The biggest problem at the SABC is money - EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi

The interim board at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) over the irregular awarding of a multibillion-rand contract.

The SIU said last week it had discovered irregularities in the awarding of the lucrative contract by the interim board.

EWN reporter Clement Manyathela says it has been revealed that the board awarded a contract to a company which came second in the bidding process, rather than the company that won. Manyathela spoke to the lawyer that represents the SABC board who told him they believed there was score tampering involved.

He says the board is not entitled to accept the recommendations of the evaluation committee.

Read: SABC workers' job uncertainty amid board member resignations

The board also believes that the company that came second has a Level 1 BBBEE contributor accreditation, which is what is required, while the company which scored the highest has Level 2.

Clement Manyathela, EWN reporter

These are the reasons the lawyer has given for the board deciding to give this contract to the losing bidder.

Clement Manyathela, EWN reporter

The lawyer says the board, along with those that have resigned have committed to cooperate with the SIU investigation.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize says the SABC is having a leadership crisis. He says the board is not willing to meet the parliamentarians halfway in the decision to retrench staff members.

There is no cooperation in terms of giving parliamentarians information that they require so that they can back them up.

Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications

EFF spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says The biggest problem at the SABC is money.

He says the board has been asking for a guarantee from government and not a bailout, which was not granted.

All they've been asking for the whole year is a guarantee and not money. All the other SOEs have been asking for bailouts and that was given to them and all the SABCis asking for is a guarantee so that they can go and fundraise money for its stability.

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, EFF spokesperson

The question of retrenchments and the current crisis has to do with the fact that you've been asked to run an institution without money at all.

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, EFF spokesperson

In our view, the blame has to be placed squarely in the hands of the government of Ramaphosa which is not giving the SABC a guarantee.

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, EFF spokesperson

Ndlozi says he is not surprised board members are resigning because they are not receiving the necessary support.

He suggests government has set the board up to fail.

He adds that the Portfolio Committee on Communications chair "is speaking absolute rubbish when she says there is no corporation from the board."

Ndlozi says he is aware of the latest resignation of Mathata Tsedu.

William Bird, Director at Media Monitoring Africa says if the current board is dissolved it will be the end of the SABC as the public broadcaster.

It is very clear that there is a deliberate strategy by the government to dissolve the board and we have to find out why that is.

William Bird, Director at Media Monitoring Africa

And that is an absolute catastrophe for our country.

William Bird, Director at Media Monitoring Africa

To hear the rest of the conversations, listen below:


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