Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BREAKING. SOS public pressure group 'disillusioned' and 'disappointed' with SABC chairperson dr Ben Ngubane.

The Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOS), a pressure group representing a vast number of the biggest industry stakeholders in South Africa's public broadcasting sphere is blasting the SABC's chairperson dr Ben Ngubane, saying the group is disillusioned and disappointed in him as well as the unstable management at South Africa's beleaguered public broadcaster.

The SOS has just come out swinging in a strongly-worded open letter addressed and sent to dr Ben Ngubane directly, as well as to the new minister of communications Dina Pule, saying the group ''want to register our disillusionment and disappointment'' and demanding answers before 1 November of the struggling dr Ben Ngubane that the SOS Coalition says has failed in his ''promise to the citizens of South Africa when you were publically interviewed in parliament'' to ''place at the centre quality, local public programming reflecting the rich diversity of South African experience and opinion''.

In the scathing letter, the SOS Coalition says that the struggling SABC is besieged by ''a litany of problems including a complete lack of vision, poor corporate governance, ongoing financial mismanagement, and multiple resignations of board members. Since January 2010 there has been no stable management team at the SABC – including no permanent CEO, COO and CFO. Further, the SABC has failed to commission any significant local programming since 2008''.

The SOS Coalition demands answers as to the continuing delay of the appointment of a permanent new CEO, COO and CFO despite the overwhelming urgency of these appointments.

The SOS wants to know why the SABC has employed Justice Ndaba to run its critical turnaround strategy despite the fact that he allegedly has a credit default judgement against him and has business interests that conflict with his SABC employment. The SOS also demands to know from dr Ben Ngubane clarity on the employment status of Justice Ndaba and whether he is a full-time employee or a consultant, and if he is a consultant why he has been sent on expensive international executive training courses paid for by the SABC.

The SOS wants detailed information on the termination of the contract of the company secretary Thelma Melk and demands to know what happened with the SABC's R20 million car scandal and the reasons why inappropriate luxury vehicles were secured, not utilised, and not insured.

The group also wants detailed reasons why the SABC has refused to use its Request for Proposals Book - or so-called RFP Book - to transparently commission new local content. ''The 2009 interim SABC board requested that the 2010 SABC board prioritise this,'' says the SOS Coalition. ''The 2010 SABC board then promised the RFP Book would be released in June 2010, however only limited proposals were released. To date no full book of RFPs have been released with no explanations and no apologies. This system was an important marker in the transformation of the SABC.''

ALSO READ: SABC union Bemawu demands the resignation of SABC chairperson dr Ben Ngubane, calling him a liar.