Fans of the popular SABC2 Afrikaans soapie; “7de Laan” were hit by a curveball, once again, when Danie Odendaal Productions announced that production of the soap had ground to a halt due to a lack of funds.
To add fuel to the fire, cast say they received the latest communication from Danie Odendaal Productions , “via Whatsapp” on Sunday, September 3.
In July this year, Danie Odendaal Productions announced that the long-running soap will not be recommissioned for another season.
After more than two decades on air, the much loved show faces the final curtain after it first took to the small screen on April 4, 2000. The production company said it would end with a 24th season this December.
In a twist of events, however, the production company said “management decided to suspend all normal ‘7de Laan’ operations with immediate effect due to insufficient funds to maintain salaries and other operational requirements”.
SABC had been struggling to make the necessary payment to the production timeously, making it difficult to maintain the daily production requirements, it said.
The letter continued: “Your are not required to be at the production studios until further notice. Management will communicate as soon as possible of when you can resume with your normal duties.
“Please also be reminded that the principle of no work no pay applies as per the contractual terms and conditions.”
The communication ended with: “Your continued commitment and loyalty to the production under such difficulties is appreciated.”
Former “7de Laan” actor Denver Vraagom, who played Sheldon, expressed his frustration on social media.
His wife, Ingrid Paulus, who plays Vanessa, was also currently employed by the production.
Vraagom shared the letter that was sent to staff and captioned the post:
“And there you have it! Via WhatsApp on a Sunday morning. Time for Ingrid Paulus and myself to move on! The disrespect! The way it's done! Oh well.”…
His post was met with further fury by fans and former cast members:
Elsa Krüger wrote: “How shabby! You should get a lawyer and and go to the CCMA. This cannot be legal. Sies.”
Vinette Ebrahim, who played Charmain Meintjies, wrote: “Denver, I'm so sorry this is happening to you guys! This is disgusting! They can't even pay you for the work that has been done??? This is not all the SABC's fault!
“They should have realised that this was going to happen ages ago, especially Francis being the Line Producer in charge of finances.
“Yet they send a team on a road-show which cost quite a packet! Bad planning. Bad, bad management!!!”
Henrietta Plattner wrote: “They have to pay them for work done. That is the Producers contractual obligation. Hence the letter because going fw they cant. Ridiculous to think the SABC is doing their business like thus. Quite sad really.”
Miki Redelinghuys wrote: “Don’t come to work” and “no work no pay” in one communication. That is definitely not ethical but how is that even legal?? I’m so sorry. Shocking“
Vikki Moonsamy wrote: “Time for a change in our country!!!! We cannot allow the criminals to loot and ruin us!!!!!”