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By Peter Mothiba

Rasheed Gutta with struggling Background Artists in Roodepoort, Johannesburg
Rasheed Gutta with struggling Background Artists in Roodepoort, Johannesburg

“We want to bring about a godly government in this country,” said Sizwe Ummah Nation spokesperson Phathiwe Ndleleni in Mafikeng on Sunday afternoo.

“That is what we need in this country because we want to bring unity and equality among all South Africans,” she said.

Ndleleni said this while speaking to the media yesterday on the sidelines of a meeting arranged by her party whereby party leader Rasheed Gutta would address the people of Mafikeng and listen to their concerns and daily challenges.

The Mafikeng visit is part of SUN party leader Gutta’s countrywide tour to interact with vulnerable communities and lend a helping hand where possible.

In Mafikeng Gutta promised to build a borehole for the community as they are struggling to access water.

“Gutta is originally from Mafikeng and it pains him a lot to realise that vulnerable communities in his hometown are in dire need of a basic resource like water,” said Ndleleni.

PLEASE). On Friday Gutta met struggling actors in Roodepoort, Johannesburg and heard how miserable their lives are as they are exploited by TV productions and acting agencies.

The actors, who are known as Background Artists, told Gutta that they earn as little as R200 a day when and if they happen to be on set shooting a TV episode.

SUN party leader Rasheed Gutta playing soccer with boys at a dusty field in Sasolburg
SUN party leader Rasheed Gutta playing soccer with boys at a dusty field in Sasolburg

They told Gutta that their working conditions are horrible as they work for long hours, are ill-treated on set and are made to eat left-overs after the main actors have had their meals.

” We are taxed for the little money that we earn, yet we don’t have UIF, medical aid scheme, pension funds, provident funds or any other benefits that are due to a working person,” lamented Traci Viljoen, who is a spokesperson of the Background Artists.

“I have been working as a background artist for close to seven years now, but I have nothing to show for it,” she said.

Another background artist Nomonde Stofile told Tshwane Talks that she feels like quitting her job but is compelled to carry on working for the sake of her child who is still at school.

Yet another struggling actor Mehluli Ndlovu said payments always come late and that he was praying to God to bless him with an alternative permanent job.

“Being a background artist in South Africa is a curse,” said Mehluli.

Karabo Mohlala, who is a musician and also an actor who had a minor role in the soapie Generations, said there is a director who collided with an acting agency not to pay him his money after starting in a film.

“It is now time for us as artists to amplify our plight for the whole world to know what we are going through,” he said.

Gutta then donated food parcels to the artist so that they can make ends meet and promised to escalate their plight to the government.

In Sasolburg also on Friday, Gutta met with community members who are languishing in poverty, unemployment and inadequate housing.

He stressed a need for empowering the youth with skills that would make them participants in the economy and bring them a better life.

Gutta visited 48 families in Sasolburg to see for himself the harsh living conditions they are subjected to on a daily basis.

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