The Democratic Alliance (DA) is set to submit a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to ask for the records of the decision on COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s salary increase from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The salary was increased to an unjustified amount of R12,000 last year.
Hlaudi Motsoeneng is the Chief Operating Officer at SABC.
Phumzile Van Damme who was the voice of the DA said the issue arose after the Minister for Communications Faith Muthambi refused to give information on the rash decision for the “unjustified and above-inflation” increase in Motsoeneng’s salary.
Van Damme said in her response to a parliamentary question‚ the Minister said that “records of decisions are confidential internal documents that should be kept as such”.
“Minister Muthambi seems to have forgotten that the SABC is publicly funded by way of allocations from National Treasury as well as licence fees‚ and is therefore accountable not only to Parliament‚ but to the public as well‚ for its expenditure. The SABC’s record of decisions are therefore most certainly public documents and not ‘confidential internal documents’‚” Van Damme declared.
She added that the public SABC’s annual report‚ brought to the Parliament in September last year‚ had indicated that Motsoeneng’s salary increase was from R2.8 million to R3.7 million in the last financial year.
“The DA requested reasons for this exuberant increase during a Communications Portfolio Committee meeting held in October‚ and SABC Group CEO Frans Matlala’s response was that ‘the SABC followed a structured process and that the salaries of all executives fell within the salary scales”.
The Democratic Alliance believes there was no legitimate justification for the unnecessary 31% increase in Motsoeneng’s salary‚ given that other employees at the public sectors received an increase of only 7% over the same period.
“It is therefore in the public interest that the process in which the salary of the SABC COO was decided and then grossly inflated‚ be publicly released‚” Van Damme said.
The DA strongly opposed Motsoeneng’s salary increase and termed it “unjustified and above-inflation” and they also made it clear that the increase was not fair as it did not reflect in the salary of other public sector employees.