SABC board chair criticises audit findings

2014-02-11 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The chairperson of the SABC board, Zandile Tshabalala, has in an interview on television criticised the findings of an independent skills level audit of the news organisation’s staff.

Appearing on SABC’s programme Question Time, Tshabalala questioned the methods that were used in the skills audit.

She said the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) skills audit may have used dated techniques from the apartheid era, like psychometric tests that she claims had fallen out of use years ago because it was a system that was used in a society divided along racial grounds to marginalise certain people.

Tshabalala said she wanted to know more about the methodologies used by PWC to reach their findings.

The PWC report, among others, pointed out that up to 60% of the SABC’s management do not meet the minimum requirements for leadership.

She said the “humiliating” statement that the SABC’s staff could not think for themselves was totally unacceptable and implied that newspapers had only printed this conclusion because the SABC was their main competition for advertising revenue.

She also said in a statement the report was sent to Parliament before it could be checked for accuracy by the board.

“We did not have enough time to work through the report.”

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago yesterday said he had not seen Tshabalala’s interview and could not speak on her behalf.

About the PWC report, he said the data was dated.

He added the SABC did not experience a skills crisis as has been reported.

He confirmed the posts for a financial head, chief operating officer and group head of news were not staffed by people in permanent appointments.

The post of CEO will also become vacant at the end of the month, he said.

Kganyago confirmed the acting operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, did not have a matric certificate.

“The problem in the country is that people with experience are not valued. The SABC has many people in service with more than 40 years’ experience, but no qualifications.”

The PWC audit states more than 2 200 of the SABC’s staff do not have matric.

Eric Kholwane, chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee for communications, yesterday said if Tshabalala does not accept the audit report, the board of the SABC would have misled Parliament.

He said the board had told PWC before they appeared they accepted the report and its findings.

Kholwane said the SABC had to appear before Parliament in April last year to discuss the audit.

Tshabalala could not be reached for comment.

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