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Members of the Portfolio Committee on Communications were impressed by high staff morale at Brand South Africa (BSA), saying it is a sign of sound corporate governance. The Committee interacted with staff members following its visit to the entity on Friday morning to wrap up a week-long oversight visit to Gauteng.

Members of the Committee were braced to hear a similar litany of complaints, as they had earlier in the week when interacting with staff at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa, the Media Development and Diversity Agency and the Films and Publications Board.

However, when given an opportunity to raise concerns about their different areas of work, Ms Tony Gumede, speaking on behalf of the 52 BSA staff members present, raised just one issue: a flexi-hour policy. She said workers were expected to work overtime and weekends without proper monetary compensation.

BSA Chief Executive Officer Mr Kingsley Makhubela assured members of the Committee that the entity does have a human resource policy that addressed the issue of flexi-hours. “If you work on a weekend you get compensated with a day off, because we are trying to manage the abuse of funds. The policy says that a worker should first seek approval from the manager before working overtime,” said Mr Makhubela.

The Committee spent all of Thursday at the SABC, where workers expressed deep dissatisfaction with various issues and also made serious allegations of fraud, maladministration, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and victimisation.

Although the SABC Acting Chief Executive denied the allegations and trivialised some of the concerns, the Committee insisted that these responses should be made in writing. The Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Humphrey Maxegwana, assured staff members that the Committee will respond to them by end of June 2017. 

Justice Molafo
31 March 2017