Parliament – Two months into its six-month term, the interim board of the embattled South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has implemented a raft of measures to keep the broadcaster afloat, MPs were told on Tuesday.
Briefing the portfolio committee on communications, interim board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama said the board had taken to heart and already started implementing recommendations by a parliamentary inquiry, which dissolved the former board and highlighted serious problems with the way public money was being wasted.
Kweyama, who was appointed to the board in March along with four others, said the board and the Special Investigating Unit were conducting internal forensic investigations into various contracts at the broadcaster.
Those that did not add value would be cancelled. In addition, those guilty of procuring goods and services deemed as wasteful would face the music.
"To this end, the board as early as this week, has formed a task team that will engage with the SIU on conducting a forensic audit on fraudulent and wasteful expenditure between April 2012 and March 2017."
The board is also moving swiftly to fill key positions, including that of group chief executive and chief operating officer.
The deadline for people to apply for the position of CEO would be extended, while a recruitment company has also been contracted to find a COO, a group executive for radio and a chief audit executive.
Kweyama said they had engaged with staff on their grievances and she gave MPs the assurance that they would protect journalists against victimisation.
"As an interim board, we are committed...to building a culture that will ensure that journalists adhere to credibility, professional standards and a culture that is designed to protect journalists against intimidation."
Last year, several journalists were fired for questioning dubious editorial decisions – including a ban on airing footage of violent protests.
The journalists later told a parliamentary inquiry that they had continued to receive death threats.