Michael Markovitz: ‘My five years on the SABC board’

You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone in South Africa as passionate about public broadcasting as Michael Markovitz.
A former journalist whose storied career has included serving as adviser to Mandla Langa, the former chairman of communications regulator Icasa, Markovitz has just completed five eventful years as a member of the SABC board.
He joins Duncan McLeod in the TC|Daily studio to talk about his experiences at the public broadcaster and why, despite its “capture” under former President Jacob Zuma and the abuse it endured under its former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, he still believes there is a strong case to be made for public broadcasting in South Africa.
The question, Markovitz says, is who will pay for public broadcasting in an environment where few South Africans are prepared to pay their television licence fees.
What funding models are appropriate, and why? Should a household television levy be applied? Markovitz unpacks this thorny issue in this episode of TC|Daily.
He also chats about:
• His new role as head of the Gordon Institute of Business Science’s new Media Leadership Think-Tank, and what he hopes it will achieve;
• The mess the recently departed board of the SABC inherited from the Motsoeneng era and what it took to clean it up;
• Whether the SABC can avoid a repeat of that disaster, and policy changes might be needed to protect the corporation from abuse by the executive arm of government;
• Why the delay in appointing a new SABC board is highly problematic;
• The case for public broadcasting in South Africa and appropriate funding models;
• Planned changes to broadcasting legislation;
• South Africa’s digital migration disaster and what went wrong; and
• The era of streaming and media fragmentation, and what this means for public broadcasting.
Don’t miss this great discussion!