Vatiswa Ndara on her meeting with Nathi Mthethwa over alleged 'mistreatment'

'Thank you for taking me in your confidence'...

10 October 2019 - 13:17 By Masego Seemela and Nonhlanha Msibi
Vatiswa Ndara met with the arts and culture minister to discuss the state of the industry.
Vatiswa Ndara met with the arts and culture minister to discuss the state of the industry.
Image: Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu

Vatiswa Ndara and Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa met to discuss the issues of alleged “mistreatment” which the actress levelled against Ferguson Films earlier this week.

The veteran actress caused a stir on social media on Monday when she shared a scathing six-page open letter about actors being “exploited” by big production houses and urged the minister to do something about it.

After a huge public outcry, the minister, who confirmed that he received the open letter on Twitter, held a conference call and then met with Vatiswa.  

Taking to Twitter, Vatiswa said the minister explained that he would officially respond in due course. 

“He encourages SA creatives not to lose momentum and keep up the burning spirit of progress.” 

In the open letter, Vatiswa quoted an offer from Ferguson Films to shoot season 3 of iGazi.

She claimed that the offer of R110,000 (before tax) was unfair as filming could be up to 12 hours a day, six days a week and the amount did not include compensation for PR or media interviews linked to the role.

Vatiswa told TshisaLIVE that she decided to address her open letter to the minister and not just the Fergusons in order to reach a wider network so that action could be taken. 

“He maybe has the power to talk to other people because there are other departments that can come into the equation. It would need to be a discussion on different levels, with the department of labour, with SARS and many other sectors.

“There needs to be a step forward. There needs to a way for different sectors to work together to make the industry more sustainable.” 

However, the Fergusons have labelled Vatiswa's open letter “misguided” and dismissed allegations of “exploitation and mistreatment of actors” in a lengthy statement.

Connie and Shona Ferguson, who own Ferguson Films, claimed the letter was a “ploy to defame and tarnish” their reputation.

“We support 100% a need for the industry to be regulated and for the Performance Protection Amendment Bill to be signed sooner rather than later. With that said, the allegations made by the various actors do not reflect the true position of the industry and paints a false picture, that may mislead the public,” read part of the statement.