SABC television studios in Auckland Park. Picture: KEVIN SUTHERLAND
SABC television studios in Auckland Park. Picture: KEVIN SUTHERLAND

SABC staff are set to down tools on Thursday after wage talks broke down between unions and management.

Union Bemawu informed members on Monday that it had given the SABC notice of its intention to strike.

The union is demanding a 10% increase‚ while management is offering 4.5%.

The Communication Workers’ Union has also reportedly notified management of plans to strike.

Besides salaries‚ the unions have also taken issue with a reported R3.9m paid to members of the interim SABC board‚ given the corporation’s shaky finances.

This would be the second strike at the public broadcaster in recent months. Management has previously staved off industrial action by pointing out the SABC’s severe financial constraints. The broadcaster has been in talks to receive a state bail-out.

The labour stoppage would take place two days before the ANC’s all-important elective conference‚ which could affect coverage of the five-day event.

The SABC posted a R977m loss after tax for the 2016-17 financial year. Earlier this year the auditor-general raised serious concerns about the state of the SABC‚ saying its future was under threat.

The SABC was one of several state entities the auditor-general red-flagged. "For just over a quarter of them‚ there was significant doubt on whether they could continue their operations in future — these included the SABC‚ the Sapo [South African Post Office] group‚ and the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation [of SA] (PetroSA)."

The report highlighted R687m in irregular spending at the state broadcaster.

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