SABC employees stage pickets, want new funding model to save jobs

In an attempt to save their jobs, SABC employees are expected to wear black and hold a lunch-hour picket on Friday.

The broadcaster recently said it would lay off at a third of its workforce - 981 permanent staffers and about 1 200 freelancers because of a negative financial statement.

Of its R6.6bn revenue, more than R3bn goes towards salaries - something that Group CEO Madoda Mxakwe says should change to make the public broadcast service financially viable.

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The Communications Workers Union (CWU) says it will deliver a memorandum on Friday to the SABC offices in Auckland Park, Cape Town and Durban.

General Secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said "furthermore the office of the communications minister has been invited to Auckland Park to receive the memorandum".

The mood is sombre at the SABC and some employees have told News24 that they are scared.

Key points contained in a grievance letter which is expected to be submitted include:

• a revolt to retrenchments,

• a new funding model for the SABC,

• the urgency in speeding up the process of digital terrestrial television,

• an increase on the public broadcaster's levy, and

• the removal of the current SABC board.

"All regions where the SABC operates across the country will hold lunch-hour demonstrations," Tshabalala added.