Apology to NHBRC
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