Arabsat set to switch off SSBC over $2 million arrears
Arabsat communication organizations is threatening to cut off the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation TV from its satellite services beginning Monday, 20 January, for failing to pay over $2 million.
The operator based in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, delivers satellite-based, public and private telecommunications services to SSBC across the world.
It broadcasts in English and Arabic and transmits via the Arabsat Badr-4 satellite.
It says the SSBC has not made payment that gives it rights to broadcast over the last one year, 1 January 2019 to 30 April 2020.
SSBC is by law a public broadcaster, funded by the government.
According to Arabsat Head of Finance, the outstanding arrears amounts to $2,157,867.
“We are going to cut off the service because we didn’t receive their payment and we didn’t even receive a copy of transfer of money. They also didn’t send any letter to request for a duration such as two or three days,” Suleiman Elshamri told Eye Radio on Monday.
“If they want the service to continue working on our satellite, let them send as a letter of guarantee asking for an extension of maybe three or two weeks, and then we will see.”
When contacted by Eye Radio, the Managing Director of the SSBC, James Magok said: “They have not written to us that they are switching it off.”
“They are supposed to talk to us. I don’t know why they don’t want to talk to us because the rest of the procedures have been done, and even their payment is on the line to be done. It’s just that the ministry of finance is still working on the arrangements of their payments.”
In 2016, the government-run television went off because of lack of funds to pay the Arabsat satellite services.