Par­ties be­gin search for in­terim board to steer SABC ship

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAY­I­BONGWE MAQHINA may­i­bongwe.maqhina@inl.co.za

PAR­TIES have be­gun look­ing for in­di­vid­u­als with broader skills be­fore sub­mit­ting the names of peo­ple to be nom­i­nated to serve on the in­terim board of the SABC.

Par­lia­ment is ex­pected to start a process next week that will cul­mi­nate in the nom­i­na­tion of five peo­ple to serve on the in­terim board to be ap­pointed by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

An in­terim board con­sists of five non-ex­ec­u­tive board mem­bers as well as the chief ex­ec­u­tive, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer.

Zuma last month stated that he would wait for the Na­tional As­sem­bly to con­clude its in­quiry into the pub­lic broad­caster and then be guided by rec­om­men­da­tions on the fu­ture of the board.

This was af­ter the last non-ex­ec­u­tive board mem­ber, Pro­fes­sor Mbu­la­heni Magu­vhe, re­signed af­ter his failed bid to in­ter­dict the par­lia­men­tary in­quiry prob­ing the board’s fit­ness to hold of­fice.

The SABC is with­out non-ex­ec­u­tive board mem­bers and has only act­ing ex­ec­u­tives.

With the ad hoc com­mit­tee into af­fairs of the SABC com­pil­ing its re­port, par­ties are considering the cal­i­bre of peo­ple to serve on the com­mit­tee, guided by the Broad­cast­ing Act.

Moloto Mothapo, spokesper­son for the ANC chief whip’s of­fice, said they wanted ca­pa­ble men and women with ex­pe­ri­ence in cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, le­gal is­sues and a whole range of com­pe­ten­cies who would steer the ship at the SABC.

Mothapo also said the skills and ex­pe­ri­ence of the nom­i­nees, in line with re­quire­ments con­tained in the Broad­cast­ing Act, should en­able them to im­me­di­ately ad­dress the is­sues aris­ing from the ad hoc com­mit­tee un­til a fully fledged board was in place.

DA spokesper­son Phumzile van Damme said they were con­sult­ing coun­try­wide on the cal­i­bre of peo­ple meet­ing the re­quire­ments of the act.

She said they would not nominate peo­ple af­fil­i­ated to any po­lit­i­cal party.

Van Damme said nom­i­nees with ex­per­tise in broad­cast­ing, me­dia and jour­nal­ism would get their back­ing.

The EFF last week called on mem­bers of the pub­lic to sup­ply it with names of sea­soned in­di­vid­u­als who were avail­able to serve on the in­terim board.

Party spokesper­son Mbuyiseni Nd­lozi called on ex­pe­ri­enced in­di­vid­u­als to avail them­selves to serve the coun­try and re­store pub­lic trust in the SABC.

“If ca­pa­ble men and women do not avail them­selves, then we will all be re­duced to the in­evitable re­sult of be­ing led by medi­ocre and weak in­di­vid­u­als prone to ma­nip­u­la­tion by dom­i­nant fac­tions of the rul­ing party to the detri­ment of the pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

Yes­ter­day, com­mu­ni­ca­tions port­fo­lio com­mit­tee chair Humphrey Max­eg­wana said SABC boards had in the past boasted of highly qual­i­fied peo­ple like lawyers, doc­tors and ad­vo­cates. “You need such skills and qual­i­fi­ca­tions so that peo­ple are not found want­ing,” he said.

He, how­ever, said qual­i­fied peo­ple could still be cor­rupt and mis­led.

Max­eg­wana said they wanted peo­ple who would be faith­ful to the pub­lic and help bring sta­bil­ity to the SABC.

“If you have a dis­grun­tled work­force, you cre­ate prob­lems in a com­pany, so you need a board to look at those things.”

Max­eg­wana also said that as soon they re­turned to Par­lia­ment next week, they would out­line the process of nom­i­na­tions for the in­terim board.

This would be fol­lowed by ob­tain­ing names of nom­i­nees from var­i­ous par­ties.

“We must sub­mit five names to serve on the in­terim board to the Na­tional As­sem­bly. The Na­tional As­sem­bly will then take them to the pres­i­dent,” he said.

‘We want peo­ple who can help re­store sta­bil­ity’

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