President Jacob Zuma has appointed five members to the interim board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
The presidency announced on Sunday that the appointments were made in terms of the Broadcasting Act and on the recommendation of the National Assembly.
The National Assembly unanimously approved the five candidates – Khanyisile Kweyama, John Matisson, former SABC board member, Krish Naidoo, Mathatha Tsedu and Febbe Portgieter-Gqubule – to serve on the interim board.
During the House sitting, the chairperson of the Communications committee, Humphrey Maxegwana, explained what they were looking for in these interim board members.
“The Committee began with the deliberations on the interim board of SABC on the 24th January 2017 and agreed on the criteria to select the interim board members and among other things, candidates should possess in-depth knowledge of the Broadcasting Act, legal expertise, and experience in dealing with human resources. Since the process of appointing an interim board does not acquire advertising and interviews, different parties had to come up with names to be deliberated and
Since the process of appointing an interim board does not acquire advertising and interviews, different parties had to come up with names to be deliberated and finalized by the committee,” Maxegwana said.
Ten days after the House approved the names, President Zuma appointed Kweyama and Tsedu as chairperson and deputy chairperson of the SABC Board respectively, as stipulated by the Broadcasting board.
According to the presidency, the appointments will serve a term of six months.
“Zuma made the appointments in terms of section 15A (3) of the Broadcasting Act (Act 4 of 1999), and on the recommendation of the National Assembly. The interim membership will last six months.
“Millions of South Africans rely on the public broadcaster for news, information, and entertainment. We wish Ms. Kweyama and her team well as they begin the important task of leading and revitalizing one of the most important national resources, the SABC,” the presidency said.
Zuma also wished the interim board well, stating that the appointment is the start of a significant task of revitalizing one of the most important national resources.
Kweyama has once served as Anglo American Plc’s former South Africa director. She is also the chief executive of Business Unity South Africa.
The SABC has not been able to function properly due to several troubling issues that affected it since 2016. The public broadcaster, which operates four television channels and 22 radio stations, had been battling to stamp out a journalist revolt over censorship of programs that portrayed the government in an unfavourable light.
Following its former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s disgraceful exit from the SABC, the public broadcaster, recently conceded that it’s currently facing a financial crisis
The former management was accused of unnecessary expenditure, corruption, censorship and other allegations that crippled the organisation.
Several sources at the broadcasters reportedly accused Motsoeneng, in particular, of leaving SABC in a financial mess due to several operating practices he introduced during his reign.
Reports have it that SABC is currently dipping into its reserves and their current problems could turn out to be worse than those in 2008, which got solved with a huge bailout.
Earlier this month, a report compiled by an ad-hoc committee of Parliament into the SABC recommended, among others, that President Jacob Zuma must seriously consider firing Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, on whose watch governance at the public broadcaster had degenerated.