The South African Broadcasting Corporation recently confirmed that it hasn’t been able to pay 7de Laan on SABC2 for the production company’s now-shuttered show to restart filming episodes, with the public broadcaster unable to say when it will do so or how it plans to rectify and fix the disastrous situation.
The SABC reportedly owes Danie Odendaal Productions “a massive amount of money”.
According to BMA sources, the 7de Laan cast and crew didn’t report for work at Sasani Studios in Johannesburg as they stayed after Danie Odendaal Productions shut down production of the long-running SABC2 show which has two months of filming left.
According to industry insiders, Merlin Naicker, SABC head of video entertainment, and Lala Tuku, SABC head of content for video entertainment, told the production company that the SABC doesn’t have any money to pay for the show.
Mmoni Seapolelo, the SABC spokesperson, said, “The SABC is committed to ensuring that all production houses affected are prioritised, and continuous engagements happen with relevant stakeholders to resolve the matter.”
“The situation is regrettable and is as a result of various factors, including the SABC’s financial status that is known in the public domain and the external factors such as the dire effects of analogue switch-off and loadshedding that affect the audience ratings to enable the SABC to generate revenue as the corporation relies on this as the main source of income.”
“The SABC urges all interested parties to advocate for the viability of the public broadcaster and encourage the payment of TV licenses as stipulated by law.”
In a statement, Danie Odendaal Productions said filming is stopping until “the SABC meets its financial obligations” and that “due to these outstanding funds, we are currently unable to cover the salary and operational costs necessary to continue production. As a result, the decision was made to temporarily suspend production until the SABC can fulfil its financial commitments to 7de Laan”.
The cast and crew employed by Danie Odendaal Productions have been paid for August, but the production company – since the SABC has yet to pay it – doesn’t have the money to either continue production or to pay anyone at the end of September and October.