SABC defends employee surveillance clause amid calls to remove it

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The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says the clause in employees’ contracts that allows it to intercept workers’ communications, is in accordance with the broadcaster’s policies. There are growing calls for the SABC to get rid of the clause.

The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) says the interception of communication and surveillance of staff members at the SABC is extremely concerning, illegal and should be condemned in the strongest terms as such acts totally disregard employees’ rights.

When asked for a comment, the SABC’s Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Gugu Ntuli,  says the clause in question is applicable to all employees and not targeting journalists. She says it is meant to protect the intellectual property of the SABC.

POPIA | Protection of Personal Information Act comes into effect today

The public broadcaster says the clause is not in any way intended to be used to infringe on the work, independence and impartiality of employees, including journalists.

Sanef is the latest organisation to call on the SABC to scrap this clause, which it says violates media freedom and the Protection of Personal Information Act.

Ntuli says the clause upholds the country’s laws, particularly the Regulation of Communication Related Act.

POPIA | Protection of Personal Information Act comes into effect today Part 2