New SABC CEO Frans Matlala said the public broadcaster in future will tell the truth but will also be “balancing the perspective”.
He further said that he will be spending the next three months talking to various people to find out what happened at the SABC in the past and what issues there are.
Frans Matlala was announced as the new permanent SABC CEO on Wednesday at the broadcaster’s Auckland Park headquarters, a year and five months after Lulama Mokhobo quit just a few months into her five-year contract.
Matlala is a supporter and ally of the SABC’s controversial and famously matric-less chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Matlala was also an advisory consultant for the SABC for a year and he said there is room for improvement at the beleaguered SABC.
The public broadcaster has been lurching constantly from crisis to crisis and scandal to scandal since 2009 when it came to the brink of financial collapse and got a R1bn bailout in the form of a government guaranteed loan from Nedbank.
The SABC — fraught with ongoing insider politics, executive and SABC board room power struggles and growing perception concerns about news bias, maladministration and undue political interference — faces big internal challenges.
There’s also the looming and expensive switch from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT), which the SABC will now only start with five channels, one of which will be the rerun channel SABC Encore recently launched on DStv.
“Over the next 100 days I’m going to spend time with the SABC executive team, and of course I’ll spend time with the SABC board and different people outside the organisation, including the minister of communications Faith Muthambi, parliament’s portfolio committee on communications and different stakeholders so that I can appraise myself of things that have happened in the past, current realities, as well as future issues that I need to be aware of,” said Matlala.
“I think it’s important that we take advantage of the role and the opportunity we have to be able to serve the nation and Africa as a continent and lead that narrative. And it’s a narrative of telling the truth but at the same time balancing the perspective that we put on the table,” said Matlala. — Fin24