COULD this be the end of an era for the cast of Generations?
The creator of the soapie, Mfundi Vundla, seems to think so.
On Monday, the principal actors of the most-loved soapie in the country were sent packing after they refused to return to work amid a week-long strike.
The strike comes after the actors claimed the SABC had not delivered on its promise to give the actors three-year contracts, better salaries, and royalties and syndication fees for episodes that are broadcast in other countries.
The 16 actors on strike play key roles on the show. Viewers have grown to love many of the characters, including Sophie Ndaba (Queen Ndaba), Menzi Ngubane (Sbusiso Dlomo), Slindile Nodangala (Ruby Dikobe) and Katlego Danke (Dineo Dlomo).
In an interview with Talk Radio 702 on Sunday, Vundla told Africa Melane the actors had received communication from the production company that they were expected on set yesterday and failure to do so would leave them with no recourse but to terminate their contracts.
The actors formed an actors guild and released a statement saying that none of the issues they had complained about last year had been resolved.
“We came back to work on the understanding that all the issues that we brought up would be addressed by the SABC by this past March – a date that they set.
“Since then they have missed their own deadline, and pushed the date out, with no discernable resolution to our grievances in sight. Instead, we’ve been ordered back to work and threatened with dismissal, with no explanation of why our issues have not been resolved.”
MMSV Productions, the production company for Generations, released a statement yesterday after consulting with the SABC, saying that the actors’ contracts had been terminated.
“The termination follows calls by both parties for the actors to return for recordings, following the start of their illegal strike. The SABC and MMSV Productions would like to assure the public that measures have been put in place to ensure the future of Generations. All future plans will be communicated by the SABC in due course.”
The actors have also released a statement saying they were saddened by the development, but remained steadfast to ensure fair working conditions for creative professionals.
The actors would now “examine their legal options and will update members of the media accordingly on their next course of action”.
The other actors who have been dismissed are Zolisa Xaluva (Jason Malinga), Zikhona Sodlaka (Priska Nomvete), Zenande Mfenyana (Noluntu Memela), Seputla Sebogodi (Kenneth Mashaba), Thami Mngqolo (Senzo Dlomo), Thato Molamu (Nicholas Nomvete), Winnie Ntshaba (Khethiwe Buthelezi), Anga Makubalo (MJ Dlomo), Nambitha Mpumlwana (Mawande Memela), Patrick Shai (Patrick Tlaole), Mandla Gaduka (Selwyn “Choppa” Maithufi) and Atandwa Kani (Samora Lembede). - The Star