Broke SABC hires ‘expert’ – Pays him R20,000 a day


Heads are expected to roll at the state media South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) after a freelancer was given a contract to the tune of R20,000 a day, and senior management is of the opinion that the job could be done by internal staff.
Inside documents from the corporation reveal that the cash-strapped public broadcaster offered former Primedia chief of operations Ryan Till a R320,000 monthly fee as a freelancer.
According to a SABC internal memo dated July 17, Till was in line for an appointment to help the SABC to develop a digital system for radio services.
Sunday World reported that Till’s appointment was instituted by general manager responsible for strategy and
operations in the radio division, Johan van Rooyen.
Meanwhile, inside information is that the first contract had to be adjusted after senior HR manager for SABC
radio, Liketso Mashigo, queried the offer.
Concerns raised included that the appointment was not in the best interest of the corporation, and that Till’s contract did not qualify as a freelance contract, but a consultant. The fact that the contract required him to work normal eight hours a day, made him an employee of the SABC, they argued.
Senior employees privy to the goings on revealed that after several deliberations, and concerns by HR, top management adjusted the scope of the contract, ultimately broadening it to include radio, digital sales, and TV.
SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu confirmed that Till was on their registers but could not shed light on the details of his contract.
“Mr Till, who has an excellent track record and more than 20 years broadcasting industry experience in sales and revenue generation including commercial strategy and digital transformation, has been contracted as an independent contractor for a period of four months, for less than eight hours a week, with no expectation of
renewal. He has worked alongside many SABC representatives,” said Mthembu.
“Owing to the gaps that have been identified within the commercial enterprises division, he has been brought in
to assist in ensuring that the SABC’s commercial sales strategy is geared towards current market trends, to capitalise on quick wins and to accelerate the SABC’s revenue in the medium to long term. Commercial enterprises sells both TV and radio advertising to the advertising industry.
“All relevant governance processes were adhered to … the cost claimed to be associated with this contract is
wide off the mark. The assertion that he will also be playing a duplicate role is without merit,” he said.
Till could not pick calls phone when contacted for comment, he did not respond to text messages either.
At first, the internal memo was not backed by HR boss for radio Liketso Mashigo who raised the issue of non- compliance with the terms for freelance contracts. He also raised the issue of duplication of roles saying SABC
already had people entrusted with the same responsibilities to be allocated to Till.
The document also shows that Mashigo questioned the ambiguity of key results areas on the memo stating that the dates of appointment were not drafted in a way that would restrain the escalation of costs.

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