New minister tasks 'fit and proper' SABC interim board with fixing financials

2017-04-05 16:35
Newly appointed Minister of Communication Ayanda Dlodlo. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Newly appointed Minister of Communication Ayanda Dlodlo. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

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Cape Town - New Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says she has directed the new SABC interim board to urgently address the broadcaster's failing financials.

Dlodlo and new Deputy Minister Thandi Mahambehlala held a series of meetings on Monday and Tuesday with various stakeholders, including Icasa, MDDA and GCIS.

Dlodlo met with SABC executives and the new interim board for the first time on Tuesday since her swearing in on Friday.

In contrast to former minister Faith Muthambi's attempts to halt the board's work, Dlodlo directed the interim board to start working "with immediate effect".

"As a government shareholder representative, Minister Dlodlo is confident that the interim board is fit and proper to resolve the issues the SABC is faced with," a ministry statement said on Wednesday.

The interim board should work with the executives to revive the financial position of the broadcaster, and report back before the end of this week, the statement said.

Other issues she was briefed on were governance challenges, the funding model, and proposed legislation that could further affect the broadcaster.

READ: New communications minister gives SABC interim board green light

Cash shortage

SABC spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago on Tuesday said the most pressing matter facing the SABC was fulfilling all its financial obligations, including payment of service providers.

A SABC memo sent to general managers last week said that, after March salaries were paid, the broadcaster would not be able to pay all its bills, as it was drawing on the last of its reserves.

Muthambi, who lost her position as minister in President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle last week, told members of the interim board last Wednesday that they could not proceed with their job until they had been vetted by the State Security Agency.

Her letter to the board members came less than a week after Zuma approved their appointments.

Muthambi said she would countersign Zuma's decision after security clearance had been granted, as allowed by a section of the Constitution, in favour of the sitting minister.

She has since been made minister of public service and administration.

* This article has been updated. Deputy minister Mahambehlala was only present at the Monday meetings, and not at the meeting with the SABC.

Read more on:    sabc  |  ayanda dlodlo  |  media

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