Taking a stand | SA Guild of Actors to speak for artists' rights in parliament

Veteran actors like Florence Masebe and Jack Devnarain together with the SA Guild of Actors are taking the plight of actors to parliament.

13 September 2018 - 08:00 By Chrizelda Kekana
Jack Devnarain
Jack Devnarain
Image: TMG Digital

South African actors are at their wits' end over being exploited in an industry they are passionate about and together with the SA Guild of Actors led by Jack Devnarain and Florence Masebe they will state their case in a public hearing in Cape Town. 

After years of complaining in hushed tones at events and taking to social media to rant, South African actors finally have a chance at igniting a process that could change the current set up that allows them to be exploited in their work space. 

Actors have spread the awareness about the big step that could change the entire industry by posting one message on social media.

"It's 2018 and I still do not have the right to own my image or share in the profits of its distribution. We need to change this. That is why I support SAGA’s submission to adopt the Performers Protection Amendment Bill."

Jack, who is most popular for his Isidingo role as Rajesh Kumar took to Twitter to announce the history making moment for SA actors. 

"I will be with SAGA in parliament on Thursday the 13 of September motivating for the adoption of the Performers Protection Amendment Bill. This bill will allow South African actors to claim a residual income for their work on an audiovisual medium," he said.

Florence Masebe, who is known as an advocate of artists' rights also explained on Instagram why this moment has been a long time coming. 

"I have been an artist all my life. I have been a professional actor since 1993. My reality echoes that of many South African audiovisual artists that have never had any moral or economic rights according to law, protection in our harsh environment or the right to demand residual pay for the work we do."

Florence said that she has personally chosen to speak out despite knowing that she would further be alienated by industry big wigs.

"I speak up knowing well that broadcasters will blacklist me even further for choosing to use my voice. I have lost enough casting opportunities by being outspoken on all manners of injustice against artists. Will I stop speaking up? When pigs fly. I'm off to Parliament of SA to state my case and that of every actor living and late. We won't back down. We count. Our voices matter."

Actors have come out in their numbers in support of the worthy cause.

The matter will be heard in parliament in Cape Town on Thursday.

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