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The Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) was established on 8 May 2009. It replaced SASWA, the South African Scriptwriters Association, and remains the only association in South Africa with the sole purpose of protecting, empowering and developing performance writers in the local film, television, radio, stage, animation and new media (internet – mobile and digital distribution, and gaming) industries.

The WGSA is a registered Non Profit Organisation (NPO) and Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) and as such is solely dependent on fundraising. Its mandate is governed by a constitution. All activities are executed by volunteer council members and a paid Executive Officer. Through its PBO status, the WGSA may issue an 18A certificate for all sponsorships received.


No writer should have to face an adversary who has violated his or her rights alone. That fight belongs to the Guild. We are here to accomplish collectively what you cannot accomplish alone, and to uphold the rights of writers by standing between them and a company or employer with which/whom they are in conflict.

But remember: One writer has less power than two, two less than three, three less than four, with the etceteras running into infinity. As a group we can lobby and succeed where the individual will fail.


WGSA has four key areas in which we assist our members:

The Legal Services Programme

  • Advice on any contractual and/or legal issues writers may have with employers. Assistance with drafting of standard contracts, terms and conditions for performance writers;
  • Determining and negotiating standard minimum rates based on experience for performance writers in all fields;
  • Lobbying Government and Industry role players for Performance Writers’ rights (such as Intellectual Property, Residuals and Royalties);
  • Access to a script registry at discounted rates;
  • A Collection Agency collecting residuals and royalties on your behalf; and
  • Transformation without entitlement.

The Professional Development Programme

  • Professional Development workshops, seminars and knowledge share sessions with local and international facilitators and speakers;
  • A skills lab;
  • Annual "Great Idea" Competition;
  • Annual WGSA Muse Awards: An Award for Writers by Writers.

The Members' Programme

  • WGSA is affiliated with the trade union UASA and has access to government departments and labour organisations via the union. Members can join UASA via WGSA and share in the many benefits, discounted services and products on offer. Visit the UASA website http://www.uasa.org.za for more information on benefits;
  • Job Alerts, Competitions and Writing Links; and
  • Discounts on all Final Draft purchases.

The Communications, Relations Building and Marketing Programme

  • Regular industry news;
  • International market exposure; and
  • Social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and our website.


A Performance Writer creates projects that are intended to be acted, sung or spoken out loud – in other words, performed. This includes not only screenwriters who work for film and television, but also playwrights, radio writers, lyricists, computer games creators, animation writers, audio description writers, radio and TV news writers and – even, speech writers. If you are unsure if you are a performance writer, please contact the Guild.


WGSA is a full member of the IAWG (International Association of Writers Guilds).

The WGSA is a key member of SASFED (The South African Screen Federation,) which includes: DFA - The Documentary Filmmakers Association, IPO - The Independent Producers Organisation, PMA - The Personal Managers' Association, SACIA - The Southern African Communications Industries Association, SAGA - South African Guild of Actors and SAGE - South African Guild of Editors.

SASFED also has a Terms of Engagement with the NFVF (The National Film and Video Foundation) and is a Working Group member of SOS (Supporting Public Broadcasting).

If you are not yet a member and wish to access these services, if you have any queries, or would simply like to contact us, please email our Executive Officer at: [email protected]

Other contact information:



Office: 125 Third Street, Linden, Johannesburg, 2195

Telephone: 011-888-4349

Mobile: 082-575-6901

Fax: 086-654-1972