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Friday, November 8, 2013

Generations Cast back to work

Generations viewers will be glad to hear that actors are returning to work after five weeks of protest action.

Twelve actors, including Zolisa Xaluva, Katlego Danke, Thami Mngqolo, Sophie Ndaba and Menzi Ngubane, who were at the centre of a pay dispute at local soapie Generations, will report back to work this week after they reached an agreement with creator Mfundi Vundla.

“We came to an agreement that Morula Pictures will give the actors a three-year contract without clauses,” Bulelani Mzamo, the attorney representing the actors, told DESTINY.

The actors went on strike after they refused to sign their contracts, which included a clause giving Vundla the right to write out non-performing actors. The actors then sought legal advice.

“From our side we stand by our principled position, namely, we retain the right to bring new talent into the series as well as release actors from contracts to accommodate new story directions and/or to forestall unacceptable professional conduct,” Vundla said at the time.

After almost five weeks of halted production on the country’s number one show, the SABC called a meeting to mediate between Vundla and the actors. Yesterday, Mzamo called a press conference at the SABC to brief journalists on negotiations thus far. The gathering was cancelled after hours of waiting, due to Mzamo being called into an emergency meeting with Vundla and the SABC.

An agreement was reached late last night, which stipulates:

Cast members will receive a three-year contract.

Morula Pictures and the SABC will review the proposed pay rates for the performers.

Morula Pictures and the SABC agree to payment of the affected cast’s October remuneration.

The two parties agreed to negotiate other terms, with the involvement of the SABC, and will endeavour to conclude a new agreement on or before the end of March 2014.

“We are happy as the SABC that this matter has finally been laid to rest. The uproar which has been in the media around this issue once again re-affirmed the public’s love of our property,” said SABC Acting Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, in a press statement.

Vundla, who was previously adamant that he would not change his mind, added he was happy the actors would be returning to work.

“I’m delighted recording has resumed. We look forward to delivering the best entertainment to our audiences.”

In 2007, it was estimated that Generations was a R500 million business, with Vundla’s Morula Pictures taking some R50 million a year. Advertisers paid R100 000 for 30 seconds of airtime to market to the show’s five million viewers.


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