SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng says he wants staff at the public broadcaster to wear uniforms as a sign of unity.
Motsoeneng told City Press in an interview: “I have been thinking maybe our employees should have uniforms so that they can understand unity.”
Motsoeneng has been accused of censoring his journalists, to report only on ‘good news’ in the country.
He has also defended the decision by the SABC not to show coverage of violence, protests, and people destroying public property.
Speaking at a panel discussion at that the National Press Club in Pretoria on Tuesday evening, he said: “I am not apologetic about what is happening within the organisation and journalists can’t tell us, or print media or any commercial radio station. They can’t decide for SABC.”
In May, the SABC implemented 90% local content across all its 18 radio stations under the instruction of Motsoeneng. The broadcaster further aims to beef up local content on its commercial television station by up to 80%, by July.
“I can tell you that 90% of South Africans are very excited with the transformation at the SABC and our improved news coverage, and I don’t know where this other 10% comes from or who they represent. People are very apologetic where they have to implement equity and transformation, but not us at the SABC,” Motsoeneng told City Press.
He said SABC employees were expected to “sing the song and talk the talk of the SABC”.
“If the SABC releases a statement, our employees can’t say ‘the SABC said this’; they must say ‘we are saying this or have decided on that’. They can’t report like other broadcasters when they are part of any SABC decision,” he said.
“The SABC is independent as an organisation, but no one is independent within the organisation.”