Members of the Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa (MPASA) were stunned to receive a letter in February that announced annual membership of the organisation was to increase by a whopping 35.38%.
“As far as I know they have not explained this increase by offering an explanation, suggesting what members can hope to receive as a consequence, or adding any spice to their existing paltry benefits,” a publisher told The Media Online.
Chairman of MPASA, Willem Breytenbach (general manager of Media 24 magazines digital) said the letter to members was sent out in error.
“Print and Digital Media South Africa (PDMSA) has taken over the administrative support of MPASA and unfortunately a mail went out from the administration system that was not cleared at MPASA level,” he said.
“This was discussed at MPASA and PDMSA level and engagement with members is taking place. Both organisations are looking at cost allocations to ensure that publishers’ costs to the industry organisations stay at the lowest possible level.”
Breytenbach said that over the past four years, budgetary and structural issues have kept MPASA activities to the minimum. “The MPASA board has decided to engage with members in a survey to ensure that the organisation is structured to meet the real needs of our members,” he said.
“After studying the results, the board will engage with members if any structures or associations with other industry organisations need to change.”
In effect, Breytenbach confirmed that the increase would not be enforced and could change, depending on the results of the survey.
But the PICA awards, MPASA’s primary brand, will not be affected.
“Planning for this year has already started,” Breytenbach said. “It will once again be the highlight on the South African magazine industry calendar.”