News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
2 minute read
5 Oct 2017
4:24 pm

Ayanda Dlodlo awaiting qualifications authority’s green light on board members

Gosebo Mathope

Dlodlo will, though, still have to wait for Zuma's decision on the appointment of the board even if SAQA gives them the green light.

FILE PICTURE: Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa comforts Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo at Chabane home, Pretoria. (Photo: DoC)

Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has denied media reports that the new SABC board will be announced before the end of this week.

She said the board members had been subjected to verification checks. President Jacob Zuma last week told the media he would like to avoid a situation where it is found board members have misrepresented themselves.

This is despite parliament itself having conducted due dilligence test on the shortlisted candidates before interviews.

“I did say in the portfolio committee in Parliament that I am awaiting a report from SAQA [South African Qualifications Authority] to verify the qualifications of the incumbents,” Dlodlo said during a press briefing earlier.

However, even if SAQA gives a nod to the pending 12-member board, President Zuma is empowered in terms of the Broadcasting Act to officially inaugurate the board. The recommended board members include former interim chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama.

Other candidates include veteran journalist Mathata Tsedu, former Icasa councillor Nomvuyiso Batyi, author and journalist John Mattison, former board member Adv Rachel Kalidass and head of legal and external affairs for Southern Africa at British American Tobacco Bongumusa Makhathini.

READ MORE: SABC adverse audit findings reveal it is commercially insolvent

“Once received, the information will be handed to the Presidency for processing, which should allow the president to effectively exercise his discretion,” Dlodlo reiterated.

Dlodlo also told journalists that the public broadcaster’s day-to-day operations were not prejudiced by the absence of the board, and stressed that simply because an employee was working in an acting executive capacity, it didn’t amount to incompetence or susceptibility to fail to act in the interests of the organisation.

“I must indicate that the operations at the SABC are continuing without hindrance, and any matter that requires the attention of the board shall be dealt with in terms of the PFMA, which empowers the CEO to act as an accounting officer in the absence of a board,” Dlodlo added.

Earlier this week, presidential spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga dismissed the DA’s statement that instead of appointing the board, Zuma summoned editorial personnel to the Union Buildings in a bid to influence their editorial decision-making. Ngqulunga said this was a routine stakeholder meeting requested by the SABC staff members.

Two different SABC newsroom editors, speaking anonymously to The Citizen, said while the delay in appointing the board raised questions, the DA was grandstanding by alleging there was something untoward about the meeting as the same managers who met Ngqulunga had also previously met with the party on a different occasion.


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