Johannesburg - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has admitted that normal programming was disrupted to at least three of its radio stations on Thursday as a result of the ongoing workers' strike.
SABC employees affiliated to the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and Communications Workers Union (CWU) resumed their strike action over salary increases on Thursday after negotiations with the public broadcaster reached a deadlock.
They are demanding a 10% salary increment backdated to April while the beleaguered cash-strapped broadcaster says it could only afford to increase their salaries by 4.5%.
In a statement, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said that despite the current strike, programming on radio and television had been minimally affected and was running as scheduled.
There were reports that SABC's current affairs shows and news bulletins never aired on Thursday.
"Programming on television has gone ahead as planned with no interruptions. Out of the 19 SABC radio stations, only three were affected, namely: Thobela FM, Munghana Lonene FM and Ikwekwezi FM. Their respective current affairs shows that did not go on air, as a result of presenters pulling out of the shows at the last minute," Kganyago said.
"The SABC reassures the public of its unwavering commitment to deliver as mandated, information to citizens as a public service broadcaster and has put measures in place to ensure that the smooth running of programming on all our platforms continues uninterrupted."
Kganyago said that the SABC had received reports of intimidation of employees entering the work premises and blockage of entrance points by those who are participating in the strike.
"Management views this matter in a serious light and will be engaging with the SABC's Protection Services, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Joint Planning Committee to attend to this matter urgently, to ensure the safety of all employees who are not participating in the strike," Kganyago said.
"Employees are assured of their safety within and around the premises of the SABC, as there are heightened security plans in place to ensure their safety as well as the safeguarding of SABC property."