PRODUCTION on Mzansi Magic’s Igazi is due to start today but lead actress Vatiswa Ndara will not be on set.
Vatiswa, who played NomaRussia, revealed this in a six-part open letter to Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Also not returning is the late veteran actress Nomhle Nkonyeni who place the role of Nomzuzu.
She died at the age of 77 in July this year after short illness.
In the letter, Vatiswa wrote that her spirit was broken as artists were not respected or properly paid.
Vatiswa said she wrote the letter after being offered R110 000 for a five-week shoot by production house, Ferguson Films.
According to the contract, she would have to be available at all times and for fitting and makeup tests ahead of production.
Vatiswa said she rejected the offer as there was no guarantee she would receive residuals, she would not be able to look for other work until the contract was over and she would not be paid for her time when going for fittings, attending public relations events or media interviews.
She said the contract required limitless calls, which meant she could be expected to be on set for up to 12 hours a day from Monday to Saturday.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa responded to the letter on Twitter, writing: “Good day Vatiswa, thank you for taking the time to write this letter. This is to confirm it has been received.”
His spokeswoman, Asanda Magaqa also said in a Tweet: “Please know the minister already has long standing engagements today, so please allow him time to consider the contents of the letter and respond.”
M-Net said in a statement: "MultiChoice Group (MCG) is aware of an open letter penned by Ms Vatiswa Ndara to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture regarding remuneration and the rights of performing artists. It is important to note that broadcasters commission the production of shows, by entering into contractual relationships with production companies. Actors, in turn are contracted by those production companies and agree contractual terms, including fees, duration of the contracted period, number of episodes and working hours, among others, directly with the production companies. There is no direct contractual relationship between broadcasters and actors.
"Broadcasters commission shows to be produced by production houses for a specific fee, and it is imperative that productions remain within the agreed budget to ensure that consumers get the best in local content at affordable prices. MCG’s current agreements with production houses ensure payment to these companies in full up -front, irrespective of the success of the programming. The production companies and accordingly the actors that they employ therefore do not bear the risk of potential failure of the programme. The broadcaster, on the other hand assumes all the risk by investing in a new show."