Thursday, January 10, 2013

Consultant paid by the SABC to help, tells minister of finance that the SABC 'is suffering from a lack of leadership' and board instability.

The consultancy company the SABC paid in 2011 to help the struggling South African public broadcaster with its Turnaround Strategy wrote to the minister of finance Pravin Gordhan telling him that "the ailing broadcaster" is suffering from "a lack of leadership".

An external consultant involved with helping the SABC with its Turnaround project wrote to the minister that the SABC would be better served by a CEO from overseas for 3 years and that the struggling SABC's governance structure "remains an area of concern".

Sandile Gwala, a partner at Deloitte Consulting, wrote to the minister of finance, imploring him to appoint a CEO from outside of South Africa to run the SABC for 3 years or one of the department's own senior staff members.

The SABC paid Deloitte millions to help with the struggling public broadcaster's Turnaround Strategy. In the Deloitte letter to the minister, the consultancy firm writes that "the overall governance structure remains an area of concern for the SABC."

"This is underpinned by board instability, weakness in internal controls and a lack of leadership. There are critical political and commercial forces at play influencing the position of SABC."

"Some new board members (not all) have recreated the board instability that we experienced before we commenced our project."

Responding to a media enquiry made to Sandile Gwala and Deloitte, the PR company employed by the firm tells me that "Deloitte does not comment on private and confidential correspondence issued by the firm in relation to its clients and therefore will not be commenting in this regard."

The SABC didn't respond to a media enquiry made before Christmas 2012 regarding the letter and neither did Jabulani Sikhakhane the minister's spokesperson.