SABC will not give 'live' coverage of closing rallies - media statement by Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) (13 March 2009)

As the Chairperson of the steering committee of the Multi-Party Forum, I can attest to the fact that fair and equitable media coverage has been a significant agenda item for all political parties. In this regard the role of the SABC has been a priority for us. We have lobbied intensively for all political parties to play on a level field when it comes to media coverage.

The UDM approached the SABC on 20 February 2009 with a request for live coverage of our election campaign closing rally in April. We did so on the basis that on previous occasions it had been only the ANC that benefited from such coverage for their closing rallies.

The SABC, through Dr Zikalala, has responded that:
"...the SABC will not be covering any closing rallies of political parties "live" due to limited resources."

We in the UDM and our partners in the opposition will be watching closely whether this decision is applied equally across the board.

We must admit that during this election campaign the SABC has greatly improved the fairness of their coverage; even if there are still some issues. We encourage them to continue improving the equality of their coverage.