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SABC workers: It’s not our fault the broadcaster is struggling financially

SABC workers on Friday protested against planned retrenchments at the public broadcaster.

SABC employees picketed outside their offices on 19 November 2020. The employees of the embattled public broadcaster are protesting against retrenchments that could see hundreds lose their jobs. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Communications Workers Union (CWU), the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), and SABC workers on Friday said they would keep up the pressure on the public broadcaster to abandon retrenchments.

The call was made at a protest outside the SABC’s headquarters in Auckland Park. The protest was joined by members of several organisations including the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and its affiliates.

SABC employees said it was not their fault that the corporation is battling financially.

ALSO READ: SABC board suspends retrenchment process for 7 days

“The struggles of the workers of the SABC speak directly to our struggles. SABC management has started a process of commercialising the SABC,” said the ANCYL’s Hlange Mokgale. “The struggle of the workers of the SABC must touch something within us as members of the ANCYL.”

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe was also at the protest.

“When you retrench these employees, you are denying our people diversity,” Mabe said.

“This public broadcaster belongs to you, it does not belong to any individuals,” said one of the protest leaders.

Some workers who had already received retrenchment letters said this would be devastating for their families.

SABC CEO RECEIVES PROTESTERS' DEMANDS

Meanwhile, the SABC board undertook to respond to the demand by workers for retrenchments to be abandoned by next week.

The workers’ memorandum of demands was signed by the SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe.

“We’ll submit this [memorandum] to the board today and we’ll get the response hopefully next week. We’ll try to push for Monday,” Mxakwe said.

Protesters were not impressed by the response but were calmed down quickly by the organisers of the demonstration.

They did, however, warn that they would return should management fail to meet their demands.

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