CityLife Arts

Fighting for the soul of the arts begins as arts organisations form a new federation

The formation of the South African United Cultural and Creative Industries Federation (SAUCCIF) is effectively a rejection of the existing federation Creative Industry Federation of South Africa backed by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture

By Edward Tsumele

It was a question of when and not if gatvol arts organisations were going to form an independent, constituency based artists federation, an alternative to the existing government sponsored Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CIFSA).

A number of arts organisationms representing different sectors of the creative industry yesterday announced the launch of the South African United Cultural and Creative Industries Federation (SAUCCIF).

Interestinglythe launch of this new arts federation is effectively a nub of the existing Creative Industry Federation of South Africa,(CIFSA) whose existence was sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture about six years ago, and which for that long, has been struggling to attract arts organizations into its fold.  CIFSA stands accused by several arts organizations of being  not only ineffective in representing the needs of the creative sector with regards to influencing government policy, but also being a stumbling block  to the sector’s efforts to engage meaningfully with government on sticking issues affecting the arts.

CIFSA is also among other things, being essentially a federation that has no membership of legitimate arts  organizations and therefore cannot claim to represent anyone , except If the definition of being a federation is redefined to mean that the six national officials  constitutes being a federation. Also the fact that to date the federation has received up to R25 millions of public funds from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, and its books remain reportedly un audited is another bone of contention. The six national officials of CIFSA are salaried personnel from the funds annually advanced to it by DSAC. CITYLIFE/ARTS was unable to locate a CIFSA spokesperson yesterday for comment. This is a developing story and as soon as we locate a CIFSA spokesperson, we will update the story with their comment.

On the other hand the new federation seems to be exploiting the weaknesses of CIFSA as it has positioned itself as a constituent based federation that government will have little choice but engage with when dealing with the creative sector, besides of course CIFSA, going forward.

The membership of SAUCCIF is open to organizations, companies and private companies that operate within the Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa. Some of the organisations that have joined SAUCCIF include IQ Research, Hashtag Entertainment Productions, Mzansi One Tree Development Projects, GUDtv Africa, and The Bay Creatives.

The South African United Cultural and Creative Industries Federation (SAUCCIF) is launched to be an umbrella body, comprising of organisations and private companies (NOT Individuals), as the representing voice of the Cultural and Creative Industries within South Africa. It is the first CCI Membership-based federation with affiliates. NPC NUMBER: 2020/790720/08,”  the newly formed federation says in its founding documents,” the new federation says.

At yesterday’s Zoom media conference where the formation of the new organization was announced some representatives of constituent arts organizations in attendance included Sibongile Mngoma of Im4theArts, Gabi Le and Roux of Trade Union for Musicians of South Africa (TUMSA).

When our President announced the Economic Stimulus Package of R500 Billion, we saw some light at the end of the tunnel and the subsequent allocation of R1.2 Billion to Sports, Arts & Culture was greeted with much relief. This despite how difficult it remains to deal with the fact that such had to be shared with Sport. However, when we were suddenly faced with the announcement that this budget had now again been slashed in half to be re-allocated to Health, we were absolutely devastated and appalled once again. Of course we are aware of the plight of the Health Sector, but we are convinced this shortfall could have been found somewhere else rather than in our already threatened Sector? Therefore, having considered our position as a Collective, we write this to the Minister of Finance and Yourself as a strong protest and with an unwavering intention to contest this unfair and untimely action on your part! We demand the immediate re-instatement of the Full R1.2 Billion without any conditions or obstacles. Failing such, we will have no option but to embark on National Mass Action such as you may have witnessed from our various co-operative action Campaigns together with the Labour Sector in recent weeks. We offer the Minister and yourself the opportunity to rectify this mistake within the next 7 days, till end of Business on Friday 16 October 2020. We shall await with great anticipation your timely response to this Urgent letter of Objection and Appeal.”

We have no choice but to hold public officials accountable for their mandate, and we have a duty to each other and to our market to keep our vibrant sector viable and respected.  To this end we invite and encourage all Cultural and Creative organisations to join SAUCCIF without delay,” the federation invites other arts organizations to join the fold.

SAUCCIF Membership Application Forms can be obtained here:

https://forms.gle/dviscW1Mu8Tx6mDA8

Further information can be found here:

EMAIL ADDRESS:                    info@sauccif.org.za

FACEBOOK GROUP & PAGE: South African United Cultural & Creative Industry Federation

TWITTER:               @SAUCCIFIG            @SAUCCIF

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