The three labour unions at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Communication Workers Union (CWU), Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and Media Workers’ Association of South Africa (Mwasa) are threatening legal action against the public broadcaster if the board and management continue with its proposed changes without consultation.

The SABC board and management have confirmed some of the changes when they appeared in Parliament earlier this week.

SABC Chief Operation Officer Chris Maroleng indicated that the changes were brought to certain radio programmes and the SABC’s 24 hour news channel as part of revamping the SABC.

CWU Secretary General Aubrey Tshabalala says the union will write to the SABC, followed by legal action if the union’s concerns are not addressed.

“Firstly we are today (Thursday) going to write to the executive a letter. Failure to respond to what we will be raising in the letter obviously we will seek legal opinion on how to deal with the SABC. We think it’s an issue that we have to deal with. It’s our course to make sure that we defend the SABC from all these hyenas that will want to use it to their advantage and also sponsor their view in terms of who they appoint.”

Mwasa Secretary General Tuwani Gumani says they are meeting with SABC COO Chris Maroleng soon and threatens legal action if the issue is not resolved.

“Mwasa will be meeting the COO on the 29th of this month, next week. If there is no resolution, certainly we are able to apply to the CCMA to challenge the decision, and if the challenge is not resolved amicably and properly then there is yes of course that the union can consider. And that recourse might include amongst other things, withholding labour.”