ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œPresident Jacob ZumaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and opposition leader ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHelen ZilleÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â put aside
their differences to take part in yesterdayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s protest march by a
coalition of producers and artists at the SABC, writes Steven Tau in The Citizen.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThey flew up from Cape Town last night, they held hands and had a nice chat,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Z News puppet manipulator Nkosinathi Gaar as he held a large puppet of Zuma, created for the as-yet unaired satire show.
ZumaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s puppet, manipulated by Jason Potgieter, attracted much attention from the colourful group of protesters.
Babies in prams, household stars, bare-breasted women and a dog were among those picketing outside the SABC to raise concerns about the broadcasterÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s financial troubles.
Reworking a song popularised by Zuma, they sang ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAwulethu imali yamiÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â (Bring my money) as they stopped traffic outside the broadcasterÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s headquarters in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
Marching under the umbrella of the TV Industry Emergency Coalition, about 1 000 actors, producers, writers and technical people danced and laughed as they assembled to highlight a growing list of concerns.
These include worries that the SABC is not paying for work on time, causing a knock-on effect in the industry; that it was not commissioning enough local content; and that it was not paying for repeat programmes.
The protesters carried posters such as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œPay your crews. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the right thing to doÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
A list of grievances was accepted by SABC acting CEO Gab Mampone. Upon receipt of the memorandum, Mampone said the broadcaster was committed to paying R60 million in unpaid production fees.
Click here to read the full report, posted on The Citizen's website.