TV news


Subscribe to industry newsletters

Press offices

Enquire about a press office
Bizcommunity has over 400 industry contributors and we always welcome further contributions and contributors.
Advertise with us
Advertise & RatesMy Account
Company press officeList company
Recruitment packagesSubmit job ad
Download ratecard
TV news

Hlaudi hands out thank-you bonuses to SABC staffers

The SABC has paid about R42m in "thank you" bonuses to its staff and middle managers - in addition to normal bonuses.
SABC sources have confirmed that the board and newly appointed chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng had decided on the grand gesture to thank employees for their hard work during Nelson Mandela's funeral in December and the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Motsoeneng: ‘Desperate to stamp his authority’ - staff member. (Image: SABC)
Motsoeneng: ‘Desperate to stamp his authority’ - staff member. (Image: SABC)
But critics have lashed the decision, saying that although they are not opposed to rewarding SABC employees, they would have expected it to be performance-based.

According to sources, board chairwoman Zandile Tshabalala and Motsoeneng last week approved a one-off R8,000 after-tax bonus for the broadcaster's 3007 bargaining unit employees as part of this year's wage settlement agreement with the labour unions.

Then, on Friday, a decision was made to extend the bonuses to middle managers. They were paid the equivalent of a month's salary.

An SABC middle manager earns an average basic salary of R38,000 before tax. The company has more than 476 employees at this level.

Executive and senior managers have been excluded from the bonuses.

Accounts in a mess

In December, staff will also receive a 13th cheque as usual.

The bonuses come just as the SABC claims it has finally managed to recover from a financial collapse that saw it struggling to pay production houses, being forced to survive on a National Treasury guarantee and a R1bn loan from Nedbank, which it managed to repay in October last year.

At the end of March last year, the SABC earned a net profit of R330m, but its accounts were in such a mess the auditor general was not able to say if the numbers were correct. He therefore issued a disclaimer on those accounts.

The government is still giving millions in taxpayer money to the broadcaster, including R224m last year - nearly double the R130m given the previous year.

Out of financial troubles?

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago strongly defended the bonus splurge.

"I don't know why it should be an alarming thing that we're paying staff. You can't be stuck with the fact that we were in a financial crisis. We're past it and we were able to pay off all the people that we were owing."

Kganyago said the broadcaster had R1.2bn cash in the bank and had overcome its financial challenges.

"You should be writing a story that says the SABC takes care of their staff."

He also distanced Motsoeneng and Tshabalala from the bonus decision.

'Desperate to stamp his authority'

An SABC staff member said: "To staff, the credibility of Hlaudi and the board depends on these bonuses. Hlaudi is desperate to stamp his authority, so he will give us [bonuses]."

Hlaudi hands out thank-you bonuses to SABC staffers
Kganyago said the organisation needed to reward its employees for working hard over the past few years - during coverage of the 2010 World Cup and Mandela's funeral.

"This is not a bonus - a bonus is a 13th cheque they get anyway. This is just a thank you. That's why it is an ex gratia payment. We are giving it to staff who are in the bargaining council.

"They've exceeded expectations and we're now saying, as the organisation, we value you as our staff," said Kganyago.

Bonuses should be on merit

Kate Skinner, an independent broadcast researcher who is also a member of the SOS Support Public Broadcasting coalition, said although she was not opposed to SABC staff being rewarded, she was concerned that these bonuses were not performance-based.

"What you would prefer is a situation which is performance-linked so it's not absolutely everybody who gets it, but people who have particularly performed well. You would want them rewarded.

"But SABC workers do deserve a break. They have difficult circumstances and have suffered through some incredible crises and some incredibly poor management."

Rewarding mediocrity

Gavin Davis, a DA MP who serves on parliament's portfolio committee on communications, also criticised the awarding of blanket bonuses.

"There may be a few individuals who have performed well, but there is no way everybody at the SABC has," said Davis.

"It is these kinds of decisions that explain why the SABC is in the financial mess it finds itself in. It is a culture that rewards mediocrity and, in many instances, political affiliation over excellence.

"It reminds us of Ellen Tshabalala's claim two weeks ago that Hlaudi Motsoeneng had 'performed well' at the SABC, despite the auditor-general's disclaimer of opinion and the public protector's findings against him."

Source: Sunday Times, via I-Net Bridge


SOURCE

I-Net Bridge
For more than two decades, I-Net Bridge has been one of South Africa’s preferred electronic providers of innovative solutions, data of the highest calibre, reliable platforms and excellent supporting systems. Our products include workstations, web applications and data feeds packaged with in-depth news and powerful analytical tools empowering clients to make meaningful decisions.

We pride ourselves on our wide variety of in-house skills, encompassing multiple platforms and applications. These skills enable us to not only function as a first class facility, but also design, implement and support all our client needs at a level that confirms I-Net Bridge a leader in its field.
Go to: http://www.inet.co.za
    
 
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This Message Board accepts no liability of legal consequences that arise from the Message Boards (e.g. defamation, slander, or other such crimes). All posted messages are the sole property of their respective authors. The maintainer does retain the right to remove any message posts for whatever reasons. People that post messages to this forum are not to libel/slander nor in any other way depict a company, entity, individual(s), or service in a false light; should they do so, the legal consequences are theirs alone. Bizcommunity.com will disclose authors' IP addresses to authorities if compelled to do so by a court of law.
Claire Densham
Claire Densham
So another R42 million of tax payers money goes to propping up a completely mis-managed institution - not to mention the fact that employees will now feel incentivised to publish Zuma propoganda
Posted on 21 Jul 2014 14:38
Graeme
I suppose, based on this article all currently suspended (and there are a lot according to sources) and individuals currently facing disciplinary action also received the "bonus"...?
Posted on 21 Jul 2014 14:07
Matsoanelo Radebe
Matsoanelo Radebe
I really dont see why we have to be judgemental of this. SABC has been under pressure for such a long time and that affected the employees directly. we receive such a great service from sabc even though they were under such difficulty. I believe this is to boost employee moral and i say its well deserved.
Posted on 21 Jul 2014 14:02

News