JOHANNESBURG — Whatever other problems the South African Broadcasting Corp. has had over the past few years, getting viewers to trust the pubcaster is not one of them.
According to a Human Sciences Research Council survey on public trust in public and private institutions, the SABC has had a consistently high score over the past decade, outperformed only by churches.
The study, completed among a sample of South Africans older than 16, shows that overall trust in institutions grew from a low of 47% in 1998 to a high of 63% in 2004, but has since plunged back to 1998 levels.
However, a few institutions managed to hold their ground. Over the decade, 81% kept their faith in religious institutions, while trust in the SABC consistently exceeded 70% between 2003 and 2007.
SABC chief executive Dali Mpofu says this shows the SABC is fulfilling its constitutional mandate as a pubcaster and is playing an important role in shaping the future of South Africa.
“The public purpose is at the heart of the SABC,” he says.