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Dti to change tune of music industry

Written by SAnews

Sport, arts and culture

The South African music industry is in for exciting times, as the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) prepares to help local talent to shine.

The dti has completed work on a strategy to develop the local music industry as part of its Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).

“The music strategy has been completed with all consultations processes closed,” said dti Deputy Director- General (DDG) for consumer and corporate regulation, Zodwa Ntuli.

The strategy proposes improving access to finance by industry players, supporting manufacturing and access to technology, facilitating market access to domestic and international markets as well as skills development. According to DDG Ntuli, the findings of the Copyright Review Commission show that the distribution of royalties to artists goes abroad.

“When you look at how much in terms of royalties get to be paid, the statistics are showing that over 70 per cent is actually being paid to the outside companies,” said DDG Ntuli. This was because of the ownership structure, given that a number of recording companies in South Africa are outside companies.

According to DDG Ntuli, all these interventions will be coordinated by government and will include the Department of Arts and Culture as well as finance institutions of government.

“The export potential of this sector and the creative industry at large is huge with increasing demands in the US and Europe, but our markets continue to be dominated by imports,” she said.

She said that the creative industry contributes to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“In terms of the study that we conducted, we actually find that if you look at our GDP figures, the creative industry contributes about 4 per cent of our GDP, but what we are saying is that there is a potential for it go above that.

“If you look at countries like the US and countries in Europe, they are at about 11 per cent, both on the side of the contribution to GDP but as well as the creation of employment. This is also because they have put in place systems that have formalised the industry so it’s much more structured.

“If we as government focus on supporting this industry and putting the right mechanisms in place to incentivise growth in the industry, then we have a potential to even improve and increase the job creation that is there,” said DDG Ntuli.