Restore the integrity
SOUTH Africans wait with bated breath for the announcement of nominees for the public broadcaster’s interim board. With all that has been going on at the SABC, it can only be hoped that when the Chief Whips’ Forum receives a list of preferred candidates from political parties, it will be the names of sound-minded people with the public’s best interests at heart.
These should be people whose key focus would be to uproot the rot that threatens to collapse the broadcaster, provide strategic oversight and restore its integrity and image.
The Chief Whips’ Forum is tasked with reaching a consensus on preferred candidates, then to take those names to the communications portfolio committee for discussion and adoption before recommendations are made to Speaker Baleka Mbete.
Whatever happens during this process, taxpayers’ interests should be at the top of each and every decision-maker’s mind.
Those considered should be upstanding members of society, whose priority will be to lay the foundation for transformation at the SABC, not corrupt people who will further poke holes into the already sinking ship; not puppets who will be used to further steal from the public purse through irregular tender processes.
These people should have backbones. Joining the circus that is the SABC cannot be easy, so board members should be firm, principled people who are not easily swayed.
In light of the issues relating to editorial policy and censorship at the broadcaster, these board members should remember that they are duty-bound to ensure that the SABC produces compelling, professional and authoritative news and current affairs – not watered down news pieces that insult the intelligence of those who pay their TV licences.
While the interim board will have only a term of not less than six months, we hope that top of its priority list will be transformation and good governance.