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Luzuko Mtoyi
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SABC's Haludi & Education

10 February 2014, 12:55

One of the items in the SABC's mandate is Education ( point (b) of the national Broadcaster is Education). But here is the COO , Hlaudi Motsoeneng saying graduates from Universities are draining the corporation. How? He says they drain their colleagues ( I think this is a euphemism for "they make some of us, their Seniors feel inferior because we do not have Degrees").

Here is my take:

1. The now departed CEO of the SABC was in the conference organised by Basic Education Minister to announce the Matric results. She said ( CEO) that they partner with the Education Departments ( this includes Higher education Ministry) to help South Africa become an educated nation. But now, with Haludi's assertion and the other Board Members agreeing with him, one is wondering whether the statement by the CEO was genuine or was it for the cameras? The CEO said in jest, that as the SABC, they will oblige to whatever the Minister(s) asked of them. ( Although this was said in jest, it worries me, that the CEO seems to say, they as the Board of the SABC , are sitting there waiting to be 'summoned at the Ministers' whims. Don't they have things to do? )

2. I do not know whether it is co-incidence that everytime Hlaudi's contract is discussed, the CEO's and other senior members of the SABC ( including the Board Chair) seem to leave or get fired. Makhobo resigned suddenly after the Minister of Communication had spoken publicly about "resolving among other things, the COO's position". This goes back to a few times that Hlaudi's employment is discussed. Ben Ngubane is gone. And other members are gone. This might be co-incidence, but it is just too much of the co-incidences. And now, Hlaudi says University Degreed people 'make us feel inferior'. Remember, all these people like Makhobo and Ben are VERY educated ( Ben is even Dr Ngubane)

3. As a parent ( and many other parents) I spend a sizable amount of my earnings on education - for my kid and bettering myself. Infact, some of the SABC technocrats are still paying off their educational loans, and Hlaudi comes around and says: actually, you should not have. that must be such a sucker punch to people who have spent a better part of their lives studying and trying to add value to their lives. How would Hlaudi feel if the teacher at his children's school sent his kids back home with a message "no need to learn".

4. We have a population of youth ( Black Youth to be specific) that is sitting at 25% un-employed. Infact, unemployable. Some cannot read or write. They have no skill ( read: no vocational or educational training). They cannot do a learnership, because they have no Matric. They cannot even be a paramedic or a nurse or policeman because they have no Matric. Being educated in the Black community is not celebrated as much as 'sudden millionaires'. Actually, no-one will talk about you if you have a doctorate in rocket science from the esteemed American science school. It is the SABC's mandate to show-case these cases to inspire the young. But, Hlaudi's statement just nullifies this kind of effort. How are our kids supposed to see "any value in Education then?".

No, ntate Hlaudi, you need to be a responsible leader.

5. The SABC has been bumbling for years now. And it needs EDUCATED people to fix this. Unless, Hlaudi and his cohorts can allow educated people at the SABC, it will bumble non-stop.

6. University was never meant to give skills for people to walk into a Senior job like the COO. But, a person who has so much patience, resilience, aptitude and brains, to finish a degree, has potential to be a COO/CEO with less training than a person who has no Degree. Degrees show potential,Hlaudi. But, they are not an end unto has to still put effort to learn their job. In essence: Degrees get you into the door of the organisation and from there, hard-work & dedication.

Education is the differentiator. It sets people apart ( potential).

I am not sure whether Hlaudi really meant what he said, though.

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