DA to approach Madonsela over Motsoeneng's salary hike

The SABC COO's earnings have increased by nearly R1 million, including a R279,000 bonus.

SABC's Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will call on the Public Protector to investigate why South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Operations Chief Hlaudi Motsoeneng's earnings have increased by nearly a million rand.

The public broadcaster's annual report shows Motsoeneng received R3,7 million in the last financial year, up from R2,8 million.

The amount includes a R279,000 bonus.

Motsoeneng's increase means his earning rose by 31 percent.

In her report titled "When Governance and Ethics Fail", Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said the SABC board should take disciplinary action against the COO for misrepresenting his qualifications, for alleged abuse of power and for increasing his salary three times in one year.

The DA's Gavin Davis said, "The SABC is in crisis and even the ANC says the SABC is in crisis and here you have one individual getting an increase of 30 percent in one year when your average public sector employee got an increase of 7 percent, so how can that be justified?"

Davis says there's no justification for such an enormous hike, especially as other public sector workers; nurses, teachers and police, received only a 7 percent increase over the same period.

He says the increase also makes no sense given continuing instability at the public broadcaster.

He says even the ANC acknowledges the public broadcaster is in crisis due to poor management and a lack of accountability in documents prepared for the party's upcoming National General Council.

Lobby group, the SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition's Sekoetlane Phamodi says the increase is astonishing.

Motsoeneng was permanently appointed COO, despite the Public Protector's damning findings.

'ACTING CAPACITY'

Meanwhile, SABC chief financial officer James Aguma says Motsoeneng's salary has increased because initially he was only in an acting capacity and now he's been appointed full time.

Aguma says he is simply now receiving a COO's salary as the position has been finalised.

"He was rightfully the corporate executive for stakeholder management acting in the role of the COO."

He has also moved to explain a bonus paid to Motsoeneng, saying all employees received a bonus and it was the turn of senior managers.

"Senior management and executive management who had not been paid a bonus in over four years asked the board. They had been delivering content for the SABC and working hard."

The DA, however, says the CFO is trying to defend the indefensible.