The candidates shortlisted for positions on the SABC Board have been grilled on their visions to turn around the finances of the public broadcaster as well as increase local content.
The SABC management is alleged to have failed to spend R800 million allocated for procuring local content. One aspiring board member says that once appointed, he will make sure there’s consequence management in cases like this.
Some of the candidates that were interviewed by the committee outlined their plans to address declining revenues and make the SABC self-sustainable and less reliant on bailouts.
The committee is racing against time to ensure that new board members are appointed next month when the term of the current board expires. The term of the current committee ends on the 15th of October.
The importance of local content was a theme during the second day of interviews. EFF MP, Vuyani Pambo, raised the issue of having R800-million meant for investing in local content being unspent.
“There is R800m set aside for content, but never used. The previous report indicated such. In view of R600m loss audience drop, can we not call for roll of heads, if remove staff as an excuse of turnaround, 621 lost jobs, yet no significant sign of turning around.”
One of the interviewees, Quentin Green, with extensive broadcasting knowledge as a former SABC TV chief, says quality local content is the only way to create sustainable income.
“If one is not getting top-rated programmes, it won’t attract revenue. Simple as that. Advertisers look at where the numbers are. So SABC will have to get up audience numbers and the only way is to attract South Africans by quality programming.”
While a seasoned broadcaster and journalist, Mpho Tshedu, says not spending money meant for local content, requires decisive action. “We must make sure there is consequence management for people who fail to do their jobs. This is the type of board one would want to serve in, where there is consequence when you don’t spend R800m. How do you explain this to producers who are toiling who are suffering? It’s failure to lead, people must fall on their sword.”
According to another nominee, Tseliso Thipanyane having good leadership at the broadcaster is crucial…
“It starts and ends with leadership and corporate governance. Therefore we can blame to a large extent, 90%, the board and management of the institution.”
VIDEO | SABC Board Interviews Continues Part 2: