SABC splurges R2.3 million on PR firm to tidy up image

The SABC has splurged R2.3 million on a public relations firm to clean its dented image and reputation.

Sunday World can reveal that the SABC appointed PR Worx, a public relations company, in July to help it polish its image in the wake of criticism against the corporation’s plans to retrench hundreds of workers.

According to internal documents comprising a service level agreement and internal correspondences seen by Sunday World, the contract was signed without following due processes. PR Worx was appointed after it was requested to send a quotation.

The agreement, dated July 6, was signed by Gugu Ntuli, SABC group executive for cor- porate affairs and senior legal adviser Mze Munlo.

Two senior executives privy to the contract revealed that the SABC rushed the contract as it wanted to counter negative media coverage by the media.

The public broadcaster also wanted to win back the respect of some of its stakeholders who had since refused to do business with it because of its woes.

In terms of the service level agreement and quotation seen by Sunday World, PR Worx has charged SABC R220 000 to conduct qualitative and quantitative research as part of the contract.

PR Worx’s quotation further shows that the public broadcaster was paying R435 000 for crisis management service, which the PR company said it will do for 276 hours for the whole year.

The bigger chunk of the SABC R2.3 million was earmarked for the development of a reputation management strategy. The corporation would fork out R900 000 for the reputation management plan, stakeholders’ communication in the form of newsletters and the drafting of internal and external messages.

The public broadcaster, the documents show, will also pay R305 000 for consultancy services and R60 000 was charged for administration only.

SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo denied that the company was hired without following proper processes indicating that a tender was issued in February this year.

Seapolelo said the SABC considers a good image and reputation an important aspect for business growth and financial sustainability because it serves millions of South Africans….”

She said the state owned entity was still recovering from a legacy of collapse in governance and sound financial management systems.


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