the board.

Whether that confidence is shared by the MPs who serve on the communications committee will become clear at today's meeting. Some MPs are pushing for a full-scale parliamentary inquiry.