SAUCCIF - NOTIFICATION OF THE CULTURAL AND CREATIVE INDUSTRY GRIEVANCES AND PLANNED MASS ACTION

SAUCCIF is a member driven,  non-racial,  non-sexist  and  apolitical  Federation  that  serves  as an umbrella body to the Cultural and Creative Industries, comprising  of  organisations  and private companies that collectively boast membership of over 45,000 Creative Practitioners. We are the representative voice of  the  Cultural  and  Creative  Industries  within  South  Africa  and as the first Cultural and Creative  Industries  Federation  with  affiliates,  we  base  our  existence on, among others, The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa as well as all government statutes  that  necessitate  government  collaboration  with  Civil  Society.  The   latter   is   to ensure government responsiveness, openness and accountability.

 

Two of our organizational objectives  are  to  “collaborate  with  Government  Departments,  Private Sector,  Agencies  and  all  other  stakeholders  of  the  Cultural  and  Creative  Industries  to  ensure  productive  and  healthy   relationships”   and   to   “hold   government   accountable  in  all  issues  pertaining to service delivery, lines of communication and related aspects relevant to the Cultural and Creative Industries.”

Consequent  to  the  President   of   the   Republic’s   announcement   of   the   Economic   Stimulus package of R500 Billion,  the  Cultural  and  Creative  Industries  role  players  were advised  of  an  allocation  of  R1.2  Billion.  However,  without  any  consultation  nor   investigations into the  gravity  of  the  negative  impact  of  Covid-19  related  job  losses  suffered by the Cultural and Creative Industries, National  Treasury then adjusted and reduced  the allocation to R665 Million. The initial R1.2  Billion  was  insultingly  trivial  to  bring  adequate  relief for the C&C Industry, where  the  Value  Chain  role  players  have  been  losing  all existing  and  potential  revenue  streams,   since   the   announcement    of    the    lock-down, with  its  severe  protocols  and  restrictions.  Adjusting  the  already  small   allocation   of   the R1.2 Billion to an insignificant R665 Million was ‘adding insult to a gaping wound’.

 

South African United Cultural and Creative Industries Federation SAUCCIF 2020 / 790720 / 08 NPC

 

This budget  cut  was  allowed  and  not  even opposed  in  any  way  by  DSAC,  notwithstanding that the Cultural and Creative Industries is the hardest hit sector in South Africa.

On Tuesday 6 October 2020 at 16H00, we attended a MS Teams meeting Re: “Meeting with        the  DG and other  DSAC Officials:  Employment  Stimulus  Package  update   and   the  DSBS/DSAC  Joint  Funding  Implementation  Plan”.  In  this  meeting,  DSAC,  BASA,  NFVF  and NAC  announced  their  plans  and  processes  to  distribute  the  R665  Million.  These   departments and institutions also announced the budget reduction effected by  National  Treasury  as  alluded  to  in  the  above  paragraph.   DSBD   announced   that   they    have    been   consulting   with   CCIFSA   and   VANSA   particularly   regarding    the    R22.282  Million   set  aside  for  relief  funding,  targeting  the  Craft,  Design,  Visual   Arts   and   Audio-Visual sectors. It was further announced that CCIFSA would be adjudicating applications in the provinces, and that CCIFSA will be part of the Assessment Panels of each of the proposals to DSBD from the nine provinces. On 10 October 2020,  CCIFSA  published  a  Media  Statement titled: “Postponement of  Presidential  Employment  Stimulus  program”  in  which  they  concluded: “We really understand that government is trying its best to get this  right;  to  the benefit of the people of South Africa and the creative industry as whole and the economy at large”.

On 26 October 2020, CCIFSA, through its secretary, issued communication to individuals in provinces. Please see the below quote as issued by CCIFSA *(no grammar and spelling-corrected):

“Please note that last week the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture sent us a document of Employment Stimulus program for Visual Art and Craft to make inputs as CCIFSA and the document was also made available to the Visual Art and Craft National Sector leader and they was a meeting on Friday regarding the program, which I had to attend as the National sector was not available for the meeting.

It is with this background that I would like to inform all the Provinces and National Sector leader of Visual art and Craft that we had to advocate for CCIFSA to employ 100 visual art and Craft for a period of 4 months on a contract basis and there's a R4 million side aside for the program which it will be divided into 2 streams and the second streams is that VANSA will take 56 Visual Art and Craft artists to an internship program.

On our CCIFSA Employment program each Visual Art and Craft artist will get a stipend of R5700 per month and also all 9 administrators will also get R5700 for a period of Months. CCIFSA will have to sign a contract with National Museum through Art Bank for payments and write a proposal on how it will employ those visual art and craft artists including time frames and criteria and this is where the National Sector should work close with Provinces in making this program work. The proposal is expected to be submitted before the end of this week as the target time should be the first of November

 

 

The above communique was followed by the below communication from CCIFSA’s 6 individuals:

“Good day leaders

I hope this email finds you well.

As communicated to you  by  the  secretary  general about  the 100  names  needed for the Visual Art and Craft employment Stimulus program, please see below the criteria for the submission of names.

CRITERIA

  1. All districts should be included on the list
  2. All artists should have more than 2 years Visual Art & Craft experience and give Profiles
  3. Gender balance
  4. Mostly youth and women should be considered and this is in-line with the department request
  5. Artists should have a valid Tax clearance and operating bank account
  6. Artists should have a South African ID.
  7. All Visual artists should be CCIFSA members 8.Artists with disabilities should be prioritized on the list

Please note that each province is supposed to submit 9 names plus 1 administrator.”

 

The above letter from CCIFSA does not only spit on the democratic principles of public participation,  collaborative  governance,  openness  and  government  accountability,   but   also forces prospective beneficiaries to be members of CCIFSA *(See point  7)  in  order  to  receive service delivery. The process is also not an open call  but  rather  a  mafia-style  transaction whereby those within the proximity of the 6 CCIFSA individuals and individuals  selected in provinces will benefit. We are also investigating the R5,700 per person,  per  month  that has been promised to a total of 90 beneficiaries  against  the  total  budget for relief by  DSBD.

SOLIDARITY FUND

Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced the Solidarity Fund on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. The  Solidarity Fund has made available 10 000 food or cash vouchers valued at R700 each, to be distributed by the department, amounting to R7 million. Each province was supposed to receive 1000 vouchers for indigent artists. The minister announced that they would work with CCIFSA individuals to locate and identify beneficiaries in  provinces.  As  far  as  the  Cultural  and  Creative Industries are concerned, the 6  individuals  of  CCIFSA  asked  provinces  to  each  submit to them a maximum of 200 names of artist beneficiaries per province (contrary to the 1000 artist beneficiaries per province call by the Minister). To date not a single artist that is known to SAUCCIF has received a single Solidarity Fund voucher.

SAUCCIF’s CONTENTION

There has been no consultative process on thses matters with the Cultural and Creative Sector, as CCIFSA is not recognised as fully-representative of  the  Cultural  and  Creative  industries  and  thus cannot be engaged as the official  “voice”  of  the  Cultural  and  Creative  Industries.  CCIFSA comprises of 6 individuals with no constituencies.

The following paragraphs will provide some background as to how the current CCIFSA leadership came into existence.

In 2019, DSAC sent out a call to individual artists from 54 Districts of the Republic to attend district meetings that were termed “District Meetings to select artists from 9 sectors who will go to a provincial meeting that would elect CCIFSA National Elective Conference”.

All districts in 9  provinces  selected  individual  artists  to  attend  the  9  provincial  meetings.  These individual artists  then  attended  CCIFSA’s  National  Elective  Conference  where  6  CCIFSA Office Bearers and 9 Sector leaders were elected. The conference was hosted in Mpumalanga wherein only 10 individuals per province elected among themselves, 6 NOB and 9 CCIFSA Sector leaders.  To  date,  after  the  whole  year,  the  9  CCIFSA  Sector  leaders  have  not meaningfully worked collaboratively with  the  6  individuals  called  CCIFSA  NOB.  The  process did not invite or include sector organisations thus deeming CCIFSA as a group of 6 individuals without affiliates. A Civil Society Federation is by definition, an organisation of organisations or a formation with affiliated organizations, which then earns the title: “Federation”.

CCIFSA Interim Provincial Committees

Due  to  Covid  19  restrictions  and  possible  relief  funds  to  provinces,  the  6   CCIFSA   individuals requested the database of  people  who  attended  the  CCIFSA  National  Conference  from  provinces  to  elect  Interim  Provincial  CCIFSA  structures.  Since   those provincial structures were enacted, there has not been consultation and/or reporting to the provincial structures. Provincial structures are also collectives of individuals who were elected by individuals organised by DSAC to attend the CCIFSA National Conference.

In all standards of  consultative  governance  and  public  participation  where  constituencies  are engaged in processes of representation and the principle of participation in  decision  making; collaboration; monitoring and evaluation, the insistence by DSAC and DSBD that organised formations of the Cultural and Creative Industries should accept that they as departments, are working with the 6 individuals of CCIFSA 6 as the voice of the Cultural and Creative Industries - notwithstanding that CCIFSA does not have affiliates, constituencies and membership - is irregular, illegitimate and outright unconstitutional.

 

 

SAUCCIF  does  not  mind   departments   that   want   to   work   with   CCIFSA’s   6   individuals,   as departments are free to choose their partners, however it is our stance that CCIFSA is not a  Civil Society Federation that are representing the interests of  the  Cultural  and  Creative  Industries and they are not speaking on our behalf and neither are they speaking on behalf of  any organised structure - our members in particular.

SAUCCIF is exploring legal processes to deal with the issues mentioned above, especially those that are related to the two matters:

  • Court interdict to ensure that the distribution of 10 000 vouchers to artists, each amounting to R700 per artist are paid within 2 weeks.
  • Court Interdict to ensure that DSBD and DSAC engage and work with structures such as SAUCCIF who represent constituencies made up of member-organisations, not individual artists.
  • An Interdict to ensure that all deserving artists receive an opportunity to apply for relief funding whether or not they have a relationship with the 6 individuals of CCIFSA. The latter is to put a stop to the illegal, non-transparent and “exclusive” processes of using CCIFSA to submit and recommend names of beneficiaries while having CCIFSA individuals adjudicating both in provinces and nationally.
  • An interdict to ensure that all Covid-19 Relief funds from the first and second waves of relief are paid to those who applied, within 2 weeks from receipt of this letter.

 

Furthermore,   SAUCCIF   demands   that   Mzansi    Golden    Economy    funding    is    reinstated for   applications   already   received   to    be    adjudicated,    assessed    and    communicated to  applicants.   These   funds   are   to   be   distributed    by    the    end    of    November   2020. The communication to artists about their funding qualification status must happen within two weeks of receipt of this letter.

 

Based on the above, we demand a meeting – within five working days of this letter dated

28 October 2020 - with both, the Department of Small Business Development as well as the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture to engage SAUCCIF on  the  list  of  demands.  Failure  to  do so will result in SAUCCIF engaging in a series of mass actions of different kinds, as well as a media campaign that will only cease once ALL our demands have been met.

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