Feb 13, 2009, 5:14 AM
It is a generally accepted fact that in business dealings there must be honour. Unfortunately at the moment some of those people with whom The Point has done business in the last year and a half are not behaving in an honourable manner. The behaviour in question is a failure to pay their bills and this failure has left us in this newspaper facing acute financial constraints.
This very unsatisfactory situation is not confined to the private sector alone. In a number of cases government agencies and state bodies have failed to pay their bills and run up huge arrears which have been outstanding for significant periods in some cases.
There are many people employed at The Point, and as employers we try to do the very best we can to take care of our employees. This includes paying a reasonable wage and paying it on time. We now however find ourselves in a situation whereby journalists, layout editors, and marketing staff are facing increasing costs of living and cannot be treated to relevant increments by management because of chronic default on the part of some of our debtors. This situation is untenable and cannot be sustained any further.
Another factor in our financial woes is the fact that we as an organisation are extremely diligent in servicing our debts. This means that we pay on time while others merely ignore repeated calls to pay their bills. This has obvious implications for the balance sheet of the newspaper.
The taxes imposed by government with regard to the materials needed to produce a newspaper are very high but we pay them in full and on time. We do not avoid our patriotic responsibility to pay our taxes or our moral responsibility to pay our bills, leaving us in a difficult financial situation we have no need to be in.
In the past we have asked that people pay their debts. We now demand it. If the debts are not paid within a two-week period we will publish the full list of our debtors along with the very substantial sums that they owe us. We do not wish to do this but the slovenly approach to payment taken by some, has left us with no other option.
We, as a company, wish to be solvent and continue to inform the public and work towards national development. We wish to help our staff and their families to enjoy a standard of living that they deserve considering the excellent work that they do in our media house. We can do all these things when those who owe us money do the honourable thing and pay the money they owe for the services they have already received from us.