SABC broke but execs coin it

2010-12-19 09:34

Despite being nearly bankrupt, the SABC is carrying a huge tab in executive salaries and


Documents seen by City Press show that executive pay in 2010/11

totals R34.4 million, including R11.4 million in benefits. This is down from

R42.2 million in 2009/10 and just more than R28 million in 2008/09.

The salary bill for senior and middle managers is more than

R78 million in the same period, including a further R12.6 million in allowances.

Various studies have shown that the SABC is

top-heavy with managers.

The public broadcaster will also splash out almost R30 million over

the next two years on retention and performance bonuses and allowances for its


At the same time, audience ratings are down across the board.

Measurements for 2009/10 show that radio news and current affairs

programming has lost about 1.2-million listeners.

It has been losing listeners

since 2006. All the morning shows on radio, except Ikwekwezi and Umhlobo Wenene,

have lost listeners. The research shows that 10 out of 13 television news and

current affairs shows have also lost viewers.

Chief technology officer Richard Waghorn emerges as the most highly

paid SABC executive, earning R3.6 million a year.

He is followed by acting chief executive Robin Nicholson, who gets

R2.5 million.

Nicholson, who replaced Solly Mokoetle after his suspension in

August, was chief financial officer during this period.

In the first three months of this year Mokoetle was paid

R700 000.

Other top earners include suspended former acting chief executive

Gab Mampone and acting chief operations officer Charlotte Mampane, who get

almost R2 million each.

Mampane has subsequently been suspended for, among other issues,

allegedly spying on a board meeting by eavesdropping at the door.

After not receiving performance bonuses in 2009/10, senior and

middle management will share more than R4.2 million in 2010/11 and also more

than R1.4 million in retention bonuses.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago

denied that any executives would receive bonuses: “No bonuses were received in

2009/10. Bonuses are calculated on the basis of profit.”

Kganyago said 2010/11 bonuses would be decided only after the

year’s financial results had come out.

The documents show, however, that in 2009/10 executives were paid

more than R3.7 million in bonuses; down from R6.1 million in 2008/09 and

R8.2 million in 2007/08.

Executives were paid bonuses despite the SABC having posted R910 million and almost R500 million

in losses in 2008/09 and 2009/10 respectively.

Top and senior management will not be getting any salary increases

this year, but middle management and ordinary employees – including those in the

bargaining unit (mostly represented by trade unions) – will get a 10%


The SABC has had no fewer than 15

acting executives and senior managers since last year. Currently seven of the

13-member executive team are in an acting capacity.

Last month Nicholson told Parliament that more than 170 managers

and employees would share R10 million in retention bonuses, and the payment of

more than R2.1 million to 55 staffers is due this month.

The remaining payments will be paid out until October 2012.

SABC general managers and those in

higher positions will get between 1% and 20% of their basic salary.

The retention bonuses were part of the R17 million for skills

retention approved by the SABC board in 2008.

These skills were described as “scarce, hot, critical or


SABC executives earn a lot less than

those at other parastatals:

  • Transnet acting chief executive Chris Wells got R4.1 million a


  • Sentech’s former CEO, Sebiletso Mokone-Matabane, earned

    R4.5-million a year;

  • Eskom CEO Brian Dames makes R5.7 million a year; and
  • Former Public Investment Corporation CEO Brian Molefe earned R3.7

    million a year.

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