Bizz Buzz, the local social news program on KnysnaFM, represented by Craig de Villiers, Dave Hendry and Ralph Sparg, totally failed the public this morning. They had the opportunity to put serious, much-needed questions to Greg Vogt, the Chairman of the Knysna Tourism Board.
Before Vogt, a man who is good at talking a lot with sincerity but without actually answering, came on air, they began by complaining about controversies on Google Page rankings, that the top pages are dominated by negativity e.g. municipality, developments etc. I’ve obviously played a role in that but never forget that i’m a consequence and not the cause. If Knysna Tourism, the Knysna Municipality and our politicians practiced the transparency they profess, then there would have been no need to fight for truth for so long.
Greg Vogt has been part of that cover-up yet, over 30 minutes, all KnysnaFM and its presenters managed to gain was:
- When asked why the AGM was postponed last moment, Vogt said that the “financials were sent out 3 days late” which was in contravention of their articles of association. We wanted to get it right and correct things like “3 or 4 spelling mistakes”.
- De Villiers, “What’s the status of the CEO?” to which Vogt said, “The Board is taking on the role of CEO.”
- Vogt said the obvious, which i’ve said many times, is that there’s a lack of data and statistics on Knysna. he said they’re working on it, leveraging the resources of local databases. It’s about needing every business to collect data, overcome their skeptical mindset, and share it. Craig de Villiers asked, how will local businesses get access to that information? Vogt responded: “We’re focusing on the processes of collecting data. It should be a daily habit. When everyone gets into that habit, they will learn how it guides us all and informs us. Don’t focus on the data we’re collecting but rather the processes we’re using to collect data. If we get the research right, everything else will fall into place.”
- Vogt said that Knysna needs to re-look at it’s identity and have everyone buy into the brand that is Knysna, that Knysna Tourism’s budget is “like that of a 15-bedroom guesthouse” but that the entire spend of all of Knysna Tourism’s members is huge.
- Hendry asked, “Are we still just a tourist town? If we look at the industrial area, it’s scary, maybe 30% occupancy.” Greg responded with, “We have to be realistic and say that our town is made up of a number of segments. The brand of Knysna has to represent everyone. Tourism is only a sector of the economy.”
Shocking! Disgraceful! Millions wasted through definite mismanagement and likely fraud, a golden handshake for Shaun van Eck, no CEO for 9 months, refusal to provide documents to members, reported to the Public Protector and the Hawks…and so the list carries on (as well documented on the website) yet they chose to ignore every matter of importance.
Why would they do that? Because Knysna FM, which ran illegally (a story for another day) has always been pro the powers that be. And let’s not forget cronyism – who is friends or colleagues with who definitely affects judgement, normally at the expense of the us, the public.
The greatest irony was when Ralph Sparg, station manager, summed it up as, “What a great interview.”
PS: I normally turn off Knysna FM straight after the show but an (appropriate) trip to the loo found me listening to the next conversation which had Ralph Sparg saying that Shaun van Eck would be coming onto the show and that he and Shaun went “a long, long way back” to when they worked together at Algoa FM.