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SAFTU condemns SABC blackout of Bafana

The South African Federation of Trade Unions condemns in the strongest terms the decision of the SABC not to broadcast the football matches between both Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana against Nigeria this weekend.

Even worse, the public broadcaster will also not broadcast the Nelson Mandela Challenge match against Paraguay on 20 November, which also disrespects the memory of the country’s icon.

SAFTU totally agrees with SAFA that “this is no doubt a clear indication that the the SABC does to have the interest of the nation at heart”

The SABC’s mandate is “to provide, in its public broadcasting services, radio and television programming that informs, educates and entertains”. Yet they refuse to let South Africans watch what is by far their most popular sport. For a public broadcaster it should be automatic that international matches in particular are broadcast on both TV and radio.

This decision comes just after the SABC’s announcement that it intends retrench 98 employees and get rid of 1200 free lancers. Both decisions reflect the way the public broadcaster is acting as if it was private business.

It cannot be a coincidence that the refusal to broadcast these football games  come when SABC 3 is broadcasting the Mzanazi Super League cricket matches which are expected to bring in big money in advertising and international broadcasting rights.

The SABC exists to provide a vital public service and must be provided with the funds to do that, and not to be dependent on the advertising decisions of big private monopoly companies.

SAFTU demands that the public broadcasts all South Africa’s future international football matches!