Monday, February 10, 2014

BREAKING. SABC's matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng 'encourages a culture of mediocrity in our public broadcaster,' says SOS Coalition.

The SABC's famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the public broadcaster's enfant terrible acting chief operating officer (COO) "encourages a culture of mediocrity in our public broadcaster," says the SOS Coalition.

In a strongly-worded statement issued on Monday afternoon, the vast public South African interest pressure group which supports public broadcasting in the country, says it is "astonished" by Hlaudi Motsoeneng's utterances last week that "your degrees can't work for you. You need experience.  When these people come with their degrees, they drain the same people [who have qualifications]".

Hlaudi Motsoeneng spoke at the SABC's hastily convened press conference on Thursday where he said the SABC has plan for future".

The SABC press conference follows the scathing skills audit report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) which was presented to parliament last week on Tuesday and which parliament called "shocking", "very worrying", "disconcerting" and "a reality check".

"Hlaudi Motsoeneng's statements are deeply concerning, particularly in the light of the shocking findings revealed in the PricewaterhouseCoopers independent skills audit of our public broadcaster," says the SOS Coalition.

"It is unconscionable that Hlaudi Motsoeneng has such a low regard for university qualified SABC staffers and would-be broadcasters inside of the SABC and would seek to encourage a culture of mediocrity in our public broadcaster," says the SOS Coalition.

"The lack of suitable qualified and skilled institutional capacity at the SABC clearly demonstrates that there is a crisis at the SABC," says the SOS Coalition.

"The Coalition believes the sum-effect of these sentiments and practice can only erode the credibility of the SABC and impede the public broadcaster's ability to fulfill its mandate and make a positive contribution to the development of South Africa".

The SOS Coalition says the SABC needs "a diverse range of suitable qualified and skilled staff and specialists in order to not only fulfill its mandate but to also be the leader in the broadcasting industry".

"It is important that the colossal skills shortage at the SABC be addressed as we move towards a digital future or the public broadcasters' digital plans will take a serious knock affecting the vast majority of people in South African who are dependent on it as a source of information".

The SOS Coalition is now calling on the SABC board "to censure Hlaudi Motsoeneng for his statements and make it clear that the SABC must and will prioritise the appointment of suitably qualified staff at all levels of the SABC".