For days, #IAmAnActor has been trending on Twitter and Instagram, with the country’s top actors posting messages supporting the amendment of the Constitution.
They want the Act to amended to include a stipulation that broadcasters pay actors royalties.
On 5 July 2016, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies published a notice in the Government Gazette of his intention to introduce the Performers Protection Amendment Bill into Parliament.
I am an actor. The Performers Protection Amendment Bill affects me directly. It affects every South African actor. We have had television for 40 years in this country. There is no law binding broadcasters to pay royalties to actors. The status quo must change. #IamAnActor pic.twitter.com/V2wbnIr4OF
— Mme a Masakona (@FloMasebe) September 13, 2018
The Performers Protection Amendment Bill affects every South African actor. It means that broadcasters have to pay royalties to actors. Support and elevate the plight of #IamAnActor @JackD157 @FloMasebe #PPAB! pic.twitter.com/PL560zw8Rg
— #DivaNexus (@NAMBITHA) September 13, 2018
Florence Masebe was one of the actors who went to Parliament yesterday to submit submissions on how the bill affects her as a performer. On her profile, she wrote: “We have had television for 40 years in this country. There is no law binding broadcasters to pay royalties to actors. The status quo must change.”
Actress and entrepreneur Connie Ferguson also joined the campaign and posted her own image in its support. “It is 2018 and I still do not have the right to my own image or to share in the profits of its distribution. This needs to change.”
Jack Devnarain, who is best known for his role as Rajesh on SABC3’s Isidingo, also took part in the submission in Parliament as a member of the South African Guild of Actors. During an interview on news channel eNCA, he explained what needed to change to protect the interests of the performers in South Africa.
“What we need from our Constitution is that even the most vulnerable are still protected. We have to avoid situations where broadcasters and producers exploit those performers who are unable to negotiate the term of their contracts. We need to have an amended Performance Protection Act that is going to take us into the next modern digitised era to say that your performances are being exploited around the world on the internet in different territories, licensed and distributed and for that your performances on an audio-visual medium will give you an ongoing sustainable income,” he explained.
He said their submission were well received but didn’t want to pre-empt anything.
“Deliberations will continue and in fact you’ll have broadcasters today having their own submissions. It’s going to be a while still but we absolutely believe very very firmly that this act is going to be amended. It is going to bring this country’s performance industry in line with industry practice around the world.