By Nomali Cele
The Performers Protection Amendment Bill sees South African actors take their grievances to the doors of parliament. Through the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA) local actors have organised themselves to challenge the Performers Protection Bill of 1967. SAGA National ChairJack Devnarain said, speaking to Bridget Masinga on The B Side, that the Act is so outdated, it wasn’t quite written to protect television actors let alone actors performing in the new media.
As things stand, actors currently receive performance fees only. In the television and filmmaking food chain, producers are in agreements to make content for broadcasters and distributors. While they are the most visible component of audio-visual content, actors are still the ones with the least say in how the work is then redistributed after the initial airing. They also reap the least rewards from further redistribution.
— Kaya 959 95.9 (@kayafm95dot9) September 12, 2018
According to Devnarain, all the actors want from the Performers Protection Amendment Bill is a chance to negotiate on their usage rights and the fees they want for those new airing of the work. Currently, South African actors do not receive any compensation should the show go into reruns or be sold to a different market.
The presentation in parliament of the Performers Protection Amendment Bill has generated support from both South African actors and producers. Actors have taken to social media to share their message of support of the campaign under the hashtag #SAGAforPPAB.
I am Thembisa Mdoda. It is 2018 and I still do not have the right to own my image, or to share in the profits of its distribution. We need to change this. That’s why I support @SAGActors submission to adopt the Performers Protection Amendment Bill.#SAGAforPPAB #IAmActor pic.twitter.com/fdXXDYzS5u
— Thembisa Mdoda (@tembisa) September 13, 2018
#SAGAFORPPAB A big day in history for a South African actor. It’s illegal to watch TV without paying the license, not paying your subscription means suspension yet an Actor must keep working without their residuals paid. A big day in history. Salute to all of you for standing up.
— Portia Gumede (@portiagumedesa) September 13, 2018
It’s crazy to think that actors in S.A still struggle in 2018 with regards to owning their image & rights to royalties. A series I did in 2003 has been rebroadcasted time & time again – most recent about a month ago! I stand with #SAGAforPPAB
— Sade Giliberti (@OneSadie) September 13, 2018
When a show or film is sold to new markets, it generates an income for the broadcaster. Even reruns of shows generate a source of income because of the advertising that is bound to happen around the content. What the amendment of the bill advocates for is an actor’s right to royalties in the situation where their image is redistributed and is earning an income for the broadcaster.