Wednesday, August 27, 2014

BREAKING. eNCA on DStv getting a new on-air look from 1 September as the South African 24-hour TV news channel gets a 'fresh design'.


eNCA (DStv 403), the most watched 24-hour South African TV news channel is getting an on-air facelift and visual identity revamp which will come into effect from 1 September.

eNCA is dumping the red and blue mosaic glass tiles and replacing the eNCA logo with a uniform and one dimensional turqoise African continent outline and a simplified and stripped-down "eNCA" font overlay in baby blue and red.

The on-air look and logo redesign comes with aerial cityscape backdrops to make eNCA look more "urban" and will extend to all stings and graphics. The one year old eNCA.com website will also change and do a rebrand.

"News is constantly changing because our reality is evolving," says Cecil Lyons, the head of marketing at eNCA. "The new look is contemporary and urban," says Cecil Lyons.

eNCA remains the most watched 24-hour TV news channel available in South Africa and the most watched of the three South African 24-hour TV news channels.

FIRED GENERATIONS CAST: SABC 'an embarrassment' says iconic John Kani; SABC and MMSV Productions want to 'dispose of actors like diapers'.


In an emotional speech, the iconic and highly respected South Africa actor, playwright, director and producer John Kani lashed the beleaguered SABC, calling the South African public broadcaster "an embarrassment", following the shocking sacking of the Generations cast by the SABC and Mfundi Vundla's MMSV Productions.

John Kani said the SABC and MMSV Productions is trying to "dispose the actors like diapers".

John Kani blasted the SABC and MMSV Productions, likening the SABC's actions to oppressive apartheid behaviour. "It [the firing] carries the residue of an apartheid-style master, servant relationship," he said. 

"I have stab wounds, I have evaded assassination and I spent time in detention. This is not what I fought for as an actor".

The shock firing of the principal cast of South Africa's biggest TV show and the SABC's biggest cash cow making hundreds of millions per year for the broadcaster, sent shock waves though the South African TV industry with very vocal criticism continuing to build from the industry demanding reform and regulations regarding actors' contracts and fees.

The Generations cast was dismissed last Monday after a weeklong stayaway when the cast demanded the long-overdue three year contracts the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng promised them in June 2013, as well as higher pay rates, and the payment of residuals for rebroadcasts as well as international sales of the show.

The SABC wanted to pay the Generations actors R3 000 once-off in residuals for a decade of Generations rebroadcasts but the cast, organised as the Generations Actors Guild (GAG) balked.

Yesterday in Newtown at the Barney Simon theatre the Generations cast, wearing black and white, took to the stage at a press conference, supported by highly respected industry heavy-weights like John Kani's whose own son, Atandwa Kani, was fired.

"Because the conditions we work under are still master and servant, we are disposable like diapers. The problem is the change of mindset. We are equal. Overseas series and soaps don't have this problem where actors are disposable," said John Kani.

"They know that the value of the series is dependent on these individuals, actors, continuing in their artistic excellence to create these characters".

"It's very sad for me to say that I've just done a series with iNkaba with Mzansi Magic and M-Net. I was treated with incredible respect. I don't know how the SABC and MMSV Productions don't understand that. Artists - lets know what we are worth," said John Kani.

"It's arrogance, it's stupidity to think you can tell these actors in one letter you are all fired. Come on guys, we didn't struggle for this? We didn't spent our lives in the struggle so that we could be treated like we're in apartheid."

"Lets make sure no-one walks on the set of Generations. I don't care whether its the script writer, the editor, or the boom carrier, technicians. We will block the doors. We will not continue this treatment," said John Kani.

"To our union: This is the time we block the doors of Generations. This is the time we stand up and make sure that these actors are taken back".

John Kani said he is "embarrassed by the Generations salaries". "I've worked for much more money since the 70s. An average of R55 000 for Generations is working for below a slave's salary. I wouldn't work for that for a day as an on-call actor on Generations."

"Lets do something. Because if you don't do anything, Muvhango actors will be fired tomorrow, 7de Laan actors tomorrow, isiBaya tomorrow, Zabalaza tomorrow. All of them would be fired tomorrow - because we did nothing," said John Kani.

"These Generations actors don't deserve to be treated with such disrepect. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BREAKING. Platco Digital's OpenView HD wins! Court dismiss SABC application to have its TV channels pulled from OpenView HD.


You're reading it here first.

One more highly embarrassing loss for the beleaguered SABC: The court has dismissed, with cost, the application from the South African public broadcaster to have it's TV channels pulled from Platco Digital's OpenView HD (OVHD) free-to-air satellite platform.

The South Gauteng High Court ruled in favour of Platco Digital and dismissed the SABC application with cost. 

The SABC went to court to force Platco Digital to not launch and carry SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 as TV channels.

Platco Digital with its head office in Johannesburg is backed by e.tv's parent company Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), and HCI owns Sabido Investments which has a two-thirds investment in Sabido.

The SABC brought an interdict against Platco Digital to prevent Platco from carrying SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 on OVHD, or to use the SABC's brands (like channel logos) for marketing or promotional purposes of the new satellite TV service.

The SABC said that there was no agreement between the SABC and e.tv to carry and broadcast its TV channels on OpenView HD, while Platco Digital said that there is an agreement to carry and broadcast the channels.

According to Platco, it would be carrying the SABC's three TV channels for 18 months for free, after which the SABC would be charged equitable, reasonable and market related rates.

According to the court judgement of judge Moroa Tsoka, "there's no special circumstances entitling the SABC to final relief".

"OpenView HD has since its launch attracted more viewers which were unable to view SABC channels in spite of the fact that they own a TV set and by operation of the law are expected to pay a SABC licence," says the judgement. 

"The granting of an interdict would harm Platco and e.tv's reputation among these viewers. Furthermore, an interdict would result in them losing these viewers and would harm their reputation to attract new viewers".

"Platco and e.tv's reputation among decoder manufacturers, decoder retailers, distributors and providers of other TV channels would be irreparably harmed. Their ability to make inroads into the broadcasting market and compete with pay-TV would also be irreparably harmed," judge Moroa Tsoka said.

The judge said the SABC failed to prove a clear right, and failed to prove that it has no alternative relief other than an interdict against Platco Digital. 

According to the court, Platco Digital and e.tv in good faith also prepared a detailed written agreement addressing the SABC's concerns. "To date the SABC failed to react to the said agreement," says the judgment.

BREAKING. Fired Generations actors to return to work; cast and SABC to sit down in negotiation meeting today or tomorrow.


The fired Generations actors will return to work.

Talks will start between the Generations Actors Guild, the SABC and production company Morula Pictures at a meeting held today or tomorrow to reinstate the fired actors who were dismissed last Monday.

Minister of arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa met with the fired principal cast of the biggest TV show in South Africa and the SABC's biggest soap on Monday who sat down in an emotional meeting with the SABC management and the interim committee of the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa.

MMSV Productions and the SABC fired the Generations cast last Monday after a week long stayaway, prompted by MMSV Productions and the SABC's failure to make good on promised three year contracts the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng in June 2013 told the cast they would get.

The cast also wanted pay rate adjustments and back payments on residuals for rebroadcasts as well as international sales of the show which has not been paid.

"It is a significant step in the right direction that both the actors and the SABC have arrived at this stage where they are willing to engage in talks to find a solution to this matter," says Nathi Mthethwa.

"Everyone accepts that we are dealing with substantive issues that cannot be resolved overnight but require principled commitment and time to move us forward".

Monday, August 25, 2014

MultiChoice's new DStv HD Decoder at R799 - DStv Explora's new 'little brother' - replaces DStv SD decoder.


MultiChoice is bringing a new DStv decoder with high definition (HD) ability to the South African market, called DStv HD Decoder and selling for R799 with installation.

The DStv HD Decoder is manufactured in South Africa by Altech UEC in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.

The DStv HD Decoder keeps with the pebble shaped form, look and a customisation of the outer shell of MultiChoice's top-line DStv Explora, but has no PVR functionality like its big brother.

The DStv HD Decoder is released in conjunction with the South African satellite pay-TV platform making more of its TV channels available in HD to lower-tiered DStv packages as HD broadcasting in Southern Africa continues to make inroads.

The DStv HD Decoder also comes with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and is replacing the existing DStv SD decoder.

"We recently made HD channels available to all DStv customers with the necessary HD equipment," says Mark Rayner, the chief operating officer (COO) of MultiChoice South Africa. "This decoder now makes those HD channels more accessible".

Sunday, August 24, 2014

BREAKING. SABC forces dramatic changes to 7de Laan; SABC2 soap apparently too Afrikaans and not multicultural enough.


Dramatic changes are coming to 7de Laan on SABC2 - the SABC's biggest and only predominantly Afrikaans language weekday soap - since the show is apparently too Afrikaans and not multicultural enough according to SABC executives.

The drama and upheaval behind the 14 year old Danie Odendaal Productions soap, set in the fictional Johannesburg suburb of Hillside, is the second big SABC soap set for drastic on-screen changes.

The 7de Laan shocker comes at the same time that scandal has engulfed the SABC's biggest weekday soap Generations, following a week long walk out by the principal cast over multiple remuneration and contract issues which had been simmering for months, with the SABC and Morula Pictures which fired the 16 actors this past Monday.

While 7de Laan is remaining on SABC2 - although the SABC Television division at the SABC moved the bulk of Afrikaans language programming in July from SABC2 to SABC3 which has a much smaller broadcasting footprint - a major cut in Afrikaans has been enforced and is on the cards for the soap.

SABC executives apparently also ordered production changes in the on-air cast, as well as behind the scenes because 7de Laan is apparently not multicultural enough.

SABC executives apparently ordered a dramatic cut to specifically Afrikaans in 7de Laan, by possibly as much as 80%.

Besides the cut to specifically the amount of of Afrikaans heard in the popular soap, Danie Odendaal Productions apparently also has to appoint more "non-white" actors to appear on screen in the soap who will not be speaking Afrikaans while subtitles will remain in English only, appoint more "black" crew and creative staff instead of "white" directors and writers, as well as a "black" consultant to advise on storylines.

The SABC didn't respond to media enquiries made on Friday and Saturday seeking comment about the show and the changes ordered.

A spokesperson for Danie Odendaal Productions on Friday told TV with Thinus that Danie Odendaal is unable to speak immediately.

7de Laan had a weekday audience of 1.9 million viewers on SABC2 which has been falling. Latest ratings indicate 1.6 million tuning in.

The falling viewership could possibly be attributed to the fact that ancillary programming in Afrikaans or targeting the same audience as 7de Laan - around the show and serving as lead-in and lead-out programming - no longer exist.

7de Laan has a harder time grabbing and capturing viewers and holding on to those viewers since they're already watching shows on other channels with little incentive programming to pull them and keep them on SABC2 from before, and following after, the soap.

A television industry insider not connected to the show, the past week called 7de Laan a place where "the rats are jumping ship".

Friday, August 22, 2014

DEVELOPING. The next SABC TV soap in for dramatic changes: SABC2's 7de Laan which is 'forced' to change.


Major developing story: The next SABC TV soap in for dramatic changes: SABC2's 7de Laan, "forced" to change.

More on this developing story as possible responses come in from the SABC, SABC2 and elsewhere.

BREAKING. Verna Vels dead at 81; creator of Liewe Heksie, Bennie Boekwurm, SABC's first female programming director dies after cancer struggle.


Verna Vels - creator of the iconic South African television characters Liewe Heksie ("Dear Witchy") and Bennie Boekwurm (Benny Bookworm) who became the SABC's and South African television's first female programming director has died after a battle with cancer. She was 81.

Afrikaans radio station RSG first reported the death of Verna Vels this morning.

Verna Vels died in her sleep last night, whilst battling cancer, diagnosed in December 2013.

Before her death Verna Vels, born Verna Barbara Robertson Vels on 13 June 1933, also worked as a script editor and director at the SABC2 Afrikaans soap 7de Laan, produced by Danie Odendaal Productions and was involved with the soap from its inception.

Verna Vels started working as a radio presenter at the SABC's office in Durban in 1954 and in 1963 she transferred to Auckland Park.

In 1974 as the SABC geared up to launch a TV service and TV1, Verna Vels was appointed to organise the creation of Afrikaans children's TV content at the public broadcaster and under her guidance long running shows like Kraaines, Wielie-Walie and Liewe Heksie were created.

Verna Vels was appointed as the first female programming director of TV1, the then biggest TV channel of the SABC and the highest position a woman held in television broadcasting in South Africa at the time.

She retired from the South African public broadcaster after serving 39 years in 1993.

Verna Vels' most iconic legacy to South African television will however be the creation of the beloved children's show Liewe Heksie - 52 episodes in 1976 - which has seen numerous rebroadcasts over three decades on many TV channels and delighted generation after generation of South African viewers.

Verna Vels also created the character of Bennie Boekwurm on TV1's Wielie-Walie - like Liewe Heksie also actually a radio creation from Siembamba - which she migrated to television.

Verna Vels was the voices of Liewe Heksie, Blommie, Matewis the cat as well as Bennie Boekwurm.

She died in her home in Brixton, Johannesburg after she was diagnosed with cancer in December 2013, and kept visiting the Lonehill set of 7de Laan twice a week as one of the supervising directors, even after starting chemotheraphy. She kept working until May this year.

The SABC paid tribute today to Verna Vels, saying she "played a critical role in the development and execution of programmes at the SABC" and that the SABC "learnt with sadness the passing of Verna Vels who was a respected television and radio personality".

"The SABC board and management on behalf of the corporation send its condolences and prayers to the Vels family during this difficult time".

"Verna's passing is an indescribable loss to us," says Danie Odendaal in a statement. "Her presence, judgement and creative input will be sorely missed", with Daniel Odendaal and Annie Basson calling Verna Vels not "only a much appreciated colleague but also a friend through several decades".

"Her cheerfulness and humour, courage, intelligence and indomitable spirit was a constant source of inspiration for cast and crew, young and old"

"When she was on set all of us had to mind our p's and q's, but there was also heaps of fun and laughter, and lots of strong Douwe Egberts coffee shared".

BREAKING. Fired Generations cast scandal: Duelling press conferences coming as SABC and then Generations cast will tell their story.


Duelling press conferences are planned in the growing scandal swirling around the beleaguered SABC and Morula Pictures (MMSV Productions) which fired the Generations cast on Monday - with the SABC holding a press conference today at 11:00 and the Generations Actors Guild holding a press conference on Monday.

The SABC and MMSV Productions which fired the Generations principal cast on Monday after striking, is holding a press conference today at the SABC's Auckland Park headquarters from 11:00 to 12:30 in the Ground Floor Auditorium (using Radio Park entrance 4).

The SABC and Morula Pictures says it wants to "set the record straight" around "issues" pertaining to Generations. It follows after anger and a public backlash has been building against the SABC and Morula Pictures following the firing from the public, actors and the South African TV industry.

The Generations Actors Guild is holding their own press conference on Monday, 25 August at 14:00 at the Market Theatre's Barney Simon Theatre in Newtown.

"The Generations Actors Guild notes with interest that MMSV Productions and the SABC are holding a press conference to 'clear the air' around the dismissal of the 16 members of the Generations cast".

"The Guild also notes with dismay that the SABC and MMSV Productions have been on a campaign of communicating misinformation about salaries and rates that the cast allegedly earns".

"These claims are a blatant untruth, and the guild recognises them for what they are - a petty tactic to turn the public against the cast and paint them as opportunistic, greedy and overpaid."

'Equally concerning is the fact that their erstwhile employers deem it appropriate to reveal salaries - even as they are a complete fabrication. As an action,it is unethical and totally inappropriate".

"The members of the Generations Actors Guild will hold a press conference where they will speak to the issues and provide a proper and true context of their working conditions and issues that led them to this point," says the guild.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

BREAKING. As SA parliament erupts, eNCA on DStv shines with insta-excellent coverage, SABC News and ANN7 shock with lack of real-time news.


It's shocking and highly revealing: As South Africa's parliament erupted into chaos on Thursday and DStv's Parliamentary TV channel abruptly cut away so viewers couldn't see what was happening, the eNCA (DStv 403) 24-hour TV news channel instantly mobilised with brilliant, ongoing, real-time coverage and on-the-spot analysis.

The same however couldn't be said for the eye-popping lack of almost any coverage and lack of rolling real-time coverage and analysis on DStv's rival 24-hour TV news channels: SABC News (DStv 404) and ANN7 (DStv 405).

It was as if eNCA was covering one South Africa in one parallel universe, with SABC News and ANN7 covering (or not covering) a whole other South Africa.

Ironically ANN7 celebrates its first birthday today, but shockingly left viewers scrathing their heads in early primetime as to where the coverage of breaking news was. SABC News and ANN7 both paled in comparison when it came to doing and giving TV news viewers the most fundamental thing they want: the news as it is happening.

As DStv subscribers flicked between the three TV news channels in the early evening for coverage, eNCA had instant interviews with politicians from all of the political parties straight from parliament and live on air, studio analysis from experts, rush reports, as well as can't-look-away sensational video footage.

eNCA even played the parliamentary proceedings leading up to the EFF disruption of the National Assembly several times to give viewers the undiluted context and background.

eNCA's Paula Chowles and Lester Kiewit were astounding in their reporting and interviewing and real-time online and social media content generation. With little time to think, they were on the scene and kept reporting - brilliantly so.

eNCA's interview with Julius Malema done by Paula Chowles was riveting and exceptional television - she didn't interrupt him, and Julius Malema stayed on point and did what was probably his best live TV interview ever.

The rest, well, on South African television news there wasn't really a rest.

SABC News sat comfy under the warm spotlights in the Auckland Park studio at the same time and ran a pre-recorded profile piece on an African Bank founder.

SABC Television News couldn't get itself to break away to cover the real big news of the moment - not even from the studio. There was no real-time rolling news coverage. SABC News kept playing its Question Time (irrelevant!) and other programming and inserts, instead of switching to rolling news and giving South African the news.


ANN7 at the same time did high-gloss soft coverage about its South African of the Year campaign.

ANN7 also failed to break away to rolling news coverage to cover the real big news of the moment, and stuck to running a pre-recorded programme with Chantal Rutter-Dros moderating a women's panel of nominees.


It was shocking and eye-opening to watch eNCA, SABC News and ANN7 lined-up alongside each other and to see only one of the three South African 24-hour TV news channels doing ... live, real, relevant, news.

Later during South African primetime ANN7 eventually got to rolling news coverage, live reporting, as well as analysis.

The SABC News channel sadly remained blissfully ignorant and kept viewers blissfully ignorant.

If you watched only SABC News, a viewer wouldn't have gotten any sense of the scope, impact and magnitude of what happened today in South Africa and in parliament with very little coverage compared to eNCA and (belatedly) ANN7.

Later SABC News did as little as possible with blatant skewed coverage, censorship, pandering questions to make the EFF look bad, a shocking absence of SABC News reporting from Cape Town, and no coverage at all of the highly embarrassing way the speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete was inept and pathetic today.

The shocking and stark difference in the real, in-time news coverage for serious South African breaking news - and the lack thereof - raises questions about whether the SABC's SABC News channel and Infinity Media's ANN7 are self-censoring, or whether the issue is the inability to mobilise to cover news when it breaks.

Or, is it perhaps not self-censorship but more an issue regarding the unwillingness of channel and programming bosses to jettison pre-planned programming for actual real and live news coverage when news breaks, or the lack of resources to be able to do rolling news coverage when something big happens?

Also, for a 24-hour TV news channel, to wait with the news, or big news, makes no sense. eNCA dove into it and stayed with it the whole time. SABC News seemingly couldn't care less or cope. ANN7 eventually got to it but came across as wanting the big news to fit for ANN7 Prime. Sadly news doesn't wait or work that way.

The best thing a TV news channel like an eNCA, a SABC News or a ANN7 can do to build its brand, to build its credibility and to build its reputation as "oh, news is happening, where do I tune to for it?" is to cover real news, and to cover real news consistently, whenever it happens.

If not, your TV news channel becomes a "nice, but not necessary" news source - a soft, infotainment, educational but not crucial, place where viewers won't be turning to first, if at all, to get the news.

If you want to be in the news business (as a TV news channel), really only just one rule actually applies: Do the news.

DEVELOPING. MultiChoice's Parliamentary TV channel on DStv first cuts sound, then visuals; reporters forcibly removed after EFF chaos.


MultiChoice's Parliamentary TV channel (DStv 408) on DStv first cut the audio to silence the channel and then cut the camera and visuals to prevent DStv subscribers from seeing what is happening inside South Africa's democratic parliament, while reporters were forcibly removed.

It's not clear whether MultiChoice cut the sound and visuals or why the Parliamentary TV channel suddenly stopped showing what's happening inside parliament.

Chaos erupted when EFF political party members started shouting "Pay back the money!" when president Jacob Zuma refused to answer a question from EFF party leader Julius Malema on when he will be paying back the money spent on the highly controversial Nkandla upgrades.

First audio and then visuals on the Parliamentary service to South Africa's National Assembly then got cut.

MultiChoice on Thursday didn't respond to media enquiries as to why DStv's Parliamentary TV went off the air.

Journalists started reporting that the press were being forcibly removed from parliament and evicted from the media gallery against their wishes.

Several press members were adamant that they will not be leaving parliament and refused to leave the press gallery to bear witness to the events and the stand-off between the EFF and police members inside the National Assembly.

Meanwhile the South African Police Service with riot gear are barring democratically elected members of parliament (MPs) from various political parties from entering the National Assembly, calling it "a police scene".

At 16:00 the media and press were told they can now stay. eNCA's Paula Chowles and Lester Kiewit  are still inside parliament.

At 16:11 the Parliamentary TV channel on DStv went live again. Still no explanation as to why the feed to DStv subscribers were unilaterally cut.

BREAKING. Cosatu blasts SABC over 'indecisive intervention' after firing of Generations cast; 'dismayed' by MMSV Productions' attitude.


Cosatu is blasting the beleaguered SABC for the SABC's "indecisive intervention" for failing to do anything in 10 months about the Generations cast's pleas who were fired on Monday, and says it is "dismayed" by MMSV Productions.

The trade federation in a statement condemns the shocking actions of the SABC and MMSV Productions who on Monday fired the Generations cast on SABC1 following a second strike the united actors embarked on.

The dismissal of the principal Generations cast has sent shockwaves through South Africa's television industry.

Generations ranks as the most watched TV show in South Africa with an average of 7.5 million viewers every weeknight, is the most watched soap, the most lucrative TV show of the SABC and commands a price of R200 000 per 30 second ad spot during its 20:00 primetime timeslot.

It was the Generations cast's second strike in 10 months at the SABC1 soap over exactly the same issues of wanting three year contracts from the SABC as it was promised in 2013, better paying contracts, as well as back payment for rebroadcasts and international sales of the show - all issues that the SABC promised to give attention but failed to do.

The federation said it was dismayed by the attitude of the production company MMSV Productions.

"The federation urges the actors to work with them [SABC and production company] to reach an acceptable settlement, get their jobs back, continue to entertain their millions of fans, and create a precedent for all actors to be treated with respect," says Patrick Craven, Cosatu spokesperson in a statement.

Third South African government minister to intervene in SABC's firing of Generations cast scandal: Nathi Mthethwa is 'deeply concerned'.


The minister of South Africa's department of arts and culture, Nathi Mthethwa says he is "deeply concerned" about the latest SABC scandal which saw the shocking wholesale firing of the Generations cast on SABC1 on Monday by the SABC and MMSV Productions.

The Generations cast was fired on Monday by the SABC and MMSV Productions following a second strike the united actors embarked on since last Monday.

The dismissal of the principal Generations cast has sent shockwaves through South Africa's television industry.

Generations ranks as the most watched TV show in South Africa with an average of 7.5 million viewers every weeknight, is the most watched soap, the most lucrative TV show of the SABC and commands a price of R200 000 per 30 second ad spot during its 20:00 primetime timeslot.

It was the Generations cast's second strike in 10 months at the SABC1 soap over exactly the same issues of wanting three year contracts from the SABC as it was promised in 2013, better paying contracts, as well as back payment for rebroadcasts and international sales of the show - all issues that the SABC promised to give attention but failed to do.

On Tuesday the ANC majority government said the minister of communications and the minister of labour will be intervening and getting involved in the dispute.

Today the government said the minister of arts and culture will get involved, making it the third minister giving attention to the Generations cast firing.

requested the intervention of the ministers of communications and labour in the dispute," says ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa in a statement.

"We are willing to engage with all the relevant people to help find a speedy and amicable resolution to this matter," says Nathi Mthethwa in a statement.

"We are deeply concerned about these developments and hope that SABC management, the production company and worker representatives will work together to reach a speedy resolution to this matter".

Nathi Mthethwa says the government supports the formation of a strong creative workers' representative body to look after the interests of artists in South Africa.

Meanwhile the SABC plans to have a press conference on Friday at 11:00 at its Auckland Park headquarters in Johannesburg to give the public broadcaster's talking points after firing the Generations cast.

BREAKING. Fired Generations cast: 'Great effort has been put into painting us as greedy actors. This is about our livelihoods, not a lifestyle'.


The fired principal Generations cast who got dismissed by the SABC and MMSV Productions on Monday after walking off the set due to the SABC's failure in 10 months  to do good on the promised three year contracts, better pay rates and back payment for rebroadcasts of the show, is speaking out, saying "a great deal of effort has been put into painting us as greedy actors who want to lead extravagant lifestyles".

"Nothing could be further from the truth. This is about our livelihoods, not a lifestyle," says the Generations Actors Guild.

"We are fighting for industry conditions that are recognised as international best practice in the creative industry and economy. We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the love and support, and look forward to a resolution to this lamentable situation".

The principal cast that has now banded together as the Generations Actors Guild first went on strike in October 2013 for weeks after being coaxed back to work by the SABC with promises that the situation will be rectified.

In November the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng who personally intervened, in a statement announced that "this matter has finally been laid to rest".

It clearly wasn't. The Generations actors asked the SABC for the three year contracts promised to them personally by Hlaudi Motsoeneng in June 2013 instead of of the one year renewals, higher pay rates, as well as back payments for rebroadcasts and repeats, and payments for sales and international sales of the lucrative and popular soap to other TV channels as well as broadcasters in Africa.

On Monday the SABC and MMSVp Productions fired the massive principal cast on South Africa's most watched TV show which is also the most watched overall TV programme on South African television and the most watched soap.

Generations has an average weeknight audience of 7.5 million which commands R200 000 per 30 second ad spot and earns hundreds of millions of rands per year for the public broadcaster.

Since then the public backlash against the SABC and MMSV Productions have been growing, with anger from South African celebrities, actors, presenters and three South African ministers who've decided to get involved.

"Embarking on this action was a difficult decision for all of us, but in light of the events that transpired, we really didn't see any other option available to us," says the Generations Actors Guild.

"We have always been clear that we wanted an open dialogue, but sadly this hasn't been forthcoming".

"It is extremely encouraging therefore to receive such an outpouring of support from fans, fellow workers and various industry and political organisations," says the Generations Actors Guild.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

e.tv debuts first-ever Afrikaans music magazine show, Musiek Musiek, to lure viewers over after the SABC makes Afrikaans less accessible.


e.tv will debut the free-to-air channel's first-ever Afrikaans music magazine show, Musiek Musiek, on Wednesday 10 September at 20:00, ready to lure Afrikaans and other viewers after the SABC made several Afrikaans language TV programmes less accessible by moving it from SABC2 to SABC3 which has a much smaller national footprint.

Musiek Musiek with presenters Eagan Williamson and Tina Meissenheimer will broadcast on e.tv from 10 September at 20:00.

Besides other Afrikaans programming, the SABC moved the Afrikaans magazine show Pasella from Wednesdays at 19:30 permanently from 14 July to the smaller SABC3 where millions fewer analogue viewers can see it.

Now those Afrikaans viewers can watch Musiek Musiek on e.tv on Wednesday in roughly the same timeslot.

Musiek Musiek as e.tv's first ever Afrikaans music magazine show and produced by Media World, will explore the Afrikaans music world with interviews with the hottest Afrikaans singers and artists, looking at how music videos are made, as well as a Golden Oldies segment playing classic Afrikaans music videos.

e.tv says the channel is proud to launch its very first Afrikaans music magazine show on the chanel.

"This is all part of an ongoing effort to ensure that we service our diverse audience base and ensure that we remain the entertainment destination of choice for all South Africans," says Monde Twala, e.tv's managing director.

"There is something for everyone in Musiek Musiek right from the golden oldies to the latest and cutting edge youth music," says Monde Twala.

It's the 22-year old Tina Meissenheimer's first TV presenting work, who will talk with in-studio guests as singers share their knowledge and experiences of the music industry and the stories that led to their success.

Eagan Williamson who've appeared on kykNET's Glitterati and Tonge Los will share gossip and news from the Afrikaans music scene, music industry news, latest song and album releases and attend live events.

"I am ecstatic," says Tina Meissenheimer. "Having Musiek Musiek on e.tv is also super exciting".

"I am honoured to be a part of such an amazing new project for e.tv, especially since it is their first Afrikaans show," says Eagan Williamson. "I honestly believe that all South Africans will enjoy the show tremendously and that the Afrikaans music industry would welcome Musiek Musiek into their homes and hearts".