Generations boycott gains momentum

The Creative Workers Union and the Communication Workers Union will meet in Auckland Park today.

FILE: Fired 'Generations' actor Nambitha Mpumlwana addressing the media at a briefing on 26 August 2014 following the actors' dismissal from the television series. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A campaign to boycott the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) soapie Generations is gaining momentum, with a meeting of the Creative Workers Union and the Communication Workers Union expected in Auckland Park today.

The meeting follows the dismissal of 16 actors last month.

The cast members had demanded to be paid royalties and higher wages and were fired after embarking on a strike.

The Creative Workers Union's Eugene Mthethwa says the dismissal has had serious effects.

"An arrogant African employer shredding jobs without any sympathy to them or their dependents who will also suffer in the process. There are children who might have to be taken out of schools because of this."

The Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) on Tuesday said it will take the fight to the public broadcaster and demand transformation of the industry.

The federation says the labour dispute has now become about much more than a soapie.

It also said it has serious concerns about the payment of royalties and companies that do business with the SABC.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said from 15 September, no South African must tune into SABC 1 between 20:00 and 20:30 to watch Generations.

Meanwhile, the fired cast last month called on the national broadcaster to stop condemning black talent to a life of poverty.

Many of the actors were in tears and said their rights had been violated and spoke out against what they called apartheid working conditions.

The cast members also said they were angry at the show's management for disclosing their salaries to the media.

The SABC has promised a new-look Generations.