Apol­ogy to NHBRC

Mail & Guardian - - Inside -

On April 13 this year, the Mail & Guardian pub­lished an ar­ti­cle about a dossier that made al­le­ga­tions about the board mem­bers of the Na­tional Home Builders’ Reg­is­tra­tion Coun­cil with the head­line “Build­ing board lines its pocket”.

The M&G wishes to re­tract the head­line and apol­o­gises to the NHBRC board for the im­pres­sion cre­ated in the ar­ti­cle that mem­bers of the board acted im­prop­erly in earn­ing their re­mu­ner­a­tion dur­ing the coun­cil’s 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 fi­nan­cial years.

This comes af­ter a Press Coun­cil ap­peal panel’s rul­ing, which found that the M&G had breached ar­ti­cles 1.1 and 1.2 of the Code of Ethics and Con­duct for SA Print and On­line Me­dia in that both the head­line and the con­tents of the ar­ti­cle were in­ac­cu­rate and un­fair.

The ex­po­nen­tial in­crease the M&G er­ro­neously re­ferred to in the ar­ti­cle was a re­sult of the fact that the NHBRC had made sev­eral new ap­point­ments dur­ing the pe­riod be­tween 2014 and 2016, in­clud­ing the ap­point­ment of a chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer on Oc­to­ber 1 2014 at a cost of more than R900 000. Also, in the 2015-2016 pe­riod, the num­ber of nonex­ec­u­tive mem­bers of the board in­creased from 12 in the pre­vi­ous year to 18. An em­ployee who had been in a lower po­si­tion rose to an ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion with a salary of R2 057 150.00. The M&G wishes to apol­o­gise for not in­clud­ing this in­for­ma­tion in the ar­ti­cle as pro­vided by the NHBRC spokesper­son.

In the same ar­ti­cle it was stated that the NHBRC was try­ing to out­source work that forms the core of its func­tions with­out any ev­i­dence that the NHBRC had con­ducted an as­sess­ment to de­ter­mine whether out­sourc­ing would work. The ar­ti­cle failed to men­tion a re­sponse by the spokesper­son of the NHBRC in re­ply to ques­tions posed by the M&G, who had stated the rea­son and process for the out­sourc­ing:

“The NHBRC’S estab­lish­ing leg­is­la­tion does make pro­vi­sion for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to out­source the in­spec­torate func­tion where nec­es­sary. The home­build­ing in­dus­try is by and large cycli­cal and sea­sonal, which makes it in­cum­bent on the or­gan­i­sa­tion to en­sure that em­ploy­ees do not sit idle dur­ing slow sea­sons. Fol­low­ing ex­ten­sive re­search, it be­came ap­par­ent that the NHBRC ought to con­sider a hy­brid in­spec­torate model, which com­bines both in­sourc­ing and out­sourc­ing when it made eco­nomic sense.”

The M&G wishes to apol­o­gise for this omis­sion.

The full rul­ing is avail­able on the Press Coun­cil’s web­site, www.press­coun­cil.org.za

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