Zakes Bantwini offers to head the Department of Arts & Culture
South African hitmaker, Zakhele Madida last week posted on Twitter that he would like to run for Minister of Arts and Culture as the current minister, Nathi Mthethwa had failed dismally in representing and protecting South Africa’s entertainment industry and the local creatives amid the lockdown restrictions placed on the entertainment industry.
I want to be Minister of Art & Culture @PresidencyZA, This pandemic has been extremely challenging for our industry and it’s clear we have NO leadership that cares for creative economy of this nation. As creatives we deserve better and I want to change that for next generation.
— Zakes Bantwini (@ZakesBantwiniSA) July 25, 2021
Madida received positive feedback from fellow creatives, who felt they would fare better under his leadership, many citing that they felt their needs were not heard nor seen by the minister of the day. With many questioning the relief fund that was promised by government to the creative industry.
You have the skills, experience and knowledge about the arts industry, so give it a shot brother.
— BUSINESS AS USUAL with – Mr Maluleke Sir YoutubeTV (@MrMalulekeSir) July 25, 2021
“Overall, and beyond film, South Africa’s creative economy contributes around R90 billion to the national economy, Art, Culture and Organisations are key to economic growth and job creation. If a R90 billion industry is nothing to you than I don’t know,” he said.
Many supported the thought, however many felt that Madida would struggle to fulfil this role due to the level in government, also explaining that the creative industry employed a large number of people in South Africa.
A lot… Think of all the people behind even 1 show. Staging, lighting, screens, production, tickets sales, the venue, food trucks and caterers, artists, dancers, designers even buying of instruments. All the people the industry employees & contribute tax, not just the artist.
— Dee Michelle (@DeeDee_Mich) July 27, 2021
Madida is a University of KwaZulu-Natal alumni who was been accepted to study at the Harvard University Business School in the United States of America, highlighted that, people are misinformed about creative industry’s contribution to the economy saying it created more jobs than the mining sector in the 2016/2017 fiscal year without any government support.
Recently well-known veteran Sello Motloung appealed to the public to assist him with any form of employment, as the pandemic had cost him a job, he explained that during the lockdown period it had proven difficult to secure employment for someone in his field and he was struggling to meet his financial obligations.
“As an actor, you have to always be finding a job whether on television, film or stage. With the pandemic, it’s such a tricky challenge and finding a good role within a good production is almost unheard of. I consider myself very fortunate to finally find this role for which I auditioned.”
“The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment increased by0, 6 of a percentage point to 43, 2% in quarter 1 2021 compared to quarter 4 2020. The official unemployment rate among youth (15-34 years) was 46, 3% in Quarter 1 2021. The rate was 9, 3% among university graduates. Formal sector employment increased by 79 000 while the other sectors experienced declines in employment in quarter 1 2021. Informal sector employment decreased by 19 000 (0, 8%); Private households by 70 000 (5, 8%), and employment in Agriculture decreased by 18 000 (2, 2%),” she said.