The SABC needs to shape up and improve its image to avoid "the
perception and the reality that is an uncritical mouthpiece" of the
government, says the ANC, writes Thokozani Mtshali in the Pretoria News.

The ANC adds in its discussion document, Transformation of the Media, that it is important for the SABC to remain a reliable, credible, accurate and balanced news source reflective of the diversity of South African society.

The ANC's position on the SABC comes amid increasing concerns among opposition parties and others that the SABC, especially its news content, often seeks to promote the government.

The ANC's discussion document, which comes ahead of the party policy's conference in June, also adds that "while non-partisan in its approach, the SABC has a responsibility to uphold the values enshrined in the constitution".

This might not go down well with some, especially free media lobbyists, who might argue that while the ANC appears to be concerned about the SABC's integrity as the main source of information, the ruling party is, on the other hand, wooing the public broadcaster to promote the government's social cohesion programmes.

"The public broadcaster should be explicit in its commitment to nation building, reconciliation, forging an inclusive national identity and the reconstruction and development of the society," says the ANC.

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