Sixteen Generations actors have been fired after they went on an illegal strike over a week ago.
JOHANNESBURG - The main actors of popular SABC1 soap Generations have been fired.
They had been given up until today to show up for work or face termination.
Around 16 of the show’s stars went on an illegal strike over a week ago -- demanding better pay, extended contracts and royalties from episodes which been rebroadcast.
Actors of the show initially expressed their grievances in October 2013.
In a statement, the cast said that they were saddened by this development,.
"We remain steadfast in our goal to ensure fair working conditions for ourselves as creative professionals,” read the statement.
The dismissed cast members include Anga Makubalo (MJ Dlomo), Sophie Ndaba (Queen Moroka), Thami Mngqolo (Senzo Dlomo), Katlego Danke (Dineo Dlomo) and Slindile Nodangala (Ruby Dikobe).
The production company MMSV Productions said in a statement that it had "terminated the contracts of the striking actors".
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the cast had ignored two deadlines to return to work over the past week, forcing the broadcaster to order the production house to cancel their contracts.
"The strike that was on was illegal," Kganyago said.
"We gave a deadline for Wednesday last week, then they did not come back... and we further gave them until today," he said.
Set in Johannesburg, Generations is South Africa&39;s most viewed and longest running soap, having launched in 1994, the year Nelson Mandela took over the reigns of the country after the end of apartheid.
SABC said the dismissal of the stars would not disrupt the soap which is aired during prime time, every weekday on television.
The cast members of the country&39;s leading soap, watched by millions each day, had last year downed tools twice over similar demands.