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SABC fire: 'We don't know how to handle it'

2012-06-14 08:46
SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng
Cape Town - SABC Acting Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has expressed shock over the fire which ripped through its studios in Auckland Park on Wednesday night, destroying the set of popular SABC3 soap Isidingo.

Speaking to SABC2's Morning Live, Motsoeneng said that the SABC were not financially prepared for the the setback.

"As SABC we are very shock[ed]. As you know, I mean, we financially, we are not sound, this is something we don't know how to handle - but I'm sure we will get there."

'No need for panic'

The fire, which broke out at the SABC's Henley Studios at around 20:00 on Wednesday night, ripped through the set of SABC3 soap opera Isidingo, causing tens of millions of rands worth of damage.

"Really it is a lot of money close to R100m," said Motsoeneng. "There's been some disruption but we moving quick. I hope it will not affect SABC1 and 2, we are shocked," he added.

Tseliso Ralitabo, the Acting General Manager of Henley Studios said that Studio 6 has burnt down with full sets that were parked into the studio space.

"It'll be a question of rebuilding sets quicker," he told SABC News.

He also said he was hopeful that production would continue on partial sets that were left untouched by the fire.

Firefighters battled through the night to control the flames.

SABC3 went dead for a few minutes on Wednesday as the fire broke out, but normal transmission has since resumed.

Thorough investigation

"There is no need for panic," SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told Channel24 just before midnight on Wednesday. He confirmed that the Isidingo set has been completely destroyed.

"Nobody has been injured. The loss of sets and equipment will total millions, but there is no need for panic. The SABC is operational, SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 are all broadcasting; there has been no break in transmission. And everything was insured. In the morning we will go and have a look and be able to check and see after the fire is out, what the true extent of the damage is.

"A thorough investigation will start in the morning as to the cause of the fire and the damage to the SABC, the studio and Isidingo," said Kganyago.

Related sets and therefore other SABC productions and TV shows on SABC1 and SABC 2 could also be affected depending on the damage to the studio complex which will run into tens of millions of rands.

Isidingo airs on SABC3 on weekdays at 19:30.

Watch the Morning Live interviews here:

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