Advocacy organisation, Right2Know has raised concerns about a new SABC clause on employee contracts which allows the public broadcaster to intercept workers’ communications.

In Clause 24 of the new contracts, the public broadcaster says it reserves the right to act on any incoming and outgoing emails.

It also says it reserves the right to read, save and block cellphone and telephone conversations as well as SMSs.

Thami Nkosi from Right2Know says this clause has to be contested as it violates the rights and privacy of SABC employees.

“It is absolutely spying. One of the things is that it is going to compromise the privacy of workers not only that it is also going to jeopardise the ability to do their work because this may expose some of their sources for instance. Just as we starting to work around finalising the protection of personal information act, suddenly these things are coming up. If you look at the employment equity act, does it past the test,” says Nkosi.

VIDEO: Concerns over Clause 24 in SABC employee contracts: Thami Nkosi from Right2Know

The Communication Workers Unions (CWU) says the SABC’s decision to intercept employees’ communications is unacceptable and cannot be allowed.

“Well firstly we reject it. We don’t think it’s acceptable more so that we are in a democratic environment or state. I mean we are 20 years plus into a democracy and sabc policy seems to take us back to the dark days on apartheid where where not only workers but journalists are under surveillance so it means that even there sources were they would get the news might be difficult because they will be under surveillance and it interferes with the freedom of press and it is very important that we challenge this move” says CWU’s Aubrey Tshabalala.