COSATU urges SABC to engage with workers in good faith in its current wage negotiations

22 December 2023

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urges the Board and exorbitantly paid executive management of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to engage with Organised Labour in good faith in the current wage negotiations for staff.  It is painful that SABC’s employees have been systematically denied any increase to their meagre wages for more than three years.  This is tragic when SABC employees like other workers have seen their meagre salaries deeply eroded by the rising costs of living, in particular electricity, fuel and repo rate hikes.

SABC’s Board and management need to genuinely engage with Organised Labour at SABC in engagements for a long overdue increase for the beleaguered SABC staff.  COSATU supports the fair demands of its affiliate, the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) for an increase for SABC staff that protects their wages from inflation, begins to claw back value that has been seriously eroded over three years and is backdated to the beginning of the current financial year.

It is alarming that it is reported that whilst engagements have been referred to the CCMA for mediation, SABC’s management is proceeding to implement adjustments for themselves.  This is galling and undermines collective bargaining and may collapse space for a reasonable compromise for a collective agreement to be reached with staff and unions.

The Board needs to come out of its cocoon and engage with Organised Labour as part of bringing stability to the once proud SABC and assure workers that their voice is heard and their legitimate grievances will be addressed.  SABC needs to be an employer that values and respects its employees and not one that treats them as expendable slaves. 

Workers are key to any workplace’s success.  It is time that the callous and stone hearted management of SABC grasped this simple concept. 

COSATU will continue to support the workers of SABC and CWU in their engagements for a fair increase and that it be backdated.  If workers at SABC decide its time to embark upon industrial action in defence of their rights to a living wage, the Federation will join them on the picket line. 

Politicians who pass ever shrinking budgetary allocations for SABC, would do well to remember that they will soon be nagging the very same demoralised SABC employees to cover their little rallies in a few weeks when they seek to be elected to Parliament and the Provincial Legislatures.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687