THE TV CRISIS MARCH 4th JUNE IN JOHANNESBURG AND CAPE TOWN
Date: Thursday 4th June 2009
- 10.30: Joburg - Gather at Atlas Studios in Milpark for rally
- 12.00: Cape Town - Gather in park in front of SABC building, 209 Beach rd Seapoint
- 12.00: Joburg - March to SABC
- 13.00: Joburg and Cape Town - march and picket at SABC
- 13.45: Joburg - Hand over memorandum
JOHANNESBURG CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAPE TOWN CONTACT: email@example.com
The TVIEC is fighting FOR the SABC – for a transparent, fair and sustainable SABC that upholds the values of a credible and responsible public broadcaster, respectful of the South African public and its key partner in content supply – the local production sector.
Whilst the demonstration calls have been sparked by the anger over non payment, the TVIEC is convinced that the real issues are much deeper and more significant: unfair terms of trade, unsustainable business relationships with the content creators, unfair rights ownership (IP) and a deep arrogance manifested in the heavy handed management style the SABC displays.
Budgets are lower than they were seven years ago. Price fixing of fees for crew and cast and unsustainable production fees have left companies vulnerable and exhausted, while SABC management take home exorbitant fees and performance bonuses – some bonuses exceed an entire year’s production fee for a major daily soap – and enjoy first class air travel, 5 star hotel suites and lavish entertainment.
The industry has said NO MORE! A protest date has now been set for 4 June 2009. A TVIEC protest committee is coordinating participation by a broad spectrum of production companies, filmmakers, industry organisations, unions, friends of the industry, soapie stars, actors, technicians and musicians. There is a call for the public to be involved
The TVIEC is simultaneously attempting to engage with the new Minister of Communications and other government stakeholders to facilitate urgent intervention and alleviation for the industry. The TVIEC is also researching legal options and the possibility of collectively withholding material from the SABC.
The entire television industry is reeling because of the SABC’s monetary and management crisis – writers, producers, actors, crew and all related service providers. The TVIEC is taking action in the form of a protest march in Johannesburg and Cape Town. In order for us to make a significant impact, we will be calling on the general public as well as high profile individuals to join the protest – especially the actors, presenters and musicians who star in our productions. The public relate to the crisis particularly when they see that their favourite stars and shows are affected and impacted by the manner in which the SABC is handling the situation.
What can you do to make the protest a success?
1. Spread the word. Forward this mail to everyone you know who might want to join in the protest.
2. Dress in red. Turn up at the protest wearing red to signify the red tape that is strangling our industry.
3. Make bright, loud, witty banners and placards. Some of the slogans we are putting out there include: We Can’t Survive On Air; Save Our Shows; South Africa Is Watching You; Pay Up: It’s The Right Thing To Do; Roll Tape, Not Red Tape; Programs, Not Perks etcetera. Use your imagination and wit and tell the SABC what you think. You can also visit the Sasfed blog and download posters designed for the march: (www.sasfed.org).
4. Send an SMS. We will be calling on South Africa to send an SMS that tells the SABC what people think of the current crisis. We will collate these comments and deliver them to the powers that be as well as the media. The number to send to: 31970. Your SMS must start with the word TV. SMS’s are charged at 50 cents.
5. Contribute to logistics. We are still asking for people to volunteer to serve as marshals at the protest. We are also still in need of loud hailers and of luminous bibs for marshals to wear. If you know of any suppliers who can donate these things for the protest, get in touch with them.
THE TV CRISIS MARCH
The action will be a peaceful protest and will be controlled by marshals. It is important to stress that we are adopting a positive tone. The TVIEC is fighting FOR the SABC – for a transparent, fair and sustainable SABC that upholds the values of a credible and responsible public broadcaster, respectful of the South African public and its key partner in content supply – the local production sector, their casts and crews.
This letter is written on behalf of the TVIEC (Television Industry Emergency Coalition) which consists of: IPO (Independent Producers Organisation), SASFED (South African Screen Federation), TPA (The Producers Alliance), DFA (Documentary Filmmakers Association), WGSA (Writers Guild of South Africa) as well as the CWU (Creative Workers Union).