Do these people have what it takes to turn around the SABC?

Parliament has roped in 12 people to turnaround the SABC.
Parliament has roped in 12 people to turnaround the SABC.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications has shortlisted 12 candidates to fill vacancies on the board of the SABC‚ which has faced turbulence from the start.

Four board posts are currently vacant. The candidates‚ shortlisted from 80 names‚ will be interviewed on October 30.

The shortlisted candidates are: Kevan Jones‚ Adv Motshedi Lekalakala‚ Thabo Leshile‚ Diliza Madikiza‚ Unathi Magwentshu‚ Vuyokazi Makhubalo‚ Adv Matthews Mofokeng‚ Bernedette Muthien‚ Mergan Naidoo‚ Thozama Nene‚ Michael Nurick and Jasmina Patel.

“We are happy that five of the candidates are qualified women who are fairly young. The profiles of all candidates are published on the Parliament website for public comment‚” said committee chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana.

The SABC has been on a mission to turn around the public broadcaster‚ which recorded a net loss of R622m in the latest financial year. The broadcaster has made a series of senior appointments to help improve its fortunes‚ including a new board and executives.

The SABC board recently announced that it was considering job cuts in order to stabilise the corporation. The announcement put the board on a collision course with communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane‚ who has accused the board of “ignoring the advice and support of the shareholder in this necessary and critical process of turning the SABC around”.

Former president Jacob Zuma approved the appointment of the current board about a year ago. From the start‚ it was hit by controversy. After barely a month‚ Rachel Kalidass resigned‚ citing unhappiness over the appointment process for the positions of group CEO and chief operating officer.

Deputy board chairperson Febe Potgieter-Gqubule said in March this year that she had resigned to take up a position at the ANC headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg. Board member Victor Rambau followed in July. The fourth spot was left after Nomvuyiso Batyi withdrew her candidature after being nominated by the portfolio committee.

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