Community radio Alfred Nzo, the first community radio station in the Eastern Cape, is in a tumultuous situation following the dismissal of its director.
After the station master left, 10 other employees received disposition letters. Sunday World spoke to station manager Zukile Majova on Wednesday, who said the station’s problems stem from a power-hungry, money-making board.
Majova said that when he was brought to the station in 2020, the station’s revenue was R1.8 million. It increased revenue to R4.2 million, he alleged.
“And that’s where our problems started. Council members started asking for allowances, booking themselves into guesthouses owned by certain council members and eating with their friends,” Majova said.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa is clear on the role of community radio station board members, that they volunteer. But at Eastern Cape station, “they make all kinds of demands, because they’re given so much power.”
“One issue they consistently overlook is board members who spend more than two years serving [in their roles]when they know they just have to serve their sentence for two years and leave.
“It had to happen given that these board members are members of the ANC. The functioning of the institution has become political.
“Staff members are worried about the welfare of the resort and are frustrated. I don’t raise these questions because I don’t want to leave, I do my job well, and my work experience speaks for itself.
“My contract with the station does not end until 2023. Our books are in good standing and we are compliant, but the board has no plan to develop the station,” Majova said, adding that employees have since opened a case of fraud against the board of directors. members.
Speaking on behalf of the employees, Siyamcela Dubai said the employees were emotionally drained and confused.
“Instability at the resort has become the norm, as every time a new board is elected, managers are fired,” Dubai said.
“We are the parents who pay the school fees, we have responsibilities that require our financial commitments, and we couldn’t do it because of half the salary. The new station manager told us that she had no idea about radio, which is why she fired all the employees.
Board chairman Zolile Mosweu has refuted claims that the station is in shambles.
“The station is stable, but we have a few issues that we are fixing. We heard about the case [of fraud] and we are ready to work with law enforcement if they come, but we haven’t received anything from the police,” Mosweu said.
“The main problem we had with the station manager is his poor administration skills, he [Majova] did not submit quality documents.
“I personally hired him, but there has still been no change. Moreover, he went on social media and brought the reputation of the institution into disrepute, so the board decided to fire him. The other 10 workers have not been dismissed, their contracts are coming to an end.
He also addressed the issue of board members allegedly being booked into guesthouses.
“It’s management that makes reservations for board members with the help of the finance department, so we weren’t involved in that. The resort’s constitution states that board members will not be paid but will receive travel allowances.
The province’s police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Majola Nkohli, confirmed that a fraud file was opened with Mount Ayliff Police on October 3.
“According to information in police records, it is alleged that board members of a certain community radio station electronically transferred money from the station’s bank account to various personal bank accounts” , Nkohli said.
“At this stage, there have been no arrests and the investigation is continuing.”
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