MORE than 50 SABC employees in KwaZulu-Natal picketed outside the public broadcaster's offices.
The picketers at 100 KE Masinga Road, mainly from the news department were part of a countrywide strike, forcing their bosses to read the news.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) and the Media Workers Association of SA are demanding a 12,2percent increase, while the SABC is only offering 8,5percent.
The striking workers started gathering about 8am. They sang freedom songs and chanted slogans saying they want better pay.
Some were carrying placards demanding a better and living wage. The strike got a boost when South African Municipal Workers' Union members joined in out of solidarity.
Non-striking employees were barred from entering SABC premises by striking workers, some armed with sticks.
The protest remained peaceful but the SABC management would not take chances and called the police and metro police to monitor the situation.
The country's biggest radio station, Ukhozi FM, was largely affected as news reporters and readers were part of the demonstration and did not go to work. Television reporters and cameramen also ditched their work and joined the strike.
Bulletin editor Sipho Simelane had to read bulletins most of the day to avoid the embarrassment of complete silence.
The stayaway is set to continue today.
CWU national collective bargaining coordinator Vulture Ntuli said: "We will evaluate the processes of how the government responds.
"This may require the intervention of the minister," Ntuli said.