Hlaudi Motsoeneng paid R2.8m in 2013 - Gavin Davis

DA MP says the SABC COO's package even bigger than that of President Jacob Zuma

Hlaudi was paid more than President Zuma last year

03 September 2014

reply to a DA parliamentary question has revealed that SABC Chief Operations Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, was paid R2.8 million in 2013 - even more than President Zuma. 

President Zuma currently earns R2,622,561 per annum.

In 2010, Hlaudi Motsoeneng's take-home pay was R334 167. 72. This means that Mr Motsoeneng is being paid nearly R2.5 million more per annum than he was in 2010 - an eight-fold increase in four years.

Mr Motsoeneng's rise at the SABC is remarkable, particularly given the Public Protector's findings in February that he:

Lied about having a matric when applying for the COO position and previous positions at the SABC.

Violated SABC personnel regulations by having his salary increased three times in the space of one year -- from R1.5 million to R2.4 million. 

Was responsible for other unlawful salary increases that saw the SABC's salary bill escalate by R29 million.

Purged senior staff disloyal to him and promoted those loyal to him.

The DA maintains that Mr. Motsoeneng should have been fired some time ago. The inescapable conclusion is that he has been protected, promoted and rewarded for his political loyalties to President Zuma.

The reply also reveals that SABC staff members were paid more than R 65 million in bonuses this year despite numerous ongoing problems plaguing the SABC. 

The DA supports a system of bonuses and salary increases based on individual performance. Indeed, there are many dedicated SABC journalists and operational staff who do excellent work under very difficult circumstances. They should be commended and rewarded.

However, we reject blanket bonuses to all SABC staff and huge salaries for Executive Board Members - especially considering the financial problems at the public broadcaster. The SABC's claims that the public broadcaster is performing well, ring hollow in the face of the evidence:

The Auditor-General (A-G) last year issued a disclaimer of opinion in its audit of the SABC. The A-G found that the SABC was unable to provide documentation for more than R1.5 billion in expenditure.

Last year, taxpayer-funded government handouts to the SABC nearly doubled to R224m from R130m the previous year. 

Audience share declined from 57% in 2011/2012 to 53% in 2012/2013

Last year, the SABC's gross revenue was R400 million below budget.

It is unclear how the SABC can justify the paying of exorbitant salaries and bonuses given the huge challenges that remain at the public broadcaster. The DA will therefore be calling on SABC Chairperson, Ms Ellen Tshabalala, to appear before the Communications Portfolio Committee to explain the millions of rands paid out in bonuses and salaries.

Table extracted from parliamentary reply:

Statement issued by Gavin Davis MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, September 3 2014

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter