SABC boss’ dubious R877 000 BONUS
Broadcaster says it was paid to Nomsa Philiso while she headed its commercial division – but it was paid for work before then
The SABC this week had to scramble to explain the discrepancy between a whopping R877 000 bonus for its acting group chief executive officer (CEO) Nomsa Philiso and the reason she claimed to have received the money. The bonus prompted questions in Parliament this week, but the public broadcaster was adamant that she earned it through sheer hard work.
The SABC’s latest annual report revealed that Philiso earned a total of R3.37 million in the year ended March 2016. This included bonuses and commissions to the tune of R877 000.
This while she was one of the public broadcaster’s salespeople – long before she became its head honcho.
Acting SABC chief financial officer Thabile Dlamini told Parliament this week that the bonus came from an incentive scheme in the SABC’s commercial enterprises division, which incentivises staff who meet their targets.
However, while Dlamini told MPs that Philiso earned the money for heading the commercial enterprises division, City Press has established that during the period for which she received the bonus, she was not heading the division.
Philiso was only appointed as the group executive for commercial enterprises in April 2015.
Confronted with this information on Friday, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago explained to City Press that before Philiso’s appointment as group executive for commercial enterprises in April
2015, she was the general manager for sales operations, a unit within the commercial enterprises division – thus making her one of about 300 employees who qualified for the incentive scheme in the unit.
DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme, who is a member of the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications, had wanted to know how the SABC could pay a senior executive a bonus or commission of almost R1 million while it was in serious financial trouble.
“That division has about 300 employees who participate in the scheme,” said Dlamini.
“The way the scheme is structured is that, at the beginning of the year, we decide what the annual target is that we are chasing, which is a commercial target.”
Dlamini went on to tell the portfolio committee that the team of 300 employees – including the executive heads of the division – were incentivised for meeting the target using a specific formula to calculate “the overperformance that has to be paid out”.
She said this was how the market operated in terms of other broadcasters as well.
She explained Philiso’s bonus as “an overlap of the 2014/15 fiscal, which was a good year in terms of performance for commercial enterprises”.
“She was heading the division at the time,” added Dlamini in a statement not challenged by MPs, but which City Press has seen is inconsistent with her appointment in April 2015.
She explained that the scheme was based on the economic value add, whereby a target is set and for any excess that is brought back to the business, a formula is used to calculate what should be paid out to each employee.
Kganyago explained that the amount reflected in the 2016/17 financial year originated from “the bankable amount in financial year 2014/15”.
“It is therefore correct to say that it is an overlap from the 2014/15 fiscal,” he said.
Philiso was appointed acting CEO in July. Former communications minister Ayanda Dlodlo extended Philiso’s and other senior executives’ acting appointments.
Both the SABC and the communications department have previously told City Press that Philiso was one of the three names recommended by the interim board for the permanent position of group CEO at the SABC. However, she is not considered a favourite for the position.
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BIG SCORE Nomsa Philiso