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SABC engaging with 'Uzalo' producers over salary payments

Stained Glass Pictures has halted production of the telenovela for the remainder of August following an amicable decision by the crew and cast members to suspend their services as they had not been paid their August salaries by the SABC.

Uzalo cast members. Picture: Uzalo Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's biggest telenovela, Uzalo, has officially halted production for the time being amid issues with non-payment from cash-strapped SABC.

With a viewership tally of 9.1 million, according to the latest stats, Uzalo has been a TV staple among many South Africans since it first made its debut in 2015.

The isiZulu show is produced by Stained Glass Pictures, filmed in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal and broadcast on SABC 1 every weekday evening at 8:30 pm.

On Monday, Stained Glass Pictures announced it had halted production of the telenovela for the remainder of August following an amicable decision by the crew and cast members to suspend their services as they had not been paid their August salaries by the public broadcaster by 25 August.

According to the production company, it has been in talks with the SABC, which has committed to honouring outstanding payments by the end of the month.

Stained Glass Pictures has carried the costs of production through the month and says it respects the cast and crew's decision to stop working.

Speaking to Eyewitness News on developments with the matter, SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu says the public broadcaster is in constant communication with the production company and the TV department over the matter.

Momodu says the SABC has stated before that it is in dire financial straits and is struggling to pay its creditors, utility bills and salaries, among other things.

She says Uzalo is a key stakeholder and the SABC is appreciative of its patience in the matter.

Progress will rely on whether or not it is able to make any payments.

The show continues to air on SABC 1.

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