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Chief Matsila promises to bring good managerial skills to SABC board

Traditional leader Chief Livhuwani Matsila believes he can add value to the public broadcaster as he already runs a business with a R200 million a year turnover.

FILE: The SABC headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)’s board candidate Chief Livhuwani Matsila says he was nominated by the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa but has a skill set that goes beyond representing the concerns of people in rural areas.

Matsila told Parliament’s communications committee he has a Masters degree in Science and a track record of management in the public sector and also runs a business with a R200 million a year turnover in water reticulation and civil engineering.

He believes he can add value to the public broadcaster.

“If you have a budget of around R6 billion, it’s a lot of money. If you can’t manage that and you need more money, then there’s a problem. So, we need to improve internal controls and put in austerity measures to cut down the cost of doing business, otherwise it will continue on an unsustainable trajectory.”

Matsila is a former head of the African National Congress (ANC)’s caucus at Parliament.

The Democratic Alliance’s Phumzile van Damme asked if he’d be able to fight for the SABC’s independence.

“When you serve at a national institution like the SABC, you put national interests first. National interests supersede the interests of a political party, including the ANC. And you have to be objective and professional because you have to follow the laws that govern these entities to the letter.”

Meanwhile, a former SABC board member has been grilled about why he wants to return to the public broadcaster and whether he will have the stomach to see out his term if appointed.

Sembie Danana served on the SABC board from 2011 to 2013, while Ben Ngubane was chairman.

He said he left because the corporate plan had been derailed and there was intense pressure for Hlaudi Motsoeneng to be appointed chief operating officer, even though he wasn't qualified for the post.

Danana is among 24 shortlisted candidates being interviewed by Parliament's communications committee as it tries to fill eight empty seats on the board.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)