New communications minister gives SABC interim board green light

Cape Town - New Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has given the new SABC interim board the go-ahead to start working, disregarding former minister Faith Muthambi's attempt to halt the board's duties.

The board met Dlodlo the first time on Tuesday, SABC spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago said in a statement.

The new minister was satisfied that the interim board was properly appointed by President Jacob Zuma, and that "other requirements" were in progress, Kganyago said.

"The meeting with the minister was followed by a special board meeting to deal with the urgent matter of the SABC fulfilling all its financial obligations, including payment of service providers," he said.

"The interim board and the communications ministry shall remain engaged with this immediate challenge."

Kganyago told News24 that the ministry was best placed to explain what the other requirements still in progress were, but Dlodlo essentially gave the board the green light to begin its work.

The ministry was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

Muthambi letter

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

Her letter to the board members last Wednesday 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.

Salaries were paid

Meanwhile, the extent of the SABC’s financial crisis was revealed in a memo sent to general managers of finance this past week, City Press reported.

The memo said that, after last month’s salaries were paid, the broadcaster would not be able to pay all its bills, as it was drawing on the last of its reserves.

Portfolio committee on communications chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana last week said they were determined to see Parliament's SABC inquiry report implemented at the broadcaster.

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