Initiatives within the SABC to crack down on corruption and undo the damage done by ex-COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng have resulted in low morale and a toxic environment, the City Press reports.
The SABC recently filed papers to dismiss 28 “irregular appointments” and promotions made under Motsoeneng, with SABC human resources executive Jonathan Thekiso placing the blame for these appointments squarely on the old COO and other executives who have since left the public broadcaster.
Motsoeneng said that if the new leadership wanted to retrench everyone hired by him, this would result in the loss of far more employees.
“It looks like they are trying to reverse all the appointments that I have made,” he said. “If they do, half of the SABC was employed by me. Will they fire all of them?”
Thekiso told the City Press that these appointments and promotions have turned the environment within the SABC “toxic” and greatly lowered staff morale.
“For as long as these irregular appointments and promotions persist, there can be no harmonious working relations within the SABC, given the underlying discontentment of those employees who have witnessed the irregular appointments, and similarly, have seen this effectively allowed to occur by senior personnel within the SABC as a result of broken governance,” he said.
The public broadcaster is facing resistance from unions as it attempts to reverse these irregular appointments, adding to its growing list of problems.
Local soccer and solvency
The SABC recently signed an agreement with MultiChoice which would allow it to broadcast a selection of local PSL soccer matches.
According to the City Press, the public broadcaster will pay MultiChoice R72 million for the rights to broadcast 66 games on TV and radio.
This follows after the SABC previously failed to reach the required licence agreement with the PSL and SuperSport.
The SABC refused to pay the R280 million required to obtain full broadcast rights for the PSL, as it was only projected to earn R9.8 million per year from airing the content.
The SABC has not aired any PSL football matches since the beginning of the season, with the PSL previously labelling this blackout “unacceptable”.
Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams met with PSL, SABC, and MultiChoice to find a solution to the impasse, which resulted in the revised deal outlined above.
Despite reducing the cost of the rights from R280 million to R72 million, the SABC’s project yearly earnings from the contents still mean that they will lose money on this deal.