THE next six months are expected to see rapid change at the embattled SABC, including a review of its controversial content hub and the filling of vacant positions. This comes after the new board took over yesterday, alongside group CEO Solly Mokoetle, writes Chantelle Benjamin in Business Day.
A source close to the board said the basic framework of the restructuring would be in place by the end of the financial year in March.
A portion of the R200m announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his medium-term budget speech in October last year to meet the SABCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s short-term liquidity requirements has reportedly been set aside as a turnaround budget.
The new board, le d by chairman Dr Ben Ngubane and deputy chairman Felleng Sekha, has no easy task restructuring an organisation that has been plagued for the past few years by infighting and poor management.
Among its other priorities will be servicing bank loans made possible by the R1,47bn Treasury guarantee to allow the SABC to settle debts and start afresh under its new board.
The guarantee came with a requirement by the government that the broadcaster submit a detailed project plan committing it to explicit revenue targets and cost-cutting measures.
The SABCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s content hub, responsible for the procurement of programming, has raised the ire of independent producers. They claim it has been poorly managed and caused ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œmajor organisational confusion between content procurement and channel transmissionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â and delayed payment to producers.
Of concern to many observers is that the hub, like some of the broadcasterÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s other departments, continued to hire people despite the SABCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s dire finances, quadrupling in size over the past four years with no delivery improvement.
Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.