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The Media Workers Association of South Africa (MWASA) rejects the SABC statement regarding the findings of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers skills audit report. In the main the singular excuse presented by the SABC is the insulting idiotic claim that the report is 'outdated.' The staff of the SABC should be treated with respect and not with such contempt and disdain. It is abhorrable that the leadership of the SABC would demean the staff in such a manner.
In our considered opinion the report simply confirms what is and has been known as irrefutable fact inside and outside the SABC across the country and abroad.
Whilst there are many skilled individuals within the employ of the SABC, they are victimized, persecuted and prosecuted for their qualifications, demonstrable skills and insistence on the maintenance of professional and ethical standards. Most are actually hounded out of the SABC by through expedient and convenient means possible, including the rampant abuse of disciplinary processes however costly it may be to the SABC and its victims. The saying is: "This is leadership at its best...it is in the best interests of the SABC...money is not an issue..."
MWASA has launched a Labour Court application challenging the 2012/13 wage increases jointly signed-off by the SABC, Communication Workers Union (CWU) and the Broadcasting, Electronic Media and Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU). These curious adjustments were bungled up through utter incompetence where the SABC ignored critical human resources management factors including qualifications in awarding salary increases and effective promotions to an arbitrarily select few.
Boasting an extensive hoard of highly remunerated human resources management consultants, the SABC fails dismally to meet basic human resource management standards, to keep records, to screen candidates for recruitment and placement, to manage payroll, to determine training needs and to provide employee wellness programmes in general. How on earth do people get salaried for months and years when there are no personnel files or records of their employment? The SABC HCS function has totally collapsed and those in charge of this mess must be brought to book immediately.
The SABC has become a tired joke amongs its own staff, its choice-starved audiences, its industry peers and financial benefactors.
Erstwhile CEO Peter Matlare described the SABC as "a mumbling, bungling organization". Recently, quitting CEO Lulama Mokhobo noted that "the SABC is an organization whose core is fractured...". Five months ago Mokhobo confirmed this "fracture" on the 12th September 2013, in response to the Auditor General's 2012/2013 Disclaimer of Opinion saying:"Due to lack of training, our finance department experienced challenges in migrating from the GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Practice) reporting methodology to the standard utilized by the AG, the IFRS [International Financial Reporting Standards.]"
On the same occasion, second-time board-chair, Ellen Tshabalala inadvertently confirms the demeaning effect of the lack of skills in the SABC admitting "We are neither happy nor proud about the SABC' results for the 2012 financial year."
Acting COO along with many others employed at the SABC has no matric and other verifiable post-matric qualifications. One union leader once boasted that a promotion was secured for another unqualified individual in keeping with the new trend set by the multiple meteoric promotions of the ACOO.
It is our view that the positioning and role of the Acting COO is the pivot and fulcrum at the core of the many challenges the SABC has faced over the past few years. How everyone glosses over the destructive impact and effect of the role played by this incumbent is inexplicable but inexcusable. It is not for lack of evidence or fact however.
The SABC management's frequent attempts at defending the indefensible by deflecting attention from fact amounts to perjury and is totally unacceptable in the public service. The SABC should be the flagship of all the good values our society aspire to and may not be the prime violator of the rights in the Bill of Rights. The situation at the SABC demonstrates the sort of desensitization spreading through the country where citizens are disappointed and have lost faith in the governance system in place. Citizens must be treated with respect and dignity.
The continued failures of the SABC and the lack of demonstrable political will to remedy the dire situation amount to serious public service delivery failure. The prevalent and worsening rate of abuse of public institutions and civic entities is a human rights crisis. South Africans deserve better.
The feeble claim offered by the SABC that the skills audit report is outdated must be rejected.
We demand that the SABC must be placed under administration of one form or another to salvage it from the inexcusable incompetence demonstrated by those who would treat South Africans as retarded, moronic and idiotic. Ideally, the SABC must be transformed into a fully fledged public-owned chapter 9 institution to be freed from direct political and other vested interests.