SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is hiding the public broadcaster’s financial troubles from Parliament, including a current loss of R500 million, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
The report states that Motsoeneng is trying to keep the financial loss a secret in an attempt to save his job.
This comes after the Western Cape High Court ruled that Motsoeneng be suspended for 60 days pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing. The SABC subsequently said it would lodge an appeal against the decision.
According to internal SABC documents seen by the Sunday Times, the SABC has suffered a total loss of R1.1 billion under Motsoeneng – with the auditor-general set to review the broadcaster’s financials in the coming months.
“The SABC, financially, we are sustainable,” Motsoeneng told Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications this week.
The newspaper said that under Motsoeneng, though, the SABC had incurred the following:
- Salary costs increased by more than R500 million over the past two years.
- “Other income” dropped by R120 million over the last year.
- The cost of programming and sports rights increased by R500 million over the past year.
- The SABC spends R1 billion to collect R2 billion in TV licenses – a 50% collection cost.
This is not the first time Motsoeneng has been in the firing line.
In February 2014 Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report which detailed how Motsoeneng has misrepresented his matric qualifications to the SABC, increased his salary from R1.5 million to R2.4m in one year, and has purged senior staff.
The Western Cape High Court suspension ruling is also not the first for Motsoeneng. In October 2014, the same court ruled he be suspended and face a disciplinary hearing.
The full report is available in the Sunday Times, 26 April 2015 edition.