The Cape Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday said it shared concerns about the SABC’s management issues, but that none of its members had approached it for advice on withdrawing advertising from the public broadcaster.
Around 50 Right2Know (R2K) protesters had earlier marched to the chamber on the foreshore in Cape Town to demand that businesses stopped advertising on SABC platforms.
Representatives from the chamber and Absa signed their memorandum of demands.
The chamber’s executive director, Sid Peimer, said they were a regional entity and did not advertise on national media.
“We have not been approached for advice on the withdrawal of advertising and the chamber is not consulted on the members’ specific communication strategies as a matter of course.”
Provincial R2K organiser Vainola Makan told the crowd on Wednesday morning that supporting the broadcaster was encouraging the antics of former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
“The SABC crisis runs very deep,” Makan shouted over the loudspeaker. “He is back today and he has got himself a new job, which means he is still in charge.”
The campaign wants businesses to withdraw their support in the form of advertising until meaningful steps are put in place to ensure proper governance at the SABC and to stop “censorship and intimidation of workers”.
Makan later said that the chamber was chosen as a “symbolic organisation” for businesses.
“Most of those businesses are advertising on the SABC. We were contemplating going to each business individually, but they are spread out. It meant we were going to march the whole day.”
The chamber described itself as the oldest member-based business organisation in Africa.
Representing business of all sizes and nearly all sectors, it was “mandated to serve, enable and lead business”.
Peimer said they were not surprised by the latest reaction to events at the SABC.
“The chamber believes in transparency and fair reporting of the news and believes that all institutions funded by the public should be seen to be above board and respectful of both the courts and the constitution,” he said.
“We expect the SABC to set an example and there should be no tolerance of lower standards.”