Cape Town – Cosatu has launched a television boycott of Generations asking all South African viewers to stop watching the soapie on the SABC1 TV channel for a week starting on Monday 15 September.
Generations is set to run out of available recorded episodes with the actors in two weeks's time following the firing of the soap's entire principal cast last month by the SABC and Mfundi Vundla's MMSV Productions after they went on strike.
The cast went on strike 10 months after the Generations actors first embarked on a stayaway.
The SABC's chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng personally promised them three year contracts instead of one year renewals in June 2013 which never materialised.
The cast also want payment rate adjustments since they say their salaries working on the most watched TV show in South Africa is not in line with what other soap stars and actors earn. They also want the promised residual payments over many years and which are part of their contracts for rebroadcasts and international sales – payments they have never received.
Cosatu is now urging the soap's viewers – an average of 7,5 million viewers tune in every weeknight enabling the SABC to ask R220 000 per 30 second ad spot – to tune out the SABC's Generations during primetime and to also not watch the next morning's repeats or the weekend omnibus from next week.
"Generations made a profit of R500m in one financial year, but failed to pay royalties calculated over 11 years. That is blatant robbery," said Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu's general secretary on Tuesday.
Cosatu met with the Generations cast last week Wednesday and then with the SABC on Thursday. Cosatu also wanted to meet with MMSV Productions and Mfundi Vundla who flat out refused and said that he will never take the fired Generations actors back.
Meanwhile the SABC still has Generations on the schedule for October in the primetime slot of 20:00 although there are no episodes to broadcast after the end of this month. The show is the single biggest moneymaker for the public broadcaster.
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