AFTER being off air for ten days, Cape Town TV (CTV) was back on air on Saturday morning having settled some of its R500 000 debt to national signal distributor Sentech, writes Mary-Anne Gontsana on

On Sunday Karen Thorne, CTV Station Manager said: "We have not settled the whole bill with Sentech, there is still money outstanding. What Sentech does not understand is that we were underfunded during our first year that is why we had cash flow problems."

She said while they are still working on paying the rest of the debt, they have in turn signed an acknowledgement contract with the signal distributor for their second year where the fee has now increased to R137 000 per month for transmission costs up from R65 000 previously.

"It is nonsensical that Sentech charges a community television station that is also a non-profit organisation this much," said Thorne.

CTV managed to pay off some of their debt by donations made to the station by community members and also approached civil society organisations, who made a loan to them.

"We were originally going to get the money from the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) but could only acquire the required money in two weeks and we wanted to get back on air as soon as we can, so we took the loan from the civil organisations and we will pay them back as soon as the MDDA gives us the money," said Thorne.

Even though CTV had been off air for more than a week, Thorne said it had been good for the station especially on the publicity side.

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