Skeem Saam Extras Fight Back

They want equal treatment

By  | May 05, 2021, 11:44 AM  | Drama

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Extras on SABC 1's 6:30 PM soapie Skeem Saam are fighting for equal and fair treatment and have come out to expose the production.

The soap opera which is set in Johannesburg and Turfloop, Limpopo, enjoys a healthy viewership of 4.4 million viewers; since the last update in January this year.

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It's legion of fans follow the soapie closely and have been somewhat attached to the main cast. The likes of Clement Maosa, who plays Kwaito Seakamela; Cornet Mamabolo, who plays T-Bose Maputla; Nozi Langa who plays Glenda, Amanda Manku, who plays Elizabeth Thobakgale, are some of the many favourites on the show.

While there is no bad press about how these stars are treated on and off set, it is those who play the smaller roles (known as Extras) who are claiming to be treated like they do not matter.

According to Daily Sun, the actors alleged to being treated like they were inferior and did not make any contributions to the growth of the show. They cited eating at different times to the main cast members, and their menus consisting of meals that should not be served to humans, as one of the ways they were treated unfairly.

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Sometimes they would not eat the whole day if they missed breakfast - this according to source who asked to remain anonymous.

"If we miss the allotted time for breakfast, we go hungry the whole day," said one extra.

"The treatment we get on set is very disappointing. The story wouldn't be as good as it is without extras because we carry it," another extra said.

In addition to these grievances brought about by the extra, another complaint was that of long hours. They claimed that they were expected to report for duty very early in the morning even if they had left the set very late the previous night.

Skeem Saam publicity manager Sumaya Mogola had this to say when probed about the allegations: "We're currently outsourcing one agency that provides us with extras, and we have never received any complaints regarding ill-treatment at all.

Mogola went on to say that the production caters for each member of the cast on a daily basis with the same quantity and quality of food.

"Some days might be longer than others, but we have never had to keep an extra for more than 12 hours in a day," Mogola explained.

According to the extras, the treatment at eTV's Rhythm City and Scandal! is a lot better and is not dehumanizing when compared to the treatment received at Skeem Saam.

"We don't experience the same problems at these other productions. In fact, the staff is friendly and we eat with the cast and crew at the same time.

"Even extras arrive late on set and we get breakfast because they know some people come from far and leave their homes without eating breakfast," said another extra who has been working with the productions for more than a year.

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