Thursday, January 3, 2019

Replacements for vacant SABC board seats hopefully chosen before the end of January as parliament's portfolio committee on communications will rush back earlier than usual to do interviews with candidates.

Some members of South Africa's parliament will be returning earlier than usual in 2019 as parliament's portfolio committee on communications will do interviews with prospective replacements for the vacant seats on the board of the SABC mired in crisis.

With the SABC board currently inquorate, parliament has to act fast to replace the empty seats on the SABC board as the commercially insolvent South African public broadcaster is lurching from crisis to crisis and getting closer and closer to a fiscal cliff.

The SABC will be unable to pay salaries to some of the staff at the end of February, and be unable to pay any salaries at the end of March with the broadcaster already unable to pay its full monthly electricity bill of its Auckland Park headquarters and having stretched payments to producers and production companies to over 90 days.

Meanwhile Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the latest minister of communications, has done little to organise another bailout for the imploding broadcaster in the form of another billion rands government guaranteed bank loan, jetting overseas to Vienna in mid-December for a conference and doing meet-and-greets with corporates and other institutions instead of working 24/7 to solve the SABC that is literally facing an existential crisis.

Parliament's portfolio committee on communications has to fill the void left by the December resignations of Khanyisile Kweyama, Krish Naidoo, John Matisonn, and Mathatha Tsedu on top of earlier resignations of Rachel Kalidass, Victor Rambau and Febe Potgieter-Gqubule who all quit, and Nomvuyiso Batyi who got selected but then backed out and recused herself.

This has left 8 vacancies on the SABC board.

Parliament's portfolio committee on communications wants to try and complete the process of selecting new SABC board members before the end of January.