On 1 June the Minister of Communications, General Siphiwe Nyanda (Retired), held his inaugural meeting with the board of beleaguered public broadcaster SABC, at which he raised his concerns about the negative public perception of the board and executive management.
At the meeting the SABC presented a briefing on its corporate plan and gave an update on the challenges facing the broadcaster, including the broadcaster’s financial affairs, the current salary negotiations with unions, reported differences between board members and the filling of key vacant positions. These include Group Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer and Group Executive: News and Current Affairs.
The Minister reminded the board of the mandate of the SABC to deliver quality broadcasting services to the public as stipulated in the Broadcasting Act, as well as the Broadcasting Charter.
Regarding the current salary negotiations between management and unions, the Minister was assured that negotiations are currently underway and the SABC management has further reassured the minister that they will work towards reaching an amicable solution with the unions.
The SABC management also committed to soon meet with the independent producers with a view to resolve issues of non-payment taking into account the cash-flow challenges facing the public broadcaster.
“As a shareholder we are equally not comfortable with the fact that the SABC continues to operate without key senior executives. We urged them to finalise as soon as possible the process of appointing a Group CEO, COO and the head the corporation’s news and current affairs division,” says the Minister.
With regard to the SABC’s corporate plan the ministry, the department and national treasury will continue engaging the SABC with a view to improve the public broadcaster’s financial position including the current cash flow challenges.
Regarding the forthcoming FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the Minister is satisfied that the public broadcaster will be able to meet its commitments to FIFA and render a quality broadcasting service to the country and the continent during the two events.