File picture: Independent Media

Johannesburg - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said on Wednesday that it was concerned by the looming workers strike after the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) declined to end the wage impasse.

The SABC met with Bemawu and Communications Workers Union (CWU), where the board proposed that wage negotiations be reopened and a neutral facilitator be appointed to aid the negotiations.

Following this meeting, the unions then met with their members to provide this feedback where Bemawu members decided to proceed with the strike on Thursday. CWU was not immediately available to state whether it will be striking.

The unions issued the SABC with a 48-hour strike notice on Monday.

Both unions are demanding a 10 percent increase for workers across the board, backdated to April 2017, but the SABC says it cannot move from its "zero percent offer".

The broadcaster said that major priorities which emerged were the need to stabilise the financial situation and staff morale as the SABC still carried more debts than it can pay despite significant progress by the interim board in cutting the losses it inherited.

SABC spokesperson Kaiser Kgyanyago said that the broadcaster urged all employees who would not strike to report for duty, as per their condition of employment. 

"The organisation also calls upon the striking employees not to intimidate their colleagues, who will be coming to work and proceed with their action in a dignified manner. It is important to note that the principle of no work, no pay will apply," Kganyago said.

Kganyago said that programmes on radio and TV will be transmitted as planned.