SABC board: Steps can now be taken to turn national broadcaster around

Board member Khanyisile Kweyama says special attention will be given to its human resources and news departments and addressing structural problems overall.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The new SABC board is briefing Parliament’s committee on communication on Friday.

The board's presentation is focused largely on the implementation of the recommendations of the Public Protector's report which identified irregularities and financial mismanagement at the SABC.

The broadcaster has been gripped by problems in recent years, mainly around poor financial management.

The SABC board says it believes with its permanent appointment, steps can now be taken to turn the national broadcaster around.

Board member Khanyisile Kweyama says special attention will be given to its human resources and news departments and addressing structural problems overall.

“We also withdrew the court application to review the Public Protector’s report. We have subsequently also received communication both as interim board and permanent board from the Public Protector requesting reports of what actions have been taken.”

Kweyama has covered over 21 in-depth recommendations the board intends to follow through on, including reviewing its editorial policies, transformation and dealing with fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini says the main objective of their fight now is to achieve complete independence of the broadcaster.

Makhathini says the key areas of focus remain the independence of the board, the urgency of appointing executive positions as well as the lawful process which needs to be followed.

“The reality is we will not be able to stabilise the SABC unless we are able to appoint the permanent executives. So that affidavit is going in.”

While discussions have taken place between SABC and Multichoice, Makhathini says the aim is to reach agreements that make business and commercial sense.

“We would want to go into a contract that allows us to have a commercial engagement.”

The board has asked the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to review the Must Carry Regulations of 2008, which allow subscription broadcasters to carry SABC 1, 2 and 3 free of charge.