File photo: Independent Media

Johannesburg - The cleansing currently under way at the SABC has been hailed in Parliament for helping attract the massive interest in people who applied to serve on the permanent board of the public broadcaster.

Communications portfolio committee chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana said 362 applications were received as at the June 30 deadline.

"The office of the chairman is working on summarising who has what in terms of qualifications and who met the criteria. That will be presented to the committee next week when we do the shortlisting," Maxegwana said.

He said they did not know who has applied to serve on the bard as yet.

"We don't know who has applied until we get the file from the staff," Maxegwana in anticipation of a question whether the current interim board members had applied or not.

Maxegwana also said the committee members would be furnished with the file containing the names of all the applicants later this week ahead of the Tuesday's shortlisting.

"The files will be with you as early as Friday so that when we meet on Tuesday you have done your work."

He sang praises of the interim board, saying it was doing good work and that the committee was satisfied with its work.

"We want to reiterate that up to now we are satisfied with how they handle issues at SABC,"  Maxegwana said.

DA's Phumzile van Damme was impressed with the number of applications received, which she ascribed to the work of the board.

Van Damme said there was now renewed interest in SABC.

"It bares testament in interim board’s work right now. It just shows that thus far they’ve done good work‚" said Van Damme.
Maxhegwana said he wished that the interest shown to serve on the SABC board was the same to the top job for the director-general for Communications Department, which attracted a single application.

"I hope it can be like this in the department ... In the whole of the country, South Africa, only one was interested to apply. It points to deep seated problems we have," he said.

Asked by ACDP's Steve Swart if the public would have an opportunity to comment on the shortlisted candidates, Maxegwana sad the interview process the candidates would be transparent and open.

He promised that the process to be followed in handling the interviews would be outlined when the committee meets next week.

Political Bureau