SABC strike causes disruptions at Ukhozi FM
Ukhozi FM‚ one of South Africa’s biggest radio stations‚ has since Thursday morning not broadcast any news bulletins due to a strike at the SABC.
An SABC spokesperson denied that there were any disruptions at the station‚ but an employee who asked not to be named confirmed there had not been any broadcast of news bulletins on Thursday.
“The only people who are here at work are security guards. Everyone else is outside. I saw one person in the studio‚ who came in early this morning‚” she said.
According to its website‚ Ukhozi FM is one of the biggest radio stations on the planet and “the largest in Africa with its listenership in constant excess of 7.7 million over the past decade”.
Hannes du Buisson‚ a spokesperson for the Broadcasting‚ Electronic‚ Media and Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu)‚ also confirmed the station’s new bulletins have not been covered at the station.
“They have been playing music since this morning. Everyone involved in compiling the news is on strike‚” he said.
Du Buisson said the strike stemmed from the fact that the SABC says it does not have money to pay salary increases.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago‚ however‚ said all the broadcaster’s 19 stations were operational.
“I am not aware that Ukhozi FM had no news bulletins. As far as I know‚ all our programmes are on air. There were two or three stations which had problems with their current affairs shows because of connection issues. That has been resolved now‚” he said.
SABC employees are demanding a 10% salary increase‚ Du Buisson said.
“We filed a dispute and sat for conciliation at the CCMA last week‚ but we were not able to resolve the issue.
“When we were about to file a notice to embark on a strike‚ the SABC offered a 4.5% salary increase‚ which was rejected by our members because the increase is only backdated for six months.”
He said the strike will continue until employees’ demands are met.
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