Lobby group stunned by Motsoeneng's salary increase

The public broadcaster’s annual report shows Hlaudi Motsoeneng earns R3.7 million a year.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A lobby group for public broadcasting, Save Our SABC (SOS), says it's simply astonishing that the annual earnings of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) operations chief Hlaudi Motsoeneng increased by nearly a million rand given the Public Protector's damning findings against him.

The public broadcaster's annual report shows Motsoeneng received R3.7 million, up from R2.8 million.

Last year, Thuli Madonsela said the SABC board should take disciplinary action against Motsoeneng for misrepresenting his qualifications, his alleged abuse of power and for increasing his salary three times in one year.

The SOS coalition's Sekoetlane Phamodi wants to know who authorised the latest pay hike and why.

"And we need absolute clarity on that from both the SABC CEO, being the ultimate accounting authority of the SABC, as well as the chairperson of the board."

Meanwhile, SABC chief financial officer, James Aguma, has defended Motsoeneng's salary increase, saying he is now receiving the salary of a chief operating officer (COO) as the position has been finalised.

Aguma says all employees received bonuses and this is nothing untoward for an employer in senior management.

"He was earning the salary of a group executive stakeholder with an acting allowance and our policies are such that when you are acting, you earn an acting allowance. When you are the substantive COO in this case, then you earn the salary of the COO."

DA TO APPROACH PUBLIC PROTECTOR

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will call on the Public Protector to investigate why Motsoeneng's earnings have increased.

In her report titled "When Governance and Ethics Fail", 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% in one year when your average public sector employee got an increase of 7%, so how can that be justified?"

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