Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TVIEC - TVIEC meeting with SABC Interim Board & Request for Industry Data, and TVIEC Funds


Another urgent request for information
TVIEC meeting with SABC Interim Board
Continued Call for Funds

NEW request for information: URGENT

Thank you to all of you who provided information on how the SABC crisis has affected your business. We are now looking for further information to present to the Department of Trade and Industry in our appeal to find rescue funds for our industry. It is crucial that you take some time to respond to this request.

We need to be able to tell the department the extent of the job losses within the television industry. Please can you answer the following questions:

1. How many people would your company normally employ in a good year?

Please try to use figures over the last three years. Please include in your answer:

a) The number of skilled artisans – crew, admin and cast
b) The remainder of your permanent and freelance employees. The broadest range of these, down to the last extra on your set and the last voice artist in your post-production facility. (Ie: If you had 300 extras in a drama, this counts as well as the person who takes care of the honeywagon – everyone counts. Every job makes a difference.)

2. How many people do you estimate will you employ in this year (Feb 2009 – Feb 2010)?

3. How many permanent staff do you normally employ?

4. How many permanent staff have you let go this year?

5. What percentage drop in turnover have you experienced this year?

6. If you are not contracted by SABC within the next 3 months, what are the consequences for your company?

Please let us have these answers before the end of the week if possible. Mail them to:

TVIEC session with the SABC Interim Board

The TVIEC engaged with the SABC Interim Board at a session during last week’s People 2 People conference. Although the full minutes of the meeting will be made available in due course, the core issues were:
The Interim Board expressed a keen desire to work with the independent television industry and apologised for the SABC’s role in the current crisis.
  • However, the board cannot commission new programming right now as this would amount to reckless trading.
  • The board’s Plan A was a bail-out. This was refused. Plan B is to request that Treasury underwrite a loan. The board’s plan is to have new funding in place by November 2009 and for commissioning to continue at this stage. They are looking at securing funding for a three year period.
  • The board stressed that they intend to deliver on local content mandates and will not request leniency from the regulator.
  • The board was alarmed to learn of the collapse of the SABC/TVIEC weekly operations meeting – and therefore the payment plan. They assured us they will intervene in the matter. (The next Ops meeting is set for Friday this week. We understand how frustrating the verification process is for you and we will tackle SABC on the issue on Friday).

Continued call for Funds

The TVIEC kitty is almost empty. This is an urgent appeal to companies and individuals to please make a donation to help us keep fighting for change at the SABC and to keep lobbying government. If you can spare R1 000 that would be great, but any amount will be a help. As per our last mass meeting, we are wanting to retain legal advice to look at pro bono action against the SABC. If you can help, please mail