SABC hold-up a tactical delay?
PARLIAMENT has worked incredibly hard, not just to hold our beleaguered public broadcaster to account, but also to play a constructive role in putting it back together again.
The dead wood has been excised, cross-bench pressure has led to a heroically incompetent minister being redeployed from this all-important portfolio, and an interim board appointed in record time.
Now, though, it appears as if all this might have been in vain. The president appears to be dithering in naming the 12-member board, and along with that its leadership. This, in turn, holds up the appointment process for key executive positions at the SABC.
Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo told Parliament’s standing committee that she was unhappy with the nominations she had received from the interim board, despite the interim board having previously told the same committee that the applicants were highly skilled.
We accept the minister’s concerns that it is she who will carry the responsibility for the SABC if the new board and executive fail.
However, there are those who firmly believe that the delays could be tactical, especially as we edge ever closer to the ANC’s all-important December elective conference.
The SABC has to get on track. It is a national asset with the greatest reach of any of our media, but to do so it needs a duly appointed board, one empowered to lead.
Every day that goes by without the confirmation of this board by the president, especially given the royal mess that the previous board made, suggests ulterior motives.
It’s a dangerous gambit to take in a society on a knife edge – especially if these delays are not deliberate, but the result of administrative incompetence.