The SABC has stopped plans by the producers of Uzalo’s to continue shooting this week. The permit that was granted to the production can be revoked by the department of trade and industry.Uzalos producing company which is staained Glass TV,was given a permit by the Company and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) permitting it to shoot the popular drama series.Even though permits are only given to essential service providers.
The producers had only produced episodes which can only be aired until May 8, the company thought it had won the jackpot when it was given the go ahead to start shooting. However, their joy was short lived when the City Press questioned SABC and Stained Glass TV production company which belongs to Gugu Zuma-Ncube and Pepsi Pokane on how they managed to get the permission to produce during the lockdown.
The TV series Uzalo is shot in KwaMashu in Durban, it is the most-watched drama series, it has about 9 million viewers. After they were questioned by the City Press, the SABC stopped the shooting and asked Stained Glass TV not to go on with the shooting until a the lockdown is over or when some regulations which can allow them to produce has been relaxed.
It is alleged that the SABC told the producers that they had to make a special request inorder to start production again. It is now understood that a meeting between the company and SABC1 will be held place soon to see whether or not the show will be given the go ahead.
The department of trade and industry, under which the permits are issued were quick to distance themselves from the saga. Sidwell Medupe who is the spokesperson said the CIPC had not given the public broadcaster the permit to start working during the lockdown.
“This is an issue between the SABC and all the companies linked to the SABC. The CIPC is automated and it is the company’s duty to see if they meet the required regulations before they even apply for a permit,” said Medupe. “Most companies were given permits. However, as the department, we checked all the applications, and when we found that the company was not an essential service we denied the permit and sent an email to notify the entity.”
He went on to say that only companies that were allowed to work, in terms of lockdown regulations, would be permitted to continue operating through this period.
“Having hold of a CIPC certificate does not mean one now has a permit to operate during the lockdown. Any misinterpretion of information is a criminal offence and will be handled as one ” he said.
This week, SABC insiders told City Press that the public broadcaster’s board was still deciding on which production houses should continue working during the lockdown.
However, some of the production houses blamed the public broadcaster of granting Stained Glass TV special treatment.
“One sbc insider asked if stainb glass tv production was being treated differently because it belongs to Gugu who is the daughter of former president Jacob Zuma.
Pokane said they respected Sbc decision but they were looking forward to resume production.
“As Stained Glass TV, we legally applied for a work permit on the CIPC system [website] and thats how we we managed to get the permit. This is after we had discovered that we have limited stock for our viewers as we don’t have any new content for them starting from May 11,” Pokane said.
“Stained Glass TV is the largest TV production employer in KwaZulu-Natal. Uzalo employees took their yearly paid leave during the first 21-day lockdown period, but the period came to an end on April 17,” he said.
“Without the important Covid-19 economic support [measures, the employees and service providers will lose their only source of income. In a province with a few amount of TV sector activity, the negative socioeconomic effects are greatly felt than they are in