By Mmoni Seapolelo, SABC’s Acting Group Executive for Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is one of the most important statutory institutions established to play an active role in the realisation of democracy, in line with the key tenets of the South African Constitution Act 108 of 1996.
The fundamental existence of this Constitution is to protect the rights of citizens as stipulated in the Bill of Rights, and the SABC, as a public service content provider, continues to play a pivotal role in the protection and preservation of the human rights.
One of the key objectives of the Constitution is to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society on a firm foundation of democratic values, social justice, and fundamental human rights.
The SABC has, over the years, proven to be a catalyst for social change by raising awareness and educating citizens about their rights and restoring their dignity through a plethora of diverse programming.
The SABC’s social responsibility is extended beyond its programming on the 19 radio stations with the inclusion of Channel Africa, which is broadcast in several African countries and six (6) video entertainment services, as well as a streaming service. These platforms provide significant societal benefits as the Broadcasting Act of 1999 advocates for a South African broadcasting system that serves to safeguard, enrich, and strengthen the cultural, political, social, and economic fabric of the country.
The organisation’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) department cements the SABC’s important role as a social entity in various South African communities that aims to address the social ills and challenges facing the country. SABC’s CSI aligns itself with South Africa’s triple challenges of poverty, inequality, and unemployment. In the 2022/23 financial year, the SABC has worked very closely with the following Non-Governmental Organisations:
Gift of the Givers
Reach for a Dream
National Sea Rescue Institute
SABC’s CSI department continuously work with NGOs to respond to the escalating need for public awareness and more targeted information around various challenges that threaten social stability, such as Gender-based violence, rape, poverty, and child-headed households. A total of R14m worth of airtime was invested in the Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to assist NGOs in disseminating messages aimed at creating awareness and empowering citizens with valuable information.
Some of the key highlights in 2022-23 financial year includes the collaboration of SABC Fortune combo stations (SAfm, Radio 2000 and Lotus FM) and the biggest African Language station, Ukhozi FM, ensuring that messages from the KZN government reach the communities that were affected by the floods in Durban and the surrounding areas. In August 2022, SABC CSI focused on the health pillar partnering with Smile Foundation for the handover of burns unit/ward at Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberly Northern Cape.
SABC CSI also successfully supported the 16 Days of activism campaign against women and children. The campaign was made possible with partnerships from LifeLine Foundation, Tears Foundation and GBVF. For its flagship programme, the Back-to-school campaign, CSI donated a total of 60 laptops to various schools in Limpopo, Free State and Western Cape Provinces.
At the core of what the SABC is mandated to deliver on is the understanding that South African citizens have a right to be informed and educated about social, economic, and political matters, and the SABC’s ability to deliver important information freely to the citizens is by in its nature protecting people’s human rights.
The SABC’s CSI department aligns with the Corporation’s values of Respect, Trust, Integrity, and Quality. The department will continue to uphold these values that also extend to programming that is provided to the South African citizens daily.
The SABC is cognisant of the fact that partnerships play a pivotal role in the successful delivery of the many CSI projects that the Corporation embarks on. Therefore, it will continue to work together with various stakeholders to continue to restore human dignity.