There are over 400 nominations to consider as Parliament says it will fast-track the appointment of new SABC board members ahead of the elections.
Responding to allegations in City Press that Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications has been dragging its feet in appointing eight replacements to the board of the embattled public broadcaster, committee chair Hlengiwe Mkhize released a statement on Friday, saying the committee has allocated three weeks to complete the process of making the current board of four members quorate again.
The committee, said Mkhize, is scheduled to adopt and table its final report on new board choices in the National Assembly on March 13.
With elections scheduled for May 8, civil society organisations Media Monitoring Africa and the SOS Coalition, as well as opposition parties, have been threatening action against the ruling party for apparently not enabling a fully functional public broadcaster to do its job of reporting and educating ahead of the polls.
An inquorate board cannot meet and, therefore, cannot take decisions to safeguard equitable coverage for all political parties.
According to the statement, the committee had already received 80 nominations to replace four SABC board vacancies last year, before the collapse of the board following another four resignations in December.
“Following new adverts to fill board vacancies ... the committee received 323 [more] nominations,” reads the statement. “On February 26 2019, the committee will short-list 24 candidates and publish their names together with abridged CVs on Parliament’s website for public comment. Interviews will then be conducted from March 5 to 7 2019.”
Mkhize said: “All candidates will be subjected to verification of qualifications, security clearance and public scrutiny.”
Earlier in the week, the committee told City Press that a delay had been caused because, after a first round of advertising, “there was no adequate representation of females, hence the committee decided to readvertise”.