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The commendable work of the SABC Interim Board

1 August 2017

The ANC Study Group on Communications is pleased with the progress report by the Interim Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on the implementation of the recommendations of parliament's ad hoc committee inquiry into the SABC. The interim board appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Communications earlier today.

We welcome the board's decision to rescind the ban on broadcasting of violent footage from SABC platforms and informing the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) accordingly as per the recommendation of the SABC inquiry. The process of consulting the public to review the entity's editorial policy and to align it with legislative requirements is also commendable as public engagement is fundamental to the SABC as the public broadcaster.

The ad-hoc committee had recommended disciplinary action against any official who conducted or permitted irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure at the SABC. In light of this, the interim board has commissioned a forensic investigation into SABC finances from the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2017 and is seeking legal opinion on the liability of former board members in this regard.

Further investigations have been conducted into questionable and irregularly awarded contracts and thus resulted in the termination of contracts with Lornavision and The New Age (TNA); the suspension of the Sekela Xabiso's contract; and the MultiChoice contract is currently under review. The remaining questionable contracts are under forensic investigation.

The board also reported that it is in the process of reviewing the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) and ensuring that it is in alignment with the Broadcasting Act.

Remaining pressing issues highlighted by the interim board is the loss of advertising revenue incurred as a result of the implementation of the 90/10 local content directive; the vetting of all SABC personnel and proper financial management of the broadcaster.

We applaud the sterling work of the interim board in executing their mandate in bringing stability and restoring good governance at the public broadcaster despite not receiving or claiming board fees. This demonstrates commitment and selfless public service.

Issued by the whip of the ANC Study Group on Communications, Mziwamadoda Kalako

Enquiries:
Nonceba Mhlauli:
Media Liaison Officer
072 623 3462