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Homeless and in a wheelchair at 63

Zolile Ncapayi is 63 and unable to walk. He progressively lost the use of his legs over 30 years ago.

Actors' woes - Muvhango stars not paid for 3 months

By Zenoyise Madikwa | 2010-08-06 06:29:29.0

Top actors earn between R20,000 and R50,000 a month

Word of Mouth Productions, producers of SABC2 soapie Muvhango, has been accused again of not paying its workers.

The company, which employs more than 80 people - from cleaners and actor to make-up artists - has not paid actors for at least three months, while some are still waiting for their July salaries.

But Muvhango executive producer Duma Ndlovu, who also owns Word of Mouth Productions, said the workers were owed only one month in outstanding wages.

He blamed the SABC for this state of affairs but the public broadcaster denied the claim.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: "The SABC has paid all the monies in terms of the current contract with Word of Mouth Productions. All outstanding payments as per the previous contract will be made once all the relevant documentation has been presented to the SABC.

"Part of the documentation in relation to payment for the previous contract was only received early this week."

According to one actor, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, actors were told three months ago to stop coming for shooting "because the company is bankrupt".

"We are sitting at home doing nothing. We fear that we are going to lose our cars and houses because our bank accounts are running dry."

A general worker said they were sent SMSes last week saying that they would not be paid on time because the SABC had not paid.

"How can we keep quiet when we cannot feed our children while Duma is living comfortably and driving expensive cars?"

The source said salaries differed.

Actors represented by agents earned between R1,500 to R2,500 a call, while top actors earn R20,000 to R50,000 a month.

Muvhango has been running for more than 10 years. Initially it was aired once a week and now runs four days a week.