* This point is closely related to the first: Our media monopolies have never needed to innovate. Because they have a mint of money, they can do what Naspers has done: acquire themselves rich, as they did with Tencent. To be fair to Naspers, they probably birthed the last Big Idea in the local industry, ie M-Net and later DStv. But those laurels are almost as old I am and that's why MultiChoice is now freaking out about the rise of Netflix.
* Our friends in the Fourth Estate have not cottoned on to the fact that the future of this country, and that includes all sectors of the economy, is young and black. I mean, those are the people who have shored up the economy for several years as doors have opened to a growing black middle class. But it’s not enough. We need more young black people in boardrooms and on shop floors – as both owners and operators, decision-makers and innovators.
* I made this a standalone point since I believe it is SO KEY: Why has Naspers, Independent or Tiso Blackstar not invested in a South African Tencent? I am convinced that our townships, universities and business incubators are brimming with future media disruptors. The corporate giants need to find these youngsters and invest in them, support them and develop their ideas.
What is happening at the SABC should ring alarm bells for the entire media industry in South Africa. The public broadcaster may have its unique (and tragic) quirks, but part of its malaise is a result of decades of inertia. Long before the reign of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC was a deeply dysfunctional institution. I daresay that some of our private media companies have been equally unresponsive to change.
-Content by Gershwin Wanneburg. Gershwin is a director of TMTV, who has worked as a reporter and editor at various media outlets, including Reuters, eNCA and SABC.