Having spied a job advertisement for the SABC’s group chief executive officer (GCEO) position in the latest Sunday Times, we decided to try and get an update on what stage this appointment is at, as well as for the other top executive positions at the public broadcaster.
The company quoted on the job advert was Signium, which describes itself on its website as a Global Executive Search and Leadership Consulting firm. Adverts for the positon were placed in the aforementioned publication, City Press and the Mail & Guardian.
However, calling the company yielded very little information.
All that was ascertained is that applications for the SABC GCEO position close on 31 January; Signium will evaluate the CVs received and then give the evaluated CVs to the SABC Board for their consideration, and that “normally with Group CEO positions, people only respond on the last day”.
The advert is for a five-year fixed term contract position and says the SABC is looking to fill “this key position with a high calibre, well qualified individual”. A Master’s degree, preferably an MBA or similar, is called for, along with 10 years’ senior management experience, five of which should have been at group executive level.
Warrior Talent is handling the job applications on behalf of the SABC for the positon of chief financial officer (CFO). A call to their offices yielded a “speak to the SABC” response.
Update from the SABC
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was next on the calling list. However, the conversation didn’t reveal much more, mimicking the statement the public broadcaster released recently.
“The process of the appointment of the COO is underway and we have now advertised for the CFO and CEO. These are done separately therefore you cannot say ‘this is the time when they will be finalised’, but as far as the board is concerned, they are urgent and they need to be finalised,” says Kganyago.
Using an example to illustrate how difficult the process is, Kganyago explains that people who may be appointed have different notice periods at their current jobs and SABC will only know how long when they give a final offer to a candidate.
“You can’t now say ‘this is the deadline’, because when you put a deadline and it doesn’t happen, then it is you in the media who come and say ‘you have failed to appoint’ and we don’t work that way. They are a priority and we will do all the processes until all the appointments are done,” he concludes.
While little more was revealed about the appointments, what is clear is that progress is being made, even if it is at a slower pace than many people would have hoped for. Whether Chris Maroleng has been appointed as SABC COO or not (as this has still not been officially confirmed by the public broadcaster), work is being put in to hopefully ensure the right candidates are appointed to steer the helm of the SABC.
One thing is certain though, this time it seems the ads for the high-level jobs are calling for suitably qualified candidates, unlike the ad that was doctored to ensure the famously unqualified and ‘matric-less’ Hlaudi Motsoeneng was able to assume the vital role of COO of the SABC.
Michael Bratt is a multimedia journalist at Wag the Dog, publishers of The Media Online and The Media. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelBratt8