26 November 2020 - NW2854
Luthuli, Mr BN to ask the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture
With reference to the new funding model of the SA Broadcasting Corporation, which includes the retrenchment of 400 employees, (a) what programmes has his department initiated to ensure that jobs are preserved in the arts and entertainment industries and (b) how is his department preventing the increased precariousness of workers in the arts and entertainment industries?
(a). My Department is already implementing the Presidential Employment Stimulus Program (PESP) as part of the economic recovery plan. Amongst the programs that are being implemented by the Department’s film development agency – the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is a program on job retention in the audio-visual industry. The program is meant to support and counteract the anticipated job losses and to stimulate economic activity.
The other stream within the program is that of employment creation initiatives for creative & cultural practitioners to support their outputs. This includes (but is not limited to) supporting innovation in digitisation efforts for content creation and the dissemination and development of e-commerce products and services. It should however be noted that the work of the SABC practitioners is largely focused on journalism and creation of current news.
(b). Given the current difficult economic environment that is affecting all industries, job loss is something that has become inevitable. Much as the creative industry is one of the hardest hit industries but it also has the potential of being, the most resilient given its innovative nature and the capacity to survive on freelance work. The implementation of the above-mentioned programs is meant as an effort to address the precariousness of workers in the cultural and creative industries. The second wave of the COVID-19 relief program continues to cater for the independent contractors. Further, the Department has embarked on the development of the Cultural and Creative Master Plan process will introduce short, medium and long-term interventions for the sustainability of the Industry.