Cape Town – They're raking in millions – the SABC's champagne crowd of top executives has proved that although struggling, the South African public broadcaster still provides well-paying employment, if you can get it.
According to the SABC's latest annual report for 2010/2011 that was officially presented to parliament on Tuesday, Dr Ben Ngubane, the chairperson of the SABC board, received a total remuneration in the year ending on March 2011 of R444 000.
That, however, is little compared to the remuneration of some other SABC employees.
Ngubane's income from the SABC as the highest ranking board member completely pales in comparison to Thelma Melk's total remuneration of R1.75m that she received for the same period, according to the report.
Melk is the SABC's company secretary. She was recently suspended by the SABC, allegedly for "poor work performance".
Another high income executive earner at the SABC is Richard Waghorn. He is the SABC's chief technology officer. Waghorn's total remuneration package as stated in the annual report is R3.74m.
Robin Nicholson received R4.13m as the chief financial officer and acting group CEO of the SABC. He left the broadcaster on July 22 when his contract was suddenly not renewed in yet another top management shake-up that will probably see the SABC also paying him further millions in claims, just like the previously axed CEOs.
The biggest remuneration package in the annual report for the period under review went to SABC executive Phumelele Ntombela-Nzimande, the wife of higher education minister Blade Nzimande.
She was axed in February in the SABC's restructuring. She's the single highest earner at the SABC in the year under review and according to the annual report received a total remuneration of R4.7m.
The SABC is spending R8.4m on the refurbishment of the 28th and 29th floors of Auckland Park headquarters according to the annual report.Never really appointed
Meanwhile, the SABC revealed to a shocked parliamentary portfolio committee on Tuesday that the acting group head of human capital services, Justice Ndaba, who's embroiled in a salacious private scandal, was actually never appointed in the position and is a private consultant – something never before told to government.
Although Ndaba was seen on television, spoke and answered questions several times in parliament in the capacity of running human resources at the SABC, Ngubane told parliament on Tuesday that Ndaba was never hired and appointed but is in fact a private consultant. Furthermore the SABC paid large sums for Ndaba's studies – which included international travel – which were never completed.
Ngubane told the stunned portfolio committee that the SABC planned to hire Ndaba but didn't.
"When we came to preparing for the interviews it came out that there's judgments against him," said Ngubane.
Eric Kholwane, chairperson of the portfolio committee, was furious and wanted to know from the SABC how the broadcaster could finance the studies of what turns out to actually be a private consultant.Thinus Ferreira is a TV and media expert. Read his blog here.