Hlaudi 'to blame' for R509 million loss at SABC
Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo was upbeat that the firing of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the SABC’s COO meant “that is an era that is behind us”
The SABC lost R509-million in the fourth quarter of the 2016-2017 financial year‚ almost four times the budgeted loss of R137-million.
Acting SABC group CEO Tseliso Ralitabo said the fourth-quarter revenue of R1.6-billion was down R353-million, or 20%, from the same quarter of the previous year.
The cash-strapped public broadcaster told parliament’s communications committee that a decline in revenue sources‚ personnel costs and “unresearched decisions such as the implementation of the 90% local music and 80% local-content quotas on SABC3” had cost it audience numbers and revenue.
Ralitabo described the figures as “not so good-looking’’ but Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo was upbeat that the firing of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the SABC’s COO meant “that is an era that is behind us”.
She said she believed the disciplinary process that had removed him had been “fair”.
Dlodlo said she had hoped to bring in caretakers to act as CEO and chief financial officer but many of the people she had identified had already applied for the job of CEO.
The minister said that with a good team in place at the SABC it would be easier to apply for funding and loans.
“If you ask for funding you will be told that you cannot expect the leadership team who presided over the mess to use funding to take the organisation forward.”
Dlodlo said her work with the broadcaster’s interim board had been mostly “smooth sailing” and she believed that their relationship “will take the SABC to a better place”.
Motsoeneng’s dismissal over comments he made at an April media briefing at which he criticised SABC board members and the parliamentary committee investigating the state of governance at the broadcaster, was announced on Monday.
He described non-executive board member Krish Naidoo as “a liar” and “a sell-out”.
He railed against SABC interim board members for planning to scrap his 90% local music policy.
This has now been cited as one of the reasons for the corporation’s huge losses.
SABC interim board chairman Khanyisile Kweyama said yesterday that Motsoeneng would serve a month’s notice period before leaving the broadcaster permanently.
This would allow the SABC to follow a recommendation by the public protector that disciplinary action be taken against him in another matter, she said.
The board had to continue with this action, despite his dismissal, because the protector’s findings were binding, said Kweyama.
Asked whether Motsoeneng would be paid for the remaining year on his contract‚ she said the SABC was under “no obligation to pay out a contract when the person is found guilty of misconduct”.
Kweyama said the R11-million bonus paid to Motsoeneng had been referred to the Special Investigating Unit.