South Africa: Deputy Minister Buti Manamela On the Upcoming Musicians Indaba

Speech by Deputy Minister Buti Manamela during the media briefing on the upcoming Musicians Indaba

Good morning ladies and Gentlemen of the media

We have invited you here today, to bring to your attention, some of the work that we do as the Presidential Creative Industries Task Team of Deputy Ministers. Let me give you a brief overview of what the task team of deputy ministers was set up to do. After several interactions between government and the creative industries, the President went on to establish a task team of deputy ministers to look at all matters affecting the creative industries. I was appointed to chair this task team in June 2015, the other deputy ministers that serve on this task team are:

Arts and Culture

Communications

Finance

Social Development

Trade and Industry

Higher Education and Training

Police

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Deputy Minister of Economic Development attended to certain matters on special invitation from the chair.

One of the most important tasks given to the task team is to seek solutions to the issues of social security and income smoothing for creative industries practitioners. A dedicated technical subcommittee of officials from Treasury, Social Development, Labour and Arts and Culture has worked on an intervention model that will lead to a long lasting solution that addresses the social security question within the creative arts sectors.

The task team has had engagements with various industry bodies representing the different sectors of the industry.

Of specific interest currently, is the Musicians Indaba that the Task Team will host tomorrow, Friday the 11th of August.

This will take place at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani. It is the first of sectorial engagements that we will hold in different parts of the country, covering various sectors of the creative arts. Tomorrow we meet in Soweto with performers in the Music sector after several interactions with other key players in the music business.

We have been in constant consultation with industry bodies and collecting societies to look at some longstanding matters that continue to hold the South African music industry at ransom. In various interactions with the sector in the past, government identified a number of significant issues that need attention and intervention. Some of these interventions are achievable in the short term while some require a long term approach.

The Indaba will give Musicians a platform to speak directly to government on many issues that affect their day to day business within the sector. The issues raised will be recorded and directed back to the task team for fast tracked resolution.

This platform will also give government the opportunity to give feedback on progress the task team has made thus far since I became Chairperson in 2015.

One of the greatest gains we had facilitated and celebrated was the introduction of the 90% local music policy introduced by the public broadcaster in 2016. We anticipate that the uncertainty that now exists with regards to this will be a major talking point at the Indaba.

This has received a lot of attention in our most recent meetings and the Task Team is concerned that the great gains that local music stood to gain may be getting lost in a typical case of "throwing out the baby with the bath water" at the SABC.

We are going to dedicate time to issues of Payola and Plugola and bring musicians up to speed on action being taken against those found implicated in this practice that is as harmful to music industry as piracy.

Payola is a heavily entrenched cancer which steals fair airplay from hardworking and deserving artists to favour crooked and corrupt industry players.

We are also going to present the social security intervention model for the very first time at the Indaba.

Government departments and agencies will exhibit their services and assist the musicians with information on funding opportunities and other support programmes.

Above all this, tomorrow's Indaba is about the artists. We are giving them time to speak to us. It is a platform for us to listen so we can find ways to assist, for their benefit as well as the country.

We urge all musicians to come to the Soweto Theatre in their numbers. Space is limited, so it is important to confirm attendance and reserve your seat.

We look forward to a fruitful session.

Thank you.

Source: Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

[related_post themes="text" id="11564"]