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Parliament finally approves names for new SABC board

The SABC has no board of directors after the previous board's term ended on October 15. File photo.
The SABC has no board of directors after the previous board's term ended on October 15. File photo.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Sunday Times.

Parliament has finally approved the names of 12 candidates to be appointed to the new SABC board.

In a rare occurrence, the names were unanimously supported by all the parties in the National Assembly.

The names of Renee Horne, Tseliso Thipanyane, Khathutshelo Ramukumba, Franz Krüger, Nomvuyiso Batyi, Phathiswa Magopeni, Aifheli Makhwanya, Magdalene Moonsamy, Rearabetsoe Motaung, David Maimela, Dinkwanyane Mohuba and Mpho Tsedu will be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for appointment.

The process of appointing the new non-executive directors has dragged on for months because of vetting delays at the State Security Agency.

The National Assembly’s portfolio committee on communications and digital technologies concluded interviews mid-September but the vetting of the 34 candidates interviewed by MPs was only completed in the last week of November.

This saw the term of the erstwhile board coming to an end on October 15 without a new board waiting in the wings.

Speaking in the debate on Tuesday, the ANC’s Lesiba Molala said while it may have taken some time to conclude the process, qualification verification, state security clearance and public participation were all essential.

Molala acknowledged that the broadcaster was going through a rough period as it faced financial losses, underperforming advertising revenue, declining audiences and poor licence fee collection.

“While the picture looks gloomy, it is worth mentioning that there are promising interventions in the pipeline for the SABC,” he said.

The DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard said while one has to accept that expertise should have been at the top of the must-have register, the ANC predictably resorted to bean-counting in terms of gender, race and age. “So much experience was lost,” she said.

During the selection of the final list of names, the ANC said it was guided by the principle of continuity, gender, performance in interviews, youth representation and minorities.

The assembly also adopted three additional names — Zolani Matthews, Palesa Kadi and Quentin Green — who would be considered for appointment if one of the 12 was no longer available.



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