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Mon Jun 27 00:34:24 SAST 2016

Marie Claire offers interns a stipend that's just enough to afford a copy of the magazine

Times LIVE | 21 January, 2016 15:47

Image by: Marie Claire

It's not quite fair to say you can't buy the magazine with what you'll earn at Marie Claire as an intern.

After all, the magazine cover cost is R29.90 - which is a whole 10 cents less than the daily stipend they're offering interns according to a screen shot of their job ad on social media.

One person tweeted that things are only good at their offices on Wacky Wednesday - but if the offer is genuine, this is not in fact true.

Steers' Wacky Wednesday special costs R37.90.

Marie Claire interns must feel jealous of farm workers - their minimum wage is R120.32 a day.

According to Women24, this isn't the worst offer Interns have been given. Last year Cosmopolitan SA offered interns a big fat nothing.

Marie Claire have released a statement on the controversy which reads as follows:

"We’ve been following your voices on social media and would like to address the debate about our internship programme.

"Our internship programme provides valuable training in magazine and digital publishing. We empower participants through mentoring from industry heavyweights, helping them to build a portfolio of work and content, and facilitating crucial relationships within the industry.

"While the benefits of interning are many, we are in the process of reviewing our internship programme. We will discuss this with key stakeholders in the business and make changes. We will be transparent about the outcome once a decision has been made.

"Thank you for bringing this important discussion to us."

The Southern African Freelancers Association (Safrea) said in a statement it was opposed to unpaid internships.

"While the experience and workplace understanding gained might be invaluable to the intern, a company should not be able to allocate a portion of its entry level work to free labour.

"Unpaid – or poorly paid – internships are also a way of propagating the cycle of privilege, and excluding those from disadvantaged backgrounds. There is a growing movement away from this practice globally, as only interns with considerable financial support at home can afford to work for free – support that is usually limited to the privileged upper echelons of society.

"These internships are doubly exploitative if they require interns to have their own transport or computer.

"This exploitation is even less palatable in a nation like South Africa, where the legacy of the past means that those who are most economically disadvantaged are black people – and a situation where a suitably qualified individual would have to donate their time as well as find transport and equipment to serve the needs of an organisation is unfair and flies in the face of transformation."

 

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