SABC interim board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama believes in integrity.
“I’ve seen how dishonesty messes up a country, messes up institutions,” she told Independent Media this week.
“Always care for the next person and don’t be selfish. You must be able to sleep at night knowing whatever action you took during the day doesn’t risk someone else’s life,” said the 53-year-old.
Kweyama and the SABC interim board members, who include acclaimed former editor Mathatha Tsedu, have been widely credited for cleaning up the mess at the broadcaster. She has been Business Unity SA chief executive and executive director of Anglo-American SA, the first woman to hold such a position in the company.
Parliament has endorsed the interim board and it’s now up to President Jacob Zuma to approve it.
“It’s good for continuity that all the members of the interim board have also been recommended for the permanent board The SABC is quite a daunting animal and in the past six months that we’ve been here it hasn’t been easy on many levels,” she said.
She is baffled by the level of mismanagement that has brought the SABC to the brink of collapse.
“Sometimes you feel frustrated and you wonder how this could have happened over the years.
"Overall, it’s good to be part of fixing an institution that is so crucial to the South African public making sure the boat doesn’t sink completely.
"Dealing with staff morale has been key as well, because people were really demoralised and some depressed.
"We had a few deaths and, even though you can’t say someone has committed suicide, the overall effect on people has not been good.”
While the SABC has recently shifted its editorial policies, Kweyama reiterated that it was important to reverse such policies.She says the SABC should never be used as a mouthpiece for political parties and other organisations, including the governing ANC.
“We’ve now been appointed to the permanent board for five years, so that’s good to fix, to stabilise and start getting out into being the broadcaster of choice, being a good quality broadcaster, making the money that you need to develop more content, getting into the digital age and just being relevant."
The board has set a target of two years to fix the SABC. Progress has been made in the appointments of key positions at the SABC, and they are looking to provide more diverse programming and have more channels.
"And also technology, being able to access content not only when sitting in a lounge but wherever you are
"Also, how do we attract more revenue because we can prove that we have the audiences and give them to advertisers who would then want to stay with us."