The late actress was laid to rest on Sunday afternoon and whilst she received a State Funeral, it has come to light that Surtie-Richards died without being able to afford private hospital care.
In an interview with Hannes van Wyk for the programme Hannes Aan Huis on kykNET (DStv 144), Surtie-Richards said she “wanted the opportunity to speak about her financial struggles openly”, and opened up about how she had gone through “the deepest, deepest waters”.
Speaking candidly, Surtie-Richards said she wasn’t expressing her financial troubles because she wanted sympathy, but to highlight that it’s not just her. There a lot of South Africans sitting with the same problem.
“I sat here without a cent to my name. My house – they wanted to put on the market. To tell you the truth, my house was almost sold out from under me.”
Surtie-Richards was a popular South African actress who held many roles on stage and on-screen and was working on a new series when she died at the age of 66.
Her financial struggles is a common reality faced by many within the country’s entertainment industry, especially over the past year and a half with the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also lost her medical aid. “I couldn’t pay it any further, and they took it away. So at this stage, I just have to pray very hard that I won’t get ill because I don’t even have medical aid anymore. I have nothing. I still owe on my water as well. I mean, they don’t cut it otherwise; I’d be there as well.”
As everyone in the entertainment industry for the past year and three months and have not been able to sustainably work.
Surtie-Richards spoke about having no food in her home and how for all the awards she received, including a Lifetime Achievement Award for her 30-year contribution to television and her roles on series such as Egoli: Place of Gold, Generations, and 7de Laan.