SABC TV news staffers threaten to strike over 'unlawful' production unit merger

Over 100 Television News Personnel at the SABC have threatened to go on strike if the public broadcaster does not reverse a decision to merge their unit with Henley Television Studio Facilities.

The Television News Technical Personnel say the SABC must undo the merger or news employees will go on strike.

The Broadcast Electronic Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) says the merging of the two production units was unlawful and did not follow due process.

Bemawu president Hannes du Buisson represents the 101 aggrieved staffers who claim they were assured that the merger would be undone by senior SABC management.

According to du Buisson, management later reneged on the commitment to reverse the "unilateral implementation".

He says there are concerns that the merger is a move to protect some of the employees involved in the SABC's previous dictatorial regime.

If this is not gonna happen, then we [as news] will go on strike.

Hannes du Buisson, President of Bemawu

If 101 people at news go on strike, there will be no news. It's as simple as that.

Hannes du Buisson, President of Bemawu

This merger has already happened. That is what sparked this entire thing off.

Hannes du Buisson, President of Bemawu

The SABC committed to undo the merger... It's not been done in good faith.

Hannes du Buisson, President of Bemawu

We are of the vision that this merger has been done to protect certain enforcers of the old [SABC] regime from losing their jobs and shield them from [their] bad financial mismanagement.

Hannes du Buisson, President of Bemawu

The merger happened unlawfully, that has been confirmed. It is on paper.

Hannes du Buisson, President of Bemawu

Du Buisson says that Henley Studio and the Television News Technical Personnel have different editorial focuses and explains that there were several other reasons why there has been objection to the merger.

Attempts to get SABC management to respond where unsuccessful at the time of the interview.

Take a listen to him explore the issues at hand:


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