Statement by the Media Workers’ Association of South Africa: The Media Workers Association of South Africa (MWASA) unreservedly supports the legitimate claims for the paying of residuals by the South African broadcasters. Whilst the working conditions and earnings of actors and other creative industry workers remain largely far below standard, it is adding salt to injury to deprive them of what is in fact a right to earn a living from their toil and sweat.
The broadcasters actually make obscene profits from the professional work of these creative workers and withholding residual remittances is a direct violation of the Constitutional concepts of equality before the law and the right to equal protection and benefit of the law; the inherent right to dignity and to have that dignity respected and protected; the right not be subjected to conditions of slavery, servitude or forced and uncompensated labour; the right to choose and benefit from their trade, occupation and profession and the right to fair labour practices which would include equal pay for work of equal value and decent work.
We have witnessed some of our comrades live the lives of beggars whilst their works were the toast of the broadcasters. We have witnessed the joy and enjoyment the creative workers bring to our screens big and small. Their works have consummately educated, seamlessly entertained and indelibly enriched our lives beyond measure. We have witnessed many who have passed on paupers whilst their works continue to bolster profit margins for broadcasters and their well-fed bosses. There is no justification for this in any form, type, hue or shape.
MWASA believes this is a just cause and we support this protest action unequivocally and without reservation. Authority will give nothing. If this is the language the broadcasters understand then we shout with you.
Pay what you owe and do not reap what and where you did not sow!