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Industry Report: Focus: Africa

Local film-making sector to get R500m boost, says Mashatile


- The government would pump at least R500m into the local film industry and establish a new National Skills Academy for the Arts that would 'cherry-pick' and foster young talent, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said in Johannesburg yesterday. by Sarah Hudleston

Mr Mashatile said research in many parts of the world showed that the cultural and creative industries were a major contributor to economic growth and job creation.

Already, technical services to the film industry in SA totalled R7bn annually.

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Terry Tselane, CEO of the Gauteng Film Commission, said he believed the government could invest up to R1bn in helping the film industry in SA, particularly in Gauteng, to become a major destination for film producers.

Mr Mashatile said it was high time that a private investor came on board to build sound-recording studios in Gauteng similar to the studios built in Cape Town by producer Anant Singh.

Development of the craft sector is also on the government’s agenda.

This sector contributes more than R2bn to gross domestic product and provides income for about 38000 people through some 7000 small enterprises.

Mr Mashatile said a site in Pretoria had been identified for the new academy, which would offer further training for students who have already shown talent and "who will be trained to take their place on the world stage".

Plans mooted yesterday to increase SA’s creative industries’ capacity had taken months to formulate, Mr Mashatile said.

"In November I appointed a team to draft a strategy of how to unleash the potential of the cultural and creative industries to contribute to economic growth and job creation," he said .

The strategy is to be presented at a national summit on the cultural and creative industries next Thursday and Friday in Newtown . Former Gauteng official Trish Hanekom, a consultant on the proposal, said the plan was to spend more on the teaching of art and music in state schools .

She also said it was hoped to create more cultural precincts around the country, similar to that of the Newtown precinct.

These would be able to "feed into each other" in creative exchanges.


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