Fiche Structure
SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation)
Adresse : SABC Broadcast Compliance Private Bag X1 Auckland Park 2006 JOHANNESBURG
Pays concerné : Afrique du Sud
Téléphone(s) : +27 11 714-9797
Site web :


Vision & Mission

1] Vision: Broadcasting for Total Citizen Empowerment.

2] Mission – to be:

People centered.
Content driven.
Technologically enabled.
Strategically focused.
Sustainable public service broadcaster.

3] Organisational Values:
Conversations and Partnerships.
Restoration of Human Dignity.
Building a Common Future.

Development of Broadcasting in SA
The Twenties and Thirties

South African broadcasting traces its history back to 18 December 1923, when South African Railways made the first’wireless’ broadcast in Johannesburg. In April 1924, the Associated Scientific and Technical Company took over transmissions on the Witwatersrand, and in September of that year the Cape Peninsula Publicity Association started a similar service in Cape Town.’Wireless’, as it was then called, was introduced to listeners in Durban three months later by the Durban Corporation. Separate functioning of the three organisations and the limited area of coverage, as well as low revenue from licensed listeners, made radio unprofitable. To rescue the fledgling industry, the financially strong Schlesinger organisation combined the three small stations on 1 April 1927 to form the African Broadcasting Company. The growth of radio was still restricted mainly by financial difficulties during the Depression, and the then Prime Minister, General Hertzog, ordered an inquiry into all the aspects of broadcasting, which led to the establishment of the SABC by an Act of Parliament (Act 22) on 1 August 1936. At first the new national radio service was only in English, but the Act prescribed inception of a parallel Afrikaans service, and in 1937 comprehensive transmissions in both the then official languages became a reality. 2

The Forties
The first direct transmissions in African languages were made in 1940 by telephone line, when, as a wartime measure, broadcasts in Zulu, Xhosa and Sesotho were relayed to townships throughout the country. In 1942, direct African language broadcasts were introduced on medium wave.

The Fifties
A commercial service, Springbok Radio, broadcasting in English and Afrikaans, was introduced on 1 May 1950. The SABC introduced its own national news service on 17 July 1950, which supplied the English Service, the Afrikaans Service and Springbok Radio with daily news bulletins. In 1953, a rediffusion service for relaying the African language broadcasts was introduced in metropolitan areas and townships in South Africa.

The Sixties
The 1960s saw the introduction of full-scale programme services in African languages; regional services for the then Transvaal, Cape Province and Natal; and an external radio service broadcasting on shortwave.
These were milestones:
 A comprehensive FM network was started in 1961 to relay services country wide, to make them more accessible to listeners
 Radio Zulu, Radio Xhosa and Radio Sesotho established on 1 June 1960
 Radio Lebowa and Radio Setswana established on 1 June 1962
 Radio Highveld established on 1 September 1964
 Radio Tsonga and Radio Venda established on 1 February 1965
 Radio Good Hope established on 1 July 1965
 An external service, Radio RSA (now known as Channel Africa), established on 1 May 1966
 Radio Port Natal (now known as East Coast Radio), established on 1 May 1967.

The Seventies
The SABC took over the former LM Radio and launched it as Radio 5 on 13 October 1975… and South Africa was launched into the TV age with the introduction of the country’s first television service on a single channel. Test transmissions began on 5 May 1975, and the official service was launched on 5 January 1976.

The Eighties
While the early 80s saw the establishment of more radio programme services (one specially for Indian listeners), the end of 1985 marked the discontinuation of the pioneer English and Afrikaans services, and of Springbok Radio. At the beginning of 1986 they were replaced by two new national radio services that carried commercials, one service in English and one in Afrikaans. 1986 also saw the introduction of community radio services, which developed, and expanded, from regional radio.
 Radio Swazi established on 1 April 1982
 Radio Lotus, aimed at Indian listeners, established on 8 January 1983
 Radio Ndebele established on 1 April 1983
 The English Service, the Afrikaans Service and Springbok Radio discontinued at midnight on 31 December 1985 and replaced on 1 January 1986 by Radio South Africa (now SAfm), Radio Suid-Afrika (now RadioSonderGrense), Radio 2000 and additional regional stations, Radio Jacaranda, Radio Oranje and Radio Algoa.
 On the television front, a second service, TV2/3, was launched on 1 January 1982, initially sharing a channel.
 On 1 January 1983, TV2/3 was split into two separate services, and on 30 March 1985 the SABC introduced a fourth service, TV4. In the latter part of the eighties, simulcasts on radio and television were introduced.

The Nineties
Faced with an increasingly competitive broadcasting environment, the SABC geared itself for major restructuring on business-orientated lines in the early nineties to meet the challenges. The mid-nineties set the scene for the biggest transformation in the corporation’s history. Major developments on the television front during the nineties were these:
 TSS (‘Topsport Surplus’) was introduced as an unofficial supplementary service in October 1991. It was relayed on the spare capacity of the TV1 signal and carried the sports programmes that could not normally be accommodated in the TV1 schedule.
 The consolidation, on 1 October 1992, of its TV2, TV3, and TV4 channels into one multicultural channel, CCV-TV (‘Contemporary Community Values Television’).
 On 11 February 1994, the TSS spare channel was discontinued and replaced by NNTV (National Network Television).
 Establishment in October 1993 of the Independent Broadcasting Authority by Act of Parliament.
 Satellite broadcasts on the KU-band PAS-satellite were introduced on 2 October 1995. This switched transmission of the SABC’s three television channels and 11 public service radio stations to the satellite, making radio and television reception available to every one in South Africa, no matter where they lived, provided they had the necessary receiving equipment.
 On 17 November 1995, the SABC launched an analogue sports channel broadcasting from the satellite for six hours a day.
 On 4 February 1996, the SABC relaunched the TV1, CCV-TV and NNTV channels as SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3.
 The SABC launched two analogue-based satellite TV channels – AstraPlus (a movie channel) and AstraSport – on 15 July 1996. The free-to-air channels were to be the vanguard of a full-scale pay TV bouquet.
 In accordance with a directive from the IBA, the SABC in September 1996 sold its six regional radio stations – Highveld, Jacaranda, Kfm, East Coast, Algoa and Oranje – to private enterprise.
 On 28 September 1996 the SABC relaunched its Radio portfolio. The new line-up of 16 radio stations, complete with new names and new identities, finally broke the mould in which SABC Radio had been cast since its inception in 1936, and completed the visible transformation of the corporation from a State broadcaster to a public service broadcaster accountable to all the people of South Africa.

 On 28 February 1998 the SABC discontinued its Astrasat analogue satellite channels, AstraPlus and AstraSport.
 On 1 March 1998 popular former homeland television station Bop-TV was formally integrated into the SABC stable. This followed the abolition by Act of Parliament of the broadcasters of the former Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei and the transfer of their services and facilities to the SABC and to Sentech.
 On 16 November 1998 the SABC, in a deal with pay-TV company MultiChoice, launched two 24-hour digital satellite TV channels aimed at Africa. One was a news channel and the other an entertainment channel.
 In May 1999 a new broadcasting law, the Broadcasting Act (No 4) of 1999, set the scene to irrevocably change the face of broadcasting in South Africa. It provides for three categories of broadcasting: public service, commercial and community. The SABC is to become a limited liability company with the State as 100% shareholder, and is to be restructured into separate public service and commercial arms.

Into the 21st century
 The SABC moves to align itself with the requirements of the new Broadcasting Act. It comes to the end of an era as a statutory corporation and prepares to launch itself into the 21st century as a registered public company.
 The SABC goes beyond its public mandate to provide services in all the official languages of the country when, on 18 August 2000, it launched XK-FM, a radio station broadcasting in the ancient !Xu and Khwe languages of the near extinct KhoiSan people of the Northern Cape.
 In September 2002, CKI-FM, a regional community station that was part of the former Ciskei homeland government’s communications portfolio, was formally incorporated into the SABC.
 On 1 April 2003, in a move to streamline its television broadcasts into Africa, the SABC merged its two 24-hour pay-TV channels (news-oriented SABC Africa and entertainment-oriented Africa-2-Africa) and relaunched them as a single infotainment channel on the digital DStv satellite platform. The channel carried the SABC Africa brand.
 On 31 July 2003, the radio stations and TV channel in the Bop Broadcasting portfolio (which had been administered by the SABC on behalf of the State since 1998) ceased broadcasting. The closing of this portfolio was in accordance with a government decision to pave the way for the introduction of a proposed new regional television service. The new service would be one of two aimed at delivering programmes in indigenous languages.
 On 1 October 2003 the process to corporatise the national broadcaster (kick-started in 1999 by the new Broadcasting Act) was completed: on that date the SABC officially became SABC Ltd, as it acquired the status of a limited liability company with the State holding 100% of the shares.

The SABC Today
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is South Africa’s national public service broadcaster. As such, it is obliged to provide a comprehensive range of distinctive programmes and services… it must inform, educate, entertain; support and develop culture and education; and, as far as is possible, secure fair and equal treatment for the various cultural groupings in the nation and the country. The headquarters of the corporation are at Broadcasting Centre in Johannesburg, one of the most modern complexes of its kind in the world.
The complex, which is dominated by a 36-storey administration building and has vast television and radio centres, straddles an area of 15 hectares.
The SABC also has smaller broadcasting operations in all the major centres of South Africa and offices and studios in several towns.
Who runs the SABC?
The organisation is controlled by a Board whose members are selected through public hearings and appointed by the State President, and who are responsible for matters of policy.
The Group Executive applies policy and determines strategies and guidelines for achieving corporate objectives.
The daily running of the SABC is the responsibility of the heads of individual units.

The SABC and its People
Qualified, committed and motivated staff is the driving force behind the SABC.
The SABC is an equal opportunities employer with a full-time staff complement of about 3 500 people ranging from broadcasters, producers and technicians to journalists, accountants and legal advisers.
Several thousand more people are engaged as freelancers. The skills and knowledge of employees are examined and broadened constantly and, to this end, consistent personnel development and further qualification of employees takes place in all the occupational categories.
The SABC is committed to corrective action, and has a staff complement of 59% black and 41% white members.
In addition, the corporation is sensitive to the gender issue and is committed to correcting past imbalances here, too.

The SABC and its Money
As the national public service broadcaster, the SABC’s funding mix is unique in the world: other public service broadcasters are financed principally through revenue from television licences and State grants, whereas the SABC relies on commercial sources for the bulk of its annual operating revenue.
Some 76% of the SABC’s annual income is derived from advertising and sponsorships, and 8% comes from areas such as hiring of broadcasting facilities, and from interest. Income from television licence fees represents 16% of the SABC’s annual operating revenue and is used primarily to finance the national broadcaster’s public broadcasting obligations.
State funding for specific public broadcasting projects may supplement this funding mix.

International Connections

As an international broadcaster the SABC strives to maintain and develop sound relations with other broadcasters, particularly in Africa, but elsewhere in the world as well. Accordingly the corporation is an active member of several broadcasting bodies. They are:

1] The Union of National Radio & Television Organisations of Africa (URTNA)

2] The Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA)

3] The Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA)

4] Public Broadcasting International (PBI)

Through these bodies the SABC works for the common good of broadcasting in general, towards establishing relationships that will help to address the unique challenges faced by African broadcasters and the better positioning of public service broadcasters in relation to the rights providers for broadcasting of events such as sport. These bodies also provide an excellent platform for advancing the continental goals of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which the SABC fully supports.

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