New blood proposed for ailing SABC

2009-09-18 07:27

A proposed new board to nurse the fallen SABC back to financial fitness and stability was announced by the parliamentary portfolio

committee on communications and it seems to have a good mix of talent and


The 12-member list will be handed over to the National Assembly for

debate and approval. The final word lies with President Jacob Zuma. Committee

chairperson Ismael Vadi said the process should be wrapped up by mid-October.

Those who made it onto the list are Cedric Gina, Desmond Khalid

Golding (who makes a comeback as a former board member), journalist Pippa Green,

Peter Harris, Barbara Masekela, Magatho Mello, Nkomotane Motsepe, Ben Ngubane,

David Niddrie, Clare O’Neil, Felleng Sekha and current interim board member

Suzanne Vos.

Vadi said that not all the candidates were supported by all

political parties. The ANC and opposition parties agreed on seven of the

candidates, Vadi said.

Those who fell off the list of 31 candidates include journalists

Max du Preez and William Gumede, trade unionist Jane Barret, John Matisonn and

Tselane Tambo.

The recommended names come a week earlier than expected and will

replace the current interim board when its term expires next month.

Once in office, the new board’s immediate responsibility will be

the appointing of a new chief executive for the broadcaster which is expected to

hit the ground running.

It also has to appoint a head of news. It is widely expected that

this task will fall to Green, who has extensive news experience.

Desiree Markgraaf, who also speaks for the Television Industry

Emergency Coalition, welcomed the composition of the proposed board saying it

consisted of “good people”.

She said the organisation would like to see the board stabilise the

broadcaster and place the sustainability of local content at the


The broadcaster is R800 million in the red and has requested a R2

billion bail-out from government.

Vadi said the candidates collectively possess the requisite skills,

expertise and competence to provide proper and effective leadership to the

public broadcaster whose corporate image had been severely damaged in the last

two years.


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