Debate on Candidates to Fill Vacancies on the SABC Board
By Rev KM Zondi MP

National Assembly: 9 March 2011 

Honourable Speaker

First of all, the IFP wants to thank members of the public for the heightened interest they have shown in the affairs of the SABC. When four vacancies occurred in the SABC Board owing to the resignations of former Board members last year, members of the public were invited to nominate candidates to fill those vacancies, and responses were received from 84 individuals. The Committee had to shortlist 15 candidates who had to be interviewed.

We want to point out that all 15 candidates that were shortlisted were good candidates and this made the process of selecting the four candidates even more difficult. The four candidates that are recommended to this House for nomination to the SABC board were, in our view, selected from the cream of the crop. It is for this reason that the IFP implores this House to support the recommended four candidates to fill the vacancies on the SABC board.

We do so for several reasons. Firstly, the SABC has for a long time now been mired in controversy of one form or another and this has dented the reputation of the SABC as the public broadcaster. Secondly, we need to give the SABC the opportunity to rebuild their good reputation and to inspire confidence of the nation, to ensure that anyone who is appointed to the SABC board is an individual of impeccable credentials capable of functioning as part of the team to promote the best interests of the SABC above individual and sectarian interests. Thirdly, we do not think that any of the four recommended candidates deserve harsh judgment even before they have been given an opportunity to prove themselves.

The IFP regrets the fact that there was no unanimous agreement on the four candidates presented here but believes that they should be supported, in spite of whatever misgivings there are in certain quarters about this or that candidate and that it is the duty of the Portfolio Committee to exercise strict oversight and vigilance on how these candidates perform their duties as members of the SABC board.

The IFP therefore supports the four candidates presented to this House for nomination to fill the vacancies in the SABC board.

I thank you Honourable Speaker