The imminent closure of the South African Press Association (Sapa) was a sad day for the media industry, the National Press Club said on Thursday.
“The club joins the South African media fraternity in mourning the sad demise of Sapa,” chairman Jos Charle said in a statement.
“For many decades Sapa has been a trusted partner in the media industry,
generating and providing news content and tips used by most media houses.”
The Sapa board announced on Thursday that the news agency would send out its last story at midnight on March 31. Charle said Sapa had provided an unparalleled service “reaching the vast corners of our country where the rest of the media fell short”.
“At this stage it is unclear how its closing will affect the industry… We urge the liquidators to look after the interests of staff members –many of them highly experienced journalists — as far as possible.”
The club hoped that the possible establishment of a commercial syndication would become a reality, he said.
“The National Press Club extends its best wishes for the future to all
current Sapa staff members.”
Sapa board chairwoman Minette Ferreira said that after the disposal of the assets of the company, it would be liquidated.
Since Sapa, which has been in existence since 1938, was a special category non-profit company, it could not be sold off.
Ferreira said Sapa’s board of directors met last week and confirmed that the decision, taken last September and by the members’ AGM on November 27, 2014, to wind up the news agency as a non-profit company, had to be implemented. SAPA