The search for the 12 non-executive the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members will start on Tuesday morning.
This as the Sub-Committee of Parliament’s Communications Committee gets ready to start deliberations on the 37 candidates who were interviewed for the Board vacancies recently.
The report with the names of the successful candidates is also expected to be adopted later today before it is tabled before the National Assembly for final approval later this week.
Some of the 37 candidates include former SABC employees and five outgoing Board members.
They were shortlisted from 120 nominations.
The outgoing Board only has 18 days left in office before the end of its five-year term of office.
Deliberations on the candidates come at a time when Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, has reportedly threatened to declare the current Board delinquent for failing to steer the ship at the Public Broadcaster.
Among the 37 who have been interviewed and were in positions of authority within the Board or executive in the last five years are outgoing Board members Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, Saths Cooper, David Maimela, Jack Phalane and Dinkwanyane Mohuba, as well as former Group Executive of News and Current Affairs, Phathiswa Magopeni.
It will only be after rigorous deliberations that the public would know whether they have been recommended to return to the SABC.
Earlier this month, the shortlisted candidates were grilled about the broadcaster’s finances last year’s retrenchment process and the sacking of Magopeni.
The Deputy Chairperson of the Board, Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, was asked about a forensic report at the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority that had damning findings against her, as well as allegations that she has moonlighted for a telecommunications company while working at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).
She responded by saying, “These allegations are highly improper. I will write to the HRC (Human Rights Commission) and Gender Commission as a black woman executive that’s being treated differently. Even people on that Board have findings against them and it has never been made public. In my case, it’s worse because I was not given the opportunity to respond.”
Another current member of the Board, David Maimela, defended the retrenchment of more than 600 staffers last year, while close to 400 posts are now being advertised.
“I still think this was a rational decision. Many people misunderstand this but you can retrench and advertise again, because its new operating model, needs new skills, nothing wrong. It helps you to be more agile, more capable, understand the industry better and compete better,” says Maimela.
However, judging the success of the retrenchment process needs more time, according to Jack Phalane.
“Our expenses are high, the biggest cost was salaries, after retrenchments…its key to say we have the structure we believe is good. For me, now it’s implementation time. It makes no sense to release experienced people and then replace them with people who don’t know what they’re doing. Are people we have, doing what they are supposed to be doing?” asks Phalane.
After concluding the process of interviews, the names of the successful candidates will be tabled in parliament and then sent to the president for an appointment.
VIDEO: The Portfolio Committee on Communications continues with interviews for SABC Board members on September 16, 2022: