The SABC’s interim board wants to recoup losses incurred by the state broadcaster by withholding the pensions of former bosses Hlaudi Motsoeneng and James Aguma.

Interim board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama told Parliament on Tuesday that significant losses were incurred due to Motsoeneng’s 90% local content policy‚ as reported Eyewitness News. The television division lost R183m in advertising revenue and the radio division R29m‚ according to unaudited figures.

Meanwhile, hundreds of South Africans have shown interest in becoming full-time board members of the SABC. Parliament will start the process of short-listing the 362 applications next week‚ which is believed to be the highest number of people ever to apply to join the public broadcaster’s board.

Humphrey Maxegwana‚ an ANC MP who is also the chairperson of the communications portfolio committee‚ said the deadline for applications had lapsed and they would now shortlist and conduct interviews. "The office of the chair is working on summarising who has what in terms of qualifications and who meets the criteria ... [these] will be presented to the committee next week when we are short-listing."

He said the members of the committee had not yet received the list of names and each MP would receive a file with all names and CVs. "Each member will receive his or her own file that reflects everything: the names‚ experience and all of that‚ so that as we shortlist‚ every member has a picture of the people we have who are interested in being part of the board."

He noted that the committee was satisfied with the work of the interim board‚ whose six-month term will expire at the end of September. "Members will agree with me that even in last meeting we said they are doing a good job up to now and we are satisfied."

DA MP Phumzile van Damme said the number of applicants was probably "the highest in recent history". "It bears testament in [the] interim board’s work right now. It just shows that thus far they’ve done good work."

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