How much TV actors in South Africa get paid

For local actors who can’t, or don’t want to take their talents to Hollywood, the South African TV scene offers a platform for a decent living to be made.

How much money local TV actors make was brought to the public’s attention in 2014, when SABC soapie Generation’s actors went on strike over a pay dispute.

The stars of the show were asking for R60,000 per month, which was said to be much higher than what their peers were earning.

We asked a local actor to provide an overview of how much money there is to be made in the SA TV scene in 2015 – which is detailed below.

How much TV actors earn in SA

According to a seasoned local actor, main actors in South African soapies can earn between R25,000 to R60,000 per month.

R60,000 was at the high-end of the scale, and not the norm for main cast members, said the actor.

Supporting actors can earn between R1,500 to R5,000 per call – which is a 12-hour day of work. “Stars” can earn up to R6,000 per call, he said.

For extras in a show – usually non-speaking roles, and who can be untrained people “off the street” – R250 to R500 per call is the going rate.

Following the Generations strike in 2014, Times Live published an article about what local TV actors earn.

The salaries were based on information from the South African Guild of Actors – detailed in the table below.

TV Actors Salaries
Newcomer – per month
7de Laan R22,000
Isibaya R26,000
Intermediate – per month
Binnelanders R27,500
Isidingo R28,000
Generations R40,000
Experienced – per month
Isibaya (support role) R30,000
Isidingo R40,000
Generations R60,000

MyBroadband contacted the SA Guild of Actors for 2015 figures, but it did not reply by the time of publication.

Voice artists in South Africa

Voice actors and voice-over artists are also able to make a good living plying their trade in the country.

According to the rates posted on voice agency Intertalent’s website, in-demand voice-over artists can make several thousand rand per script they read – depending on where the recording is used.

The table below details the rates companies will pay for voice-over work. All amounts exclude VAT.

Voice Artists Rates
Animation/Gaming
Dubbing – recording a voice for created characters R1,500 per minute
Pre-Lay – recording a voice prior to character creation R1,500 per minute
Motion capture – recording a voice and actions prior to character creation R2,000 per minute
Automated Voice Messaging Platforms
Per script – 12 months consecutive use – Maximum of 5 minutes R2,465
Cinema Commercials
One character on a single version of the commercial – 2 consecutive months usage R2,280
One character on a single version of the commercial – 6 consecutive months usage R3,072
One character on a single version of the commercial – 12 consecutive months usage R4,365
Direct Digital Marketing
Per script – 12 consecutive months usage R5,242
E-Learning and Internet Tutorials
Per script – Unlimited usage – Maximum of 5 minutes R7,950
Website and Social Media Insert
Per script – 6 consecutive months usage – Maximum of 3 minutes R2,820
Call Centre/Automatic Answering Machines
Per script – Maximum of 5 minutes R2,465
Radio Commercials
Per script – 2 consecutive months usage R2,060
Per script – 6 consecutive months usage R2,380
Per script – 12 consecutive months usage R3,005
TV Commercials
Per script – 2 consecutive months usage R3,690
Per script – 6 consecutive months usage R5,275
Per script – 12 consecutive months usage R7,860

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