Broadcasting Services

SABC: South Africa Faces Possible Blackout From Public Broadcaster

The Labour Union representing the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has threatened a four-hour blackout on Friday from 11 am - 2 pm. This drastic action is part of the unions’ protest against the public broadcaster’s planned retrenchment process. Last week the organisation handed over 300 letters to workers, telling them that their jobs were now redundant or they were part of surplus staff.

The unions have not taken this matter this lying down. This week they resumed strike action with them picketing outside the SA broadcasters’ headquarters in Auckland Park, Johannesburg and

On Wednesday, the workers affiliated to the Communication Workers Union (CWU) & Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) took their grievances to the highest office in the land and seat of government-the union buildings in Pretoria delivering their memorandum of demands to the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. Their demands entailed, amongst other things, the dissolution of the SABC board. On Thursday the workers embarked on a go - slow.

The SABC says it is aware of the blackout threats as it has been monitoring the situation, the broadcaster has put contingency plans in place for such action. Speaking to News24, SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu said “all employees who partake in the strike action, are doing it on a no work no pay basis”, Mthembu also promised that the business of the SABC would carry on as usual, as millions of South Africans depend on public broadcaster as their only source of information & news.

Management at the SABC is also expected to brief the media on Friday, updating them on the process it undertook with the labour section in terms of section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

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