SABC workers want more lunch money

2012-05-16 13:32
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – SABC workers are demanding a 12% across-the-board salary increase whilst the SABC is only offering 8% - with labour unions at the SABC also unhappy about "expensive food" at the unsubsidised canteens and an insufficient meal subsidy.

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) – the two recognised labour unions at the SABC – initially demanded a 15% salary increase but have lowered it to 12%.

The unions and the SABC are facing a possible negotiations deadlock.

The unions are demanding, amongst other things, a 14th cheque per year above the current 13th cheque coupled to performance.

The unions want an increase in the housing subsidy to R1 500, an increase in car allowance, family responsibility leave to be increased from 5 to 10 days per year and to include extended family members. Unions are also calling for a cellphone policy review to include an allowance for operational requirements.

Food fight

Food is also troubling the unions. 

Employees at the SABC currently receive a meal subsidy of R45 per month.

According to the unions, the SABC, which always provided a subsidised canteen at the SABC's Auckland Park headquarters recently "unprocedurally and irregularly" stopped the subsidy to the canteen and closed it down.

"It resulted in only one, very expensive unsubsidised restaurant at Radio Park and two unsubsidised canteens at TV."

The unions are also demanding that 2% of the total salary bill or R32m of R1.6bn is set aside for the regrading of workers' salaries.

The SABC didn't respond to media enquiries made on Tuesday about the public broadcaster's current salary wage negotiations with workers.

Banning the word 'retrenchment'

The SABC's new CEO, Lulama Mokhobo, in her first appearance before parliament recently said that the public broadcaster won't be getting rid of workers when she presented the SABC's new three-year Corporate Plan for 2012 – 2015.

"In fact, I'm going to ban the word 'retrenchment'," she told parliament.

When the SABC received a R1.47bn bail-out in the form of a government guaranteed loan through Nedbank – R1bn of which the SABC used – one of the stipulations was that the SABC needed to trim the public broadcaster's personnel number.

Job cuts were also part of the SABC's drastic Turnaround Strategy to right the struggling broadcaster. By 2011 the SABC admitted to parliament that the SABC had failed to reduce the head count with the targets it said it would.

Tight control over head count

Mokhobo told parliament that henceforth tight control will be implemented over personnel numbers at the SABC.

Vacancies will only be filled if appointments can be justified. The remuneration budget would be locked at R1.9bn. Overtime and leave liabilities will also be reduced. Overtime will be abolished by the end of the year, she said.

Mokhobo said that with the switch-over to digital terrestrial television (DTT) and the growing number of new TV channels the SABC is planning, personnel will not be let go but rather be reassigned to work on the new channels. 

She said however that the SABC remains committed to realigning its head count. 


  • Bryan - 2012-05-16 14:03

    Demand demand demand....... Lunch subsidy?? Now I have heard it all, how about making some frikkin sandwiches before you go to work, lazy Bastards!!!!

      Sean - 2012-05-16 14:34

      Go on strike , break everything !! Who gives a sh@t about SABC ???

      Jean - 2012-05-16 14:34

      Of course... Someone needs to pay for their kfc... F()kin sleg wetters!

      desertratbkf - 2012-05-16 14:53

      Well said guys! Make f'kin sandwiches like we all do. Work for your f'kin food like the rest of us do! We want, want, demand!!!!! The vermin want everything free!

      Buzz - 2012-05-16 14:59

      Agree Sean, if they rioted and broke down the SABC, would anyone notice ?

      Preshen - 2012-05-16 16:55

      Free food make better TV

      Nigel - 2012-05-16 17:12

      SABC, remember boss Zuma said "NO MORE CAKE EATING"

      Sello - 2012-05-16 18:58

      Ha ha ha good one @ Bryan. This is so dump, anyways who came up these demands!

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-05-17 16:01

      These guys are so full of sh@t, they need a toilet paper subsidy.

  • talita.vandermerwe - 2012-05-16 14:05

    Try packing lunch. That is what our mere mortals do.

  • James - 2012-05-16 14:09

    let them strike. Who watches SABC these days

      Nosiphom - 2012-05-16 14:24

      They can strike for a whole month, its ok!

      Michael - 2012-05-16 14:31

      I didn't know the SABC was still going...

      rose.mcmillan - 2012-05-17 15:46

      No one, they only show a load of rubbish anyway

  • Nicky - 2012-05-16 14:10

    I couldn't even finish reading the whole article - I was dumbfounded after reading that SABC staff receive a housing subsidy, car allowance, extended family responsibility leave, a 13th AND 14th cheque per year, lunch money, WTF! I'm lucky if my boss pays my salary on time, nevermind the rest this lot are expecting - it's ludicrous! But, alas, I'm thankful for my job.

      Nosiphom - 2012-05-16 14:28

      Me and you are working for the wrong company.

      kayley.segal - 2012-05-16 23:06

      Who are the morons that can give a "thumbs down" to these comments?? Are they the only 2 people that actually watch the crap on SABC??

      rose.mcmillan - 2012-05-17 15:47

      It's no wonder the SABC needs to be bailed out every now and again

  • Burtfred - 2012-05-16 14:14

    Let them strike - few people would miss the rubbish they broadcast.

  • Heiku - 2012-05-16 14:29

    To all of you who do not pay you TV licenses, THIS IS ON YOU! It's your fault Sipho can't have caviar with his pap. How do you sleep at night?

      rose.mcmillan - 2012-05-17 14:45

      with my eyes closed

  • Nosiphom - 2012-05-16 14:30

    Family responsibility for extended family basically means some people want to work only 10 months and be paid 14 as they demand - sies COSATU!

  • rvbrink - 2012-05-16 14:33

    It is fine to give them a 14th cheque. Just take their annual package and divide it by 14 instead of 13. This will mean they take home less per month and then get the extra 2 cheques. Dont these idiots realise that a company pays you an x amount per annum and no more?

      kayley.segal - 2012-05-16 23:10

      Not when it's the public that actually pays the bill. Then it's "More gravey please", without the "please".

  • Nigel - 2012-05-16 14:33

    14th cheque? Lunch money? What's wrong with these idiots. They've got jobs, now they'll demand themselves out of their jobs. Gimme gimme gimme.....

      Gert - 2012-05-16 15:16

      And here I am, stupidly putting leftovers or a sandwich in my lunchbox, balancing my budget so I can pay rent and buy clothes, settling for a cheap nineties model car while the fuel price forces me to drive the minimum. And all I need to do is work for the SABC.

  • Diane - 2012-05-16 14:39

    why do they need increases and food subsidies when all we see on SABC is 20 year old re-runs and the most pathetic films and documentaries which nobody is interested in. Why not use that money and give jobs to people who are only to eager to work and not bothered with food subsidies etc. The more they get the more they want. SABC should sack the lot and get people in who are prepared to work and not complain about the economy!!!!!! My husband has been unemployed now for 6 years, do you hear or see us complain all day long?? DEFINITELY NOT!!!!! we take pride in ourselves and consider those even less fortunate than ourselves, SABC employees should eat on that instead of stuffing their already big bodies with food, eat at home and take lunch to work that`s what the rest of SOUTH AFRICANS do!!!!!!!!!!

  • frans.grobler3 - 2012-05-16 14:42

    Close down this so called SABC-B&B who cares.

  • Shirley Van Heerden - 2012-05-16 14:44

    lunch subsidy??? Damn, I'm working for the wrong boss!!!! Here I have to settle for cup a soup and home made sarmies, warmed up stews and cold left over pizza for lunch. Duhhhhhhh... Pack a skafting-or do you need subsidy for your ziplock bag too?? Praat van kla met die witbrood onder die arm-laat staan nog n witbrood, sommer n hele blackforest koek onder die blad.

  • Frans - 2012-05-16 14:47

    14th cheque? WTF!!! 10 day family responsibility leave for extended family nogal? We all know how extend some peoples family can be. Bring your lunch from home. What's wrong with sandwiches or home cooked meal?

  • eugene.meyer1980 - 2012-05-16 14:47

    If the unions can organize holiday, and Friday night at the pub subsidies….IM JOINING, and don’t care what other people think of me.

      Heiku - 2012-05-16 14:58

      Thats the problem with unions though. They dont organise anything. If they did all of us worker-bees would join.

      eugene.meyer1980 - 2012-05-16 18:05

      Hey you who dont like my comment...why dont you make yourself useful and let me know when the unions organize Friday Pub Night subsidies.

  • Odicito - 2012-05-16 14:55

    WHY do they get lunch subsidy?? I am a flipping student and I have to PAY for my lunch like everybody else. Ridiculous!!!

  • Olivia - 2012-05-16 15:05

    This cant be for real. It it is then the union representing this workers really stinks. Not even a single demand regarding skills develpment for their members

  • Gert - 2012-05-16 15:12

    How about being paid a salary, and draw up a budget. The you can decide what you want to pay for a home, food, clothes and your cellphone like normal people do.

  • Samantha - 2012-05-16 15:13

    Geez! can i get a job at the SABC plssss?- I only get 3 days family responsibility leave a yr, I could do with 5 or 10, esp with kids :)- 13th and 14th chq! and all those other subsidies????- wtf!, No wonder they have gone broke, - If only we could demand demand demand, My boss will tell me, You're fired!- how do these people get away with all of this, its mind boggling!!

  • Martin - 2012-05-16 15:20

    im so stoked im a minority and in no way related to this. oooh yum cheese sandwich again today anyone?

      Martin - 2012-05-17 09:21

      hahah peanut buter, cant stand the stuff after 12 yrs of school lol. i went all out today, i toasted my cheese sandwich

  • Kimberly - 2012-05-16 15:33

    do these SABC workers realise that SA has one of the highest unemployment rates, and tha citizens are fighting for jobs or any kinds of opputunity to earn money. many people struggle day to day and they want to act like spoilt brats!!! do they realise that majority of the employed dont even get half these benefits, if any at all????

  • Edmund - 2012-05-16 15:38

    Erm.. how about NO! If you are unhappy find another job!!!!!! WTF is it with the mentality that you can blackmail your employer into giving you the world???

  • Mamoshiane Moganedi - 2012-05-16 16:01

    Government must sell that parastatal.It's waste of money.Next time they demand for clothing allowance.

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-05-17 17:29

      And DSTV.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-05-16 16:02

    It's always we want want want. Seriously get off ur fat lazy bloody arses and make food for urselves. My god u want everything spoon fed to u like a baby. It's getting pathetic.

  • Steve - 2012-05-16 16:39

    Suggest they join the Johannesburg Traffic Dept....The best "Lunch Money" grabbers on the planet!

  • shelmarieg - 2012-05-16 16:53

    Make your own lunches you fat lazy sods!!! My dad has been taking homemade lunch to work for the past 52 years!!!

  • EricksonTL - 2012-05-16 17:55

    Shut down the SABC, and let independent broadcasters take over. Let's face it, the SABC broadcasts cr@p most of the time anyway, so it's no big loss. Then they can have whatever they want for lunch, because they will be at home. Broke. Unemployed. Able to demand from no one. Much better.

  • Koos - 2012-05-16 18:02

    Why am I not seeing any comments from the Zuma regime? I assume they are also speechless.

  • Tony - 2012-05-16 18:16

    Why doesn't Multichoice offer to pay its subscribers' TV licences (effectively only R20 a month), provided then that the Goverment shuts down the SABC. That way they will get a lot more subscribers, and we can get rid of this never ending cost on taxes.

  • jacqui.grigg - 2012-05-17 14:29

    Very that why advertisers have to pay 40% more per 30 second ad year on year? so that you can have your 14th flippin cheque and extra lunch money? To hell with it.

  • rose.mcmillan - 2012-05-17 14:45

    I love the way the Unions "DEMAND" WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE, this is NOT a communist state yet. When I was still working I used to take sandwiches to work for my lunch. The lazy sods want everything, they should go and sit in front of their kraals and leave the whites to do the job, then it would be done properly

  • justin.vanniekerk - 2012-05-18 09:28

    I don't even have a canteen at my work place!

  • wade.terblanche - 2012-05-19 11:04

    They should rather fix the place up, behind public eyes it is a dump. On a very windy day last year there were pieces falling of the blady high rise building and landing where people would have lunch or go smoke!

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-05-20 09:34

    You should all be grateful that you have JOBS.

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