4 July 2009
REPORT BACK: TVIEC MEETING WITH MINISTER
Yesterday, 3 July 2009, the Hon Minister of Communications, General S. Nyanda met with the TVIEC to receive a briefing on the extent of the crisis facing producers with regards to the turmoil at the SABC.
The TVIEC outlined the continued failure of the SABC to pay producers and the impact of the SABC’s immediate halt on procuring new content. The TVIEC is of the opinion that the independent production sector is under threat and that steps need to be taken to protect the sector.
The Minister affirmed the importance of the independent television production sector, noted its resilience during the economic downturn and its role in job creation. He stated that the sector is seen as a core player in digital convergence which will see increasing demands for local content. He stated that it is in the interest of government to help the independent production industry grow and in the creation of sustainable employment.
The TVIEC pledged to support and co-operate with the interim SABC board to ensure that the public broadcaster is stabilised and the crisis resolved.
The TV industry is estimated, by the Department of Trade and Industry, to employ 30 000 permanent workers and at least as many in freelance positions – as well as support a host of supplier industries. These jobs range from the highly skilled positions of writers and directors to a range of semi-skilled and unskilled positions including drivers, electricians, builders, painters, caterers and security guards.
Each drama series produced employs approximately 60 to 120 people – who in turn support 400 to 800 dependents. In addition, our products have a great multiplier effect. Each drama supports a range of related and unrelated industries from studios and equipment suppliers to clothing shops, hairdressers and food suppliers.
It is for this reason that the TV industry is recognized as a critical growth area for the economy.
The Gauteng Film Office has stated that in 2007, the film and television industry contributed R2.5-billion to the province and created 8 000 jobs. (A 2005 Delloite survey estimated that the SA audio visual industry generates R5.5-billion, with a multiplier of 2.5. They predict ours is an industry that generates in excess of R12-billion worth of economic activity per year.)
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This press release is written on behalf of the TVIEC (Television Industry Emergency Coalition) which consists of: IPO (Independent Producers Organization), SASFED (South African Screen Federation), TPA (The Producers Alliance), DFA (Documentary Filmmakers Association), WGSA (Writers Guild of South Africa) as well as the CWU (Creative Workers Union).