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Startling number of babies dying

More than 1300 babies have died at birth in SA's biggest public hospital, the Chris Hani Baragwanath.

Athletics SA makes plans to stay afloat

By David Isaacson | 2013-01-08 07:32:24.0

CASH-strapped and hounded by creditors, Athletics South Africa hopes to unveil its new local track and field calendar within two weeks.

Accelerate Sport, of which local Olympic boss Gideon Sam is a director, is owed more than R2-million, but ASA has simply not been able to pay it for the past few months.

"They're sending threatening letters on a regular basis," admitted ASA president James Evans, adding he was confident of signing a lucrative broadcast rights deal with SABC, as well as securing a big sponsor from 2014 onwards.

But with no sponsor this year following the departure of Yellow Pages, ASA opted to invite local organisations to apply to stage permit meets. Evans said there had been a reasonable response from clubs and provincial bodies, and that ASA should finalise the season soon.

He confirmed that dates for national championships had already been decided, including the marathon championships in Oudtshoorn on February 3.

The senior track and field championships are scheduled for April 12 and 13 at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium.

ASA's financial problems started during the administration of Leonard Chuene, who was suspended as president in late 2009.

ASA's 2009 financial statements on its website show a deficit of nearly R8-million. The deficit had been R4-million the previous year, R930,000 in 2007 and less than half that in 2006.

ASA's total debt stands at R4.3-million and the board is to discuss ways to service it.

"I have worked out that with the TV rights we can get by," Evans said. "We have reworked our budget and cut out a lot of wastage."