New leadership strengthens hope for SABC renewal
It is encouraging to see the experience that the two executives bring to the table.
These are appointments by the board, without the minister’s involvement, which is a welcome move towards increased independence in the state broadcaster from political influence. The appointment of well-qualified professionals with experience in large organisations is an encouraging sign for SABC’s future.
“We hope they will apply their leadership skills and business acumen to further uplift the public broadcaster from the financial, ethical, maladministration and corruption ills of the not too distant past,” says Dominique Msibi, Portfolio Manager for Special Projects at the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA).
“The SABC went through some challenging times during the tenure of the previous COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and former CFO, James Aguma. Their combined lack of strong and ethical leadership saw the SABC lose not only its standing as a trusted public broadcaster, but also saw unprecedented financial losses as well as the loss of skilled staff.” OUTA would recommend that these former employees be given a fair chance during any recruitment process the new executives might embark on.
The SABC began to turn the corner towards recovery under the tutelage of the interim board which was appointed in March 2017, for a short six months. That board began the good work of setting the organisation on the path to recovery by dealing with the core of the problem first: they suspended Motsoeneng and Aguma, subsequently terminating their employment. Then they went about cancelling several illegal and wasteful contracts such as the LornaVision contract to stem some of the financial drain. OUTA will continue supporting the SABC on the road to recovery and as it establishes itself as a true broadcaster of the people of South Africa.
“As we closely follow the story as it unfolds, we are happy with the developments so far,” says Msibi.