Media News South Africa

Coalition urges mass protest against SABC crisis

A coalition of industry bodies and trades unions issued a letter yesterday, Monday, 25 May 2009, urging companies, unions, schools, organisations and individuals to come together in a day of protest action on Thursday, 4 June 2009.
Coalition urges mass protest against SABC crisis

The letter reads:

The Television Industry Emergency Coalition (TVIEC) has come together in response to the current monetary and management crisis that is unfolding at the SABC. The entire industry is feeling the effects of the SABC's crisis - writers, producers, actors, crews and all related service providers. The time has come for us to stand together in the interests of a healthy public broadcaster, in terms of our businesses, and in terms of our duty to the national audience. The survival of our companies, our industry and our stories is at stake!

In the past, broadcast policy and management decisions have been made largely without industry consultation. International precedent shows that this is not the way forward and now the coalition is determined to be heard.

The TV crisis march

The coalition has launched a strategic campaign to lobby for an intervention from overseeing government bodies. One aspect of this strategy is protest action to make our voices heard. Since matters have now come to a head, a protest march on the SABC has been planned:

  • Date: Thursday 4th June 2009
  • 10.30am: Joburg - gather at Atlas Studios for rally
  • 12am: Cape Town - gather on grass in front of SABC
  • 12am: Joburg - march to SABC
  • 1pm: Joburg and Cape Town - march and picket at SABC
  • 1.45pm: Joburg - hand over memorandum

The demands are:

  • Honour existing payment obligations
  • Meaningful engagement and renegotiation of terms of trade
  • Inflation-related budget increases
  • Intellectual property rights for the content creators
  • Accountable and responsible management
  • Cut bureaucracy and wasteful spending
  • Mandated industry representation on the board

We wish to state that we 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 ongoing dialogue with its 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 database of emails and cellphone numbers of everyone within your own particular sector. This information will be used solely for the dissemination of information regarding the march.

Forward all emails and cellphone numbers of your members, employees, colleagues or industry acquaintances to .

This letter is written on behalf of the TVIEC (Television Industry Emergency Coalition), which consists of: IPO (Independent Producers Organisation), SASFED (South African Screen Federation), TPA (The Producers Alliance), DFA (Documentary Filmmakers Association), WGSA (Writers Guild of South Africa) non-aligned producers and includes equipment suppliers and facilities representing 90% of the local content on air as well as the CWU (Creative Workers Union).

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