Panel Discussion: 24 April 2020

  • Jack Devnaran
  • Shadrack Motluang
  • Kevan Jones
  • Hendrick Madelile
  • Wandile Ngolo
  • Ramadan
  • Carlynn De Waal-Smit

The lockdown restrictions have had a devastating impact on the live events, film, TV and theatre production sectors. Many productions and events have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. This means thousands of freelancers face months of financial hardship the longer the lockdown persists.

Naturally, these freelancers are using every available forum to alert Govt. and the sector that they are in a precarious financial position and that without urgent assistance, they will face dire consequences. However, among these distress calls are messages that clearly do not grasp the very nature of the world of freelance engagements. While these calls may appeal to a populist agenda, they are misguided and are discordant with the appeals for assistance from recognised industry organisations.

Our purpose is to clarify the position of ‘freelance workers’ who work from contract to contract, as distinct from ‘employees’ who are protected under Labour Laws. We need to unpack who qualifies for UIF, and why. We need to address the popular myth that freelancers enjoy the right to unionize, and we need to encourage more participation of workers in organisational structures.

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