SABC is in a sorry state, says trade unions

2014-03-18 20:00
Cape Town – Two of the SABC's trade unions are calling on the minister of communications Yunus Carrim to "urgently order a proper investigation and decisive action", saying "the SABC is in a sorry state".

The trade unions' urgent plea follows exactly a month after the SABC and the SABC board have taken no clear and decisive actions the past four weeks, with no suspensions and no announcements, over a shocking independent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit on the lack of skills at the SABC and a damning report by the Public Protector's office over the SABC’s famously matricless acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, as well as maladministration at the SABC.

"We request the urgent intervention of a competent management team to take over the management of the SABC as the current management has failed to do so," says Bemawu and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in a jointly issued statement.

The SABC is without a CEO after Lulama Mokhobo quit last month, and the next highest executive, Motsoeneng, is implicated in maladministration, abuse of power and of admitting in a recorded interview about lying about his qualifications according to the Public Protector's report.

The SABC has also not yet moved to advertise for the permanent position of COO at the SABC.

SABC board member to act as CEO?

"Currently the SABC is without a CEO, which is unacceptable, irresponsible and a transgression of the Broadcasting Act," says Bemawu and the CWU.

"We also demand a full and proper investigation of the allegations made by PriceWaterhouseCoopers auditors in respect of the skills audit done on SABC top and executive management".

"The SABC is in a sorry state, with repeats being broadcast, even on news, and millions of rands are pushed into new projects like the 24 hour news channel broadcast on a not free-to-air channel and only accessible to the few privileged who can afford a DStv subscription".

Bemawu and the CWU is also calling on the SABC board to "suspend all those executives found to be responsible for abuse of power and maladministration, so as to prevent manipulation and tampering with evidence".

The trade unions also demand that the SABC board "fill all acting positions at executive level without delay, by employees of the SABC capable of managing these departments".

"Lastly it has been brought to the attention that a SABC board member is to act in the position of group chief executive officer. If this is confirmed, unions will fiercely oppose such a move as it will be in conflict with the corporate governance principles, since board members are not employees of the SABC, as such do not qualify to fill positions of executives in whatever capacity".

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