“President Jacob Zuma” and opposition leader “Helen Zille” put aside
their differences to take part in yesterday’s protest march by a
coalition of producers and artists at the SABC, writes Steven Tau in The Citizen.

“They flew up from Cape Town last night, they held hands and had a nice chat,” said Z News puppet manipulator Nkosinathi Gaar as he held a large puppet of Zuma, created for the as-yet unaired satire show.

Zuma’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 broadcaster’s financial troubles.

Reworking a song popularised by Zuma, they sang “Awulethu imali yami” (Bring my money) as they stopped traffic outside the broadcaster’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 “Pay your crews. It’s the right thing to do”.

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.