The Democratic Alliance (DA) has revealed that the SABC spends R3 million a year on its own choir, which sings songs of praise to its company head.
Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi acknowledged the state owned entity’s spend in a reply to a parliamentary question.
It was also revealed that the choir has been known to sing songs of praise for SABC Chief Operations Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, in staff meetings, with the lyrics “Hlaudi Motsoeneng reya o leboha” (“Hlaudi Motsoeneng we thank you”).
Minister Muthambi however, refuted that Motsoeneng had in any way pressured the choir to sing his praises. “This verse was spontaneous and was not composed by the subject of the verse nor was it composed under his direction and/or influence,” she said.
“The question needs to be asked whether the SABC can justify spending R3 million per annum on an in-house choir. Surely, it would be cheaper to commission the services of a professional choir if and when the need arises,” said Gavin Davis, DA Shadow Minister of Communications.
“The fact is that the SABC cannot afford unnecessary extravagances such as its own choir. As internal SABC financial documents recently brought to light by the Sunday Times show, the public broadcaster faces a loss of R501 million in this financial year,” he said.
The DA said that the disbandment of the SABC choir should be at the top of the SABC’s list of cost-cutting measures.