19 March 2024 

The Communication Workers Union is extremely disappointed at the continuous undermining of the collective bargaining agreement by the SABC. The SABC Board and management continue to operate in bad faith playing delaying tactics in the 2023/2024 wage dispute.

It took CWU three months to finalise the picketing rules and to be issued with a certificate of non resolution from the CCMA. The process was marred by delaying tactics by the SABC and the CCMA. The CWU had to exert pressure to finally get the certificate.

SABC workers have not had a salary increase for more than three years after the devastating Section 189 process that workers suffered. CWU rejected the offer of an increase of 6% effectively from 1 October 2023 instead of backdating it to 1 April 2023.

The union made many sacrifices during the wage talks and while in deadlock. The initial demand on the increase was 18%. It was dropped to 12% and then 9%. CWU members in SABC are further willing to accept the SABC’s 6% offer on condition that it’s backdated to 1 April 2023. Over the last months of the impasse, CWU has been willing to make further sacrifices to allow SABC to pay the remaining six months off in installments.

We had further engagements with the new GCEO who invited CWU to see how the SABC can come to the party. We are now back to square one.

The SABC responded last weekend with a draft agreement which was unclear about how the remaining backdated increase from April to September 2023 will be paid. Management required a response from CWU in seven days. The CWU replied with amendments to their draft agreement after getting a mandate from the workers.

Although the CWU agreement is very reasonable, the SABC remains mum. They have not responded.

The CWU members of SABC will meet on Wednesday to start planning for industrial action that could cut the airwaves now that we have a certificate.

CWU is now calling on all political parties in Parliament to intervene in the impasse because the stalemate has the potential to jeorpadise free and fair elections when we embark on full-blown strike.

The CWU is extremely disappointed that that the multi party committees that hold the SABC accountable have failed the SABC workers. 

CWU is further disgusted that the SABC Chief Financial Officer Yolande van Biljon has been given another five years. How can the SABC Board reappoint someone who has not even ensured that the SABC breaks even, let alone making a profit. As the person overseeing the purse of the SABC, she still has to account for the 1Billion loss.

Therefore we are going on a full blown strike. The nation must know that the workers of SABC are sympathetic towards the millions who rely on their public broadcaster. As CWU we are left with no choice by the SABC Board and management, but to go on industrial action until our major demand of backdating the salary increase to the 1st of April 2023 is met.

For more enquiries contact 

Nathen Bowers

CWU National Bargaining Coordinator 

Cell Number: 081 794 7702