The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has got six more days to go before reporting back to its employees a final decision in retrenchments.
Protesting workers on Friday gave the public broadcaster seven days to give them an answer, after a Board's last minute suspension of retrenchments failed to avert the strike.
"SABC would like to announce that it will suspend the [Section 189] process for a period of seven days. This will allow all stakeholders to further engage and explore further options in an effort to ensure the financial sustainability of the SABC," said the SABC statement on the eve of the march outside its headquarters in Auckland Park.
SABC employees were supported in the protests by one of their unions the Communication Workers Union, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), African National Congress (ANC) as well as its youth league.
CWU General Secretary, Aubrey Tshabalala, told hundreds of protesters that all staff members, including freelancers and those employed on other contracts, to down tools because power is in their hands.
“Freelancers, contract workers and permanent workers to down tools. You cannot be penalized, it is official, it's legal. They (the Board) don’t have power, (the) power is in you,” he said to a cheering crowd.
Tshabalala said the SABC must be forced to play pre-recorded shows.
“I want tomorrow (Saturday) to hear recordings on SABC they must play Mshefane (popular and lead character on 1977 comedy Inyakanyaka), S'dumo (role played by legendary actor Joe Mafela in a sitcom, Sgudi ‘Snaysi). There must be nothing on air,” he said.
But all was well oh SABC channels on Saturday, with no impact on the product.
SABC Chief Executive Officer, Madoda Mxakwe, was forced to withdraw what's perceived as threatening messages that were sent to staff members who joined the strike.
The SABC was given seven days to respond to the workers' memorandum of demands.