Minister's silence on SABC boss's salary hike is deafening - DA

Johannesburg - Communications Minister Faith Muthambi's silence on SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng's almost R1m salary increase was deafening, the DA said on Friday.

The official opposition welcomed the ANC's statement on Thursday condemning the R912 000 pay rise to R3.7m.

"This will not be the first time the minister appears to be at odds with her own party over Hlaudi Motsoeneng," Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis said in a statement.

The DA wanted the ANC to put pressure on President Jacob Zuma to remove Muthambi from her position as minister.

"Muthambi’s removal would send out the clearest signal that the ANC has finally lost patience with the never-ending shenanigans at the SABC," Davis added.

Muthambi's office had not responded to questions emailed on Friday morning.

The public broadcaster revealed on Wednesday that Motsoeneng had received a salary hike of almost a million rand since he was promoted from the acting position.

Motsoeneng was now earning around R3.7m, including a bonus of R279 000 and R916 000 in expenses and allowances.

The ANC on Thursday issued a warning to the SABC to ensure that it paid all its executives according to the budget stipulated by the National Treasury.

"The SABC board should not operate outside the framework of commitments provided by the National Treasury," ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

Kodwa said the party believed any adjustment of salary should be based on justifiable grounds, like the rate of inflation.

Government had committed itself to using public funds sparingly, and failure to follow through with these commitments set a dangerous precedent, he said.

The SABC, however, has come out in defence of Motsoeneng's pay cheque.

"It is within the SABC benchmark that the COO gets what he is getting at the moment," SABC chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe said in an interview on 702.

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