Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Post Retirment Medical Aid

To all BEMAWU Members and interested parties.

The SABC yesterday has lost another, very expensive battle in the Supreme Court of Appeal in respect of Post Retirement Medical Aid (PRMA).

The Coop-group (“the group”) won their case in the Appeal Court and the SABC were ordered to re-instate their Post retirement Medical Aid benefits. The court ordered the SABC to treat them “like any other SABC Pensioner.” The SABC thought they were smart and then gave notice to the group to terminate their
PRMA benefits as they did with you a few years ago when they gave you notice and informed you that you will have no PRMA benefits when you go on pension.

PRMA benefits are terms and conditions of employment.

The group referred the decision to the High Court, and won. The SABC appealed the matter, and lost. They then lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). Yesterday the SCA ruled that the SABC must pay PRMA benefits to the group until the day they die.

BEMAWU is the only union who has instituted legal action on behalf of its members in the High Court to re-instate the PRMA benefits of our members. The case will go to court in February next year. We need to finalize our summons. Please make sure there is a BEMAWU deduction on your payslip if you are a BEMAWU member. This is the only way to be sure you are a claimant in the matter and will benefit from a court decision in this regard. We will soon send out again personalized e-mails to again check your details. The list of applicants needs to finalized by the end of April 2009. If you are not on the list, you will in all probability not benefit from a ruling in this regard. Only the claimants listed will benefit. The SABC will save every sent it can (they will need it) and not extend the PRMA benefits to people who were not interested in challenging their decision in court.

We believe it will be a formality to win this case, as it has technically already been decided by the SCA.

BEMAWU cares for its members, and we do not hesitate to spend money to protect your rights.

Hannes du Buisson
BEMAWU President

Cell. 0829208669
Fax 0866715585

Friday, 20 March 2009

Discrimination rife at SABC

The SABC is still a male dominated environment, a man’s world.
According to the SABC’s Employment Equity report Black (African) woman only accounts for 20.69% of the SABC workforce oppose to their male counterparts that dominates the workforce with 36.21%. This despite the fact that African woman are the most recruited (40.44%). African woman also seems to feel the most unwelcome as they were the majority (31.29%) that resigned in the past year. On top of that they were on the receiving end in respect of disciplinary action with 50% of all disciplinary action instituted against them. When it came to promotion, they again had to bow the head to their male counterparts who were in front in the queue with 32.84% versus their 29.85% of the cake. And they are also not welcome in management as they only makes out 20.69% of Top and Middle Management.
On the other hand it appears as if their white sisters were not doing too badly. In respect of promotions white females were third in the queue (14.18%), none of them got dismissed and no disciplinary action was instituted against any white female. They were also the third most preferred when it came to new appointments and the forth most representative in Top and Middle management. Their white male counterparts beat them with one place, being the third most representative.
There appears to be a huge inequality when it comes to the distribution of salaries.
The top 11% (Senior officials, management) earns 24% of the salary bill with an almighty R 308,786,802 per year averaging a salary of R 55 800 per month!
The professionals (3.19%) earn 4.35% of the bill and Technicians and Associated professionals (50.33%) earn 47.46% of the bill. The huge discrepancies in salaries are starting to manifest with Clerks who accounts for 25.85% of the workforce but only are allocated 17.43% of the salary bill.

Only 55.98% of all SABC staff are employees involved in core operational functions. The rest are support staff (44,02%). This effectively means for every 1.27 employee involved in core operations there is one support staff member.

White males are the third largest group of employees totaling 13.76% of the workforce.


African Male 1,359 = 34.44%
African Female 1,060 = 26.86% (Total 61.30%)
White Male 543 = 13.76%
White Female 440 = 11.15% (Total 24.91%)
Coloured Female 194 = 4.92%
Coloured Male 131 = 3.32% (Total 8.24%)
Indian Female 104 = 2.64%
Indian Male 94 = 2.38% (Total 5.02%)
Foreign National Male 13 = 0.33%
Foreign National Female 8 = 0.20% (Total 0.53%)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


If organisations managed their assets as carelessly as they do their employees, not only would their lifespan be rather limited, but they would also find themselves under extreme pressure from their shareholders for gross under utilisation of assets and resources. Although it is commonly accepted within most organisations that their employees are one of the primary critical success factors, many organisations are either unable or unwilling to set up procedures to effectively measure and thus effectively manage their employees' contribution to the organisation.
Many years ago whilst still in school we had an annual event called the Talent Night which after inception soon became the entertainment highlight of the year. In fact, in the second year, the acts had to be spread across two nights as the school hall could just not accommodate the crowds. What soon became apparent, was that there were some individuals in the school who had exceptional talent, be it playing a musical instrument, a stand up comedy routine or just being a great actor. These individuals soon became "icons" within the school, and each year all and sundry waited to see what they would be doing at the Talent Night evening. I remember clearly how these individuals were given every opportunity to improve their talents and of course, as the event drew closer schoolwork actually took second place. Why? Well as the Talent Night was the flagship for talent within the school it was seen as imperative that all the individuals involved were given every opportunity to ensure they could perform to their maximum potential. Imagine if that was the vision statement hanging in your canteen - "Here at the SABC we ensure that all our employees are given every opportunity to perform at their maximum potential". Imagine the impact on employees, clients and any other visitors you may have reading this statement. So what relevance does acting in a Talent Night production have to my organisation you might ask? Well in a typical organisation you have, just like in a school, people with various talents and potential, employees that others look up to regardless of position or power and those who become your informal leaders, mentors or advice givers. Once talent is recognised it needs to be nurtured and grown in order for the individual to maximise their potential and of course for the organisation to reap maximum rewards. I relate the story from my school days because the same principles should be applied in the workplace today. I cannot believe that the teachers of my school, which was stuck in the middle of the Free State, were that far ahead of their times. The teachers realised that, once they had identified talent in a student, they then needed to nurture it by creating opportunities for this talent to grow, in order to maximise the individual's potential. It was plain common sense - and it worked!
So why do so many organisations fail to even get out of the starting blocks with the cornerstone of managing and valuing their talent - performance management? There can be two significant barriers that could stand in the way of a more productive or strategic approach to managing or developing employees. Firstly, many managers are reluctant to categorise employees, sometimes in fear of appearing elitist and others for the fear of being seen to discriminate. Secondly, the HR Department classifies employees according to their functions or their business units - in vertical silos - and not how essential the employee's roles are, or what experience and other personal qualities are required to perform in the role. Often no attempt is made to classify people across the organisation, in other words horizontally as opposed to vertically, where the value of how "business-critical" they are is seen as the most important criteria. In many organisations, where the employees' contribution to the success of the organisation is considered, it is all too often limited to a discussion around the employee's individual performance rather than any consideration of the organisational measurements of success. Organisations need a far better understanding of the strategic value of their employees as this is critical to their success in the global marketplace. Your company's future growth and competitiveness now depends more than ever before on attracting the right people – qualified employees - who are becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Once these individuals are part of your organisation you need to ensure that they perform not only on an individual level, but also as part of the team. Key to this is role definition. Just like in the Talent Show, each employee should know their role, and yes, you will have employees in starring roles and others in supporting roles.
Reference: Rethinking the Value of Talent by Jeffrey Joerres and Dominique Turcq.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

No Response!

Hereunder e-mail correspondence between BEMAWU and the Acting GCEO.

Remember he accused us of not following the right channels and taking matters outside the SABC instead of discussing it internally.

So the Acting GCEO never kept his promise and he never reverted back to us yesterday. (We removed the individuals name as she has merely handled the communication on behalf of the Acting GCEO)

From: BEMAWU HEAD OFFICE [mailto:headoffice@bemawu.org.za]
Sent: 13 March 2009 15:31 PM
To: Gab Mampone
Subject: Information

Dear Mr. Mampone,

We would like to enquire about the following:

How many Board members attended the Cape Town Jazz festival?
· How much did it cost the SABC?
· Why was it necessary for the Board Members to attend the festival?

How many Board members attended the Beijing Olympics?
· At what cost to the SABC?
· Why was it necessary to attend the Olympics?

How many Board members attended the Durban July?
· At what cost to the SABC?
· Why was it necessary for the Board to attend the Durban July?

Did any Board member attend the Dakar Rally or visited Dakar for any reason in the past 24 months?
· At what cost to the SABC?
· Why was it necessary to visit Dakar on SABC expenses?


Hannes du Buisson
From: xxxxx xxxxx [mailto:xxxxx@sabc.co.za] On Behalf Of Gab Mampone
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 3:37 PM
To: headoffice@bemawu.org.za; Gab Mampone
Subject: RE: Information

Afternoon Mr Du Buisson,

This e-mail is sent to confirm receipt of your mail. Please note that we will revert by close of business on Monday the 16th of March 2009.

Have a blessed weekend.

Kind and warm regards
Xxxx xxxx
Commercial Enterprises

So we feel duty bound to inform you of the following:

  • At least 7 Board Members attended the Cape Town Jazz Festival at a cost of at least R 209 589.05 - but there is no money to regrade and promote employees!
  • At least 2 Board Members attended the Durban July at a cost of at least R28 372.51 - but there is no money to regrade and promote employees!
  • At least 1 Board Member went to Dakar at a cost of R 60 227.00!
  • At least 4 Board Members attended the Olympics in Beijing!

The Board must go! They wasting our money!

Monday, 16 March 2009

SOS - Save Our SABC


It is very sad that SABC Management has decided to embark on an unjustified mud-slinging campaign to try and discredit BEMAWU, when our only intention was to assist in fixing problems and to inform you, our members of the real situation the SABC is in.

The facts are as follows.

BEMAWU did not issue a statement to its members and external media. We addressed personalised letters to each and every member of BEMAWU to inform them what really is going on in the SABC. Our members - SABC employees - have the right to know about issues threatening their security of employment. No statement was issued to the external media. If we had the intention to release the information officially to the external media, we would have issued a formal media statement. We do not need the SABC’s permission to do that.

Furthermore, we have never put out any statement that is not true and correct.

BEMAWU has no quest for sensationalism and attention as claimed by the SABC. We have not made any false, misleading, derogatory or personal claims. We have proof of each and every statement we have made, and if the SABC continues to insist they are false, we will release the evidence into the public domain to protect our integrity.

This however is false and misleading. Why did the SABC lie about the deficit?

(From The Times)
“Acting chief executive Gab Mampone said yesterday the broadcaster was now “monitoring and stopping unnecessary spending” as part of a wide-ranging turnaround strategy.
He said the fact that the broadcaster was in the red and surviving on overdraft was due to “external factors”, mainly the global economic climate.
At least R400-million of the R784-million in losses was attributed to the loss of advertising revenue from multinational companies, said Mampone.
Expenses for the 2009 financial year were R5.5-billion, up R1.2-billion from the previous year.
The Times reported on Wednesday that the broadcaster was facing a deficit of about R700 million — which SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago repeatedly denies.
Mampone, his managers and several SABC board members, including chairman Kanyi Mkonza, put up a united front as they tried to explain the financial crisis crippling the parastatal.”
In respect of Gemini Consultants, we have never claimed that procurement processes were not followed. We do say the SABC is wasting money by employing these consultants. Management was employed to manage, and management by consultants must stop. We never claimed that we were making new revelations. We are pointing out where the money has gone.

Whether it is a farewell party or a Christmas Party, it is absolutely ridiculous and irresponsible to spend nearly half a million rand on one party whether it has been budgeted for or not. The fact that it has been budgeted for does not make it right and justifiable.

We are astounded that management finds detailing of any individual’s expenses while involved in the carrying out of his/her duties, irresponsible, personal and insulting. If an SABC employee spends SABC money on Johnny Walker Black Whisky whilst we are facing a very serious deficit, to the extent that a court application has been brought to liquidate the SABC it needs to be exposed. Management should thank the union for bringing such matters to their attention, not call us irresponsible. Is this really the message that the SABC wants to send out to employees? If you know of wastage of money, don’t report it, because you will be accused of being irresponsible, personal and insulting? Is this the view of the Board and the Acting GCEO?

There appears to be something seriously wrong with the mindset of the SABC and it confirms why we are in such a financial mess.

The SABC says: “It is not clear why Mr. Naicker is being singled out for receiving training, while all other employees, including Bemawu and other union members also receive training from time to time.”

We are not singling out Mr. Naicker. Mr. Naicker has not applied via the SABC’s Bursary Scheme for a bursary to study an MBA. In any event it is highly irresponsible to spent money on a person’s MBA when in the midst of a very serious financial crisis. Surely all employees can then now apply and the SABC will pay for their MBA studies or is this reserved for a few privileged individuals?

The SABC says: “It is not true that Group Executives received the salary increases as stated in the memo. The figures were once again lifted from the Annual Report, without a proper breakdown being done to understand them.”

Does that mean the figures in the Annual Report are not correct? Then we should report this to the Auditor General. A primary school child with a calculator can do the calculations of the figures lifted from the Annual Report. The percentage increases (whether salary or salary and benefits and whether it has been breaked down or not) are 100% correct and verified by our auditors.

The SABC says: “The stated figures include a basic salary, allowances, bonuses, employer’s contribution to pension fund, medical aid and other.”

It does not matter how you look at it, there has been an increase by the percentage stated in our previous letter.

The SABC says: “It is not only unrealistic but unthinkable that any Group Executive can get such high salary increases in a year.”

We agree it is unrealistic and unthinkable. It is in the Annual Report and we believe it is highly irresponsible on top of being unrealistic and unthinkable. And there is absolutely nothing false and misleading about this, unless the Audited Annual Report is false and misleading. We want to know who is going to take responsibility for these exorbitant increases and wastage of money?

We want the wastage to stop and we want competent and responsible management at the SABC, management that will not risk the employment of our members. We have enquired about more matters of concern. We await the SABC’s answers.

We have a good relationship with most of the SABC’s management, and we intend to keep it like that. We believe they are as concerned as we are about the current financial and governance situation the SABC finds itself in.

What more evidence does Government need before they act to put a responsible and proper Board in place? In any private organisation a Board in a similar financial situation would have been investigated and removed with immediate effect.

The Board must go!
Any manager wasting SABC money must go!

It appears as if the SABC wants to stop us from communicating with you. If you know about any other wastage, please let us know. We have to plug the holes to stop the outflow of money from the SABC (that is off course if there is anything left).

Let’s act now to save the workers from retrenchments!

Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU)
16 March 2009

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure

It is with regret that BEMAWU is once again the bearer of extremely worrying news. A disclosure has been made to BEMAWU and our lawyers in terms of the Protected Disclosures Act (the so-called Whistle Blowers Act ) and some of the information will be shared hereunder.
Despite the serious financial crisis the SABC is in, money is still flowing out of the SABC as if we are not facing retrenchments. Whilst we all are at risk of losing our jobs due to the irresponsible manner in which the SABC’s finances have been managed by management, in particular Sales and Marketing Executive Management, who are still spending money on, inter alia, personal training for themselves. The HR Manager there has not ceased recruitment, and new staff are being appointed on an almost daily basis at enormous cost to the SABC.
The SABC is currently leaderless and the Board is incapable of exercising its fiduciary duties. Deloitte so stated in a report widely published by newspapers. Why is it that staff always have to read about their own employer problems and issues in the media instead of being informed by the GCEO in an open and transparent manner?
We are fast running out of options as to how to stop the flow of money from the SABC. We cannot talk to the Board, as they are responsible for the SABC's current mess. Besides, they won't be with us much longer.We cannot talk to the Minister, as she is on her way out. We cannot talk to the President, as he is on his way out.
We have seen shocking details of fruitless and wasteful expenditure that explain why the SABC is now in serious financial trouble. Here are some examples:
· Gemini Consultants being paid astronomic amounts of money (R8.2m in 10 months) and on an ongoing basis:-
o April 2008 – R4 999 825,29 (R5m)
o December 2008 - Radio Strategy – R 980 000
o UK Expenses for January 2008 – R 540 853,62
o Management Fees August 2008 – R 877 500,00
o Management Fees for the failed Convergence at Sales & Marketing June 2008 – R 877 500,00
· R 430 000,00 in March 2009 to KPMG,
· In 2007 the Board authorised nearly half a million rand (R481 707,00) for their Christmas Party;
· 31 days ago the SABC paid R175 000 for Mr. Strini Naicker, the Acting CE of Sales and Marketing’s MBA Degree studies;
· In the financial year ending March 2008 (all in the financial statements of the SABC on its website) the Board authorised expenses of:
o R220m to consultants (an increase of 70.54% from the previous year)
§ R163m (96.39% increase) of this went to management consultants – the job management was employed and paid to do!
o The Acting GCEO received a 230.19% salary increase!
o Other Executives received salary increases ranging from 30% to 59%;
§ Charlotte Mampane – 57.54%
§ Dr. Snuki Zikalala – 46.05%
§ Dr. Pat Naves – 39.31%
§ Pearl Luthuli – 31.95%
§ Mavuso Mbebe – 30.23%
o In the same period total advertising revenue increased by 10.71%
· The SABC had to pay back (credit) R80m to advertisers due to, inter alia, operational problems at the SABC;
· Since May 2008 the Sales and Marketing Division alone has spent R1.1m in placement of new employees, including almost R100 000,00 paid to a recruitment agency to place a Training Manager and R 150 000 to place three HR Temps. The most recent appointment being 24 February 2009;
Mr. Naicker’s Shopping List
· The purchasing of 7 Ipods in April 2008 for R34 078,03;
· Several bottles of Johnny Walker Black Whisky, Pongraz Champagne, KWV Brandy and Jack Daniels Whisky purchased on an ongoing basis;
o 22 May 2008 – 15 x Johnny Walker Black, 15 x Pongraz Champagne, 6 x Jack Daniels Whisky;
o 23 May 2008 – 2 x Johnny Walker Black, 2 x KWV Brandy, 24 Amstel Beer, 24 Red Square, 24 x Brutal Fruit, 24 x Savanna Light
o 15 August 2008 – 2 x Johnny Walker Black, 2 x KWV 10 year old Brandy;
o 13 October 2008 – 2 x Johnny Walker Black;
o 27 January 2009 – 2 x Johnny Walker Black, 2 x KWV 10 yearold;
· Gifts, Gratitude Gifts and Corporate gifts purchased to the value of R230 000,00 including Mont Blanc Briefcases;
· R 162 000 paid out in February 2009 for the now aborted APEX assessments where an elite group of people were appointed to take over portfolios and clients of other employees already selling to those clients;
· R107 000 paid out in two days in March 2009 for, inter alia, Business Report Writing training;
BEMAWU demands that Mr. Naicker be suspended with immediate effect, as have our members have been suspended in the past when they were under investigation. He is in a position to tamper with evidence and to interfere with the investigation. He has already threatened to dismiss the union shop stewards at Sales & Marketing.
On a more positive note, BEMAWU would like to request that you continue to do what you have done in all the previous times the SABC was faced with a crisis, which is to keep the SABC afloat.
We, the workers are the backbone, body and soul of the SABC.
If it wasn’t for your hard work and dedication, the SABC would have been another Eskom long ago. The Board and Top Management can disappear any day, and we will still be able to continue broadcasting. We trust however that someone will notice your valuable contribution and commitment to keeping the SABC afloat and broadcasting in trying times and will reward you.We undertake to make a special case for reward for our members for their years of loyal and dedicated hard word after we have weathered this storm and the SABC is back to normal.
We also know there is currently no career progression in the SABC and we undertake to fix this on behalf of our members.
Do we hear the song played by the band on the Titanic when it finally went under and is it Mr Naicker with a Johnny Walker Black in his hand on deck?

Thursday, 05 March 2009

Application removed from Roll

We have just received a Notice of Removal from the applicant, Barry Aaron.

The SABC undertook to pay him, and he has removed the Application from the Roll. What it means is that the matter will be held over to a later date and can be re-enrolled at any time if the SABC does not pay.

The Application has not been withdrawn.

The SABC Board has really put us in a huge mess. It is their most important task to see that the SABC stays afloat and be able to meet its mandate. By allowing money to be spent in this manner and end up on the steps of the High Court before they pay smacks of unprofessional and irresponsible management. Now everyone’s jobs are at stake.

We must demand that we get a competent Board and top management.

BEMAWU will consult it's lawyers on Monday to investigate the possibility to bring an application to put the SABC under judicial management.

Wednesday, 04 March 2009

SABC in liquidation?

On Friday 27 February 2009 a Sandton-based firm of attorneys, Barry Aaron has filed an urgent application in the High Court to provisionally liquidate the SABC. The application was served on all the trade unions and the non-represented employees of the SABC.
In layman’s terms, it means the SABC is technically bankrupt if the order is granted.
Currently the application is for a provisional order. We do not intent to oppose the provisional order. However, we will oppose an application for a final order to wind-up the SABC.
What is the implication of such an application for you?
· If the SABC is insolvent, and a final order is granted, the SABC’s assets will be sold to pay it’s debtors.
· The SABC may stop paying you a salary, and you will have a preferential claim of 3 months salary capped at R12 000.
· Thereafter you may have a concurrent claim.
In our application to oppose the winding-up of the SABC we will request the Court to place the SABC under judicial management.
If you are a BEMAWU member, you will automatically be taken care off and you do not have to take any further action. We will make sure that all legalities are followed and we will do our utmost best to protect your employment and benefits. We have already instructed our lawyers to oppose the application and file for judicial management.
This is a very serious matter and only the Government can bail the SABC out of this. The SABC Board has put employees in a very serious predicament by not managing the SABC’s affairs responsibly and properly.
Remember what happened to Saambou Bank? No-one ever thought it could be liquidated, and it was.
We are aware of the problems at Sales & Marketing. We however are of the view that we first have to make sure the SABC still exists, and is not liquidated and thousands of employees loose their jobs before we deal with the problems there. It does not make sense to win the fight (of Apex and the other problems) but loose the battle when lots of employees loose their jobs if the SABC is liquidated.
The Application for provisional liquidation is available at our offices and can be forwarded to you on request.