Pressing Issues: Safa’s fancy titles are just for show

2012-07-28 14:49

What’s a stakeholder relations manager anyway?

Job titles can be very interesting, but as history has proved time and again, it’s not about the title but the individual occupying that position.

There have been individuals who have taken very unfancied jobs and done wonders, just as there have been many with fancy titles who have fallen flat on their faces.

Even in government, there have been ministers who were given very high and important ministries, only to mess up, while those with less colourful portfolios went on to excel.

There was a time when South African-based American companies came here with flashy titles for the most menial jobs during the dark days of apartheid.

Still, remember titles such as “janitor engineer” for a lift operator, “hot and cold beverages engineer” for one who made tea and “sanitary engineers” for cleaners?

These thoughts are brought on by the South African football world’s latest fascination with the title of “stakeholder relations”.

The South African Football Association (Safa) first shunted former sports presenter Morio Sanyane from heading their media department to taking charge of stakeholder relations.

The move made way for Dominic Chimhavi to be appointed as head of the media and communications department at a time when the chief executive, the good Reverend Dr Robin Petersen, told City Press that he was shocked in August last year, when he joined the organisation, to find that there were 22 heads of ­departments in a staff of 93.

Not to be left behind, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) recently appointed Connie Motshumi as its stakeholder relations and communication manager.

This move is said to have peeved Altaaf “AK” Kazi so much that he left in a huff to join Cricket SA. But not before writing a stinging, no-holds-barred letter to CEO Stan Matthews, we are told.

Matthews has since thrown in the towel as well.

We are also told that Kazi’s main beef was that Motshumi’s job description was based on a template similar to his own.

One major question is, who are these stakeholders that Sanyane and Motshumi are supposedly dealing with?

We’ve heard Safa and the PSL say the media are “important stakeholders in our business”. Exactly what stake does the media hold in these two organisations?

My understanding is that the media has its own owners who pay their staff. The media reports to the readers, listeners and viewers.

So what stake might they hold in Safa and the PSL?

And based on how Motshumi got her tongue twisted when answering questions from the SABC’s Velile Mbuli over the league’s sponsorship this week, she has a long way to go as a communicator.

I also doubt that the egocentric football administrators would allow junior staff to handle their relations with government or the big companies that sponsor their sport.

These fancy titles are just window-dressing at its best, just as sanitary, janitor, hot and cold beverages engineers once were.


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