'SABC IS KILLING US'

ABOUT 100 independent producers and actors protested outside the SABC offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg,yesterday against the broadcaster's "budget cut to local content and lack of rights ownership".

ABOUT 100 independent producers and actors protested outside the SABC offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg,yesterday against the broadcaster's "budget cut to local content and lack of rights ownership".

Feizal Mamdoo of the South African Screen Federation said the SABC was planning to cut the budget for local content by R500million next year, and that producers did not have ownership to the rights of their programmes.

"This cut is going to be devastating for the industry," Mamdoo said .

TV producer and director Michael Lee has been on a hunger strike for 18 days to protest against the SABC's decision.

"The SABC's latest stunt makes me so sick that I don't want to eat," Lee said.

Former Isidingo actor Terrence Bridgett said: "This is robbing an industry of the ability to tell its own stories and denies the nation the chance of seeing their own culture and stripping 88000 people of jobs."

Hanli Rolfes Opperman, famous for her role in Generations, said: "There is going to be no industry anymore and a lot of producers are going to suffer."

Fidel Mamisi, of the Writers Guild, said that if the producers owned the rights to their work they would not be negatively affected by the financial crisis facing the SABC.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago denied the claims, saying: "We are only going to defer the starting time of programmes. When we sign a programme we pay for it immediately, so we are not going to sign new programmes in the next year."

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