SABC documentaries to promote unity among Africans

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cape Town - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is hoping to produce documentaries to sensitise the nation about the ills of the recent violent attacks on foreign nationals, says SABC Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

“As the public broadcaster, our role is to educate and inform… This is part of our mandate but we’ve put a strategy in place primarily to focus on sensitising the nation about the violent attacks against foreign nationals.

“We are going to produce documentaries. We are going to produce dramas that will promote unity amongst us as Africans and people from elsewhere in the continent will also be able to produce content within the SABC in the hope to show that we are all Africans,” he said.

Motsoeneng was speaking to SAnews after presenting the public broadcaster’s five-year strategic plan to the Portfolio Committee on Communications in Parliament on Tuesday.

Motsoeneng said the attacks on people from other African countries have dangerous implications on South Africa’s brand, not only on the continent but also globally.

“We have South Africans who are working elsewhere in the African continent. Some are running businesses … and nobody is attacking them. So as South Africans, let’s forget about hating each other. We need to stop mistreating our fellow African brothers,” he said.

Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)

As South Africa is in the process of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting, Motsoeneng assured SAnews of the readiness of all stakeholders involved to make the move successfully.

DTT is a reliable and cost efficient means to distribute linear television content and has many advantages over the old analogue broadcasting that is still in use today.

However, the process of migration from digital to analogue is experiencing delays. Motsoeneng said all role players in the digital migration process must put the interests of the people of South Africa first.

“It is important that we speed up the process of digital migration and I’m happy that the Department [of Communications] so far has done well… in terms of clarifying the policy, so all broadcasters should be ready to migrate.”

The need for the DTT programme derives from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) resolution, where countries in region 1 (including Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East and the Islamic Republic of Iran) should migrate their broadcasting services from analogue to digital by 17 June 2015.

The main reason for the migration is to release valuable spectrum, which can be used for other services. Spectrum is scarce and it is therefore necessary to make efficient use of the spectrum available for more telecommunications and broadcasting services. 

To help in the migration process, government will provide free set top boxes (STBs) to more than five million poor household owners to migrate broadcasting services from analogue to digital. -