NEWSWATCH: The interim board has been appointed, reports Mail & Guardian, but opposition MPs are unhappy at the haste at which it was approved, reports IOL; former board member Pippa Green reckons the SABC should be broken down into smaller pieces, reports EWN, and Telkom has relaunched its mobile arm, reports Moneyweb.
The big questions, of course are: Even as an interim board, what experience of broadcasting and running a national broadcaster do the individual members and the board collectively have?
Secondly, is there any chance that the politicians can loosen their clutches on what should be an independent, unbiased and professionally run national broadcaster? After all, a national broadcaster is there to serve all the people of its country, right? And not be viewed as little more than a government mouthpiece, right? And provide really good, up-to-date content rather than dregs dusted off after years in the archives, right?
Lastly, is there any chance that the new permanent board, when appointed, will comprise not so much cadres in need of a favour, but instead people who actually know the business of broadcasting, who have experience of successfully running commercial stations that thrived despite not being able to enjoy buckets of cash being thrown at them?
Ellen Zandile Tshabalala will chair the interim board. Other members are Noluthando Gosa (she is bouncing back after having resigned from the board earlier this week), former ANC MPL Vusumuzi Mavuso, economist Iraj Abedian and Ronnie Lubisi.
IOL: MPs unhappy at hasty SABC board approval... Meanwhile, and not unreasonably perhaps, MPs from opposition parties expressed their unhappiness at the speed at which the interim board has been bulldozed through Parliament.
IOL reports that "speaking during a short debate in the house, Democratic Alliance MP Marian Shinn said the problems at the SABC, which led to the resignations of all but two of the 12 non-executive board members, was a crisis caused by political interference."
Communications minister Dina Pule denied interfering - but then she would deny it, wouldn't she.
EWN: Should the SABC be broken up? Broken it is, but former SABC board member Pippa Green, who resigned this week, reckons it's time to think about breaking the broadcaster down in a positive way into smaller pieces to "ensure it is properly run", reports EWN.
She is reported to have added that it also needs to be free of political influence.
Great ideas, but what is the chance that the politicians will listen? The SABC has always been the mouthpiece of the government of the day, whatever that government has been, and whatever faction has been ruling the roost, no matter how often the corporation has claimed to be unbiased and not beholden to any outside influences.
So what chance is there that any politician will allow that to change... to a situation in which cabinet ministers, government departments and parastatals are properly grilled to explain their failures, their mismanagement and other aspects of their performance upon which they would rather not be questioned?
Rod Baker is Content Director at Bizcommunity.com. A journalist since before computers, he worked on a wide range of magazines and, in his youth, rose through the ranks from being a lowly and abused sub-editor, to a high and still abused editor and publisher. He has been editor and publisher of a number of magazines, as well as a newspaper. He has edited many books, and written a number too. Email him at .
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