The DA is demanding that the SABC reveal the salary structures of its top management. Photo: File.

CAPE TOWN - The DA is demanding that the SABC reveal the salary structures of its top management.

According to DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme, the SABC yesterday, revealed that the salaries of the recently appointed executive board members and executive management have been significantly reduced.

However, the “significantly reduced” salaries are not revealed, according to Van Damme.

"This follows a request I made for 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 2016/17 financial year. Most of the salaries were highly inflated, a legacy of Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s irregular annual salary increases."

"I also requested that top management take salary cuts, where necessary, in solidarity with SABC staff who have been asked to implement austerity measures, Van Damme added. 

The shadow minister is now calling on the SABC to be more transparent. She said that in order to play open cards with the public, the DA is calling on the SABC to reveal its top management salaries from GCEO down to Group Executives.

Van Damme argued that this is not confidential information, as the SABC is a public institution and their salaries are a matter of public record.

"In order to ease concerns that the upper echelons of the SABC continue to live the high life, while staff face the possibility of retrenchment, the SABC must reveal the salaries for public scrutiny and confirm that austerity measures do apply across the SABC."

"We trust that the SABC will, in the public interest, reveal this information," Van Damme concluded. 

Salary cuts

Yesterday, the DA called for the SABC's top management to take salary cuts. Van Damme, said on Monday that top management within the SABC must lead the way in salary cuts. 

The DA said in a statement on Monday that they were aware of a memo circulated to SABC staff indicating a freeze on salary increases and the hiring of new staff. Van Damme said it was bizarre that this part of the SABC’s turnaround strategy was not presented to Parliament.

"While it may save costs, the DA challenges the SABC’s management to take the lead in demonstrating austerity by reviewing their salaries and taking cuts, where necessary",  Van Damme said. 

The SABC’s 2016/17 annual report reveals that at March 2017, the SABC’s top management basic salaries were:

  • GCEO: R6.5 million
  • CFO: R4.1 million
  • COO: R2.7 million (including R11 million bonus for the “Multichoice deal”)
  • Group Executives: salaries range from R3.8 million (GE: Head of Television) to R3.5 million (GE: Risk and Governance).

Van Damme went on to add that it was unclear what packages the new top management was offered and whether they still continue to be paid Motsoeneng’s salaries.  She called for an independent body to review all SABC top management salaries and place them at market value.