What took them so long?
After last month's drama, where Siki Mgabadeli's The Big Debate was pulled off the SABC 2 schedule hours before airing, e.tv and eNCA have come to the rescue.
The news leaked yesterday and eNCA has since confirmed that they have snapped the show. In the statement released today, e.tv head honchos commented about the need for shows like The Big Debate especially since it's a show that is in the public interest. From Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 9pm. Pity though that non-DStv subscribers will only see the show in the new year, from 05 January 2013 on e.tv and eKasi+. Who made and thought that decision to exclude non-DStv subscribers, was a bad one. They are the one's who need this show more. It proved very popular on SABC 2, a free-to-air channel. But then we digress.
eNCA head of news, Patrick Conroy said: "As we head into 20 years of democracy we feel it is critical to debate the issues facing our country. How can that be a bad thing? It is just a contestation of ideas – that’s what freedom is all about."
“We agreed to broadcast the show because we feel it is in the public interest to do so. The channel is committed to ensure that debate driven content is widely accessible to the majority of South Africans. ”
Siki and her executive producer, Ben Cashdan also weighed in. “When the show was pulled off air at the last minute, I was extremely disappointed and frustrated with the SABC. It seemed that the voices of ordinary people across the country would not be heard. Thanks to eNCA and e.tv, those voices will now be part of the national debate," Siki said.
Cashdan added: This is the fifth series of The Big Debate. I think right now South Africa needs more than ever a space in which marginalised voices can be heard. Hopefully someone is listening.”