Twelve actors are taking on the SABC in Johannesburg’s Hillbrow Small Claims Court, claiming outstanding royalties of more than R200 000.

According to a Beeld report, the broadcaster has already received 25 summonses on the issue of royalties for repeat broadcasts of programmes.

Actor and lawyer Hans Strydom, of the South African Actors’ Guild, says he is assisting the actors as they had binding contracts with the SABC. Strydom says the SABC doesn’t automatically pay royalties for repeat broadcasts, but actors may apply for them.

The royalties amount to 25% of the original royalties if the repeat is broadcast in prime time and 15% for any other time.

Some of the programmes involved are more than 30 years old, such as Koöperasiestories, and actors have lost their original contracts.

Strydom says the SABC used to accept affidavits as proof of the contracts, but now refuses to do so.

We say the SABC cannot dismiss an affidavit; it is valid proof. The SABC in any event has a duty to keep all contracts, but clearly never filed them and now they want to punish actors.

SABC executive for repeat broadcasts, Aobakwe Sekwati, confirmed he will appear on behalf of the broadcaster in the Small Claims Court.

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