A task team convened to look into the “bedevilled” affairs of the SABC has found some progress has been made in its turnaround strategy, communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda said on Thursday.
“The task team was formed in June last year following mainly the problems the SABC had even before then. In particular the SABC was bedevilled by a crisis of major proportions,” Nyanda told media in Pretoria.
“The SABC issues were largely resolved over time,” Nyanda said, referring to the axing of the previous board of directors followed by an interim board and then the recently appointed one.
However, the task team had also found many areas where the public broadcaster was still lagging behind.
There was still a gap between the board and management and a lack of collective management decisions as, to extent some, decisions were made by a few individuals.
Senior positions were also held by people nearing retirement age and it was advised that the recruitment strategy be focused on “grooming young talent”.
However, Nyanda did not allow the task team chairman Themba Langa to answer a question on whether retrenchments were on the cards.
The task team found problems with governance such as not adhering to due process when concluding agreements with service providers. The relationship with government was reactive instead of proactive.
The business model was not sustainable and had disintegrated.
“The task team found that there was no correlation between the SABC’s business plan and its mandate as a public broadcaster,” said Nyanda.
Financially, the SABC was not observing or using the financial systems put in place and was heavily reliant on the office of chief financial officer — the head of which had been put on a 12-month suspended suspension and still occupying his office.
No monthly financial reports had been submitted from heads of divisions, the task team found.
Langa said the report did not contain recommendations as the team did not want to destabilise the “developing sentiment”. — Sapa