The African National Congress (ANC) has proposed drastically reducing
the SABC’s reliance on advertising by raising the state’s contribution
to the public broadcaster’s revenue to a mammoth 60% annually by 2010,  writes Thom Maclachlan in Business Day.

According to a document outlining the ANC’s media policy for the next five years — as adopted at the party’s 52nd conference in Polokwane last month — the state’s contribution should rise to a minimum of 60%, from 2% now.

The party said that the media’s reliance on advertising revenue had a negative effect on society. It also said the SABC played a crucial role in promoting a developmental state.

The funding proposal could further fuel concerns about the SABC’s independence. The broadcaster has been accused of pro-ANC political bias.

The SABC has sought an increase in government funding for some time, to curb its reliance on commercial income.

While SABC CE Dali Mpofu welcomed the proposed increase, he warned that it was important to “strike a balance” between state funding, advertising and licence fees.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.