Government has been commended for granting budgetary support to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) for the first time in decades, paving way for the imminent transformation of the parastatal in providing improved content to its viewers.
This comes as the ZBC’s operations have over the years been affected by budgetary constraints including low licence fee collection rate and lack of budgetary support from government.
In a Parliamentary post-budget briefing of parastatals under the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana hailed government’s commitment to addressing ZBC’s operational challenges after availing ZWL$130 million for the 2021 fiscal year.
“It is commendable that after more than 40 years, ZBC started to get funding directly from the Government after your input as members of the committee and it is my understanding that Government shall continue to support the operations of ZBC in line with its mandate to reform the country’s broadcasting industry,” he said.
A member of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Webster Shamu, cast a positive outlook for the parastatal’s future.
He said: “Let me hasten to say there is a correlation between the financial status of ZBC and its ability to produce quality content. The reality is that over the years there was no support to pay content producers and we are optimistic that this is the beginning of a new chapter for the broadcasting future of ZBC.”
Although the budgetary allocation was just 29% of the initial request, it is expected to go a long way in providing the much-needed financial lifeline whilst also boosting the arts sector as content producers will be fairly rewarded. Other parastatals which were represented at the briefing include Transmedia, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, NewZiana and the Zimbabwe Film and Television School of Southern Africa (ZIFTESSA).