Popular SABC 1 drama Uzalo came under the spotlight at the Kwa-Zulu Natal legislature on Thursday as opposition parties questioned the R5-million funding it received from the eThekwini Metro Municipality.
The African News Agency is reporting that the show‚ which is produced by president Jacob Zuma’s daughter Gugulethu‚ was accused during the debate on the Economic Development and Tourism budget of receiving preferential treatment. This while other film projects in the province struggle to receive funding.
“We are [also] worried that this government has provided funding opportunities for people who are already established and have political connections to the ANC. A prime example is the financial support given to Uzalo‚ which is produced by president Zuma’s daughter‚ Gugu Zuma. The ANC-led eThekwini municipality gave this drama R5 million‚” the National Freedom Party’s Happy Khuzwayo said.
However‚ ANC legislators defended the funding of Uzalo‚ saying it had raised Durban’s profile. They also noted that Gugulethu had benefitted as part of a wider project that aimed to correct past imbalances.
“You might think that is not correct for Gugu Zuma to get support because of her surname‚ but you need to look deeper into the matter. She is born in Nkandla‚ she is part of rural community and she is an individual on her own‚” The ANC’s Sibonisa Duma said.
The show‚ filmed in the Durban township Kwa-Mashu‚ debuted in February last year to an average audience of around five million viewers‚ making it one of the most popular TV show’s in the country. It was recently extended for a second season.