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Minister Mthethwa ‘aware’ of problems facing creative industry

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has received a six-page open letter penned by actress Vatiswa Ndara highlighting what she called an already rotten system used by production companies in the acting industry.

FILE: Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa tables his department's budget in Parliament on 16 July 2019. Picture: @ArtsCultureSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday said he was aware of the problems facing the creative industry in the country and is considering what action should be taken to deal with them.

Mthethwa has received a six-page open letter penned by actress Vatiswa Ndara highlighting what she called an already rotten system used by production companies in the acting industry.

Ndara has highlighted unfair and exploitative practices, which she said were rife in the industry.

The Arts and Culture Department said it had dealt with similar issues in the past and would decide on how it would address Ndara’s concerns.

Mthethwa had been advocating in Parliament for two bills protecting actors and performers, the department said.
One of these bills was the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill which was aimed at protecting the financial interest of actors and performers, a bill which was opposed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

For years now, actors said there were no laws binding broadcasters to pay royalties to performers.

Spokesperson Asanda Magaqa: “Whatever response that he would give would have to be informed with tangible examples of what the department has done in mitigating exactly some of the things Miss Ndara penned in her open letter.”

Ndara said she would not be part of the next season of the popular DSTV drama Igazi after Ferguson Films offered her way below what she said was a fair wage, a situation that she said was the norm in the industry.

Last year, numerous actors took to social media to explain why they were calling for government intervention and how that could possibly bring an end to many creatives dying with no money.

View this post on Instagram

🎭❤️🔥#IamActorSA #SAGAForPPAB

A post shared by RENATE STUURMAN 🎭 (@renatestuurman) on

Over the years, South Africa has learned of many popular artists dying poor and in many instances, government having to intervene financially.

Additional reporting by Mihlali Ntsabo

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