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
In between the old SABC and the new one, I twice had a taste of what a national public broadcaster can do. It is a good time to recall those moments, as they get off to a fresh start. Continue reading
How parliament chose its candidates for the SABC board – and the arm wrestling that went on behind-the-scenes – tells us a lot about power in this society, and how it is exercised. Continue reading
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
William Kirsh’s departure as CEO of Primedia has been on the cards for some time, and is unlikely to rock the boat much. But it represents the end of an era in South African media. Continue reading
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 SOS (Save our SABC) Campaign has launched a petition to push for the board selection process to be more transparent and accountable. They have hit the nail on the head, I would say. Continue reading
If we have learnt anything in the last two years in relation the SABC, it is that how you appoint the board is as important as who you appoint. The parliamentary committee which recommends candidates, it seems, has not taken on board this very basic lesson. Continue reading
Can you believe what the SABC Chief Financial Officer, Robin Nicholson, said in Business Day? He tried to make out that he was just a bookkeeper and should not be held responsible for their over-spending.
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
Een of ander tyd verlede jaar daag ek by die SAUK op om aan SAFM se 08:00-debat deel te neem. In die ateljee vind ek twee onbemande televisiekameras en ’n paar aanmekaar geflanste baniere agter die aanbieder Jeremy Maggs. Continue reading
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
One things has become clear – the saga of the SABC board is going to drag on for months, leaving the organisation with uncertain leadership at a time when it is under serious political and financial pressure. Continue reading