Pretoria – Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says her department respects the editorial independence of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
Last week, the public broadcaster announced that it will no longer broadcast footage of the destruction of public infrastructure.
Minister Muthambi said she noted the decision by the SABC not to publicise any content displaying violent protests and the wanton vandalism and burning of infrastructure.
“The department respects the editorial independence of the SABC. [I] welcome any positive action by the public broadcaster that seeks to condemn the vandalising of infrastructure and the destruction of schools and public infrastructure.
“We unequivocally condemn the destruction of public and private infrastructure. It is our belief that the decision by the public broadcaster not to show footage of people burning public institutions such as schools and libraries, in any of its news bulletins, will go a long way to discourage attention seeking anarchists,” she said.
Minister Muthambi said one of the SABC mandates is to prioritise nation building and the promotion of social cohesion. She said it is important that the institution is supported in its endeavours to promote social stability, national identity, patriotism and love for the country.
“I believe the decision not to air footage of burning public institutions was taken in the spirit of social cohesion and nation building, not censorship as purported,” she said.
The Minister commended communities and civil society organisations, who continue to work with government to guard against vandalism of public infrastructure.