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Appointment of SABC interim board imminent

Published Jan 23, 2017

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Johannesburg – The SABC could have a new board as early as this week, once members of the portfolio committee on communications have picked the names of the proposed candidates.

The committee is holding its first meeting for the year on Tuesday, where it will discuss five names of people to serve on the SABC interim board.

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The ad hoc committee on the SABC has endorsed the establishment of the interim board and proposed that it be set up as soon as possible.

One of the recommendations expected to be ratified by the ad hoc committee at Tuesday’s meeting is the full-scale investigation into corruption at the SABC.

The five-member board will have a six-month period to stabilise the public broadcaster before a permanent board is established.

The meeting of the communications committee will determine the process to be followed in picking the interim board.

But the ad hoc committee has already said the Broadcasting Act provides a guide on how the candidates must be nominated and appointed.

Part of the proposed recommendations from the ad hoc committee is that candidates to serve on the board must be qualified with relevant expertise and experience in broadcasting, regulation and financial management.

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MPs from various political parties have said they want a strong board that will be able to put their foot down and dig deep into corruption at the SABC.

They also want a board that will follow the law and account to Parliament.

The previous boards of the SABC have been divided and involved in infighting, leading to their collapse in recent years.

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The communications committee is expected to set a deadline to finalise the names of people to serve on the interim board.

But the ad hoc committee has indicated its desire to have quick results at the public broadcaster.

The interim board will have to follow the recommendations of the Public Protector and the Auditor-General's investigation.

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The Public Protector’s recommendations have been said not to have been implemented by the SABC, and the 2014 report was never taken to court for a review by those who disagreed with it.

The parties are expected to table some of the names of the candidates they want on the interim board.

Some of the parties have already called for new board members to stay away from politics, and not be members of political parties, to avoid a conflict of interest.

The issue of political interference has come out strongly at the ad hoc committee hearings.

Political Bureau

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