Minister calls for regulation of creative sector

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, has emphasised the importance of regulating the creative sector to avoid the exploitation of creatives by producers and agencies.

“[There is an] urgent need to have this industry regulated so that we do not have artists who do not benefit from their work; who do not get their well-deserved royalties and sign contracts that grossly short change them,” Kodwa said on Tuesday.

The Minister tabled his department’s 2023 Budget Vote in Cape Town. During the Budget Vote, the Minister outlined government’s plans to invest in the heritage, sport, and creative sector.

He called for the Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers Protection Bill to be passed speedily.

“This is why I have engaged seriously with relevant parties to ensure that the two Bills, the Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers Protection Bill, are passed and there is a commitment have this done by the end of May this year,” Kodwa said.

The Copyright and Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills provide for a number of significant measures relating to intellectual property rights and cover key products (which the Bills refer to as ‘works’) that are used in society and the economy, such as, books, music, movies, photographs, sculptures and architectural designs; and their digital equivalents.

The Bills clarify the commercial rights of parties and address a challenge relating to the potential imbalance in power between parties in the contractual relationships that arise between originators of creative works and owners of the copyright to those works, and the negative developmental outcomes that arise from this.

Construction of sport facilities and sport development

Meanwhile, in this financial year, the department has allocated R252 million through the ring-fenced Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) to 29 municipalities for the construction of sport facilities.

One of the beneficiaries of the MIG funding is the Umlalazi Local Municipality.

A project approved in this municipality is the construction of Tap-Tap Makhathini Boxing Centre, which is an initiative to honour a well celebrated, local living boxing legend Elijah Xulu (affectionately known as Tap Tap Makhathini).

“We are delighted that the allocation of R15 million for this project has been approved and gazetted [and we are] looking forward to see the completion of this exciting development.

“The MIG will also fund 10 outdoor gyms and children play parks will be built, and the majority of these will be in rural areas under the jurisdiction of traditional authorities to ensure that rural communities are not deprived of opportunities and services offered by these facilities,” the Minister said.

He will be launching the first one in Kwa-Ndamase, eNyandeni Great Place in June 2023. A total budget of R5 million has been allocated for these facilities.

“We had allocated R229 million from the Conditional Grant to School Sport. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has been finalised; and Minister of DBE and myself will be signing this soon,” Kodwa said.

In 2024, the department intends to increase learners’ access to sport at schools by supporting 75 000 learners to participate in district school sport championships and 5 000 learners in the national school sport championship, and by providing equipment and attire to 2 500 schools, hubs, and clubs.

“Over the medium term, 275 000 learners would have participated in district School Sport Championships and 20 000 in National School Sport Championships by March 2024. We currently invest over R118 million of the Conditional Grant Allocation towards the Club Development Programme.

“We are firm in our belief that, for any country to prosper in sport, it must be rooted in the strong foundation of development at grassroots, and as such sport in schools is the bedrock of our sport in South Africa,” the Minister said.

He said clubs are the fundamental building blocks or primary units in sport development continuum.

“Coming as they do at the lowest rung of the hierarchy of sport structures, they are in the closest proximity and in the most advantageous position in any community to add value and to make a difference in the lives of citizens. National Federations (NFs) must take responsibility to ensure that the growth of their sport is supported by a well-developed club system.

“To ensure the existence of an infrastructure enabling the achievement of our mandate in the Arts, Culture and Heritage sector, the department allocated R193 million to 16 entities to implement infrastructure projects ranging from construction, upgrading, refurbishment and maintenance of their facilities,” the Minister said.

Beyond the transfer of these funds for entities, the department also provides construction project management support to ensure effective implementation of their infrastructure development projects.

A budget of R36 million to support Community Arts Centres has been allocated.

An additional R20.5 million has been set aside for upgrading of Community Arts Centres, mostly in rural areas.

The department, as of April 2023 has set up a permanent craft exhibition and craft outlet at the Women’s Living Heritage Monument in Pretoria, at the Sammy Marks Square.

The exhibition and outlet are being managed as an incubator programme by the South African Creative Industries and open daily from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 16:30, and on Saturdays from 9:00 to 13:00.

“The exhibition and craft outlet contain stock, which represents support to craft producers who have supplied products to the project.

“The project is looking to expand the product offering at the exhibition and outlet over the next few months by spending ± R 1 million to procure more product from craft producers all over country.

“This activity will be underpinned by ongoing capacity building by the incubator to suppliers in the areas of products improvement, costing and pricing and packaging,” the Minister said.

The project is strategically located in the Pretoria central business district (CBD) to give access to government and corporate clients to access corporate gifts, while also targeting the public in general. –

Source: South African Government News Agency