NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – South African pay-tv operator MultiChoice says the current coronavirus pandemic has disrupted production across the continent as well as caused massive delays.
In a statement, MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela says the company has had to completely halt production in South Africa, to comply with the ongoing national lockdown issued by President Cyril Ramaphosa to combat the spread of the disease.
To cushion its workers from the impact of the pandemic, the company says it has set aside R80 million (Sh474.6 million) to ensure that current productions are able to pay full salaries of cast, crew, and creatives for the months of March and April 2020.
“The need to secure salaries for our creatives go a long way in creating income stability for them and their families. We believe this to be critical for the industry and in our view, this is simply the right thing to do,” Mawela said.
The company says it has also set aside salaries for freelancers in the SuperSport Productions, who are currently unable to work due to the suspension of sport and the lockdown in South Africa.
“This extends to guaranteeing the income of freelancers in our broadcast technology environment.”
The company has also launched an online learning portal through its MultiChoice Talent Factory, to support over 40 000 members of the industry to gain access to courses and online masterclasses.
“This will ensure that creatives can continue to hone their craft whilst adhering to the public health measures of social distancing and isolation.”
South Africa is leading the continent with the number of confirmed coronavirus cases topping 1,000 as of Friday.
The country also recorded its first coronavirus related death Friday, after two people died in the Western Cape.