SAfm run like ‘group radio’, not a nationwide station


The state of affairs on the South African Broadcasting Company’s key information radio station, SAfm, is allegedly so dangerous that staff are writing nameless emails of criticism to SABC chief government Madoda Mxakwe.

One e mail, seen by the Mail & Guardian, stated: “I want to carry very disturbing issues regarding SAfm, the state of affairs there doesn’t appear to be enhancing because of the management vacuum that’s incessant.” The station has had three performing managers.

The e-mail continued: “The employees morale is down and to be trustworthy Mr Mxakwe we’re bored with the dangerous, unstable management we’ve needed to endure for the final three years.”

The churn began in 2017, after the resignation of then station supervisor Dennis O’Donnell. The letter says he had joined SAfm in 1995 and took over as supervisor in 2007.

In line with sources with intimate particulars on what’s going on on the speak radio station, SAfm has been working like a “group radio station” since O’Donnell’s resignation, with completely different individuals being introduced in to tackle the function of station supervisor.

One supply stated one in every of these supervisor had abused his energy by doing issues reminiscent of bringing a gentle stream of girls into his workplace, with the insinuation that this carries.

And when these managers did resign, it will be beneath mysterious circumstances.

The e-mail pointed to the significance of SAfm because the nationwide information service and its low listenership: “A nationwide station with beneath 200 000 listeners is kind of a shame.”

As an answer, the e-mail author recommended the trail taken to remodel SABC Information: “The station wants managers from outdoors of the SABC whose enterprise is to steer and encourage employees to carry out to the perfect of their skill, the type of management that SABC Information has in Phathiswa Magopeni.”

A contract producer on the station, who spoke on situation of anonymity, stated SAfm has issues. “There are certainly points on the station which might be being saved beneath wraps. A few of these embrace staff doing as they please on the station and this impacts how issues run.”

SABC’s spokesperson, Mmoni Seapolelo, denied data of low employees morale on the station.

“The company has used its insurance policies and inside processes to put suitably expert and certified personnel to steer SAfm on an performing foundation, because it did with the opposite 5 radio stations that didn’t have station managers final 12 months.”

This, she stated, got here with a “prolonged recruitment moratorium” between 2018 and 2019. “When the moratorium was lifted on the finish of final 12 months, the recruitment course of for the station supervisor of SAfm commenced and an acceptable candidate is but to be recognized.”

Seapolelo added: “The SABC can verify that the present listenership of SAfm is 193000. This signifies a 30% progress within the final three years”.