'Hlaudi' days ahead for the SABC

Faith Muthambi says the SABC can become Africa's top broadcaster with Motsoeneng at the helm.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been appointed as the SABC's permanent COO. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Communications says it's confident the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) can become the leading broadcaster on the African continent with Hlaudi Motsoeneng at its helm.

Motsoeneng has been confirmed as the public broadcaster's permenant Chief Operating Officer (COO) following a board meeting which saw him retain his position by a vote of seven to five.

Motsoeneng has been acting COO for several years now.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says she accepted the board's recommendation to appoint Motsoeneng permanently to restore stability as soon as possible.

She says three SABC boards recognised the good work Motsoeneng has done at the public broadcaster.

"I believe the appointment shall bring the necessary certainty and operational efficacy to the SABC board and management viewed collectively."

Muthambi says she believes Motsoeneng will inspire the necessary confidence for the SABC to successfully complete its digital migration program and preparation for the 2016 local government elections.

Given his achievement while acting in that position, the SABC is convinced that the SABC will work towards realising its mandate

The decision to appoint Motsoeneng permanently has been taken despite Muthambi agreeing to comply with an adverse finding by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recommending his suspension.

Her investigation also showed that Motsoeneng received three appraisals which increased his salary from R1.5 million to R2.4 million a year.

She also found Motsoeneng's appointment was irregular, stating that he committed fraud by lying about his matric qualification.

Motsoeneng has also come under fire recently for suggesting journalists should be licensed and over claims that he received a wife as a gift from Venda chiefs.

Last week, the SABC board appeared before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communication and SABC chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala told members of Parliament that there was no basis to suspend Motsoeneng due to his good performance.