Minister Mthethwa promises radical transformation of the Arts,Culture and Heritage Sector at CedarWoods, Woodmead

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08 Dec 2015

Minister Nathi Mthethwa has today 07 December 2015, assured artists of more government support to transform the Arts, Culture, and Heritage sector and increase its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Imbizo forms part of the Imbizo Focus Week guided by the theme, “Together We Move South Africa Forward”. This is a rallying theme promoting partnerships and galvanising active citizenry. Political principals from all three spheres of the government will be interacting closely with communities in different parts of the country.

Speaking during the Artists’ Imbizo at CedarWood in Woodmead, Minister Nathi Mthethwa stated that there is a decline of physical products, which had been key to the revenues of artists in general.

“The music industry faces a multiplicity of challenges which amongst others incudes Access to finance and investment; Market Access development; Domestic and International market access support; Effective and efficient IP rights management; IP and music enterprise skills development. South Africa continues to import royalties higher than exporting them. Imports of creative service are $66m(2011), whereas export of services at $16m(2011)”, stated Minister Mthethwa.

However, Minister Nathi Mthethwa mentioned that there is a rethink of the music strategy currently under way, which started last year to deal with these challenges affecting the music industry.

Minister Mthethwa also engaged with the artists on how to deal with challenges affecting the music industry, thus streamlining support, enabling and encouraging economic self-reliance of the artists.

The following issues were raised during the discussion: Development of audiences by exposing people to up and coming artists in their respective localities; Exposing many South Africans to music of legends and contemporary young artists who have a national footprint; Re-enforcing efforts by many South African artists to carry their work throughout the continent; IP crimes continue to impact on the Industry despite many efforts to deal with them; digital piracy; payment of royalties; the need to create a platform or television programme to promote and market local talents for up and coming artists; the need to increase and deepen local content across local broadcasting platforms; the need for skill development to produce more local content; the need for taxing and regulation of international acts; the importance of providing support for programming at community arts centres and community halls.

Minister Mthethwa spoke in the context of the transformation of the sector and the need to recognize that the department consists of arts, culture and heritage. This should be recognized in the revision of the 1996 White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage, After all, Heritage is a very significant fundamental for Reconciliation, Nation Building and Social Cohesion which is the key mandate for the department.

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Issued by the Department of Arts and Culture