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Thursday, September 17, 2015


Startimes SA, a recent entrant into that market, has run into headwinds and is signaling it will retrench workers to try and stem financial losses.

The company part of the Startimes group that also includes Startimes Kenya, took over a floundering broadcaster TopTV in 2012 with plans to turn it around and compete for the lucrative South African market (SA has 50 times more DStv subscribers than Kenya for example).

But the going has apparently gotten tough forcing management to do "rationalization" as they call it.

In a circular to staff last week, Startimes SA boss, a Mike Dearham told employees  the company was in an unsustainable position and needed to act if it was to stay afloat.

"All employees are herewith advised of the intention of the company to rationalize its operations and related support activities," Dearham told his staff.

"The difficult economic times being experienced in the broadcasting industry have had an adverse effect on the financial position of the company."

Dearham said management would meet with staff to explore various options including reasons for the rationalization and possible ways to avoid retrenchment, number of staff to be affected, the method of selecting those to be affected and a time-table for the measures.

The company was in August last year barred from broadcasting pornographic content by a South African court robbing it of a potentially lucrative revenue stream.

It is also suing the Ghanaian government for cancellation of a contract to roll out Digital Transmission services and demaning US$200m.

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