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