MultiChoice sets aside R80 million for salaries during the national lockdown
CAPE TOWN – MultiChoice has set aside R80 million to pay their cast, crew and creatives in the industry during Covid-19 and the national lockdown period.
Due to production coming to a halt in South Africa, MultiChoice said that it was aware of the financial challenges that will be faced by their employees and freelancers.
In a press statement issued by MultiChoice it said: "For many years MultiChoice has been a leader in the sector and are a leading investor in local content production. The group has deep rooted partnerships and long-standing commitments that have grown the industry for the benefit of many, both in front and behind the camera. Given MultiChoice Group’s position in Africa’s video entertainment sector, the group is acutely aware of the challenges their partners in the industry are facing. At this time MultiChoice will be standing by them."
It continued to say that MultiChoice has decided to implement several measures, aimed at safe guarding the incomes of cast, crew, and creatives as well as the sustainability of production houses. With these measures the group hopes to steer the industry through this tumultuous time.
"MultiChoice has set aside R80 million to ensure that current productions are able to pay full salaries of cast, crew, and creatives for the months of March and April, by when hopefully we will have the worst of the disruptions behind us. The need to secure salaries of our creatives goes a long way in creating income stability for them and their families. We believe this to be critical for the industry and in our view simply the right thing to do," read the statement.
To keep members abreast of the industry, MultiChoice will also be launching an online learning portal through the "MultiChoice Talent Factory".
"We will be launching an online learning portal that will support over 40 000 members of the industry to gain access to courses and online master classes, so they can continue to hone their craft whilst adhering to the public health measures of social distancing and isolation. Furthermore, we have committed to guarantee the incomes of freelancers in our SuperSport Productions, who are currently unable to work due to the suspension of sport and the national lockdown. This extends to guaranteeing the income of freelancers in our broadcast technology environment."
Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group chief executive said their main concern was to ensure incomes.
“Our main concern is to ensure as much as possible that we secure the incomes of creatives, cast and crew over this period end. We want to ensure that they and their families are not negatively impacted as work has come to a standstill." said Mawela.
"As an industry made up of thousands of freelance actors, producers, directors and camera operators, Africa’s video entertainment industry is particularly vulnerable at this time. These people play a critical role in keeping viewers and communities informed, entertained and connected. All the whilst contributing significantly to the economy," he said.