ENTERTAINMENT NEWS - On 7 June 2021 the South African presidency’s Twitter page posted that President Cyril Ramaphosa mourns the death of veteran actress and performer Shaleen Surtie-Richards, but South Africans did not receive the post well.
Many said that if the president had signed the Performers Protection Amendment Bill, then the actress would have been better off because of royalties.
The Performers Protection Amendment Bill amends the outdated Performers Protection Act of 1967 and specifically targets gaps in the old legislation that did not provide for, among others, the economic and moral rights of actors.
Lizz Meiring, an actress and management member of the Theatre Benevolent Fund that helps to support struggling industry workers, said on Tuesday that Surtie-Richards went to go see a doctor in Cape Town because she fell extremely ill.
“She saw a doctor in Cape Town because she was so ill. He wanted to book her into a hospital immediately. She simply had no money. That’s the horrible truth. If she had been paid her meagre royalties for all the rebroadcasts of her incredible body of work, she would have been able to,” says Meiring.
Actress Masasa Mbangeni spoke out on the unfair treatment that actors get in South Africa.
The actress said Surtie-Richard could have lived a good life and retired at her age if the president had signed the bill, allowing Shaleen and other actors to receive royalties for television shows and programmes they starred in and which have been repeated and rebroadcast over the years.
“On her royalties alone she could have retired and lived well. Please save your mourning,” Masasa said.
Surtie-Richards’ funeral will take place on Sunday, 13 June 2021 at the Durbanville Memorial Park in Cape Town at 14:30.
The funeral will be live streamed, allowing Surtie-Richards’ fans to pay their last respects to the iconic actress.