Dire skills shortage at SABC revealed

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Copy of ca p10 Yunus Carrim DONE GCIS The Minister of Communication, Mr Yunus Ismail Carrim. Picture: Katlholo Maifadi, GCIS

Johannesburg -

The SABC is sitting with a “shocking” skills shortage where executives and senior managers do not meet the minimum strategic thinking skills for executives, according to an independent skills audit.

The PwC audit also found that 56 percent of the public broadcaster’s head honchos were unable to demonstrate adequate levels in solving problems and making critical decisions.

Details of the dire skills shortage at the SABC were revealed on Tuesday when its board members and management appeared before Parliament’s communication oversight committee.

But SABC board member Professor Bongani Khumalo countered the findings, saying the board was fully functional, while senior managers were men and women of high integrity who were “very effectively supervised”.

The audit also states that the public broadcaster is lacking in digital migration skills, just a year before the international deadline to migrate from analogue.

DA MP Marian Shinn called on Communications Minister Yunus Carrim to intervene, saying he could not entrust the envisaged renewal of the corporation to its current management team.

She described the skills shortage as “shocking”.

“They clearly do not have the appropriate skills and their staff does not trust them to do this successfully. I again call on minister Carrim to take drastic steps to arrest the failures at the public broadcaster by considering implementing some form of management rescue, such as judicial management,” said Shinn.

She told the meeting the SABC was in a “tragic state” as it prepared for digital migration.


Fellow MP and committee member Butch Steyn said the current crop of SABC managers “doesn’t have the skills to turn the ship around”.

But controversial SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng rejected this claim. “It is not true that the SABC is not ready for digital migration,” he said.


SABC group chief executive Lulama Mokhobo, who would vacate her position at the end of the month, said the broadcaster had an implementation plan with clear deadlines.

“It’s very detailed. We thought we’d distribute it, then again doubt set in because we also know the members don’t like receiving documents at the last minute.

“But it is here, it is time-bound, it is very clear what actions have been done already,” said Mokhobo.

Khumalo, who also chairs the SABC’s human resource and remuneration committee, said: “We have a very, very strong board in place.

“The board of the SABC is fully functional - a very serious board that has got committees which are functioning. I would like to assure you that we do know what we are doing.

“We have immense experience in the field of people management, covering all aspects of people management,” said Khumalo. - Cape Times

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