[intro]On Sunday the presidency released a statement that an interim SABC board has been appointed. The five intermin board members were unanimously approved by the National Assembly and consists of Khanyisile Kweyama (chair), Mathatha Tsedu (deputy chair), John Matisson, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule and Krish Naidoo. The board has been appointed for six months, according to the statement.[/intro]
“Millions of South Africans rely on the public broadcaster for news‚ information and entertainment. We wish Ms Kweyama and her team well as they begin the important task of leading and revitalizing one of the most important national resources‚ the SABC‚” President Zuma said in a statement.
The public broadcaster is not only facing financial collapse, but has come under fire recently with reports of censorship, cash shortfalls and irregular spending. Last June, former acting CEO, Jimi Matthews, resigned with immediate effect in protest against deteriorating journalistic conditions at the SABC. Former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has come under intense public scrutiny with the City Press recently reporting that Motsoeneng left the public broadcaster in “financial ruin”.
In a move which possibly marks a turnaround for the SABC, the appointment of the interim SABC board has been largely welcomed, consisting of respected journalists and business people.
Kweyama is the CEO of Business Unity South Africa and has served on the board of Anglo American South Africa, as well as Telkom. Tsedu is a veteran South African journalist and the former editor of the Sunday Times, he also served as deputy CEO of SABC News from 2001 to 2002. Matisonn started his journalism career at the Rand Daily Mail in the 1970s and was also one of the founding councillors of the Independent Broadcasting Authority. Potgieter-Gqubule is former deputy chief of staff at the African Union Commission and Naidoo is a former SABC board member, according to a report by TechCentral.
Business Day reported that of the Board’s many tasks, it will prioritize the reviewing of editorial policies as well as appointing executives, including a permanent CEO, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. The Board will also implement the recommendations by Parliament’s ad hoc committee on the SABC’s collapse including an investigation into contracts, salary increases, dodgy bonus payments and other questionable SABC deals.