SABC board chairwoman Kanyi Mkonza faces the axe on Thursday after an 18-month term that has financially ruined the broadcaster, writes Buddy Naidu in The Times.

This follows a meeting between the board and senior managers with new Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda yesterday.

Nyanda lashed the board for failing to “deliver quality broadcasting services to the public” and “raised his concerns about the negative public perception [of] the board and executive management’s ability to give direction to the public broadcaster’s operations”, Nyanda’s office said.

The Times understands that Mkonza will face a motion of no confidence at the SABC board meeting on Thursday.

Disaffected board members will demand that she resign immediately.

If she does not — Mkonza has refused to step down four times in the past fortnight — several board members have threatened to resign, which would lead to the dissolution of the board.

“It’s unfortunate, she was out of her depth. When she was appointed she was as shocked as the rest of us,” said a senior ANC MP.

Today, the ANC’s communications study group will discuss the broadcaster’s problems.

It is understood that some members of the group want the board removed, while others have called for a more pragmatic approach. The ANC’s parliamentary caucus can use the newly enacted Broadcasting Amendment Act to boot out the board.

Ismail Vadi, the chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications, is also expected to meet Nyanda.

Mkonza was unavailable for comment and SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said Thursday’s board meeting was “scheduled”.

“I am not sure what is on the agenda,” he said.

One of the main issues discussed with Nyanda yesterday was the R2-billion bailout the SABC asked the government for.

In March, SABC acting chief executive Gab Mampone announced pre-tax losses of R784-million for the corporation .

But it is understood that this figure might be understated, which is why the broadcaster wants R2-billion to solve its cash- flow problems.

Nyanda said his department and the national Treasury “will continue engaging the SABC with a view to improve the public broadcaster’s financial position, including the current cash-flow challenges”.

“As a shareholder, we are equally not comfortable with the fact that the SABC continues to operate without key senior executives.

“We urged them to finalise as soon as possible the process of appointing a group chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and the head of the news and current affairs division,” he said.

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