MORE than 200 nominations have been received for a new SABC board, suggesting a great deal of public interest in the process, writes Jocelyn Newmarch in Business Day.

Only 143 nominations were received for the previous board, in 2007. One of the first priorities of the new board will be to turn around a public broadcaster suffering from its worst cash-flow crisis in history.

Ismail Vadi, chairman of Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications, said yesterday 239 nominations had been received. Nominations closed on Friday.

The SABC made an R839m loss for the past financial year, amid a battle between its former CEO, Dali Mpofu, and the board, under former chairwoman Kanyi Mkhonza.

An interim board, headed by Irene Charnley, is attempting to stabilise the institution after the departure of the previous board.

Civil society organisations have been active in soliciting nominations. Those nominated include Suzanne Vos, a member of the interim board, and Desmond Golding and Bheki Khumalo from the previous board.

Charnley has said she made herself available for the interim board on condition she would not be appointed to the next board.

Barbara Masekela, who was previously board chairwoman, has been nominated by the South African Screen Federation (Sasfed), the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

Ben Ngubane, former minister of arts, culture, science and technology, has been nominated by Cosatu, Sasfed and the IPO.

Lumko Mtimde, CEO of the Media Development and Diversity Agency, which has provided several leaders to the SABC, including Mkhonza and interim board member Libby Lloyd, has been nominated by Media Monitoring Africa.

Other nominations include former Bush Radio and media academic Tanja Bosch, former Communist Party spokesman Mazibuko Jara, and author and political commentator William Gumede.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.