The appointment of the eight new board members is in accordance with the National Assembly resolution to have them join the board. This resolution was passed last month.
The new appointments will hopefully bring some much-needed stability to the national broadcaster, which has been battling to find it’s feet as it tries to turn their finances around.
While the additions to the board were largely welcomed, there were a few objections. As reported by Eyewitness News, the DA and EFF both objected to the appointment of Dr Cooper and David Maimela.
DA MP Phumzille van Damme was also cautiously optimistic about the appointment of the board members. She said:
“We welcome Ramaphosa’s decision. However, it was one that was clearly made under pressure. We’re also concerned with the fact that he says he made the decision after meeting with the minister of Communications.”
The eight spots on the board include four vacancies as a result of board members resigning at the end of last year amid the scramble by the government to try and get the SABC back on track.
The public broadcaster has had to deal with a number of challenges including rapidly decreasing revenues, contract and payment disputes with local production companies and industrial action in the months since and it’s hoped that more stability on the board will help get the SABC on the road to recovery.
Meet the new SABC board members
Mary Papayya is one of the founders of the South African National Editor’s Forum, she is a journalist and media activist. While Papayya listed Co-operative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize as a reference in her CV, she assured the panel that the inclusion of Mkhize on her CV has nothing to do with politics.
She is also the founder of Papayya Media, a social enterprise entity. Papayya is an award-winning journalist as well as a founder of SABC’s Current Affairs News Product – Newsbreak.
Dr Marcia Socikwa is currently serving as a Vice-principal of Operations and Facilities at Unisa. She studied at Wits BA Hons majoring in African Literature Studies. Socikwa did her Masters and Doctorate abroad.
She has also worked at the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) but quit in 2015. Socikwa previously served on national policy review committees and the ICT empowerment charter working group.
Ms Mamodupi Mohlala-Molaudzi is an attorney with an LLM. She has worked in the telecommunications and broadcasting sector before and spent seven years at Icasa as a councillor.
In addition, she served as the National Consumer Commissioner. The National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) critized Mohlala-Molaudzi for her handling of several high profile cases.
Dr Sathavian Cooper is a clinical psychologist by training. He is currently the president of the Pan African Psychology Union. In addition, he is the chairperson of the Freedom and Responsibility in Science Committee for the International Science Council.
Dr Cooper believes that he offers the board the range of experience and skills. He accumulated these skills since being involved in the struggle against apartheid in the sixties.
Patel currently serves as the Chief Audit Executive in charge of heading the audit division at the University of Limpopo. She has been in the role since 2011. She assisted in setting up the audit department as well as the whistleblower hotline.
Prior to that that she was at PWC in many roles. These include risk management and corporate governance and internal auditing. Patel was also the Code of Conduct champion at PWC.
Bernedette Muthien has held senior executive management positions in academia, civil society and the public sector in South Africa and abroad. She is an accomplished facilitator, researcher and poet who designs, implements and evaluates projects for business, donors, government and NGOs.
Muthien also served part-time on the South Africa’s Constitutional Commission for Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Rights. She is skilled resolution and mediation, as well as extensive marketing, social, and public liaison skills.
Advocate Motshedi Benjamin Lekalakala started the first community law clinic in Alex. He practised as an attorney and advocate and has worked as a Chief Director at the National Department of Social Development.
He has also served as a Telkom executive and worked at Gauteng Gambling Board as CEO, the City of Johannesburg as the secretary to council. Afterwards, he worked at the City of Ekhuruleni as secretary to council.
Maimela’s has been in the public policy space for the past two decades. He spent 10 years in provincial government in Gauteng, as well as being a researcher for seven years.
He considers himself a student of public policy with special interest in education, youth development, foreign policy and international relations, as well as development and political economy.