Monday 31 July 2017

The BBC World Service is holding a series of debates across the world. In a time of change, BBC World Questions allows the public to question their politicians, leaders and opinion formers directly face to face. The debates are led entirely by questions from the audience who are able to have their points heard around the world.  BBC World Questions is an English-language event staged in partnership with the British Council.

On 10th August, BBC World Questions comes to South Africa at a time of political upheaval.  There is expected to be a vote of confidence in the country's longstanding President, Jacob Zuma, and there are allegations of widespread corruption in the country. There is wide debate about the best way to achieve social and economic transformation, and which direction the country will now take.

A panel of politicians and thinkers from across the spectrum join BBC presenter Nancy Kacungira at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg on 10th August to debate questions from a public audience on South Africa’s future.

The panel will include Sihle Zikalala of the ANC, Leigh-Ann Mathys of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Adam Habib, vice chancellor at Wits University, and Sipho Pityana, businessman and convenor of the Save South Africa campaign.

Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service English, said:“Debate is at the very heart of BBC World Service and we’re thrilled to bring BBC World Questions to Johannesburg at this pivotal time in South African politics.  This is the opportunity for the audience to ask their questions to our distinguished panel of politicians and opinion formers, and the world will have a chance to hear their response.” 

Colm McGivern, Director of the British Council in South Africa, said: “At this fascinating time in South Africa we can look forward to some tough questions to our strong panel; it’s sure to be a great occasion.  Plus we have a world class venue.  The new facilities of the Market Theatre are a perfect representation of tradition and innovation in one place – a bright light in downtown Jo’burg, open to all, always.  Come and join the audience, I look forward to seeing you there.”

The programme will be recorded at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg at 6pm.  To join in the debate and be part of the audience please apply for FREE tickets here

BBC World Questions: Johannesburg will be available on from 13th August, 1600 SAST.

For press accreditation to attend the debate and for any queries about BBC World Service please contact:

Any queries about British Council please contact:

Notes to Editor

About BBC World Service
BBC World Service delivers news content around the world in English and 28 other language services, on radio, TV and digital, reaching a weekly audience of 269 million.  As part of BBC World Service, BBC Learning English teaches English to global audiences.  For more information, visit The BBC attracts a weekly global audience of 346million people to its international news services including BBC World Service, BBC World News television channel and

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK's cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with - changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.