Moshito 09 opening
Gauteng MEC of Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture -Honourable Ms Nelisiwe Mbatha-Mtimkulu
Chairperson of Moshito & Moshito Board members
National, provincial and local government officials
Captains of the Music sector
International and national speakers and guests
Ladies and gentlemen
All protocol observed
A special thanks for the Moshito Board for inviting me for the opening of this special occasion in the calendar of our music industry. I feel very honoured.
I wish to extend a warm welcome to fellow Moshito 09 delegates form across the globe we are delighted and honoured to have you here in South Africa. I have noted the presence of the Norwegian Ambassador in South Africa Mr. Tor Christian Hildan. The French delegates who are in the country as part of our cultural cooperation mission with the French government. You are indeed specially welcomed.
With these few greetings I trust I have embraced a great number of you, but for those I’ve inadvertently omitted from my greeting, please know that you are warmly and sincerely saluted as esteemed a delegates to this important conference, which is most appropriately being held in September – our Heritage Month.
The Department of Arts and Culture is charged with the unique responsibility of enhancing socio-economic development, promoting social cohesion and nation-building and nurturing our sense of national identity through the development, preservation and promotion of South African arts heritage and culture. Informed by our mandate, we always strive to make culture one of the drivers of reconstruction and development in our country.
During these past years we have seen an expanding floor of rights and policies enshrined in the constitution of this country. Central to the rights and policy are, among others, the following main principles:
Culture is as vital to community life as social and economic concerns.
Freedom of expression and artistic creation are key values in any society.
Like any other human rights, culture is the right of all South Africans as enshrined in the Constitution
Development of national culture is a key issue that all players must work on, both public and the private sector alike.
These statements are the foundation from which we adopted or forged new cultural development tools.
We are deeply convinced that only when a state or governments respects and promotes the principle of cultural diversity, can all cultures survive and prosper. Moshito is, one of the organisations that can begin to build social cohesion in this country. Moshito is very significant for the country because of its central focus to promote the understanding of the business of music. For us to be globally competitive is an imperative. South Africa has to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the powerful countries in the world. Therefore, we need a solid base of highly informed role-players and the first step in building this base is to remove all the knowledge barriers that still block the majority of our people from taking part in this business.
But above all, we need to demystify music business and take it into the empowerment mainstream so that everyone can participate in it on an equal basis. Music business cannot be for the rich elites but must involve grassroots participation.
I recognize that Moshito is also designed to enhance development of the music sector in collaboration with African states. On this note I would like to welcome all participants from the African continent, and particularly to applaud the strong relationship that has been developed between Moshito and the Indian Ocean Music Network (IOMN). It is through this kind of partnership that Moshito can be elevated and be one of the forces for transformation not only for the SADC communities, but to be the première of African music market, a strategic move which will be critical for the NEPAD programme and for the African Union.
I would also like to commend of those coming from other countries outside the African continent who are here to share with us the knowledge and information and experience across nations as the world is indeed becoming a global community.
I am also proud to carry with me the good will of our President, who reiterated the commitment of our government in developing the cultural industries. Taking the cue from the Presidency, my Department, in collaboration with all the key players, will continue embarking on this journey of enriching the lives of all those in the sector. The President of the Republic of South Africa the Hounorable Mr Jacob Zuma has indicated the need for a Presidential Task Team on Cultural Industries.
Government has join hands to build an our Intellectual Property (IP) regime in order to bridge the existing gaps and thus ensuring maximum protection and compliance – in particular the protection of traditional knowledge through the Intellectual property system. Intellectual Property development has become strategic beyond mere copyright protection and is currently the main buzz in trade and development. IP development is the creation of wealth in the new knowledge economy.
Allow me to touch briefly on few aspects which are: reproduction rights, public broadcast and public performance rights. Infringement of these rights through piracy and non-compliance is a major challenge that we all need to work together to address. My Department is engaging the Department of Trade and Industry pertaining to these matters and this include the recent dilemma relating to needletime royalties and other related rights of the performers.
We have also noted that indigenous knowledge is not protected, the economic value that is generated from that knowledge does not flow to the original inventors and custodians of knowledge and only to those who commercially exploit it. Our government is an active participant within the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and UNESCO to champion this issue of the protection and promotion of indigenous cultural expression. Traditional cultural expressions is the foundation of who we are, our heritage and gift left to us by our forbearers and ancestors.
Our interest as government is to take a holistic approach to protect the rights emanating from the copyright system and as such various arms of government and the private sector have to join hands to deal with the challenges. It is through this partnership that we can achieve positive results and thus ensuring that a better business environment is created.
The Department has also initiated a programme called Taking SA Music to the World which aimed at improving export opportunities for South African music. Since 2005, the Department has supported participation of the music sector at MIDEM – an International Music Trade Fares and Exhibitions held in Cannes, Frances. The support has opened up doors for companies that could not have afforded to host a stand at MIDEM on their own and provided SA music professionals the opportunity to make vital international business contacts. Ladies and
Gentlemen allow me to announce that South Africa has been offered to be a Country of Honour at MIDEM at January 2010. A country of Honour is given the opportunity for a full-blown marketing and promotion of its music through live events, publicity, exclusive branding and thus providing an undivided attention to the opinion makers in the music business across the world. The MIDEM 2010 platform is a once-off opportunity to market SA music at a broader level and it offers the economic of scale for South Africa because of the hype and vibe about FIFA World Cup. I hope the industry will join hands to make the MIDEM project a success for South Africa.
On our way to 2010 we would like to strength our partnership with Moshito to ensure that we maximise the benefit of hosting the FIFA World Cup. It is our wish to see Moshito 2010 happening alongside the World Cup – as part of our drive to promote and market our culture to the international world.
I wish to assure the sector that my Department will always strive to bring about meaningful change to the lives of practitioners in the sector. One of our key strategic interventions in support of development in the music sector is to strengthen relationships amongst all role players be it in the public, private sectors and the civil society. At the moment, Moshito continues to enjoy a good relationship with the Gauteng Provincial Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC), the City of Joburg, the SABC, Business Arts South Africa (BASA), The French Institute of Culture (IFAS), SABC, South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), Mmino, and many benefits are being realized through this strategic partnership.
May I also thank all the officials who participated on the mechanical excursive handling the preparation for Moshito 09, without whose organizational and administrative efforts the whole planning whole have been a failure. A special appreciation to all the private sponsors who contributed and sacrificed for the partnership for change.
On this note, I therefore call for everyone to exercise commitment, for change can not occur without our commitment. Let us all deepen our sense of belonging – let us constitute a oneness derived from our common objectives of bringing a better live for all as this will be the pride of the South African music sector. This is now time to change our creative thinking into ploughshares, so that we can attend to the problem of developing our economy and the entire society.
I wish the participants a very fruitful, productive and buzzing Moshito.
I thank you.