Monday, October 24, 2016

New 7de Laan episode will be broadcast on SABC2 on Monday night, after crisis over new 7de Laan and Muvhango contracts are finally resolved.

The SABC's 7de Laan will be broadcast tonight on SABC2 after the SABC rushed to sign off on a long-delayed new contract for the Afrikaans weekday soap after an ultimatum from the production company that it won’t deliver any new episodes from today without a signed contract.

After waiting for months, the SABC has now put signatures on new contracts for both 7de Laan and the Venda soap Muvhango.

It's not the first time that the SABC stalled to sign contract extensions for 7de Laan and Muvhango. Muvhango is SABC2's most watched show, with 7de Laan its 7th highest rated programme according to September viewership figures.

ALSO READ: Why the SABC should temporarily lose access to 7de Laan on SABC2 even if it does manage to sign a new contract for the soap's18th season.

Late last week the production company of 7de Laan, Danie Odendaal Productions, said that it won't be delivering any new episodes of the 18th season starting today to the SABC for playout on SABC2 without a signed off contract, and also warned the cast and crew that they might not get paid at the end of this month and to make alternative arrangements to get money in their bank accounts for debit orders to go through.

Muvhango's production company, Word of Mouth Productions had to take out a loan to pay cast and crew earlier this month and 7de Laan’s producers said it would no longer be able to pay staff out of its own pocket without money coming in and a signed new contract.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, trying to downplay the crisis, told Eyewitness News that 7de Laan will now continue and will be shown on SABC2 this evening.

"There’s never been a crisis over this matter because discussions have been taking place over a period of time," Kaizer Kganyago told EWN.

"The contract has now been finalised and I don't think anyone should worry about anything. Whoever was spreading these messages out there did so with malicious intent."

It was ironically the SABC's own service providers spreading the messages.

Frances Maposa, 7de Laan producer in an internal memo told staff that "it is with great concern and sympathy that I write this memo today, in all the years of being at 7de Laan, this is the first time that this type of memo has to be sent out,", saying that because the SABC didn't ensure that a new timeous contract is in place, "the ripple effect of this sees no end".

The 7de Laan spokesperson said on Friday and over the weekend that there will only be finality on Monday as to whether there would be a further episode of 7de Laan screened on Monday evening on SABC2.