The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) says they are forging ahead with the total blackout at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Friday from 11am to 2pm.

According to CWU’s Aubrey Tshabalala the blackout will start with workers downing tools, followed by a go-slow, and then a total blackout.

Tshabalala said “We are encouraging our members to support the call for a blackout. Even if they can bring contingency plans we believe that fresh content and news will be affected. If we are essential why a need to dismiss hundreds of essential workers?”

This comes after workers and their representatives made their way to the Union Building on Wednesday to hand over a memorandum to the President.

Tshabalala further said that the demands in the memorandum included amongst others calls for an urgent meeting with the President, the dissolution of the SABC board, and for the public broadcaster to be placed under administration.

Tshabalala also said that they want the President to stop the SABC from going ahead with the retrenchment process which will see over 300 workers lose their jobs.

“Today (Friday) no worker should be at work in terms of our programme, we intend to have a blackout from 11am to 2pm but before that and after that it will be a go slow.

Tshabalala also said “We will then reveal our programme obviously later on Friday for the next days. We want management not to anticipate what will be our next action and of course, we will be waiting to hear how will the government in the form of the head of state respond to our demands and how we will go forward”.

SABC’s management was supposed to host a briefing on Friday morning to update the nation on the retrenchment process, but this has since been postponed.