SA Freelance Association calls for 'decent salaries' for interns

It's come out against cheap & unpaid internships, saying it propagates the cycle of privilege.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Freelancers Association has called for decent salaries for interns, adding that some companies underpay to exclude people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Fashion magazine Marie Claire faced backlash after it emerged that it pays interns as low as R30 a day, despite publishing their articles on the website.

The interns are expected to work from 8:30am until 5pm every week day and the R30 has been described as a 'stipend'.

The Freelancers Association has come out against cheap and unpaid internships, saying it propagates the cycle of privilege.

The Associations Clive Lotter says, "Internships should be like an apprenticeship in any other industry besides media or fashion. Anybody who enters an internship should be entitled to a basic salary, which is liveable."

Last week, Head of human resources at GIBS Professor Albert Wocke said, "If an intern is actually conducting a part of the business, they are deemed an employee in Australia, the UK or the US. Yet, it's a bit of a grey area. So whether it be interns or employees or not will be one that Marie Claire will probably fail. They'll most certainly fail that test in the UK and Australia."

He said in the US employers are required to create a training environment for interns.

"You'll need classrooms or vocational training."

LISTEN: Unpacking the internship debacle.