An emergency meeting to discuss SABC crisis was called for all members and other stakeholders and was held on Monday 3 September where members were updated on the situation. The meeting was attended by around 20 producers as well as representatives of SOS, WGSA and DFA. An emergency task force was set up to deal with the crisis. The following action points have been identified but the task force:
A meeting with the Minister of Finance: We have already made several official requests to meet with the Minister of Finance as well as the DG. We have not had replies. We are looking at other ways to get a meeting with him.
Broadcasting Colloquium: this is being hosted by the Department of Communications on the 6th and 7th of September. SOS will be speaking at that and drawing attention to the crisis. IPO members will be present and we will speak to whatever press is there.
Portfolio Committee: we will be in contact with members of the committee and suggest questions to ask of SABC, Treasury, DOC etc. We will also provide them with as much information as possible.
SABC: A meeting was held with the CEO, CFO and Group Executive for Television to discuss the crisis. We were told that SABC was hoping to get a loan (without guarantee) by October that would help them continue paying. This is not the large sum they require for the long term but it is a vital stopgap. We expressed our displeasure at the nonpayment but also at the lateness of the announcement that payments would not be made.
We were assured that SABC would communicate regularly with producers as to when to anticipate payments. This has been done , as far as we can tell, but often the information is unreliable. We requested involvement in the turn-around strategy but were told this was ‘commercially sensitive’. We will continue engaging with them on how they plan to pay up.
Our sense is that a loan guarantee is the only way out.
Protests and the like are still possible but have not been organised.
Media: we are reaching out to the press since we have not been approached for comment or interviews on the crisis. We need to get our voices heard.