The SABC has paid around R42m in bonuses to its staff and middle management, the Sunday Times reported.
According to the report, bonuses of R8 000 after tax were paid to 3 007 workers as part of a wage agreement with unions.
The bonuses were reportedly a gesture of gratitude for hard work during former President Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago defended the move, saying the SABC had overcome its financial difficulties and could afford to pay the bonuses.
“I don’t know why it should be an alarming thing that we are paying staff,” he was quoted as saying.
He told the Sunday Times that the SABC now had R1,2bn in the bank.
Kganyago distanced chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng and SABC board chair Zandile Tshabalala from the bonus deal.
In February, public protector Thuli Madonsela released a report on Motsoeneng, while he was acting chief operating officer. She found that his salary increased from R1,5m to R2,4m in one year, that he had purged senior staff, and misrepresented his qualifications — that he had passed matric — to the SABC.
At the time, Madonsela recommended that a new operations head be appointed to the SABC within 90 days.
Earlier this month, communications minister Faith Muthambi announced Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment as chief operating officer, saying the decision was taken following a recommendation by the SABC board.
She said he had been cleared of all wrongdoing by a legal firm before being appointed permanently. — Sapa