Rushing off to report on a breaking news story in an uninsured luxury car might not be the clever thing to do…! It appears that this is however a scenario facing many of our colleagues at the SABC. We would like to share a story from Eyewitness News:
An Eyewitness News investigation has found that staff at the cash strapped South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have spent R20 million on luxury vehicles for their news team.
This deviates from tender processes and violates a moratorium at the public broadcaster on leasing new vehicles.
As the move was unauthorised the cars – including top of the range Mercedes Benzes – are uninsured and are parked unused at various SABC complexes.
The public broadcaster says it is aware of the situation and is taking steps to rectify it.
Internal correspondence shows that 86 new vehicles were sourced from the SABC’s current suppliers in September at a cost of R20 million, despite a moratorium being in place while a new tender process is underway.
In an email exchange between managers at the broadcaster, they explain the circumstances which led to this deviation.
They say the news team was desperate for vehicles and the shortage of cars was becoming crippling.
Crucial stories were being missed and for six months camera people could not leave the office.
A further email from the SABC’s insurance manager confirms none of these were being insured as these cars were not properly declared.
It also confirms a car was involved in a fatal accident in Nelspruit in September, but the claim would not be paid out.
(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)