South Africa’s television industry is gearing up for its protest action against public broadcaster SABC’s financial and management crisis, which has resulted in non-payment to producers of commissioned programmes. The march takes place simultaneously in Johannesburg and Cape Town on 4 June at 12 noon.
Latest news is that the South African Screen Federation (SASFED) and the TV Industry Emergency Coalition, which represents 80% of the local content on air, met with the SABC senior executive on 2 June. They simultaneously met with the pertinent industry unions via COSATU.
The SABC requested, unsuccessfully, that the protest action be halted, saying they were now in consultations with the industry. TVIEC pointed out that the action was designed to save the beleaguered broadcaster and could not be halted. The SABC committed to ongoing dialogue and the industry is waiting to see if the broadcaster keeps its word this time, unlike all the previous times.
SASFED reports that the big unions are on board for the protest march on Thursday and that the event is expected to be bigger than ever.
· Date: Thursday, 4 June 2009
· 10.30: Joburg – Gather at Atlas Studios for rally
· 12.00: Cape Town – Gather on grass in front of SABC
· 12.00: Joburg – March to SABC
· 13.00: Joburg and Cape Town – march and picket at SABC
· 13.45: Joburg – Hand over memorandum
At the Protest March a memorandum will be handed over to the SABC with the following demands:
· Honour existing payment obligations
· Meaningful engagement and renegotiation of terms of trade
· Inflation related budget increases
· Intellectual property rights for the content creators
· Accountable & responsible management
· Cut bureaucracy and wasteful spending
· Mandated industry representation on the board
The TVIEC wishes to state that it cannot condone any form of mismanagement or abuse of funds of the public broadcaster and what are essential services for South Africans. Television and radio are some of the most powerful tools for building and shaping our society and values and the Coalition is committed to an on-going dialogue with our audiences and responding to their realities,
hopes and dreams.
WHERE YOU COME IN: How your company, body, organisation, school or simply you as an individual can assist is by joining us in this protest action. Make banners and dress in red and let your voices be heard. Further, you can help us compile a comprehensive data base of emails and cell-phone numbers of everyone within your own particular sector. This information will be used solely for the dissemination of information regarding the march.
For more information log onto www.sasfed.org