SABC interim board must prioritise Hlaudi's role, financials

2017-03-27 13:20
Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (News24, file)

Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (News24, file)

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Cape Town – The new SABC interim board must prioritise the failing financials of the SABC and formalise the disciplinary processes around Hlaudi Motsoeneng, various parties have said.

The new interim board was officially approved by President Jacob Zuma on Sunday, with Business Unity SA's Khanyisile Kweyama appointed as interim board chairperson.

The other members are John Matisson, Mathatha Tsedu, Febbe Portgieter-Gqubule and former board member Krish Naidoo.

The Democratic Alliance, Right2Know and portfolio committee on communications chairperson Humprey Maxegwana agreed that the SABC's leaking financials need to be plugged urgently.

"Linked to the [bad] financials is the stability needed for the staff. There is a lot of uncertainty around staff contracts and the financial crisis currently facing the SABC," Right2Know spokesperson Jayshree Pather said.

Maxegwana said there had been a lot of "wastage of money" at the broadcaster due to key SABC policies being flouted by the current group executives.

He said the new interim board must adopt and internalise Parliament's ad hoc committee report into the SABC as soon as possible to stop the leakages.

SABC spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago told the media last week that the broadcaster is currently operating from its reserve funds, with its main sources of revenue, advertising and TV licences, under pressure.

DA national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the interim board must terminate all questionable contracts, such as the ANN 7 and MultiChoice agreements, if found to be unsound.

The SA Communist Party said last week that that the broadcaster is "teetering on collapse", due to financial mismanagement.

Motsoeneng disciplinary proceedings

Van Damme also said the interim board has two weeks in which to appoint a chairperson to oversee disciplinary proceedings into the appointment of Motsoeneng, as directed by the Western Cape High Court and the Public Protector.

Motsoeneng stands to be charged for misrepresenting his qualifications, abuse of power and improper conduct with regards to alleged staff purges.

The disciplinary proceedings must be completed within two months of being established.

Maxegwana also said the interim board must address issues around human resources.

Pather added that R2K would like to see processes around revising the broadcaster's editorial policy begin in earnest, which will require input from the public.

The interim board will serve for a maximum of six months. Parliament will begin the processes of appointing a permanent board in that time period.

Some of the other financial difficulties facing the broadcaster are:

- The SABC reported a R411m net loss for the 2015/2016 financial, an increase from the previous year.

- The board failed to discharge its duties as stated in the Public Finance Management Act by failing to take effective and appropriate steps to prevent irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure of up to R5.1bn in 2016 alone;

- Former SABC group executive for procurement Madoda Shushu testified before the SABC inquiry in December that he knew of at least three irregular contracts signed by the chief executives in 2014 amounting to R100m.

Read more on:    sabc  |  hlaudi motsoeneng  |  cape town  |  media

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