The DA is aware of a memo circulated to South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) staff indicating a freeze on salary increases and the hiring of new staff.

It is bizarre that this part of the SABC’s turnaround strategy was not presented to Parliament.

While it may save costs, the DA challenges the SABC’s management to take the lead in demonstrating austerity by reviewing their salaries and taking cuts, where necessary.

It is no secret that the SABC’s top management receive extraordinarily high salaries, a legacy of former COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s overly inflated annual increases. At one stage Motsoeneng earned more than the State President.

The SABC’s 2016/17 annual report reveals that at March 2017, the SABC’s top management basic salaries were:

  • GCEO: R6.5 million
  • CFO: R4.1 million
  • COO: R2.7 million (including R11 million bonus for the “Multichoice deal”)
  • Group Executives: salaries range from R3.8 million (GE: Head of Television), to R3.5 million (GE: Risk and Governance)

It is unclear what packages the new top management were offered, and whether they still continue to be paid Hlaudi salaries. As such, an independent body must review all SABC top management salaries and place them at market value.

To demonstrate goodwill and unity with staff, top management ought to commit to not only freezing in their own salaries, and not resist any advice to reduce their salaries after the review is undertaken.

This will demonstrate to SABC staff, many of whom must be under severe stress, worried that they may be retrenched and not receive their annual inflation-related salary increases, that management is taking the lead.

The DA is committed to assisting in building an SABC that is not only independent and impartial but is able to bring its finances from the red to the black.

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