SABC spends millions on Hlaudi praise singers – Phumzile Van Damme

DA calls for disbandment of choir to cut unnecessary costs to broadcaster

SABC spends millions on Hlaudi praise singers

26 May 2016

The SABC has spent R6,7 million on its own in-house choir over the last two years, and will spend a further R3,7 million next year, a reply to a DA parliamentary question has revealed.

According to the reply, R3,745 million and R 3,780 million has been budgeted for the SABC choir for the 2015/16, and 2016/17 financial years respectively. In 2014/15, R3 million was spent. 

The DA last year revealed that the SABC choir sings songs in praise of SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng in staff meetings with the lyrics “Hlaudi Motsoeneng reya o leboha” (“Hlaudi Motsoeneng we thank you”).

While in the reply, Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi claims that the choir no longer sings these songs, the DA has it on good authority that the choir continues to do so, and did so as recently as last month. 

The DA calls for the disbandment of the choir, in order to cut unnecessary costs at the SABC.

It makes absolutely no sense for the SABC to have an in-house choir, particularly if it exists to inflate Mr Motsoeneng’s ego. There are plenty of talented choirs in South Africa that can be commissioned by the SABC should the need arise. 

The choir is not the only body at the SABC forced to sing Mr Motseoeneng’s praises, SABC stations have been instructed to play on high rotation a song by Mzwakhe Mbuli and other local artists praising Motsoeneng for his 90% local content decision. The DA will submit parliamentary questions to determine the costs associated with commissioning this song. 

As the public broadcaster, the SABC exists to serve the interests of all South Africans, and not as Mr Motsoeneng’s personal piggybank and fiefdom. 

The DA will continue to exercise vigorous oversight over the SABC’s spending to ensure that every cent it spends, is spent to the benefit of South Africa. 

Issued by Phumzile Van Damme, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, 26 May 2016