URGENT MATTER: Speaker Baleka Mbete said the discussion on the SABC interim board has to go to a relevant structure of Parliament. Picture: EPA
The Speaker, Baleka Mbete, ordered the portfolio committee on communications to get on with the job of appointing an interim SABC board after it wanted another body to do it.

MPs in the programming committee yesterday warned the communications committee has to appoint the new board after the ad hoc committee on the SABC tables its report this month.

This came after the communications committee decided last week to refer the matter of the interim SABC board to a meeting of the chief whips.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said the route taken by the communications committee was wrong.

He said they indicated that chief whips cannot be dealing with this matter.

“The responsibility to come up with the names of the interim board rests with the committee.

"As we sit now there is no board.”

Mbete said the discussion on the SABC interim board has to go to a relevant structure of Parliament.

She said they will discuss this issue with Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and House chairperson Cedric Frolick.

She said matters of the SABC were of interest to Parliament and other structures of the state, but the committee has to sit on the matter.

Parliament’s legal adviser, Zuraya Adhikarie, said the communications committee was the correct body to deal with the appointment of the interim SABC board.

However, there was a process under way at the moment and the committee has to wait until the report on the SABC was tabled at the end of this month.

“It is instructive to wait for the ad hoc committee, what is required, and what is the way forward.”

Mbete said once discussions had been held with Muthambi and Frolick they would be able to handle the matter.

In the draft report, the ad hoc committee wants fully-qualified people with requisite skills to serve on the SABC board.

MPs were concerned that the sooner this was done the better because there was no functioning board to take appropriate decisions.

Executive directors are not allowed to take some of the decisions in terms of the Broadcasting Act and Companies Act.

The National Assembly is expected to endorse the final report of the ad hoc committee at the end of the month.

Chairperson of the committee Vincent Smith has also committed to meeting this deadline set by Parliament.

The interim SABC board can only be appointed after this report has been approved by the House.

Political Bureau