In The News South Africa

Debate around SABC board shortlisting process underway in Parliament

PARLIAMENT, August 15 – Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications is meeting on Tuesday to set the framework for the shortlisting of candidates to be interviewed for the cash-strapped South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board.

Committee chairman, Humphrey Maxegwana, confirmed 363 applications had been received. MPs are yet to receive all the CVs, which means the shortlisting process won’t begin on Tuesday.

Instead, MPs are setting guidelines on how the process will unfold.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP, Phumzille van Damme, suggested the process must be as transparent as possible, with the public being able to give input.

“All CVs must be published on the [parliamentary] website and we must give five working days for civil society or anyone from the public to make comment,” she said.

Van Damme’s DA colleague, Gavin Davies, said  a shortlist of 36 names should be drawn up. He added that MPs should be thorough in verifying the academic qualifications of candidates following a situation in 2014 when it emerged that former SABC board chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala lied about her qualifications.

“We want to avoid a repetition of that and I’m very glad to see that each candidate who is shortlisted will be vetted,” said Davis.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said sifting through the 363 CVs should not be an arduous process.

“We have to emphasise quality and once we apply our strict minds we won’t have a problem.”

African National Congress MP, Nokuzola Tolashe, said the committee should go “out of its way to get the best candidates”.

Tolashe singled out the “sterling work” done by the ad hoc committee which probed the SABC and the interim board whose term ends next month.

“We want to have the best board this time around,” she said.

Several SABC boards have been dissolved over the years following instability, and allegations of wrongdoing and political interference.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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