GEN­ER­A­TIONS STARS FACE THE SABC AXE

CityPress - - Front Page - NOKUTHULA MANYATHI nokuthula.manyathi@city­press.co.za

To­mor­row may be a dark day for fans of lead­ing soapie Gen­er­a­tions if 16 of their favourite ac­tors get the chop.

The ac­tors – in­clud­ing So­phie Nd­aba, Katlego Danke, Win­nie Nt­shaba and Seputla Se­bo­godi – are up for dis­missal if they fail to pitch for work in the morn­ing.

The ac­tors have been on strike since Mon­day, fight­ing for big­ger pay pack­ets and ex­tended three-year con­tracts. They also want roy­al­ties from episodes that have been re­broad­cast, as well as syn­di­ca­tion fees re­sult­ing from the sale of the show in coun­tries across Africa.

The ac­tors have threat­ened to go to court if their con­tracts are ter­mi­nated to­mor­row.

Their lawyer, Bule­lani Mzamo, told City Press: “The ac­tors have made a de­ci­sion that they will ex­er­cise the le­gal op­tions avail­able to them, but are not will­ing to pre-empt such a sce­nario.”

Mem­bers of the prin­ci­pal cast have been in­volved in a tug-of-war with the SABC and Mfundi Vundla’s MMSV Pro­duc­tions about their con­tracts for al­most a year. On Mon­day, they downed scripts af­ter what they said was the pub­lic broad­caster’s fail­ure to meet their de­mands.

Although none of the ac­tors would speak to City Press, Mzamo said: “They have com­mu­ni­cated their prob­lems and is­sues and the SABC and the pro­duc­tion house have com­mit­ted a re­sponse to their griev­ances, and a way for­ward.

“They haven’t done that. In­stead, they’ve missed their own dead­line twice and now, in­stead of ne­go­ti­at­ing with the cast or giv­ing them a re­sponse, they have or­dered them back to work with no word about their griev­ances.”

But SABC spokesper­son Kaizer Kganyago re­jected this claim, say­ing the prob­lem did not lie with the broad­caster.

“We don’t have con­tracts with the ac­tors. The pro­duc­tion house hires the ac­tors,” he said.

Kganyago said the SABC had tried its best to en­sure that the ac­tors were treated fairly.

“When they were hav­ing con­trac­tual dis­putes with the pro­duc­tion house, they asked the SABC to in­ter­vene and we did.”

He also said it had ne­go­ti­ated with MMSV Pro­duc­tions and the broad­caster had man­aged to se­cure a three-year con­tract for the ac­tors.

“Now they don’t want to sign the con­tract be­cause they say they are un­happy be­cause their pay fails to meet in­dus­try stan­dards,” he said.

Kganyago said the SABC would con­sider the in­dus­try stan­dards if the ac­tors were able to say what they were.

The SABC has since threat­ened to ter­mi­nate the ac­tors’ con­tracts if they fail to ar­rive at work to­mor­row. “The ball is in their court,” said Kganyago. How­ever, the ac­tors said they just wanted what every­one else gets.

Mzamo said: “It’s com­pa­ra­ble to sim­i­lar TV dra­mas on the SABC plat­form. So the broad­caster ac­tu­ally has plenty of ba­sis for com­par­i­son – which has been pointed out to it.”

So­phie Nd­aba

Katlego Danke

Win­nie Nt­shaba

Seputla Se­bo­godi

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