Africa-Press – Eswatini. ESWATINI TV has promised to pay independent producers after they filed a complaint of non payment for production of local content.
According to Eswatini Independent Film and Television Producers Association Executive Director Nhlanhla Zwane, a number of their members reported to the association that they were encountering problems with the station.
According to Zwane, the station has not paid a number of producers as they had promised.
“As an association, it is our duty to ensure that producers are paid according to the agreements they make with other institutions,” said Zwane.
Zwane said one producer was owed over E800 000 by the public broadcaster and the station had not made any attempts to pay.
“We held a meeting on Monday and wrote a letter to the station,” he said.
A copy of the letter was sent to this publication.
Addressed to the CEO, the letter highlights the number of attempts the producers have made the number of promises they have made to pay them.
“At first, producers received letters informing them that payment will be settled before the end of last year. That did not materialise. In late January, EIFTPA had a meeting with Eswatini Television Authority wherein ESTVA offered apologies for the continued delays, and promised to settle all dues by end of February. Those dates came and went, and still no payment. After another follow up by EIFTPA, ESTVA again apologised and promised to settle the dues by the end of the previous quarter, which came to an end in March, that date also came and went and still no payment,” reads the latter.
The letter also states that if the producers are not paid by the end of April, they would suspend all the shows currently commissioned to the station.
“Independent Producers are prepared to afford ESTVA up to the end of this month to facilitate due payment; Failure to do so within this stipulated period, will result in the Independent Producers suspending all their repeated broadcast and further take their complaint to the industry regulator Eswatini Communication Commission(ESCCOM) to seek their intervention and relief,” reads the letter.
Speaking to Eswatini TV Corporate Affairs Manager Mncedisi Mayisela, he said they were aware of the issues and were working hard to fix them.
“Unfortunately, we do not engage with the association because we are in contractual obligations with individual producers. However, due to cash flow problems, we are aware that we have not paid some of the producers,” said Mayisela.
He also admitted that they were a quarter behind with the payments.
“We had a meeting with the finance department this morning and we are working on a new payment plan that will hopefully make payments to the producers by the end of April,” he promised.