IPO and SASFED have been engaging, through our Emergency Task Team, with the SABC and other broadcasters since March to find ways to get through the crisis together as partners. One of the main items on the agenda was possible financial assistance to productions in light of additional and unprecedented COVID costs.
We are all aware of the dire financial situation that the SABC is in and it is not possible for the broadcaster to assist by giving extra budget. However, the broadcaster has notified the IPO that it is open to other proposals and solutions from affected productions on a case by case basis. Affected productions will need detailed cost reports (as contracted by the SABC) as evidence of the impact of COVID19 on the productions underway, before alternatives can be discussed. There is no blanket agreement, however, and we urge producers to engage with their CEs to put forward their proposals. Of course, producers must await an official response from their SABC CE regarding their individual project before making any changes to their productions.
Please keep us informed on how these discussions proceed so that we may feed back to the SABC on overall progress in this regard. We are pleased that the SABC has heeded the Minister of DSAC’s call for broadcasters to ‘dig deep’ to assist independent productions during this crisis.
~ The IPO EXCO