​​Organised Labour at the SABC met with the Acting GCEO, Nomsa Philiso on 19 October 2017.

It was a cordial meeting and Philiso briefed Labour on the current situation the SABC finds itself in. Some of the demands in our 13 October were met, and on others Philiso will give feedback at the latest Wednesday, 25 October 2017.

Philiso confirmed the following important issues:

  • SABC Employees WILL receive their 13th Cheques  in December. (This was negotiated by SABC Unions many years ago, and became part of terms and conditions of employment)
  • There are no retrenchments on the cards.
  • She will meet with the new Chairperson of the Board over the weekend and with the new Minister on Monday to discuss the salary increase demand, and will revert to us latest Wednesday.
  • The PSC (Public Service Commission) is already busy investigating the unprocedural appointments.  There are 33 action points to deal with. We requested to be observers in that process and see the terms of reference. We await feedback from Philiso.
  • The SIU has started with their investigations in respect of  criminal and financial issues.
  • Forensic audit is busy investigating the Protest Policy.
  • A monthly meeting with Labour and her office for at least the following six months will take place to exchange ideas and give feedback in respect of progress.
  • In respect of the merger between Henley & News, she will investigate why it has not completely happened.
  • In respect of the unprocedurally published shift roster for News Staff by a manager of a different department, she will revert in the next few days. She confirmed it is absolute nonsense that a manager’s contract will prevent him, if acting to compile and publish shift rosters as alleged by NEWS MANAGEMENT. In respect of the Acting Head of News, we questioned the secondment from Makatees from Cape Town. We pointed out, whilst the SABC is claiming to be insolvent, they spending money on travel and accommodation for Makatees, whilst the job can be done by people in Johannesburg. She undertook to investigate.

Feedback were given to members in K1 Auditorium, Johannesburg SABC and the Regions via rediffusion.

The Auditorium was packed and and number of members had to stand outside, as there was no space inside. Employees were  ready to go on strike, and the unanimous decision was if the SABC is going to persist with a zero percent increase by 25 October, they will proceed with a strike.

More updates will follow.

Here under a short video of the attendance.  (Apologies for the sound)





The Acting Group Chief Executive

Ms Nomsa Philiso




Dear Madam,

We write this letter to you with sincere and extreme urgency, with the hope and belief you would be able to address, with the same urgency our concerns and demands.

The SABC has been plagued by bad management, bad managerial decisions costing the Public Broadcaster a deficit of more than a Billion Rand, bad publicity caused by the Board, Chairperson of the Board and Top Management.

We have been subjected to management by threats and fear, unilateral restructurings, change of work practices and shift roster, appointments without advertising positions and a zero-percentage increase.

Most of the enforcers who was responsible for the Protest Policy and the subsequent dismissal of the SABC journalists opposed to this are still employed, at lucrative salaries at the SABC. For them its business as usual, and they have escaped justice.

To the contrary, employees who has done nothing wrong and always served the SABC with diligence and loyalty, were kicked out by not renewing their contracts.

As you are acutely aware, these issues are of extreme discomfort, concern and unhappiness to employees at the SABC.

BEMAWU and other employees has brought these issues to the attention of Parliament and Management, and there seems to be no progress, commitment or will to address and resolve these issues.

In the meantime, the SABC is slipping deeper into insolvency, to the extent that it endangers the employment, wellbeing, and health of our members.

It is our view the SABC is still captured by politicians – more than ever – and we cannot sit back to allow this to happen.

Employees at the SABC have not received a salary increase, and rumours are rife our contractual 13th Cheques are in danger and may not be paid on 1 December.

We therefore demand the following:

  1. The immediate appointment of the Board already selected and recommended by Parliament,
  2. The immediate suspension of all the enforcers of the Protest Policy which resulted in the dismissal of the SABC 8, to wit
    • Kenneth Makatees,
    • Nothando Maseko,
    • Nyana Molete,
    • Sebolelo Ditlhakanyane,
  3. Furthermore, all the unprocedurally appointed managers and/or people who supported the system to either enforce the Protest Policy, contributed to the poor financial position of the SABC, defending same publicly or legally, neglect to act when policies and procedures were not followed, and did not report irregularities when they became aware of same:
    • Tshifhiwa Mulaudzi – GE, Sales & Marketing clearly not competent to motivate the Sales Teams
    • Abdul Matthee – Responsible for the loss in Millions due to the Landmark system
    • Keobokile Mosweu
    • Sizwe Vilikazi
    • Bessie Tugwana
    • Tseliso Ralitabo
    • Ayanda Mkhize
    • Theresa Geldenhuys
  4. The status quo in respect of structural changes, work patterns and hours of employees, in particular in News, until a new Board is in office, and employees be properly consulted,
  5. The full and unconditional restoration of the merger between Henley and News, with no change in reporting lines and work practices, without full and proper consultation with employees, and only after a new Board has been appointed,
  6. A salary increase of 10% across the board, backdated to April 2017.
  7. The appointment of all workers previously on Fixed Term Contracts at News, whose contracts has not been renewed as Fixed Term, but as Freelance Contracts, or not at all.
  8. The removal of Kenneth Makatees as Acting Head of News, to be replaced by a non-enforcer nominated from the competent News Staff in Johannesburg,
  9. The redeployment of Themba Mathonsi to a different department, where he is not required to work with subordinates, as he is unfit to manage employees. Employees are tired of his Gestapo style of management.
  10. We demand a full investigation regarding the protest policy and the report should be made public.
  11. An investigation at SABC Sport in respect of the non-renewal of contracts, the redeployment of admin people in operational roles under disguise to develop them, the appointment of freelancers to act in permanent positions.
  12. An investigation into the appointment of Bessie Tugwana as the Acting COO, in particular as she has reached retirement age, and allegations of her employing friends.
  13. The renewal of the contract of Keobokile Mosweu, an alleged enforcer of Motsoeneng to be investigated and reversed.

Should these demands not be met in seven (7) days, excluding the unilateral change to the shift roster of News Staff, from date of this letter, Labour will file a dispute and ballot its members to seek a mandate for a protected strike.

In respect of the unilateral change to shift patterns and working conditions, a separate letter will follow.

We await your most urgent response.


Organised Labour at the SABC






The following letter was sent to the SABC to request paid time off for Hindu employees at the SABC.

Dear Sirs,

This issue has been raised before, as we hereby do again.

Diwali or Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere).

It is an official holiday in FijiGuyanaIndiaMalaysiaMauritiusMyanmarNepalSingaporeSri LankaSurinameTrinidad and Tobago, and Sindh Province in Pakistan. One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.  Its celebration includes millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is observed.

The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika in Bikram Sambat calendar (the month of Aippasi in Tamil Calendar). In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.

Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices. On Diwali night, people dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja (prayers) typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of fertility and prosperity. After puja, fireworks follow, then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Deepavali also marks a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated.

This is similar to Christmas for Christians. This year DIWALI starts on 18 October 2017.

This serves as a request that Hindu employees be granted paid time off to celebrate DIWALI. It furthermore serves as a request to amend the Leave Policy to incorporate this period as paid time off, in particular in recognition and protection of minority rights and cultures in South Africa.

We await your urgent response.





What a waste of money (the SABC allegedly don’t have)!

Why would you want to pay someone to survey what you already know?

The morale is rock bottom. We have no board. We have a top structure unprocedurially appointed, and all acting. We have no vision, we have no leadership, we have no direction. We have no strategy.

We now have a Minister who wants to run the SABC operationally by interfering in the day-to-day running of the SABC. To extend the DOA’s of the unprocedurally appointed.

We have unprocedurally appointed managers at Sales who instead of motivating employees to sell more, wants to treat them like children and force them to become clock watchers.

Who in any event would want to put their money with a rudderless ship with no captain and demoralized sailors?

We have no governance structures. We are slipping deeper into the dark hole of insolvency. We seems to be the only ones caring about this, as there is no movement from Parliament.

Are politicians really prepared to destroy the SABC, our public broadcaster and more importantly, are we going to allow it?

What happened to the results of the previous surveys?

What happened to our salary increases?

Ke Nako… It’s time…



The almost two-week governance hiatus at the SABC has raised concerns that the moves towards cleaning house and stabilising the public broadcaster are pawns in broader political machinations.

“We’re concerned that President Zuma is deliberately delaying the appointment of the new board for political reasons, leaving an unacceptable gap in governance at the SABC.”

Worries were also expressed publicly by trade union Broadcasting, Electronic Media and Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu) in an open letter, and by the SABC8, the journalists who were expelled but reinstatement after raising their concerns.

“We believe that a recapture project of the public broadcaster is afoot,” said the SABC8 open letter in support of Bemawu. “We will not allow our short-lived, recently gained freedom of expression to be rolled back…” said the SABC8, calling on Parliament to hold the executive to account and ensure the new permanent board is appointed. “We wish to inform the executive arm of the state that we do not belong to them but to the people of South Africa via their public representatives – the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa,” their open letter said. 

And on Tuesday the communications committee decided it should hear from the SABC8 and Bemawu, as Dlodlo interjected that if that was the MPs’ decision, they had to also hear from others who wrote to them.

The minister appeared on the back foot over the delays on appointing the SABC board, and her role in it. “If I am requested to assist, and I see nothing untoward (in this), that is exactly what I will do,” she told MPs. And on the issue of stalled appointments of executives – the SABC is currently run by acting CEO, chief financial and chief operations officers – Dlodlo said the interim board had not, as required, submitted the job specs to her for approval ahead of time. And the pool of six names for her selection did not meet the necessary television, radio and managerial standards. 

Source :



09 October 2017


For attention:
Honourable Humphrey Maxegwana
Chairperson, Portfolio Committee on Communications
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Dear Honourable Humphrey Maxegwana


At the start, we the SABC8, want to affirm the good work done in 2016 by parliament’s portfolio committee on communications, the ad hoc committee on the SABC and the interim board of the SABC. However, it is with deep regret we write to you to register our alarm and deepest disappointment at the reckless abandon to which the public broadcaster has descended. We are extremely concerned at the governance crisis at the SABC. We believe that a recapture project of the public broadcaster is afoot and would like to endorse the open letter written to you by our fellow colleagues under the banner of BEMAWU (Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union). We wish to reiterate their statement that we are prepared to strike over the issues underlined. We will not allow our short-lived, recently gained freedom of expression to be rolled back.

It has been nine days since the term of the Interim Board has expired. However, there has been no political will to remedy the governance crisis at the broadcaster. The President has delayed the ratification of the permanent board members duly advised by Parliament. In terms of the Broadcasting Act, Section 14 (1), concerning the executive committee, “the affairs of the corporation are administered by an executive committee consisting of the group chief executive and six other members appointed by the board.”  In other words the act makes absolutely no provision for the ministerial appointment of executive members; in fact the act frowns on such. We have been told today, by acting GCEO Nomsa Philiso that the Minister is currently preparing herself to extend the contracts of the current acting executives. If the Minister proceeds with such plans she would be usurping the powers of parliament or a board that should have been appointed by parliament. We wish to inform the executive arm of the state that we do not belong to them but to the people of South Africa via their public representatives – the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.

In terms of the Companies Act, the current state of affairs amounts to reckless trading as no one is accountable for the major decisions and transactions of the insolvent entity that we work for. It is clear that the SABC is unable to pay its debts as they become due in the normal course of business. The attendant risks and implications are dire and grave. It would be reckless of us not to responsibly raise these concerns with Parliament as we do now by this correspondence.

Regarding the reversed merger between the News Resources Department and Henley; while on the surface it may seem resolved, we still call for a forensic investigation into how this merger came about in the first place and a full account of the moneys transferred and spent, particularly the millions transferred from the news division to the bankrupt Henley technical department. The Combating and Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act stipulates that we have an obligation to report such matters. Further, we have seen how when corruption is allowed to run rampant, the quality of news and governance decline.

We note, with concern, a reported meeting held at Luthuli House, wherein we believe it was said that the SABC news division is “the only propaganda tool left to the African National Congress”; and that the loss of this “tool” would be resisted by the ruling party. In addition, we find that the meeting held by our Acting-GE of news with the head of the president’s private office and spokesperson, Dr. Bongani Ngqulunga, to be injudicious and we call on our head to exercise more circumspection in the future and to protect the newsroom from perceptions of bias. We also call on him to make the minutes of that meeting public. Editorial independence must not only be practiced, like justice, it must be seen to be done.

We also raise concern that the editorial review process has been halted by the absence of the appropriate governance structures. ICASA has ruled that the SABC revert to the editorial policy of 2004. In this editorial policy the official mandated person to preside over the editorial process is the Group Chief Executive. We note with concern that the acting Chief Operating Officer has installed herself at the apex of this process, thus continuing with the practices of Hlaudi Motsoeneng under whom she gladly served. This is why we call on the presidency to ratify the board members so that we can institute the measurers to ensure editorial independence, such as the Editorial Forum, as envisaged in the Broadcasting Act, clause 13 (b) which calls on board members to be committed to fairness and freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed.

It has been eight months since the release of the final report of the SABC inquiry’s ad hoc committee which recommended, among others, that the enforcers of unlawful instructions by Hlaudi Motsoeneng and his regime be held accountable. Instead, there appears to be efforts to launder their conduct and reinstate them as credible journalists. This is just a cosmetic exercise designed to ensure that they remain long enough to cover up the corrupt excesses and decisions of the past. Given the acting head of news’ reluctance to correct the wrongs of the past, our faith in his leadership is gravely shaken.

We call upon parliament to hold the executive to account and bring the corporation in line with the governance principles outlined in the Broadcasting Act. We cannot proceed in this fashion for much longer.

Yours sincerely

Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki
Busisiwe Ntuli
Krivani Pillay
Foeta Krige
Lukhanyo Calata
Vuyo Mvoko
Jacques Steenkamp
Nonkululeko Zonke Smith (convenor of SABC 101- News Technical Staff)






Dear Mr Xama,

On a daily basis we see new positions being advertised, in particular externally.

In terms of the SABC’s Recruitment Policy all positions must be advertised first internally, and only if a suitable candidate could not be sourced internally, it may be advertised externally. We believe the SABC is not follow this policy. In Polokwane a position has been advertised externally despite suitable candidates internally who applied for the position.

In addition, advertising positions externally means an increase in the head count of SABC Staff. An increase in headcount means an increase in employment cost. It appears to be rather reckless and may even border on transgressions of the Insolvency Act to continue to increase cost and financial liability in near insolvency conditions.

We urge the SABC to stop all external recruitment, and rather afford employees of the SABC the opportunity to apply for and be accommodated and developed in positions they may not meet all the requirement.

Our rights are reserved.


Hannes du Buisson




It is October. No salary increase. No Board. A bankrupt SABC.

We started with Salary Negotiations, and the SABC had 0% on offer. Organised Labour agreed to postpone negotiations until the Government Guarentee has been granted.  This seems to be delayed, for no apparent reason. There is no bail-out for now, SABC running in almost a R1b deficit.

So, what do we do?

Do we wait for the Government Guarantee, or do  we go on strike?

Please vote, to give us an indication of your preference. Should the general feeling be we should proceed with a strike, we will ensure proper and due process for a protected strike.