The SABC has effectively told the DA it will have to wait for about a year before the public broadcaster’s top management’s salaries are revealed.
DA MP and spokesperson on communications Phumzile van Damme earlier this week asked the SABC’s top management to undergo a process of salary review based on the extraordinarily high salaries the SABC’s top management earned in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Van Damme said the salaries were inflated in what she called a “legacy of Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s irregular annual salary increases”.
She also requested that top management take salary cuts in solidarity with SABC staff who have been asked to implement austerity measures, and called on the SABC to reveal its top management salaries from group CEO (GCEO) down to group executives for the sake of transparency.
In a statement, the SABC said the salaries of the recently appointed executive board members and executive management had been significantly reduced. It did not reveal what these salaries were now.
On Thursday, Van Damme referred to the SABC’s annual report for 2017/2018, which was recently tabled in Parliament.
Van Damme vows not to let matter rest
“Top management for the year ending 31 March 2018, earned exactly the same inflated salaries of the Hlaudi Motsoeneng era with the basic salaries of the GCEO being R6,5 million, the CFO R4,1 million and the COO, R2,7 million. Group executives’ salaries range from R3,8 million (GE: Head of Television), to R3,5 million (GE: Risk and Governance),” Van Damme said in a statement.
“This would mean GCEO and CFO hired in June 2018, may have received reduced salaries, and the COO, Chris Maroleng, appointed January 2018, earned the same salary as Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
“It is utterly baffling why the SABC will not reveal the reduced salaries of its top management. Reduced salaries should be a source of pride and a way to build confidence that the era of SABC management feeding at the trough has come to an end,” Van Damme said.
She said she would not let the matter rest and started a “Struggling SABC Monitor” which would run until the SABC reveals the amount that its head honchos earn.
Day 2. Will today be the day the SABC reveals the salaries of their top management? If salaries have indeed been reduced as has been claimed, it will show commitment to austerity. It’s a simple request. The SABC has been working hard & should have nothing to hide. We wait. ?? — Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) October 4, 2018
“As the public broadcaster, this is not confidential information and should be released publicly,” Van Damme said.
“We are committed to ending the days of the SABC being a piggy bank to fill the pockets of the SABC’s management. The secrecy around the salaries only serves to create fears that the feeding at the trough continues. We implore the SABC to put our, and the public’s fears to rest.”
The SABC issued a statement in response, and noted the count down.
“Salaries of the group chief executive officer (GCEO), chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operations officer (COO) are recorded in the annual results of the corporation and the figures that the DA is requesting will be contained in the 2018/19 annual results,” reads the statement.
“However, the SABC wishes to put on record that the total current salaries of these executive directors have been significantly reduced.”
The statement referred to the Companies Act’s requirement that the annual financial statements of each company are required to be audited and must include particulars showing the remuneration and benefits received by each director, or individual holding any prescribed office in the company.
“The SABC has always complied with this requirement, but is not obligated to provide this information outside of its audited annual financial statements,” reads the statement.