Herewith the correct facts pertaining to the airport.tv contract:
1. It was not a tender, but an unsolicited bid where we, Provantage, engaged Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) with a unique concept that provided a national solution to digital screens in all airports in South Africa. The model in ACSA prior to airport.tv was fragmented and commercially unsustainable.
2. Provantage invested in a fact-finding mission, where our MD and a team went to Europe and the USA looking specifically at developing and formalising the airport.tv concept. Based on key learnings we then developed the airport.tv concept and approached ACSA. Fact is, most of the current airport media opportunities at the various airports around South Africa are not tenders but media concessions that are agreed between ACSA and concessionaires, including screens operated in Cape Town Airport by a leading media concessionaire.
3. We approached ACSA with an unsolicited bid on a joint venture basis with a very unique model and proposal surrounding the airport.tv concept. Other large media owners resigned their digital screens due to the unsustainability of their commercial model and therefore ACSA found airport.tv to be a very attractive option for replacing the others.
4. From what we understand, following the award of the contract, Airports Company South Africa MD who was acting at the time received an inquiry alleging there were irregularities regarding the award of the Provantage contract. Accordingly he instructed the procurement team at O.R. Tambo International Airport to respond to the inquiry. Following a written response by the procurement team, the MD to our knowledge then instructed the company's Internal Audit to verify, validate or negate the response from procurement.
The investigation into the APTV contract by Internal Audit found no evidence to support the allegations that there was a breach in Airports Company South Africa's procurement processes. Notwithstanding, Internal Audit made a recommendation to the company to tighten certain procurement processes. The Internal Audit report did not find any evidence of non-compliance with regulations, similarly the Internal Audit investigation found no evidence of possible collusion and or conflict of interest.
5. Another allegation as per the article in The Star is that Mzukisi (Mzi) Deliwe was involved in negotiations and the awarding of the contract to Provantage and this again is totally unfounded. A negotiation was done with the Commercial Director of ACSA and another independent consultant that he mandated to negotiate the contractual terms with Provantage. Mzi Deliwe was an independent consultant dealing with advertising at OR Tambo only and this contract was for nine airports and therefore totally outside of his jurisdiction and/or authority levels. We officially employed Mzi Deliwe as the General Manager of our Airports Ads Division in 2012 as he is arguably the most competent Airport Advertising Executive in South Africa.
The accusations and irresponsible journalism that appeared in The Star are therefore factually incorrect and malicious, to say the least. All processes were in fact followed and an internal investigation by the ACSA Auditors confirmed as such.
"Airport.tv has been a huge success thus far and has reached all the objectives that were proposed to ACSA at the onset. We therefore want to assure our advertisers and clients that they can take comfort in the fact that these allegations are false. Airport.tv is proving to be a valuable part of the media mix in airports," says Jacques du Preez, MD of Provantage.