Thursday, July 30, 2009

Free Friday Drinks & Snacks: SAFED Members and all their members welcome

At a time of tight budgets, SASFED is throwing a little drinks and snacks session at Roka.

SASFED has R4 000 credit at Roka (44 Stanley), who are closing down tomorrow. They have agreed to allow SASFED to use up the credit on their last day tomorrow. Please join those from the SASFED board who are in town, while we use up the credit.

Date: Friday 31 July 2009
Time: 19h00 onwards
Venue: Roka - 44 Stanley - Millpark Johannesburg

Kgomotso, Michael & Rehad are in charge of this.

SABC Intercom Update Re-Auditor General to their Staff

The alongside was just sent to the SABC staff. It looks as if the Auditor General is now in place at the SABC, and consulting with the internal staff. Perhaps SASFED affiliates can also contribute with any info they may have.

Click the image for a full size version.

Urgent Request - Producers to send info on SABC payments being held up by Asset Register.

Dear Colleagues,

The SABC have requested the Television Industry Emergency Coalition (TVIEC) to collate information on any and all payments being held up due to the asset register at SABC.


The SABC have undertaken to expedite the hold-ups on old debts that have a backlog due to assets.

Please urgently provide a simple line-by-line report on any issues you wish to raise in regard to the asset register, as well as examples of monies that have been deducted from assets claimed unreturned.


The TVIEC is negotiating with the SABC on having this system changed and reworked to be more production friendly.

Please send your feedback to administrator@ipo.org.za by Monday 3 August at 12h00. Your assistance in this regard will be greatly appreciated.

DFA AGM 2009 - Minutes & Chairs Report

Dear SASFED Affiliates,

We received the minutes (here) and the annual chairperson's (here) report from the DFA's AGM held last week Wednesday, 22 July 2009.

Please note the financial report will be made available to all once it has been audited.

Further to this, we can also advise that the new DFA Board has been announced as follows:

Co-Chairs - Ingrid Gavshorn (Gauteng) & Lauren Groenewald (Cape)
Co-Vice Chairs - Matome Senyolo (Gauteng) & Llewelyn Roderick (Cape)
Treasurer - Marc Schwinges (Gauteng)
Co-Secretaries - Theresa Meyer (Cape) & Pascal Schmitz (Gauteng)
Youth Development - Dylan Valley (Cape)
Regional Development - Ayanda Mncwabe (KZN)

We congratulate the new board.

Friday, July 24, 2009

SOS Update: letter to Parliament, criteria for nominations, public service discussion document, petition etc.

Dear SASFED Affiliates,

The following was revived from SOS as an update.

Hello there

Just a number of quick updates.... Firstly, have sent off a letter to Parliament re: problems with the administration of nominations. The Parlliamentary contact person went on leave. I have now just called Parliament and they have said that they have rectified the problem. Apparently Noluthando has just returned and has acknowledged receipt of all the CVs she has received. Further to that if you have any problems getting hold of her you need to contact Tebello on (021) 403-3755. He will also be able to assist you.

Secondly, in terms of the petition I have had some technical problems. I wanted to update it because we had won our demand re: the deadlines for nominations. I have now realised that the petition can not be updated. There are very strict rules that prevent people from changing the wording of petitions. I will come back to you on a way forward on this. Possibly we will be creating a new one.

Thirdly, I attended the Cosatu Media Forum yesterday. We had some good discussions - particularly about the criteria for nominations. Members of the Forum were insisting on the importance of representativity. They were saying that it was critical that the SABC becomes more public service focused. One of the ways to do this was to ensure that the people nominated to the Board broadly represented and had a track record in terms of serving poor and working class constituencies i.e. the majority of the population. They were saying that we had to move away from a more business-orientated and technicist way of approaching the Board. Strong technical skills needed to be represented on the management. We needed people with strong skills and experience but in a more activist, organising environment. What do people think?

Fourthly, I have now gone through the new Public Service Broadcasting Discussion Document (here). It is a mini "Green Paper" covering public, commercial and community broadcasting issues. It contains a long list of questions on a host of issues including governance, funding, the impact of digital migration etc. The scope is huge! The most serious problem we have at the moment are the deadlines. Submissions need to be in by the 20th of August. This is clearly impossible! We will need to ask for extensions. Will get back to you on that.

Warm regards

Kate

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CWU Press Release - Strike elevated against stubborn SABC

CWU PRESS RELEASE 23/07/2009


CWU ELEVATES STRIKE AGAINST STUBBORN SABC


Communication Workers Union and its members are to embark on a second phase of the protected strike action against the SABC as a result of the Public Broadcaster’s management’s failure respond favourably to the union’s demands.


As indicated to the SABC management on the 10th July 2009, CWU is not prepared to accept anything less than the 12.2% salary increment as agreed upon by parties in the multi-term agreement. CWU still maintain that its members and workers in general cannot be expected to be the ones hard hit by the mismanagement and misappropriation of funds by the management.


The rescue request made by the SABC of 2billion Rands from government cannot exclude rescuing itself from preventing the current strike by ensuring that the SABC respect and adhere to the signed agreement.


CWU believe that the prioritization of cost cutting as embarked upon by the SABC should among others be aimed at making it possible among others to implement the multi-term agreement to ensure the much needed stability within the organization. In prioritizing, the SABC must affirmatively consider the “Loyalty Begins At Home” principle.


The CWU National Working Committee meeting that will be held on the 24th July 2009, will among others discuss a more effective strike action program against the SABC, its forms and durations, and these will include among others; “Go Slows”; Work-to-rule”; Picketing and National “Stay-Away’s” The SABC strike will be bolstered by the impending strike against Telkom SA and the possibility of a “Secondary Strike” of all CWU members in the ICT Sector.


The SABC need to seriously consider implementing the 12.2% or brace itself up for a crippling “Rolling Mass Action”, as our members’ determination and anger is nearing explosive levels.


For any queries, please contact


Gallant Roberts

General Secretary

Communication Workers Union

082 692 9777

gallantr@cwu.org.za

SAFTAS Fees Wavered for 2010 & Deadline Extended

At the meeting held last week, it was agreed that the SAFTAS committee would waiver the entry fees for the up coming SAFTAS on condition that industry represented by SASFED formalise a request.

An official letter has since been received by Eddie at the NFVF and in accordance, the fees have been waivered.

Please note that an email/newsletter was circulated by the NFVF on Thursday 23rd to all on their databases, however they ask that you also take up this call to inform your organisations in order to further the message.

The coordination team, for the SAFTAS has also extended the entry date by two weeks giving extra time to all potential entrants.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

SOS Update: new deadlines for SABC Board nominations, public service discussion document etc

The following update from SOS again.

Hello all

As I am sure you have heard the deadline for submission of nominations has shifted to the 14th of August!! This is great news and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications should be commended for accommodating us on this one. Yesterday I sent though some suggested deadlines for getting all our nominations in. Orginally I had suggested that member organisations get their own nominations in by the end of this week. Given the new deadlines however I am suggesting that we get our nominations in by the end of the following week 31 July 2009. We had then suggested that we hold an SOS working group meeting and that we put together an SOS slate of names consisting of all the names from our member organisations. At that point we were going to look at gaps etc. and see if we needed any further nominations. I hope this process is in order.

You can download here our document on criteria, qualifications and disqualifications for board members. We are hoping that you will be using this as a guide re: your selection of nominees. Further to that, you can click here for the positing on the whole nomination process and gives the Parliamentary contact details.

The IPO has suggested that we put together a pack of information for potential board members in terms of remuneration issues, terms of reference etc. I think that is an excellent suggestion. If anyone has infomation on this please send it through. I will try and pull something together by the end of the week.

Finally, on the very important issue of the Public Service Broadcastign Discussion Doc, we need to obviously urgently attend to this. The Document is a little confusing on the one hand it talks about amendments to the Broadcasting Act and on the other it talks about a new Public Service Broadcasting Bill. I need to clarify this with the Department. Further, as a number of you have pointed out the deadlines are again very, very tight! We have until the 20th of August to comment. I will be discussing a way forward on this with the SOS working group. Will get back to you soonest on that. In terms of the relationship between the new Telecommunications Task Team (looking at the SABC and Sentech) and this process the following is apparently correct:
  • The Ministerial Task Team has been set up to look at a turn-around strategy for the SABC and Sentech, this may lead to recommendations around legislative changes.
  • The Discussion Document deals more directly with legislative amendments.

Warm regards
Kate

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Release: Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking Wins Prestigious Intentional Award

The Following Release from SASFED friends - Big Fish - Congratulations!

op International Business Award

BIG FISH SCHOOL OF DIGITAL FILMMAKING
WINS PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Johannesburg, South Africa – July 17, 2009 – Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking has won the prestigious International Stevie Business Award of the Year for the groundbreaking work it is doing in poverty eradication.

Nicknamed the Stevie® for the Greek word “crowned,” the awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. Recipients of International Stevie Award trophies were selected from more than 30 countries. Big Fish is the only African organization to win.

Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking addresses job creation & skills training for the increasing number of historically disadvantaged Grade 12’s in South Africa, who have no access to tertiary education. For the past five years Big Fish has been doing what South Africa’s new ministry for Higher Education has been set up to achieve – to address tertiary training in an all-encompassing, holistic manner ensuring high employment rates of young South African’s.

With an 85% employment rate of former students & the balance working for themselves in freelance capacities, earning high salaries, this training is benefiting their extended families and contributing significantly to the economy.

`Having trained many of the students, I have seen some of South Africa’s most talented youth rise from a place of disillusionment to a place of success and hope. What is remarkable about Big Fish’s training is their ethos and drive to produce socially responsible filmmakers.’ Says Jacques Pauw, CNN multi-award winner and head mentor for advanced training.

`The Stevie Awards are internationally recognized as the premier business awards. It’s very heartening to see the sterling work of Big Fish recognized internationally. Big Fish continue to produce high caliber students ready to enter the industry. A great day for South Africa’. Rehad Desai, Board member South African Screen Federation (SASFED) and Director of Three Continents Film Festival.

Says Dr Melanie Chait, Director of Big Fish “We are truly honoured to have won the Stevie award. Many NGO’s are doing remarkable work which so often goes unnoticed, yet their interventions are having a significant impact on addressing core social and economic issues.”

Ends

Contact:
Nikki Tilley
Communications
Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking
Tel: + 27 11 482 5599
info@bigfish.org.za
+ 27 82 441 5795

SABC claims cash from Unpaid Producers

PRESS RELEASE

SABC CLAIMS CASH FROM UNPAID PRODUCERS

Despite some erratic payments at the end of June 2009, SABC still owes independent TV producers tens of millions of rands for shows that have already been broadcast. And payments of millions of rands more are being delayed for months on end because of the SABC’s controversial asset control system. As part of that system, seemingly random fines of up to R100 000 are being imposed on producers for alleged lost assets.

The commissioning process is mired in red tape – nowhere more so than the signing off of a completed production. One aspect of this sign-off is assets. When a production company creates a series for SABC, everything that is bought for the production – sets, props, wardrobe, dressing and the like – becomes a SABC asset. At the end of the season the producer – who has invariably had to store these assets at their own cost or, more recently, leave them at an insecure SABC facility – must account for them. Down to the last sock, assets must be ticked off against a ledger of acquisitions. SABC appears to have only one Asset Controller covering all of their commissioned productions, a Ms Lerato Thage.

It can take months or even years for the SABC’s Asset Controller to get to checking a production’s assets. Until she does so, final payment for that production is withheld. Some production companies have been waiting for longer than a year and up to two years for this to happen.

Now production companies are also facing bizarre claims that vast amounts of assets are missing when the controller eventually does her checks. The industry has gone so far as to photograph assets in order to prove that they are accounted for – but SABC seems unwilling to engage over the issue. They seem intent on witholding money from production houses as a matter of course.

This may seem like a trivial issue, but it is causing even further delays and crises in outstanding payments to the industry – it is clearly a ruse to alleviate the SABC’s cashflow crisis at the cost of the independent production sector. The TVIEC demands honest, fair and efficient terms of trade with the national broadcaster.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: tvcrisis@gmail.com

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).

A message to those attending the Durban Film Festival

Anyone who is attending the Durban Film Festival and would like to be interviewed for or otherwise appear in the film "State of Emergency?" which we are shooting at the DIFF, please let us know. The film chronicles filmmaking in South Africa over the past 30 years, examining the question of how to develop a South African identity beyond the past, as a society and by extension as filmmakers. The DIFF is 30 years old this year and we are using the opportunity to reflect on the past (and next) 30 years.

Contact us at
soe@mahalamedia.net or call Connie at 082 730 0653. Thanks!

Monday, July 20, 2009

ICASA's Presentation on "Commissioning of Independently Produced Content"

To see ICASA's presentation regarding the commissioning of independently produced content - click here.

The industry is currently meeting and working to compile a response.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Please sign the SOS Petition

We need your URGENT assistance!

The “Save our SABC” Campaign believes it is critical that the general public feels ownership of the SABC. It is our SABC. One of the most important ways for us to feel this ownership and for the general public to get actively involved is to put forward names for the Board.


We note that the invitation for nominations has been released and the deadline has been set for the end of this month - 31 July 2009. Further we note that small notices have been placed in the supplementary sections of the Mail&Guardian, Star, Sunday Times and Rapport newspapers.

The Coalition is concerned for two reasons. Firstly, we believe that the nomination period is extremely tight and secondly we believe that the dissemination process as regards notifying the public about the nomination process is wholly insufficient.

PLEASE sign the petition here in order to assist SOS in campaigning to (amongst other items) extend the nomination process to the end of August 2009.


SOS: Nominations for the new permanent SABC Board - details of the process

Dear all

We need to start getting CVs together from suitable candidates for the new permanent SABC Board. I have sent you through all the official criteria but now we need to focus our minds on the following. We need people who cover the following sets of skills:
  • Corporate governance and finance
  • Technology
  • Journalism and media
  • Industry knowledge (but people who don't have a conflict of interest through direct involvement in broadcasting)
Further to that we need to make sure that the following is also considered:
  • Demographics - race, gender, good regional spread, age (we need tried and tested experience and new blood)
To ensure that the SABC has editorial independence and can report without fear or favour we need to consider the following disqualifications:
  • Political party office bearers
  • Senior government officials
  • Members of Parliament
  • People who have direct involvement in the broadcasting industry
Organisations need to then start drawing up lists of suitable candidates. They need to approach these candidates to see if they are prepared to stand. If they are prepared to stand then the following needs to be done:
  • The nominee needs to send you their CV with a letter accepting the nomination.
  • You then need to send the CV and the acceptance letter to Parliament. You need to make sure that your organisation's details are also included.
  • You need to send this all to Noluthando Skaka at nsaka@parliament.gov.za
  • You can call Noluthando on (021) 403-3751 for further information.
Lets get the nomination process going NOW!!!

Warm regards
Kate Skinner

Thursday, July 16, 2009

DTI Training and good practice materials on electronic records management

Dear SASFED Members and Fields,

We received the below form the DAC today which will be of interest to some of our member organisations:





NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS SERVICE OF SOUTH AFRICA

NASIONALE ARGIEF EN REKORDDIENS VAN SUID-AFRIKA

DIAKHAEFE TŠA BOSETŠHABA TŠA AFRIKA BORWA

INQOLOBANE YOKUGCINA AMAGUGU KAZWELONKE ENINGIZIMU AFRIKA


Private Bag X236, PRETORIA 0001

Tel: (012) 441 3200; Fax: (012) 323 5287


Ref 7/1/5/2/1


15 July 2009


TO MEMBERS OF SOUTH AFRICAN ARCHIVAL AND

RECORDS MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS


TRAINING AND GOOD PRACTICE MATERIALS ON ELECTRONIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT


1. I have pleasure in drawing your attention to the availability of a set of training and good practice guidance materials on managing records in the electronic environment. The materials have been produced by the International Records Management Trust (IRMT) for the benefit of the public sector world-wide. The preparation was funded by the UK Department for International Development, and the ARMA International Education Foundation has generously helped to fund the distribution. The IRMT gratefully acknowledges their support in making the materials available.


2 Copies of these materials may be downloaded from the IRMT’s website at: http://www.irmt.org/researchReports.html.


3. It is internationally recognised that the move toward e-government brings new possibilities for strengthening governance and for economic and social development in terms of improving government services, supporting increased accountability and enabling governments to manage state resources more effectively. However, the discipline required to manage records held in digital media is not generally recognised, and there tends to be inadequate attention to the quality of documentary evidence; and records management tends not to be incorporated in e-government programmes. It is intended that the materials should provide a step toward addressing this situation and introducing records management as a critical component of electronic government.


4. While the materials were designed for use internationally, it would be important for governmental bodies in South Africa to use the guidelines within the regulatory framework specific to South Africa. The National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (No 43 of 1996 as amended), which is administered by the Department of Arts and Culture through the National Archivist, regulates the management of current records of governmental bodies. The Act contains provisions specifically regarding the use of electronic records systems, viz. that the National Archivist shall determine the conditions subject to which electronic records systems in governmental bodies shall be managed [section 13(2)(a)]. To facilitate the provision of prescripts, a manual Managing Electronic Records in Governmental Bodies: Policy, Principles and Requirements has been produced. The essential requirements are contained in a synoptic Advisory Pamphlet (No 2): Electronic Records and the law: What governmental bodies need to know. These materials are accessible on the website of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa http://www.national.archives.gov.za under the links Services to Governmental Bodies and Records Management Publications. Hard copies may also be requested from the National Archives and Records Service. These prescripts should be used in the context of the overarching policy framework for the management of current records of governmental bodies contained in the Records Management Policy Manual, which is also accessible on the National Archives and Records Service’s website and may be requested in hard copy.


5. This information is being brought to the attention of heads of national and provincial governmental bodies, because it has been noted that the personal support and commitment of top management is a critical factor in the success of implementing electronic records systems. In practice, the materials would be used by departmental Records Managers in consultation with Chief Information Officers. To ensure wide distribution, this notice is also being sent to the members of the various archival and records management professional associations.


6. Enquiries regarding the National Archives and Records Service’s guidelines for governmental bodies regarding the management of electronic records may be directed to Ms Erna-Marié Pretorius, e-mail Erna.Pretorius@dac.gov.za or Mr Clive Kirkwood, e-mailClive.Kirkwood@dac.gov.za.


7. I trust that these prescripts and guidelines will serve to advance the sound management of public records, which is an essential foundation for good governance and governmental accountability.


Warm regards



Dr Graham Dominy

NATIONAL ARCHIVIST

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Open Letter from SABC Union to SABC Interim Board

Further to our article on the SABC Staff Action of 14th July (see here) we received a link to an open letter the CWU wrote to the SABC's Interim Board. See it here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SASFED supports as SABC staff strike against the "Damagement"




This morning the SABC staff finally took to the streets in a protected strike against the SABC "Damagement," demanding a 12.2% salary increase as per their standard agreements with the SABC.

Members of MWASA, CWU, BEMAWU and supporters such as those from SASFED, the TVIEC, S.O.S, COSATU and the South African Communist Party all gathered behind the Sentech Tower this morning, despite the icy wind in Johannesburg to rally in support of the SABC staff. Addressing the assembled crowd - SOS and the TVIEC pledged their support for the SABC staff and their determination to see real reform within the SABC management.

The protestors marched slowly down the street and gathered outside Radio Park, singing protest songs and waving banners reading "We demand our 12,2%."

Protestors demanded that the SABC management address them face to face and receive a memorandum of demands, which acting groep CEO, Gab Mampone, (after repeatedly being assured that his safety would not be compromised) accepted on behalf of the SABC. Workers at the SABC made it clear that the current economic recession was not to be blamed for the crisis at the SABC but rather corrupt and ineffecient management. A union representative said "We are, ourselves, paying to get to work everyday - but they still have their (company) petrol cards!" The unions refuse to consider anything less than a 12,2% salary increase across the board as there is no sign of change within management.

Union representatives repeatedly cautioned the SABC management that further action would follow if their demands were not met. The memorandum stipulated that the SABC had two days to formally respond to the unions' demands, else the matter would be elevated.

Gab Mampone, though seemingly rather reluctant to speak, assured the crowd that the memorandum of demands would be addressed.

To see a media release from the Unions today - click here and to see the memorandum of demands issued by the Unions today - click here


Monday, July 13, 2009

Nominations: Appointment of SABC Board Members

The Portfolio Committee on Communications invites the public to make nominations for the appointment of 12 non-executive members to the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation Limited, in terms of the Broadcasting Act (No 4 of 1999).

Requirements: Members of the Board, when viewed collectively, must be persons who:
  • Are suited to serve on the Board by virtue of their qualifications, expertise and experience in the fields of broadcasting policy and technology, broadcasting regulation, media law, business practice and finance, marketing, journalism, entertainment and education, as well as social and labour issues
  • Are committed to fairness, freedom of expression, the right of the public to be informed, as well as openness and accountability on the part of those holding public office
  • Represent a broad cross-section of the population of the Republic
  • Are committed to the objectives and principles as enunciated in the Charter of the SABC.
Written nominations must contain:
  • The full name, address and contact numbers of the person or organisation making the nomination
  • A signed acceptance of the nomination by the nominee
  • A Curriculum Vitae of the nominee, providing the following information:
- Full name, ID number and gender
- Latest address, contact and fax numbers
- Previous experience, quoting dates and organisations or institutions concerned
- Academic qualifications.

Appointment process: The Committee intends to short-list candidates, conduct interviews and present its findings to the National Assembly for recommendation to the President.

Nominations can be emailed to Noluthando Skaka at nskaka@parliament.gov.za by no later than 31 July 2009 before 12:00 noon

Enquiries: Tel. (021) 403-3751

Issued by Mr I Vadi, MP: Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Communications

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Screen Africa Talent & Technology Conference Reminder


A reminder that TODAY is the last day you get a 20% Discount for the Talent & Technology Conference and a copy of the 2009/10 Screen Africa Director & International Guide - Value R380. For more click HERE.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

SOS Update: Strike action, interim board, ICASA regulations

The following update received from SOS on the never-ending SABC saga and ICASA in the news again.

Hello all

As usual there is an enormous amount happening at the SABC. First, the unions are threatening to go on strike. CWU and Mwasa have been given the go ahead by the labour court to go on strike. There strike will be a protected strike. At the moment they are on a go-slow. They are calling for their three year wage agreement to be implemented by SABC management (the agreement allows for an increase of 12.2%). Further, to this they are calling for a forensic audit to be implemented urgently. Bemawu has balloted its members and they have agreed to go on a sympathy strike. Although press statements are claiming that this strike will go ahead next week Monday, apparently it is next week Tuesday. If CWU, MWASA proceed with their strike and the sympathy strike goes ahead then there will be black outs on screens.You can get further information on CWU's blog - cwusabc.blogspot.com.

Cosatu has put out a statement commenting on their unhappiness about the process of selecting the interim board. Further, they are unhappy with the composition of the board. There is no labour representation. Please find press statement here.

Finally, please read the latest DTT ICASA regulations here and ICASA's press statement re: the regulations here. Also, as you are probably aware a grouping of organised black business is taking ICASA to court in terms of the regulations. The reason is that they have allocated 50% of the third multiplex to MNet. This is seen as unfair competition. Please find media alert here. A number of us are looking at the regulations. We will come back to you with our comments.

Warm regards

Kate
Kate Skinner
Campaign Coordinator - Save our SABC

Saturday, July 4, 2009

TVIEC - Press Release 04 July 2009 - Report Back on meeting with Minister


4 July 2009
PRESS RELEASE


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.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: tvcrisis@gmail.com

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).