SABC Board appointments: re-advertising

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Communications and Digital Technologies

21 November 2018
Chairperson: Dr H Mkhize (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Documents handed out: Committee Report filling of four vacancies on SABC Board [available under Tabled Committee Reports once adopted]

The Portfolio Committee met to discuss the way forward regarding the process of appointing new board members for the SABC. The Committee agreed to re-advertise the filling of the four vacancies due to the withdrawal of several shortlisted candidates. In addition, the Committee noted that only three females had been shortlisted and this was not a reflection of the country’s demographics.

The Committee agreed that those candidates who applied previously do not have to re-apply because their applications would be considered. There was a consensus amongst members that the advertisement should run for three weeks during the festive season and shortlisting and interviews would be done in early January 2019. The Committee also noted it has not received written responses from the SABC board since the previous engagement on the planned retrenchments and asked the secretariat to make a follow-up. Members were of the view that the dates that would be proposed for shortlisting and interviewing should not be changed because that would disturb them from the party work for the upcoming general elections.


Meeting report

SABC Board appointments: discussion
The Chairperson informed the Committee there was a document compiled by the secretariat which has to do with the appointment and resignations of board members of the SABC. She took the Committee through the events which led the Committee to consider re-advertising the vacancies for four board members of the SABC. 12 members were recommended to serve on the board. Developments between June and July 2018 led to resignations of some board members. Between June and August 2018 the Committee advertised for the filling of the vacancies. There were candidates that were shortlisted in October 2018 and interviews were scheduled to take place during November 2018, but two candidates in the name of Ms Ngwentshu and Mr Naidoo withdrew from the race. As a result the interviews were delayed, and another candidate by the name of Mr Makhubalo withdrew from the process. The Committee was now left with nine candidates of which three were females. This became a challenge for the Committee because it felt this was not a reflection of the country’s demographics seeing that the number of female candidates had decreased from five to three. Given these challenges, the secretariat compiled a report to be discussed by the Committee. It became clear the vacancies needed to be re-advertised.

Ms P Van Damme (DA) said she had no issue with re-advertising, especially if those that resigned were males. She proposed a date should be set for January 2019 for interviews and it should not be moved because members were busy with party work for elections.

Mr M Kalako (ANC) suggested the Committee to come up with possible dates which members should stick to because the changing of dates was disturbing members from their preparations for elections.

Mr R Tseli (ANC) proposed that those candidates that have applied in the past should be considered without insisting that they should apply. This could be stated in the advertisement that would be published.

Mr N Xaba (ANC) added that those who have applied previously should be taken as having applied if that was allowed legally. He suggested 15 and 22 January 2019 should be for shortlisting and interviews, respectively.

Ms Van Damme suggested the shortlisting should be reserved for 7 January 2019 and interviews be done on 29 January 2019.

The Chairperson indicated there was a chronology of dates which starts mid January when people were back from holidays, but the advertisement would be published on 4 January 2019.

Ms M Matshoba (ANC) said it was better to advertise soon and shortlist the candidates early January 2019.

Mr Xaba stated this matter should be finished before the arrival of the new parliament. He said this item was not new and there was no reason for delaying advertising.

The Chairperson said it was clear there was an agreement to advertise soon for a period of two weeks and it should be stated those candidates that have applied should not re-apply, but their applications would be considered.

Mr Kalako suggested the advertisement should run for three weeks for the sake of fairness because it would be during the festive season and people had commitments.

The Chairperson said whatever dates are allocated for the SABC process; the very same dates should also be used for MDDA. The dates for shortlisting and interviewing would be made known in the next Committee meeting. She further noted that the secretariat has not received a document from the SABC regarding the retrenchment process, which includes the stance of the Committee that retrenchments were not a short-term solution. After the Committee had engaged with the SABC on the retrenchments, the SABC broadcasted a one-sided story which revealed the viewpoint of the board only and discarded the views of the Committee. The Committee needed to ensure that it and other stakeholders have a common understanding of what was happening at the SABC.

Mr Kalako added that the secretariat should ask for a follow-up on replies or answers the SABC board could not provide to the Committee. The Committee was aware of what was discussed with the SABC board and affected stakeholders.

The Chairperson said that the Committee was finding comfort in the fact that the current board was still quorating and the Committee would ensure the board was going to continue to execute its required functions.

The meeting was adjourned.



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