Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SOS News CWU press statement - Suspension of GCEO of SABC; Secondary Public Sector Strike; Telkom CEO

CWU Press Statement, 1 September 2010

Suspension of GCEO of SABC

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is concerned about what is happening at the SABC lately. The suspension of the GCEO will, in our view, allow the Board to get to the bottom of the matter and we hope that this will ultimately bring stability at the SABC since developments have so far impacted negatively on our members. As CWU we support the Board collective.

It is with sadness that we have observed some organisation calling the SABC board counter revolutionaries. We view these as reckless and irresponsible statements from these leaders. Theirs is a lone voice in our view that is out of sync with the rest of the right thinking and objective South Africans, who do not require specialised spectacles to see that the problem at the SABC is lack of synergy between the Board and the Executive.

What is more disturbing is the decision by the GCEO to rush to the court to settle the scores instead of utilizing all the internal processes. We also want to express our concern that GCEO want to fight the board decision that instructed him not to speak to the media, it’s ironic because that GCEO is the Chief custodian of the SABC policies and the policy of not speaking to the media was used to charge our member in good standing Sophie Mokoena. But her DC led to the growth of the Union rather than workers being intimidated. Today CWU is the largest Union and we speak with authority.

We have also noted the allegations made by Mr Mokoetle in his letter accusing some board members of turning the SABC into an employment agency. We advise the suspended GCEO to address his failures such as his inability to deliver a turnaround strategy rather than settling matters in court.

Parliament must swiftly conclude its hearings into the governance crisis at the SABC. To date only the chair of the Board has reported. All the rest of the Board members need to have their say. Parliament must then deal with the corporate governance breaches at the SABC and call those guilty to account i.e. the Chair of the Board. Parliament should not wait to hear the outcomes of the court interdict against them - they should hold their hearing in the open.

CWU will support the anti-corruption campaign that was launched by our federation, Cosatu and the vanguard of the working class, the South African Communist Party (SACP).

Secondary Public Sector Strike

The Communication Workers Union stand firm on the support of public sector strike. As part of society, we will not wish people to die in hospitals and we will not wish learners to fail, particularly the matriculants, but the nation must not put the blame on workers. In fact the state should account to the public and apologise to the public about the death of innocent people because of their reluctance in this wage agreement.

As much as we condemn the insults of our workers to the President of the country and apologise to him and his family the pain that we have caused him and his family, we are also not happy as the leaders of the working class and the poor with the President of the country leaving for China knowing that the workers are on the streets and the country is burning without any intervention.

CWU will make sure that, if the state is not responding positively to the demands of our workers, the state must know that we are ready as workers in the communication sector to join other progressive unions to bring the economy of this country to a standstill. We shall be guided by our comrades in the public sector and the federation in this regard.

The appointment of Telkom CEO

We are very disturbed to see that it will take Telkom more than eight months to appoint a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Telkom knew years back that Rueben September has a fixed contract (when it expires) and also he made a public statement last year (2009) that he has no intentions to renew his contract as Telkom CEO.

Therefore Telkom Board has no justifiable reasons to take eight months to appoint a new CEO. We believe that they had reasonable time to appoint a new CEO. We are worried that the absence of a permanent CEO for too long will bring Telkom into chaos – resembling that of the SABC. We hope that the upper echelons of Telkom will consider this matter and come to a conclusion to appoint a CEO before the ridiculous eight months.

Issued by National Office

Matankana Mothapo – National Spokesperson
(Communication Workers Union)
Contacts: 082 759 0900; 011 838 8188

Thank you