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Shock over SABC's wasted millions

2013-08-05 09:43
Johannesburg – The SABC allegedly paid over R1.27m for 10 minutes of footage from the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup in Brazil, reports Beeld.

According to the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu) this is just one example of the public broadcaster spending large sums for very little in return.

The union is currently struggling to negotiate salary increases and bonuses and are now threatening to strike because the public broadcaster refuses to go higher than an increase of 7.44% for the about 1000 Bemawu members.

According to the union the SABC had paid for seven of its journalists to cover the tournament in Brazil from 15 to 30 June and then did not use the footage they sent back.

Beeld reliably learned that less than 10 minutes of the Brazil footage was aired and this did not include footage of actual matches because the footage was either of poor quality or had missed deadlines.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago declined to comment on these payments, saying they were "internal processes and decisions" that had nothing to do with the media.

Choir members

Beeld also reported that the broadcaster paid 25 choir members R1000 per hour for rehearsals. In June, the choir members rehearsed for 10 hours and were paid R250 000.

"The SABC paid freelance choir members R10 000 per month for rehearsals and performances," Kganyago said.

Recruitment agency

The SABC must also pay R1.76m to Lumka Holdings, a Johannesburg-based recruitment agency, for appointing three senior managers.

Kganyago confirmed the payment to the recruitment agency, saying the managers had started working in June and the recruitment of important managers were of "strategic importance".

After Beeld had queried the allegations, Sizwe Nzimande, head of sport, allegedly threatened SABC employees with a "forensic audit" to find out who leaked the information to the paper.

A report by independent auditors in the SABC’s 2011-12 annual report states that R22.12m was lost to useless or wasted expenditure.

Three independent auditors ascribed the wastage to a lack of efficient and economic use of financial resources.

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