Very concerning news about SABC board member Kgalema Mohuba having allegedly hired people to write his doctorate thesis. The University of Limpopo has refused to confer the doctorate pending an internal investigation. A court ruled he is “not entitled to receive the degree”
Whilst midst a protected strike and firmly believing to have the backs of what we believed to be our comrades, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) withdrew the mutual interest dispute in respect of a salary increase for SABC employees and rendering the continuation of the strike risky and possibly unprotected.
As a responsible union, having members interests at heart, we immediately suspended the strike and requested our member to report for duty.
We are disgusted by the conduct of the CWU, who has messed with employee’s livelihoods, emotions and feelings. Our dispute is well and alive, not resolved and it is not going to disappear.
The communication here under is self explanatory.
The above matter and the attached documents refer.
General Manager: Group Employee Relations (Acting)
SABC SOC Limited.
SABC Radio Park Building, Office 1925, 19th Floor,
Corner Henley and Artillery Roads, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
Private Bag X1, Auckland Park, 2006,
Gauteng, Republic of South Africa,
Tel: +27 (11) 714 2708 | Fax: +27 (11) 714 4030 / 3001
From: Shimane Kgantse [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, 03 November 2017 1:43 PM
To: Thabo Mogalane; Boitumelo Fatane
Cc: Hannes du Buisson; booysen.mashego; Sello Xama
Subject: RE: Withdrawal of Referral – Case No. GAJB20270-17
Thank you Mr Mogalane
Acting Senior Commissioner Collective Bargaining
Fax2Email: 086 506 9557
Cellphone: 071 306 5407
Call Centre: 0861 16 16 16 | Website: http://www.ccma.org.za
SENZ’UMEHLUKO – MAKING A DIFFERENCE
From: Thabo Mogalane [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 03 November 2017 01:42 PM
To: Boitumelo Fatane <BoitumeloF@CCMA.org.za>
Cc: Shimane Kgantse <shimanek@CCMA.org.za>; Hannes du Buisson <President@bemawu.org.za>; booysen.mashego <firstname.lastname@example.org>; XamaSE@sabc.co.za
Subject: Withdrawal of Referral – Case No. GAJB20270-17
This serves to inform you that Communication Workers Union is hereby withdrawing its referral to the CCMA – Case No. GAJB20270-17.
We would therefore appreciate it if all the necessary administrative arrangements in this regard could be done by the CCMA.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Deputy General Secretary
Communication Workers Union
If you are not a member of a trade union at all, or you are a member of another trade union who did not refer a dispute about a matter of mutual interest, can you strike and will it be a protected strike?
This is one of the questions the Constitutional Court had to decide in 2012.
In the matter of SATAWU v Moloto, the Court was seized with the interpretation of section 64(1)(b) of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (Act). The applicants seek leave to appeal against the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Equity Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd v South African Transport and Allied Workers Union and Others,2 which construed the provisions of section 64(1)(b) of the Act as obliging every employee who intends to embark on a strike to notify his or her employer of that intention personally or through a representative for the strike action to be protected.
The relevant provision of the Constitution section 23(2)(c) grants every employee the right to strike.
The right, which is granted without any express limitation in the Constitution, is given content and regulated by the Act in fulfillment of one of its primary objects.To that end, the Act provides substantive limitations and procedural pre-conditions for the exercise of the right to strike and the employer’s corresponding recourse to lock-out.
Section 64 reads in relevant part:
“(1) Every employee has the right to strike and every employer has recourse to lock-out if—
(a) the issue in dispute has been referred to a council or to the Commission as required by this Act, and—
(i) a certificate stating that the dispute remains unresolved has been issued; or
(ii) a period of 30 days, or any extension of that period agreed to between the parties to the dispute, has elapsed since the referral was received by the council or the Commission; and after that—
(b) in the case of a proposed strike, at least 48 hours’ notice of the commencement of the strike, in writing, has been given to the employer, unless—
(i) the issue in dispute relates to a collective agreement to be concluded in a council, in which case, notice must have been given to that council; or
(ii) the employer is a member of an employers’ organisation that is a party to the dispute, in which case, notice must have been given to that employers’ organisation; or
(c) in the case of a proposed lock-out, at least 48 hours’ notice of the commencement of the lock-out, in writing, has been given to any trade union that is a party to the dispute, or, if there is no such trade union, to the employees, unless the issue in dispute relates to a collective agreement to be concluded in a council, in which case, notice must have been given to that council; or
(d) in the case of a proposed strike or lock-out where the State is the employer, at least seven days’ notice of the commencement of the strike or lock-out has been given to the parties contemplated in paragraphs (b) and (c).” (Emphasis omitted.)
Other relevant provisions are found in section 67 of the Act which, in addition to defining “protected strike” and “protected lock-out”, provides various forms of immunity for participation in these actions where the relevant requirements have been met.
Protection for strikers cuts across a wide spectrum and ranges from delictual and contractual immunity to protection from dismissal, barring fair dismissal for misconduct or operational reasons, and immunity from criminal prosecution for contravention of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act or the Wage Act.
The consequences of non-compliance with the requirements of “protected” industrial action, which include the grant of an interdict against the action and payment of compensation for loss attributable to the action, are contained in section 68 of the Act.
In terms of Section 64, Subsection (1)(a) allows the parties room to negotiate a settlement of their dispute through conciliation before the employees exercise their right to strike, whereas subsection 1(b) requires a warning to the employer of an imminent strike in the event that conciliation fails. As I see it, it would make no practical sense to require employees who were affected by an issue in dispute to undertake the same process in respect of the same dispute when conciliation had already failed. In any event, “issue in dispute” in relation to a strike or a lock-out is defined in the Act – it means “the demand, the grievance, or the dispute that forms the subject matter of the strike or lock-out” – whereas the definition of strike is couched in wide, non-specific terms.
The Court thus found that it is not necessary for non-unionised employees, and for that matter any other employee who is not a member of the union who referred the dispute, to give notice of a strike.
Furthermore, any employee of that employer where the dispute exists, even if they have not been part of the conciliation, or have been joined as a party to the dispute, may participate in a strike, and it will be considered a protected strike.
SATAWU v Moloto file.
The South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is by far the most influential and dominant news source in South Africa.
Any political party (or faction of a political party) who gains control of the SABC would be able to manipulate public opinion through the SABC. In such circumstances it would be impossible to conduct a free and fair election. It is therefore surprising that the judgment handed down last week, in which the High Court struck down efforts by the government to interfere in the management of the SABC, did not attract more attention.
In a capitalist state without a well-functioning public broadcaster, the right to freedom of expression and to free and fair elections will remain an empty and unreachable promise. As the Constitutional Court noted in Khumalo and Others v Holomisa:
The print, broadcast and electronic media have a particular role in the protection of freedom of expression in our society. Every citizen has the right to freedom of the press and the media and the right to receive information and ideas. The media are key agents in ensuring that these aspects of the right to freedom of information are respected. The ability of each citizen to be a responsible and effective member of our society depends upon the manner in which the media carry out their constitutional mandate.
Last week the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court in the case of S.O.S. Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and Others v South African Broadcasting Corporation and Others confirmed the importance of the SABC in fulfilling this role. In a ringing judgment (written by Matojane J) the court held that the right of everyone to freedom of expression and the right to vote (read with the Broadcasting Act and the SABC Charter) means the SABC is required “to ensure that members of the public have access to accurate, neutral and pluralistic information”.
The SABC must also provide “coverage of significant news and public affairs programming which meets the highest standards of journalism, as well as fair and unbiased coverage, impartiality, balance and independence from government, commercial and other interests”. Moreover:
The SABC as a public service broadcaster must promote alternative views to encourage debate that is vital to the functioning of democracy. A Healthy democracy requires that the public be able to discuss, share and receive information relating to political, social and cultural matters affecting their lives. The public broadcaster plays a crucial role in strengthening democracy and democratic governance by ensuring that the general public, in particular, those with neither political nor economic influence or power, have access to a broad spectrum of views on issues of public concern.
The judgment also confirms that the SABC performs a watchdog function “by investigating and reporting on the maladministration, abuses of power and corruption as these are matters of [public interest”
For the full article, go here https://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/sabc-what-the-high-court-said-about-its-independence-and-how-it-will-limit-government-interference/
Kindly note organized labour will meet with the AGCEO and a delegation of the Board today at 12:30. A feedback meeting will take place immediately thereafter at 14.00 – 14.30, K1 Auditorium.
Regions will be linked up.
What a waste of money (the SABC allegedly don’t have)!
Why would you want to pay someone to survey what you already know?
The morale is rock bottom. We have no board. We have a top structure unprocedurially appointed, and all acting. We have no vision, we have no leadership, we have no direction. We have no strategy.
We now have a Minister who wants to run the SABC operationally by interfering in the day-to-day running of the SABC. To extend the DOA’s of the unprocedurally appointed.
We have unprocedurally appointed managers at Sales who instead of motivating employees to sell more, wants to treat them like children and force them to become clock watchers.
Who in any event would want to put their money with a rudderless ship with no captain and demoralized sailors?
We have no governance structures. We are slipping deeper into the dark hole of insolvency. We seems to be the only ones caring about this, as there is no movement from Parliament.
Are politicians really prepared to destroy the SABC, our public broadcaster and more importantly, are we going to allow it?
What happened to the results of the previous surveys?
What happened to our salary increases?
Ke Nako… It’s time…
The almost two-week governance hiatus at the SABC has raised concerns that the moves towards cleaning house and stabilising the public broadcaster are pawns in broader political machinations.
“We’re concerned that President Zuma is deliberately delaying the appointment of the new board for political reasons, leaving an unacceptable gap in governance at the SABC.”
Worries were also expressed publicly by trade union Broadcasting, Electronic Media and Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu) in an open letter, and by the SABC8, the journalists who were expelled but reinstatement after raising their concerns.
“We believe that a recapture project of the public broadcaster is afoot,” said the SABC8 open letter in support of Bemawu. “We will not allow our short-lived, recently gained freedom of expression to be rolled back…” said the SABC8, calling on Parliament to hold the executive to account and ensure the new permanent board is appointed. “We wish to inform the executive arm of the state that we do not belong to them but to the people of South Africa via their public representatives – the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa,” their open letter said.
And on Tuesday the communications committee decided it should hear from the SABC8 and Bemawu, as Dlodlo interjected that if that was the MPs’ decision, they had to also hear from others who wrote to them.
The minister appeared on the back foot over the delays on appointing the SABC board, and her role in it. “If I am requested to assist, and I see nothing untoward (in this), that is exactly what I will do,” she told MPs. And on the issue of stalled appointments of executives – the SABC is currently run by acting CEO, chief financial and chief operations officers – Dlodlo said the interim board had not, as required, submitted the job specs to her for approval ahead of time. And the pool of six names for her selection did not meet the necessary television, radio and managerial standards.
Source : https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2017-10-11-reporters-parliamentary-notebook-factional-winds-blow-around-troubled-sabc-and-public-protector/#.Wd5cNBOCyRt
09 October 2017
Honourable Humphrey Maxegwana
Chairperson, Portfolio Committee on Communications
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa
Dear Honourable Humphrey Maxegwana
SABC8 IMPLORES PARLIAMENT TO ACT ON BROADCASTERS GOVERNANCE CRISIS
At the start, we the SABC8, want to affirm the good work done in 2016 by parliament’s portfolio committee on communications, the ad hoc committee on the SABC and the interim board of the SABC. However, it is with deep regret we write to you to register our alarm and deepest disappointment at the reckless abandon to which the public broadcaster has descended. We are extremely concerned at the governance crisis at the SABC. We believe that a recapture project of the public broadcaster is afoot and would like to endorse the open letter written to you by our fellow colleagues under the banner of BEMAWU (Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union). We wish to reiterate their statement that we are prepared to strike over the issues underlined. We will not allow our short-lived, recently gained freedom of expression to be rolled back.
It has been nine days since the term of the Interim Board has expired. However, there has been no political will to remedy the governance crisis at the broadcaster. The President has delayed the ratification of the permanent board members duly advised by Parliament. In terms of the Broadcasting Act, Section 14 (1), concerning the executive committee, “the affairs of the corporation are administered by an executive committee consisting of the group chief executive and six other members appointed by the board.” In other words the act makes absolutely no provision for the ministerial appointment of executive members; in fact the act frowns on such. We have been told today, by acting GCEO Nomsa Philiso that the Minister is currently preparing herself to extend the contracts of the current acting executives. If the Minister proceeds with such plans she would be usurping the powers of parliament or a board that should have been appointed by parliament. We wish to inform the executive arm of the state that we do not belong to them but to the people of South Africa via their public representatives – the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.
In terms of the Companies Act, the current state of affairs amounts to reckless trading as no one is accountable for the major decisions and transactions of the insolvent entity that we work for. It is clear that the SABC is unable to pay its debts as they become due in the normal course of business. The attendant risks and implications are dire and grave. It would be reckless of us not to responsibly raise these concerns with Parliament as we do now by this correspondence.
Regarding the reversed merger between the News Resources Department and Henley; while on the surface it may seem resolved, we still call for a forensic investigation into how this merger came about in the first place and a full account of the moneys transferred and spent, particularly the millions transferred from the news division to the bankrupt Henley technical department. The Combating and Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act stipulates that we have an obligation to report such matters. Further, we have seen how when corruption is allowed to run rampant, the quality of news and governance decline.
We note, with concern, a reported meeting held at Luthuli House, wherein we believe it was said that the SABC news division is “the only propaganda tool left to the African National Congress”; and that the loss of this “tool” would be resisted by the ruling party. In addition, we find that the meeting held by our Acting-GE of news with the head of the president’s private office and spokesperson, Dr. Bongani Ngqulunga, to be injudicious and we call on our head to exercise more circumspection in the future and to protect the newsroom from perceptions of bias. We also call on him to make the minutes of that meeting public. Editorial independence must not only be practiced, like justice, it must be seen to be done.
We also raise concern that the editorial review process has been halted by the absence of the appropriate governance structures. ICASA has ruled that the SABC revert to the editorial policy of 2004. In this editorial policy the official mandated person to preside over the editorial process is the Group Chief Executive. We note with concern that the acting Chief Operating Officer has installed herself at the apex of this process, thus continuing with the practices of Hlaudi Motsoeneng under whom she gladly served. This is why we call on the presidency to ratify the board members so that we can institute the measurers to ensure editorial independence, such as the Editorial Forum, as envisaged in the Broadcasting Act, clause 13 (b) which calls on board members to be committed to fairness and freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed.
It has been eight months since the release of the final report of the SABC inquiry’s ad hoc committee which recommended, among others, that the enforcers of unlawful instructions by Hlaudi Motsoeneng and his regime be held accountable. Instead, there appears to be efforts to launder their conduct and reinstate them as credible journalists. This is just a cosmetic exercise designed to ensure that they remain long enough to cover up the corrupt excesses and decisions of the past. Given the acting head of news’ reluctance to correct the wrongs of the past, our faith in his leadership is gravely shaken.
We call upon parliament to hold the executive to account and bring the corporation in line with the governance principles outlined in the Broadcasting Act. We cannot proceed in this fashion for much longer.
Nonkululeko Zonke Smith (convenor of SABC 101- News Technical Staff)
SABC posts R977m loss in 2016/17The SABC posted a R977m loss after tax for the 2016/17 financial year, its annual report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday revealed.
The public broadcaster’s net loss for the year ending March 2017 more than doubled from R412m in 2016, following a year of upheaval that included the dissolution of the previous permanent board in late 2016.
Revenue declined from R8.1bn in 2016 to R7.6bn, representing a 6% year-on-year decrease.
Advertising also dropped 5% to R5.6bn, in a year that saw former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng implement the 90% local content policy.
Sponsorship revenue declined by 18% to R384m, while TV licence revenue decreased 7% to R915m.
Operational expenses remained the same at R8.6bn.
The report also said that the SABC had a cash balance of R82m, representing a net outflow of R800m since the previous year.
“The fact that operational cash was used to fund capital expenditure projects, the cost of delivering on broadcaster’s public service mandate and the rising cost of sports rights contribute to the pressure being placed on the organisation’s cash reserves,” the report reads.
BEMAWU condemns in the strongest terms the coward attacks of union leadership in a free and democratic South Africa.
We mourn the deaths and attacks in solidarity, comrades. A luta continua!
It is with absolute outrage and grief that we mark the killing of one of our members from Impala Platinum and the shooting of another AMCU shop-steward at Lonmin. Today, comrade, Mohahu Daniel Maseko was shot dead, riddled with 5 bullets and comrade Kwenene was attacked by two (2) assassins, one with a shot gun and another with a pistol; he has been rushed to hospital. Our prayers are with him as he battles for his life. Our grief is with the family and loved ones of comrade Maseko. We send our heartfelt condolences.
The painful journey begins to go to the mortuary identify our dead comrade, inform family and loved ones, prepare for the funeral. These acts of violence have to be condemned by all, not just the union leadership of which they belong.
The workers movement must unite against this campaign of violence which will eventually see the death of the entire labour movement. We must fight for peace amongst workers, regardless of language, colour, political or union affiliation. As AMCU we will not rest until this campaign of violence is defeated.
We again do not wish to speculate on the motive for the attempted murder of our comrade. The SAPS must investigate and bring the perpetrators to book. However, the world must know things are getting out of control. It seems to us that something more sinister is afoot.
This looks very much like the third force violence the Apartheid state unleashed on the democratic and workers movement during the negotiations for a political settlement.
We know through the testimony and settlement by the state with Thebe Maswabi, of the security forces involvement in destabilizing AMCU. Having failed to set up a rival union, having failed at reviving NUM and restoring their majority status – is targeting and killing our members their next move?
Is the aim to turn workers on workers – a new form of black-on-black violence to break the militancy of AMCU. We shall not be intimidated. We will unite mineworkers and mobilize in mass action to stop the killings and the violence.
Those that think AMCU can be defeated by these cowardly acts must think again. If it takes another five months strike, if it takes the bringing of the country to its knees to get the authorities to arrest the situation and for mine management to take the safety of the workers seriously – so be it. Those behind these acts are playing with fire. Be assured AMCU will not fold its arms in the face of this systematic onslaught against us.
An injury to one is an injury to all.
Yours in Social Justice