A firm response, perhaps too firm

The Department of Communications responded firmly to the auditor-general’s report into the SABC.
The report showed that there appears to have been wild and uninhibited pilfering of the SABC coffers under former Group CEO Dali Mpofu and financial director Robin Nicholson (still, incidentally, the man with the keys to the safe). One’s immediate response was that at last someone was showing strong leadership at the department and taking a firm hand. But the measures they proposed were a direct move to usurp the role of the new SABC board and take control into the Ministry.  Continue reading

Choose a board, choose a future

Running the SABC is like being Springbok rugby coach. Or manager of Chiefs. Or a local police commander, Everyone knows how to do it, and knows better than the person doing it, and has no problem telling them how they should be doing it. It is the breeding ground of that archetypal South African, the armchair expert.  Continue reading

No time for restraint

There was a glaring miscommunication in the announcement that Dali Mpofu had received a reward of R11-m for his role in getting the SABC to the mess it is currently in. We were told that R4-m was a restraint of trade to prevent him working for or setting up a rival company. But surely you would want him to work for one of your competitors?  Continue reading

The SABC’s international bureaux

Having opened up bureaux across the world, the SABC now has to plan the closure of most of them at a cost of many millions of rands. I am told by a senior and excellent source within the SABC that the budget for these bureaux is R500-m for the next three years – clearly not sustainable in a climate of severe cost-cutting.  Continue reading

Some ideas for the SABC

Sometime last year, I arrived at the SABC to participate in SAFM’s 8am debate to find two unmanned television cameras in the studio and some makeshift banners behind presenter Jeremy Maggs.
I was taken aback, not least of all because I was dressed for early–morning radio, banking on no-one but the genial Maggs having to see me. The cameras, I was told, were there to broadcast the show on the newly-launched flagship station, SABC International.  Continue reading