ommunication Workers Union (CWU) learnt with excitement, the latest data by the Broadcast Research Council (BRC) on Thursday, 7 May 2020; that SABC is leading the pack. The increase of its market share as the SABC news channel leads the 24-hour news market as outlined by BRC, demonstrated the talent and commitment of SABC workers. As CWU, we have always advocated for SABC to be supported and defended during difficult times, when some of our destructors were calling for some component of the Public Broadcaster to sold. The BRC data shows an improved market share performance of 42% and 40% in the national markets including DTT and DStv respectively. We cannot praise a fish for swimming, however; it must be applauded that on free-to-air television news audiences, out of 10 viewed news products nationally; 8 are broadcast on SABC 1 and 2, with IsiZulu and IsiXhosa news bulletins sitting on top with more than 4.5 million viewers.
With so much penetration, (80% news audience – national) the Public Broadcaster is the right vehicle to educate, inform and update the nation during the outbreak of the COVID-19. This also means that it remains a vital tool for the government, the NGO’s and other important humanitarian work to be done via the public broadcaster, and much of this work does not generate revenue. Therefore, a call for a sound new model of the Public Broadcaster funding remains relevant, with the state playing a critical role. CWU still believe that the OTT’s must pay a broadcasting levy as part of the comprehensive funding model system. We are pleased that SABC is continuing to spread its wings on the online platforms (OTT’s) such as the YouTube and doing very well as they added some of our indigenous languages.
We are further committed to build a competitive public broadcaster that will produce high quality content and reward its workers accordingly. We further condemn all the efforts to discredit the Public Broadcaster and attempts to reverse the salary increases agreement which was signed two years ago for SABC workers.
Issued by the Office of the General Secretary
CWU General Secretary
Cell: 061 481 1080