The SABC office in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
The SABC office in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

On Friday, the DA said it had submitted a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to get access to documents revealing exactly how much top management at the SABC earns.

“We have, today, submitted a PAIA application to the SABC requesting the full salary packages of the public broadcaster’s group CEO‚ COO and CFO‚” the DA’s Phumzile van Damme said in a statement.

“The PAIA aims to promote transparency‚ accountability and effective governance of all public bodies, like the SABC. The grounds for refusal of information in the act do not apply to the SABC in this instance. We trust that the public broadcaster’s management will reveal the requested information in the spirit of promotion of transparency‚ accountability and effective governance at the SABC‚ as they often proclaim to be adherents of‚” she said.

Van Damme said the party has also written to communication minister Nomvula Mokonyane about the disclosure of the salaries as well as how their appointments were made. The DA believes top management at the broadcaster earned inflated salaries for the year ending March 2018.

Commercially insolvent

TimesLIVE reported on Thursday that the party had gleaned this information from the broadcaster’s 2017-2018 annual report‚ which was tabled in parliament. “The report also reveals a public broadcaster that is commercially insolvent and received a disclaimed audit opinion from the auditor-general‚” said Van Damme.

She said the auditor-general found that the SABC had used R571m in irregular expenditure in the 2017-2018 financial year.  Van Damme said top management for the year ending March 31 2018 earned exactly the same inflated salaries paid in the era of former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. The basic salary of the group CEO was R6.5m‚ that of the CFO was R4.1m and the COO earned R2.7m.

Group executive salaries range from R3.8m for the head of television to R3.5m for group executive of risk and governance‚ Van Damme said.

She said the SABC had said — in a statement earlier this week — that salaries of the recently appointed executive board members and executive management had been significantly reduced‚ but did not reveal by how much. “It is utterly baffling why the SABC will not reveal the reduced salaries of its top management.” 

She said the reduced salaries should be a source of pride and a way to build confidence that the era of SABC management feeding at the trough had come to an end.

On Thursday, the SABC said the salaries of the group CEO‚ CFO and COO were recorded in the annual results of the corporation and would be contained in the 2018-2019 annual results.

SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu said, “However‚ the SABC wishes to put on record that the total current salaries of these executive directors have been significantly reduced.”