Government continues to support artists

President Jacob Zuma says government has a number of initiatives in place to build a better life for South Africa’s artists.

“We will continue supporting our artists so that they can continue promoting the arts, culture and heritage of our country,” said the President in the National Assembly, on Wednesday.

He was tabling The Presidency Budget Vote.

President Zuma said the Department of Trade and Industry has established the Black Emerging Filmmakers Fund which aims to assist in bridging the inequality gap for filmmakers in South Africa.

In addition, the department will, in the next few months, place before Parliament two Bills, the Protection of Intellectual Property Bill and the Performer’s Rights Protection.

“These bills will, among others, improve the royalty collection, promote fair compensation for the re-use of works and regulate local content,” said President Zuma.

He added that a task team was looking at all available legislation to tackle the scourge of piracy, which, he said, is causing untold financial harm to artists.

“The Task Team is also working closely with the National Film and Video Foundation to ensure that better structures and systems are put in place to make the South African film industry a global competitor, while telling honest South African stories that are in line with our values as a nation.

“These are stories that drive social cohesion and our national identity,” he said.

President Zuma said the long standing dispute on needletime payment for musicians has finally been resolved.

He said the task team has met with the various collecting societies together with the SABC, to develop a process that will lead to the full payment of all outstanding monies to the relevant beneficiaries.

The public broadcaster will also be engaging local television content producers on the way forward, with regards to new content commissioning, he added.

Source: Government Communication and information System