Uzalo crew and cast on strike due to non-payment

Uzalo cast (PHOTO: Uzalo Instagram)
Uzalo cast (PHOTO: Uzalo Instagram)

Cape Town - One of Mzansi’s most popular shows has shut down production for the rest of the month following a decision by the cast and crew to suspend their services until they’re paid their August salaries, which were due on the 25th.

The production company responsible for Uzalo, Stained Glass Pictures, says they’ve been in communication with the SABC throughout. “We confirm that the corporation has committed to honouring outstanding payments by the end of August 2018.”

Earlier this month Stained Glass Pictures says they called a meeting “with all affected staff to explain the situation and give them the option of either continuing to work until month end or taking immediate leave until payments could be made. The overwhelming majority of the crew elected to keep working until the end of August, so production continued. This demonstrated the team’s continued dedication to the production, their craft and industry as a whole.”

Stained Glass Pictures also said they’ve carried the costs of production for as long as they were able to while waiting for the outstanding payments to be settled by the public broadcaster, according to executive producer of Stained Glass Pictures Pepsi Pokane. 

“Since we were unable to make payments on ‘payday’, the 25th of August, the staff has exercised their right to withhold services until they receive their August salaries.  We respect that decision and appreciate the work that they have put into the show this month despite the uncertainty. We are in constant communication with the broadcaster and are confident that this will all be resolved in the next week,” Pepsi said.

Neo Momodu, the SABC’s group executive of corporate affairs and marketing and spokesperson, told DRUM that the public broadcaster has engaged with Stained Glass Pictures and they are in a dire financial crisis. “We do not have the funds and we are in constant discussion with the service providers. We remain concerned that this crisis is disrupting operations and we are looking for ways to remedy the situation.”

Neo says they are also seeking assistance from the government.