SABC adamant it will continue with property auction despite opposition from Mahikeng communities

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The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it will continue with its plan to auction off its property in the North West capital, Mahikeng, despite growing opposition from the community.

Some enraged members of the community hijacked flats belonging to the public broadcaster, claiming that the SABC did not consult with the community before putting the property up for auction.

The SABC decided to dispose of its assets as per their turnaround strategy by auctioning some rental properties including about 20 houses and 60 flats in Mahikeng.

Disgruntled protesters at the gate of SABC North West building say the SABC can continue with the auction but they must sell the whole of Mahikeng, sell their kids, sell them also and sell everything in Mahikeng including their houses.

Headstrong and unwavering, the concerned community members say there will be no sale of any SABC property without consultation. According to Sanco’s Regional Secretary, Khumalo Molefe, the corporation should follow proper processes when disposing of the assets.

“There have been employees of the SABC staying here. They are removed. They were not given preference. Number 2, let’s be lawful. The PFMA is very clear. Before you dispose of a public property there must be public participation. It’s not your property.”

Community Spokesperson, Gago Mathe says enough is enough.

“We are the residents of Mafikeng. We are not failing to purchase anything that has been disposed of which is in Mafikeng. We need to be given first preference. We need to be taken on board as citizens of Mafikeng.”

Community members also marched to the SABC provincial headquarters, to pressure management to concede to their demands.

However, the SABC says the auction will go ahead as planned. SABC’s Spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo says, “The SABC will in May 2021 in line with Section 52-d of the Public Finance Management Act for the disposal of none core assets hold a public auction of residential property, which were rented by SABC employees and none employees. In order to ensure a fair and transparent process and as part of the recommendations of this process, a public auction will be held in May 2021.”

Be that as it may, the community members have vowed to remain posted at the SABC flats, until the SABC gives local residents first preference in the sale of its properties.