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SA Guild of Actors

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Industry Documents

SARS Directive regarding status of Independent Contractors

SAGA Documents

Copyright Amendment Bill

For the first time in South Africa, there is the possibility of a statutory mechanism that secures the economic content of the rights that performers are routinely required to transfer to the producer. Through the Copyright Amendment Bill we have a realistic hope of negotiating equitable contracts.

We are writers, filmmakers, producers, photographers, actors, teachers, professors, students, learners, librarians, journalists, artists, poets, software developers, technology entrepreneurs, freedom of expression activists, disability activists, game developers, producers of accessible format materials, educational content producers and many other diverse South Africans.

Amongst us, our organisations represent over half a million South Africans. In South Africa the law has not protected our interests. We work in industries where many of us are systematically disempowered. We are working under apartheid-era legislation which favours historical and international monopolies which have control of money and power.

This power imbalance must end now.

Performers Protection Amendment Bill

The Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers Protection Amendment Bill ensure that actors will never again be forced to sign away all their rights. It is essential that this power imbalance is confronted and addressed through legislative reforms.

South Africa still does not have a statutory framework that underpins the actor’s Moral and Economic Rights in audio-visual contracts. While this deficiency guarantees the income of South African Producers and facilitators in film, it prejudices the earnings of South African acting talent.

More than anything, the absence of meaningful regulation and transformation has entrenched a power imbalance between actors, and those who commission and fund audio-visual productions. The performance sector is now rife with economic exploitation, sexual harassment and general abuse of actors.

South Africans therefore demand the adoption of the Performers Protection Amendment Bill, which will protect actors by enshrining among others, the following rights:

  • Statutory Royalty Sharing, so that actors can be adequately compensated for their work.
  • Ratification of the Beijing treaty which will defend the economic rights of actors.

Now is the time to give actors their rightful place in the economy. Allow them to work, to earn, to be seen and heard by this legislature. Allow them the right, already permitted to the many countries who already consume their work, to be protected by the very Constitution that is celebrated as the most progressive in the world.

Department of Employment & Labour

Submitted by: Carlynn de Waal-Smit

Submissions by the South African Guild of Actors to Government Notice Number R1591 dated 11 December, 2019 entitled: “Intention to Deem Persons in the Film and Television Industry as Employees for provisions of some parts of the BCEA and LRA”.

The International Labour Organisation has published numerous reports that identify actors as atypical workers who need protection and employment benefit. The ILO has also stated that atypical work is a trend which is set to increase in the future, and as a result more and more actors will be in a position where, without formal recognition of their status, they will be vulnerable to exploitative labour practice.

In pursuing formal recognition for actors we suggest that their right to contract is a necessity and we recognise that the ability for parties to enter into contractual relationships and negotiations remain. This is also a right that cannot be regulated, but within the ambit of the right to contract there should be a minimum recognition of dignity and protections, especially where there exists unequal bargaining power.

For the reasons mentioned above we feel that the best solution for actors is for there to be a sectoral determination for the Audio-visual and Live Performance industry that considers the peculiarities and intricacies of the sector. This sectoral determination would allow for a more robust and exact regulations for the sector so that the intended protections of labour legislation can be afforded to them.

The SAGA submission outlines issues with various proposals of Minister Nxesi’s notice. Please read the attachments for the Government Gazette Notice and the full submission.

  • The National Minimum Wage Act
  • Compensation for Occupational Injuries & Diseases Act 130 of 1993
  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997
  • Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995
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