Fire strikes Isidingo set
Damages expected to cost SABC 'tens of millions of rands' - but the show will go on
Fire-fighters are monitoring the SABC’s Henley Studios in Auckland Park this morning after a fire broke out last night, Johannesburg emergency services said.
“The fire started at studio six last night at around 8pm and fire-fighters were not able to contain the fire,” spokesman Niel Rooi said.
“There is a lot of smoke and they are busy damping down the building. We will not leave until we are certain that the fire is out.”
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the fire broke out at the Isidingo production studios. Isidingo is a soapie that plays on SABC3 at 7.30pm, weekdays.
“No one was injured as everyone had already left. We will be assessing the situation this morning,” he said.
“The cause of the fire as well as damage assessment will be done this morning. We are not alarmed as programmes will continue to run as normal.”
Acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said interim measures are in place to ensure production of “Generations”, ”Muvhango” and “Isidingo” would continue.
“We have five studios that are used to produce drama and only one of them has burned down,” he said in a statement.
The soap operas were also recorded a few months before they were aired on television.
“This means production will continue and the public need not panic thinking the production of their favourite soapies might be affected.”
He said it would take a few months for operations to return to normal but the SABC was confident it could maintain full production.
“The estimated value of the damages is around millions of rands — our investigating team will be able to determine the exact value once they finalise their investigations.”
“As the SABC we are very shocked. As you know financially we are not sound,” he said. “This is something that we don’t know how to handle but we will get there.”
The cause of the blaze was not immediately known and an investigation into this was under way, Motsoeneng said.