SABC has confirmed that members of SA National Defence Force have been deployed at its offices in Auckand Park, Johannesburg and in Durban. Group Executive of Corporate Affairs and Marketing Gugu Ntuli, says the move was made to protect the public broadcaster’s premises and staff
The Board’s decision to suspend the S189 process for seven days is aimed at derailing the multi-pronged action in progress and is not a genuine attempt to address the lack of consultation and resistance to laying off workers at the SABC.
The SABC is currently faced with an urgent interdict application in the Labour Court set down for next Friday on the urgent roll and strike action by the CWU, with full tactical support by BEMAWU.
The en-masse dismissal of workers at the SABC is also opposed by political parties, trade union federations and public organisations.
Dismissal letters were issued this week, terminating the services of more than 400 workers employees by 31 December 2020.
The SABC issued S189 notices on 18 June 2020 after it terminated its S189 process in 2019, saying it will not renew the S189 notices (process).
BEMAWU will however NOT remove its urgent application from the Labour Court roll.
Suspending the S189 process for seven days, but not withdrawing the termination letters means nothing. In fact, it is more prejudicial to employees, as the clock is ticking towards 31 December 2020.
The SABC has issued termination letters after a defective consultation process. Suspending the process for seven days does not cure the defective process and its misplaced rationale.
All termination letters must be withdrawn and the SABC must return to the table to properly and meaningfully consult.
The SABC must first fix what they have identified as wrong before deciding to embark on a S189 process.
The SABC has cited the following reasons for its decision to embark on the S189 process:
1. The SABC not having an adequate online value proposition;
2. Poor sales effectiveness (due to not having am adequate online value proposition;
3. Ineffective commercial product packaging;
4. Old, uncompetitive pricing models;
5. Inadequate technology infrastructure;
6. A lack of requisite skills;
7. Inefficient business processes
In its paragraph 3 of its S189 Notice issued on 18 June 2020, the SABC said “As a result of the reasons outlined above, the SABC is currently contemplating a process of restructuring…”
In its proposed structure, the SABC has INCREASED positions on Scale code 120, that have not been there before, in divisions like Commercial Enterprise.
In other divisions the SABC opted to convert permanent staff to freelancers, and/or outsourcing (S197).
This is an artificial and misleading exercise.
By converting permanent employees to freelancers and outsourcing functions, does not reduce the headcount, and cost. It simply moves it from the permanent staff salary account to a different expense account.
It furthermore deprives employees from benefits they have worked for for their entire lives.
We know the SABC has been exploiting freelance workers for many years. By replacing its permanent staff with freelancers is doing so even more.
Freelancers does not have benefits like leave, sick leave, UIF, Medical Aid and Pension. It means being sick or going on leave is on a no-pay basis.
The S189 process must stop in its entirety.
12 February 2018:
SABC NEWS STAFF PETITION
This petition serves to register our deep concern and infuriation with current developments in the News Division. This is despite the achievements of the Ad-Hoc committee’s inquiry into the SABC in 2016. This petition appeals to the board to urgently meet staff and address the following concerns;
A year since Parliament’s Ad-Hoc Committee issued its significant and binding recommendations for change at the SABC:
- We are yet to see the end of impunity where those who were responsible for violating our editorial standing in society through their unlawful conduct and enforcement of political instructions, are held to account.
- The SABC’s newsroom is still being led by enforcers, some of whom continue to disregard the changed editorial environment that calls for conscience and professionalism such as Ms Sophie Mokoena’s unethical instruction to staff not to ask any question on President Zuma’s recall in a recent ANC press conference.
- Political interference continues, the latest known having been reported to the board recently without response or action against the implicated party. Instead, those who sought to report it are portrayed as liars.
- We demand the immediate removal of the current compromised presidential corps team and the institution of an editorially independent team that represents the interest of the SABC as the voice of society, and not embed itself with the presidency.
- Other than James Aguma and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC continues to employ disgraced and discredited executives who propped up the previous regime. These people, such as Theresa Geldenhuys, who has been promoted to Head of Governance and Compliance, were found liable for serious transgressions by the ad hoc committee.
- Management and the board promised to deal with the issue of enforcers speedily a year ago, however to date, they are yet to act. [Following a motion of no confidence against the said enforcers, management and the board pleaded for patience as they were dealing with the matter, but nothing has come of it].
- We are told that they will also be investigated by the SIU, but it boggles the mind how the SIU that investigates criminal behaviour can also make a finding on editorial issues.
- There is a re-emergence of reprisals against those who stood for the truth and for an independent public broadcaster. Victimisation of staff who stand for professional ethics continues. Here we cite the cases of David Magae, Boitumelo Korogo, Elvis Presslin, Mandisa Mazwi, Thandeka Gqubule, Phuthego Mojapele among others.
SABC’s EDITORIAL INTEGRITY
More than once, the SABC has been compromised editorially and our credibility and integrity will continue to be questioned. Our presidential correspondent compromise us editorially by sheepishly failing to call the executive to account, despite this, no one has been held responsible.
- We demand that the political editor and news management be held accountable for making decisions that compromise us editorially
- We demand an investigation into why the SABC failed to cover the address of the newly-elected ANC president at Nasrec, despite us having the staff and equipment at the venue.
Mismanagement of the newsroom
- For the past six months, our news division has fallen prey to unprofessionalism mainly due to poor leadership and management by the Acting Head of News and Current Affairs, Kenneth Makatees.
- Mr Makatees style of management and leadership has been reminiscent of the Hlaudi-style of management. He has imposed his preferred guests on Media Monitor staff, insisting on his involvement in the invitation of guests to Question Time, and micro-managing the newsroom and thus undermining his managers.
- We hear that he has now been moved to channel 404, we demand a proper advertising of the post and his removal form the Johannesburg newsroom as his presence is bound to distabilise the newsroom and hamper progress.
- Management must bear in mind that he was previously removed through a petition from the erstwhile SABC Africa.
We demand the immediate removal of Acting head of the news channel, Tebogo Alexander for:
- Undermining of EP’s
- Threatening reprisals on his subordinates instead of resolving newsroom issues professionally
- Intimidation of contractors with dismissals
- Bullying of his colleagues
- Absolutely no professional mannerism or leadership skills
His behaviour disregards the rights and dignity of employees as outlined in the Constitution of South Africa and the LRA. We call for an investigation into his behaviour and his track record as a manager at the SABC where there is a pattern of reported harassment of staff and abuse of power and position against his subordinates.
Cancellation of Programmes on Channel 404:
In a display of the lack of management skills from the top of the News Division for five years, there has been no performance agreements or an understanding of what the shows aim to achieve. However teams have worked diligently to produce and broadcast these programmes. Suddenly and without professional and scientific rationale as well as consultation, programmes are being unilaterally pulled off air.
Affected staff has been told to ‘slot’ themselves into other shows. These are important decisions which must be done according to administrative procedure i.e. in a consultative thus professional manner.
We demand that no show be taken off air until the newly appointed GE can make her own decisions based on rationale and factual basis, informed by a news strategy, which has been consulted with the news staff. The SABC newsroom must be protected from personal vendettas and whims by some in management.
While we believe that management is within its right to decide on programme changes, but they need to be done in professional consultation with fellow managers and supported by rational reasons if they are to be cancelled.
The following programmes at issue are also the only audience interactive programmes on Channel 404;
Rights and Recourse – Following a meeting with Acting-GE: News Kenneth Makatees, staff was told that Rights and Recourse will be removed from Channel 404 schedule as from March 31 2018. However, on Friday the 23rd of February 2018, the team was told that their last show would be broadcast on Sunday the 25th of February without a further clarity.
Question Time – In the six months that Kenneth Makatees has been Acting as GE: News, he neglected to meet the Executive Producer about the programme’s performance. The Executive Producer had to hear from colleagues in the corridor about its cancellation before he was officially told by his line manager. The market intelligence figures show that this programme is the highest performing on the platform, therefore the decision to cut it is surprising. However, it is worth noting that this programme has annoyed news management in the past with its editorial independence and refusal to accept illegal instructions.
National Government events versus ANC party events:
Radio Current Affairs programmes were told that they will not travel to Parliament during SONA citing financial reasons. We would accept this if all events were treated equally. However, there is a precedent set where we over deploy to ANC events but have financial constraints when we have public events like SONA and BUDGET. We broadcast for the country and not the party. Eighty people were deployed to East London during the ANC’s January 8th statement. However, when it came to the crunch time of the broadcast – the team in Johannesburg had to take over; despite an over deployment.
We call for an investigation into this misuse of SABC funds at a time when we are on economic austerity. Similar incidences such as the Cuba trip (to cover the death if former Cuban leader Fidel Castro) must be investigated.
- We wish to register concern about potential compromise of the process of appointing a Regional Editor in Kwa-Zulu Natal. We are aware of the fact that the process had to be halted because one of the interviewing panel members was conflicted and had not declared this. We call for a transparent recruitment process, free of undue influence where the best candidate must be appointed.
- We also call for an investigation into Senior news management appointments, both in the national office as well as the regions.
- SABC’s recruitment policy has been ignored in the appointment of a Provincial Editor in Limpopo. The appointment whose interviews, if any, were done secretively was made despite an on-going grievance procedure with the Acting/GCEO
- We demand an investigation into alleged sex for jobs at the Mpumalanga office and everywhere else where such allegations have been made.
Staff Vetting for National Keypoint
We demand a halt to the vetting process which violates our constitutional right to privacy and dignity. The SABC as a National Keypoint is a matter that needs further deliberation and until such time, we will not allow our rights to be violated in this manner.
We request an investigation into the irregular and inconsistent decisions to renew some contracts for the News technical team, and decline to do so for others where reasons provided defy logic.
We also demand the speedy appointment of a permanent head of the TV News Resources department which continues to be run unprofessionally without any sense of accountability by those who act in that position.
There are cases that remain unresolved for many years, despite the knowledge of News HR. We demand responsive HR department that is willing and able to resolve issues of workers without any bias.
Following a number of concerning pronouncements about the expected role of the newly appointed COO, we wish to remind management that in terms of the 2004 editorial policy which is currently in force, the editor in chief of the SABC is the CEO and not the COO. The News department is headed by the GE News who reports to the CEO. We therefore demand clarity on the role and responsibility of the COO in light of the fact that the matter regarding the decision to cut programmes has been referred to the COO.
We urgently request a meeting between the board and staff to discuss the issues raised above.
The undersigned (signatures on attachment)
(SIGNED BY AT LEAST 116 KEY NEWS STAFF, WHICH INCLUDE EDITORS, PRODUCERS AND TECHNICAL STAFF)
The Public Broadcaster can spy on its employees, with consent.
The following clause has been found in the employment contracts of a number of SABC Employees:
4.1.9 to consent the SABC (sic) to intercept, monitor read, block or act upon any of
the Employee’s electronic and other communications which shall include, but not be
limited to, telephone conversations, emails and any stored files. A copy of Sections 5 and 6 of
the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of
Communication-Related Information Act No. 70 of 2002, is available on request from the SABC’s human
When a job seeker is most vulnerable, applying for employment, this clause is included in the contract.
Who is going to brave enough to turn down a job disagreeing with a clause in a contract?
What is more shocking is the blanket consent to interception of communications.
The clause does not limit interception to the workplace only. The consent is for “any” of the employee’s communication, which include, but is not limited to private telephone calls and emails. It include SMS, Whatsapp and any stored files.
If you are a job seeker, do not consent to this gross invasion of your privacy by the SABC. If you have signed such a contract, please get in touch with us by sending your contract to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will take up the matter on your behalf.
Unions at the SABC (BEMAWU & CWU) have agreed to delay the issuing of a strike notice until Monday, 30 October 2017 for a strike at the Public Broadcaster to afford the CCMA an opportunity to mediate between the parties.
This decision comes after the CCMA on Friday made the request to the unions.
In an email to the unions, Acting Senior Commissioner of Collective Bargaining at the CCMA, Shimane Kgantse wrote:
The view of the Commissioner Madubanya who facilitated the wage dispute is that she did not get an opportunity to mediate over the dispute. We are mindful that legally there’s nothing precluding the Trade [unions] from embarking on a protected strike since thirty days has lapsed from the date of the referral. We however request you indulgence and provide us with an opportunity to have a mediated session with the parties before exercising your rights.
Due to this request, and also then to afford the full Board the opportunity it has requested in our last meeting, to meet and consider the demands of the unions, the strike will not proceed on Monday, but after the 48 hours notice has lapsed, which will be served on the SABC on Monday.
This will afford the CCMA the opportunity to mediate between the parties, and for the Board to inform employees what they have decided. At the meeting between the Board and unions, the delegation of the Board indicated they want to open negotiations with the unions, and the understanding was, by opening negotiations, the SABC will move from their 0% offer.
We believe the decision to only serve notice on Monday to afford the parties to meet in one last final attempt to avoid a full blown strike at the Public Broadcaster is the correct one, in the best interest of our members and the Broadcaster and is reasonable. This also demonstrates our commitment to have a cordial working relationship with the Board, and to heal and restore the dignity of the Public Broadcaster.
In the strike ballot done by BEMAWU, 89% of its members voted in favour of a strike.
From: Shimane Kgantse [mailto:shimanek@CCMA.org.za]
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2017 12:00 PM
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Boitumelo Fatane <BoitumeloF@CCMA.org.za>
Dear Mr Booysen
Thank you for your mail.
The view of the Commissioner Madubanya who facilitated the wage dispute is that she did not get an opportunity to mediate over the dispute. We are mindful that legally there’s nothing precluding the Trade from embarking on a protected strike since thirty days has lapsed from the date of the referral. We however request you indulgence and provide us with an opportunity to have a mediated session with the parties before exercising your rights.
Looking forward to your positive response.
Acting Senior Commissioner Collective Bargaining
Fax2Email: 086 506 9557
Call Centre: 0861 16 16 16 | Website: http://www.ccma.org.za
SENZ’UMEHLUKO – MAKING A DIFFERENCE
BEMAWU is overjoyed by the Labour Court ruling today holding Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Mr Simon Tebele personally liable for the legal cost of BEMAWU in the SABC 8 matter.
This is a further victory for media freedom in South Africa. We see the ruling of the Labour Court as being a very strong signal sent by the courts that media freedom is sacred and will enjoy the protection of the courts.
We firmly believe this also will send a strong and correct message to all executives and managers of all public organisations like the SABC to respect employee rights, and to be careful when they think they can endlessly litigate with public money.
As always, BEMAWU will vigorously defend the rights of our members and employee rights, to ensure fairness and justice in the workplace.
See clip of video here
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5 October 2016
The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) has followed with interest the Communications Portfolio Committee meeting today.
It has become a trend for SABC’s Boards to end up in the chambers of Parliament and be scolded for maladministration, lack of corporate governance and misconduct. It has become a trend for Board members to come to Portfolio meetings and tender, in full view, in a dramatic manner and on National TV their resignations – too late.
By working of the resignation of the two Board members the SABC Board is now no longer functional and cannot make any decisions. It has no quorum.
It is not only the Board that must go – all other unlawfully and unprocedurally appointees must also be removed.
There should then be an inquiry looking into all procurement processes, the appointment of consultants and the payment of bonuses.
The SABC must be cleansed as a matter of urgency. Executives on pension must be on pension, not filling positions simply because they can be manipulated. Monies must be recovered from individuals involved in fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The SABC must become a true public broadcaster, rolling out Provincial broadcasting, and take news to the people from the people. Citizen journalists should be utilised and allowed to participate in the news network of the SABC by providing, via modern technology news from everywhere as it happens and when it happens.
The Head of News has been appointed unprocedurally and unlawfully by unlawfully and unprocedurally appointed people. He must be removed and replaced by a competent and reputable person who is suitably qualified via an open and transparent public process.
The Human Resources unit at the SABC must be cleansed, and an urgent process must be put in place to address the numerous Human Resources issues like no career paths, no promotion, no advancement and no recognition for years of service in terms of promotion. The vast majority of SABC staff have been employed for periods up to 25 years without any prospects of promotion or upward movement.
The middle management issues must be addressed on an urgent basis.
We welcome an interim board and we will support any Board coming to the SABC to do the right things, and follow the correct and fair processes.
Tsamaya hantle, Mchana!
Hannes du Buisson
OPEN LETTER TO SABC BOARD AND EXECUTIVES
TO: THE SABC BOARD c/o The Company Secretary SABC Auckland Park JOHANNESBURG For Attention: Ms Theresa Geldenhuys (email@example.com) AND TO: The Group Chief Executive SABC Auckland Park JOHANNESBURG For attention: Mr James Aguma (firstname.lastname@example.org) AND TO: The Group Executive Group Human Resources SABC Auckland Park JOHANNESBURG For attention: Mr Mohlolo Lephaka (email@example.com)
We have noted with extreme concern, the appointment of Mr Motsoeneng as the GE, Corporate Affairs without the position being advertised as is required by inter alia the Recruitment Policy of the SABC and the alleged payment of a bonus or bonuses to Mr Motsoeneng of R11.4 million as reported by the media.
We request that you provide us – on an urgent basis – and no later than Wednesday, 5 October 2016 at 12:00 with the following information:
- Was the position of GE: Corporate Affairs advertised?
- If so, where and when and who applied for the position?
- If not, why not?
- Does Mr Motsoeneng hold a tertiary qualification, and if so, what qualification and where and when did he obtain it?
- Was Mr Motsoeneng paid a bonus or bonuses in the past three (3) months?
- If so, on what basis was he paid a bonus or bonuses?
- What amount was he paid as a bonus or bonuses?
- When was he paid the bonus or bonuses?
- What criteria was used to award him the bonus or bonuses?
- Where does this criteria derived from?
- Who else was paid a bonus or bonuses?
- What process was followed to request and approve this bonus or bonuses?
- Who requested the bonus or bonuses for Mr Motsoeneng and in what capacity?
- Who recommended the bonus or bonuses for Mr Motsoeneng and in what capacity?
- Who approved the bonus or bonuses for Mr Motsoeneng and in what capacity?
- Was the bonus or bonuses paid to Mr Motsoeneng split in two or more payments in an attempt to circumvent the approval processes?
- Can other employees also apply for, and earn such enormous bonuses, if not why not and if so, how do they go about to apply?
- Then in terms of the Public Protector’s Report “When Governance and Ethics Fail” (REPORT NO 23 OF 2013/2014):
- Did the Board recover any monies from any persons in compliance with paragraph (C) (1) of the recommendations of this report?
- If not, why not?
- If so, provide a list of people, amounts and dates these monies were recovered.
- Did the Board take appropriate disciplinary action against Mr Motsoeneng for :
- his abuse of power and improper conduct in the appointments and salary increments of Ms Sully Motsweni,
- his role in purging senior staff members, resulting in numerous labour disputes and settlement awards against the SABC, and if so when and what was the outcome, if not, why not?
- Did the Board take disciplinary action against Ms Lulama Mokhobo for her improper conduct in the approval of the salary increment of Mr Motsoeneng, if so when, and if not, why not?
- Did the Board recover the expenditure from the appropriate persons in respect of the irregular salary increments of Mr Motsoeneng, Ms Motsweni, Ms Khumalo and the freelancers?
- If so, how much money was recovered, from whom and when?
- If not, why not?
- What action was taken, if any to ensure that the Board takes strict and collective responsibility and working as a collective and not against each other?
- Was a public apology issued to Ms Ntombela-Nzimandi, Ms Charlotte Mampane and the other former SABC employees who suffered prejudice as a result of the Board and Management’s maladministration involving the failure to handle the administration of its affairs in accordance with the laws, corporate policies and principles of corporate governance?
- If so, when?
- If not, why not?
- What action was taken to review HR processes pertaining to creation of new posts, appointments and salary scales and progressions, when was it taken, and if none, why have no action been taken?
- Did the Board recover any monies from any persons in compliance with paragraph (C) (1) of the recommendations of this report?
We await your most urgent reply.
Hannes du Buisson
Media release re the Appointment of Mr Motsoeneng as GE, Stakeholder Relations without advertising the position and the payment of the R11.4M bonus as reported in the media.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 SEPTEMBER 2016
The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) has noted the appointment of Mr Motsoeneng as Group Executive, Stakeholder Relations announced today.
- The position was not advertised, and therefore the SABC is in breach of its own recruitment Policy and the principles of equal opportunity for all and transparency.
- The appointment of Mr Motsoeneng without advertising the position is amongst others why the Public Protector found his previous appointment to be irrational and unlawful, which the High Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the SABC agreed to.
- For the Board to appoint him in the same manner in a different position amounts to constructive contempt of court, and is flagrant and contemptuous conduct towards our courts and judicial system.
- It shows no respect for court rulings and the findings of the Public Protector.
- All SABC vacancies must be advertised. As the Board confirmed, it will advertise the position of COO. If that position will be advertised, why not the GE, Stakeholder Relations?
- In respect of the bonus received by Mr Motsoeneng, as reported in the media.
- It can not be an employer/employee matter, as alleged by Mr Motsoeneng. He was not an employee at the time when the bonus was paid.
- By merely stating its an employer/employee matter, and therefore refusing to comment is clearly an admission (if there was any doubt whether Mr Motsoeneng received the bonus or not) that he received the bonus. Anyone who did not receive such a bonus would deny it outright and set the record straight.
- BEMAWU is in process of bringing an urgent application to freeze the account of Mr Motsoeneng, pending the outcome of an investigation to establish the legitimacy of the bonus paid, the process followed, the approval levels, and most importantly, the criteria used and applied to award this bonus. Should the investigation reveals the bonus was awarded improperly or for improper reasons, we will ask the Court to order that the money be paid back to the SABC.
- Our lawyers are in process to address a letter to the SABC demanding explanations failing we will proceed with legal action.
We are utterly disappointed in Parliament who has failed us, the employees, the viewers and the listeners by not stepping in when it became clear the SABC has lost track and is a fatal head-on collision course where only the employees and the public will be the losers.
We once again urge Parliament to step in an replace the Board with immediate effect.
Hannes du Buisson