‘Uzalo’ receives R5 million from eThekwini municipality
Uzalo, a telenovela which began broadcasting on SABC1 in February 2015, has received R5 million from the city of Durban’s eThekwini municipality. This is in response to the R11.5 million which show producers requested to keep the series running. Uzalo is filmed in the KwaMashu region of KwaZulu Natal.
Pepsi Pokane and President Jacob Zuma’s daughter Gugu Zuma-Ncube are the series co-directors. According to a report on Tonight TV & Radio, Pokane said that supplying the funding would provide Durban with an opportunity to prove that the city “can produce and deliver a daily drama series on an ongoing, sustainable basis.” He added that Uzalo employed 132 people and offered a number of student internships, but that the production would have to make certain staff cuts if funding could not be provided.
Although DA councillor Nicole Graham was pleased with the directors’ presentation she added, “We are, however, concerned with the amount requested. We are concerned as to whether it is the city’s role to pump money into this production.”