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National & Provincial
Dec 13 2012 8:20AM
 
Zuma engages musos
TRAGIC DEATH: The Boes family comfort each other at the memorial service for members of the SANDF who died when an air force plane crashed in the Drakensberg last week and where Sgt Eric Boes was one of the 11 dead. Picture: WCN
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Itumeleng Mafisa

President Jacob Zuma has announced the establishment of a task team to look into issues of remuneration and piracy affecting local artists and music producers.

This followed a meeting between top local artists including Mara Louw, Lira, and house singer, Zakes Bantwini, and the president in Pretoria yesterday.

It was a follow-up to a meeting that Zuma had with the artists in 2009.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said the artists had complained about bad working conditions and that they did not receive enough support from government.

They complained about lack of recognition for their contribution to the arts in the country.

Chabane said government viewed the entertainment industry as a tool to create employment and alleviate poverty.

“It’s a very complex industry as you would know…It’s an industry that you need to look at it from an economic point of view. Our focus was on the entertainment part and the fact that it’s a big employer. The final report on the issues discussed with the president would be completed early next year.”

Commenting on the meeting Louw said: “It was a very successful meeting. There have been a lot of issues. But at least we are going somewhere. At least artists can start to become business entities not just people waiting for a gig,” she said.

Louw said she was concerned that local artists had no unemployment insurance fund and other benefits.

“We might be sitting here looking all glamorous but our bank accounts don’t speak the same language. And you ask yourself why. Why is it that year in year out South African artists are not getting a fair deal.”

Many artists also voiced their anger over the preference for international artists such as Beyonce over local musicians at government events.

itumelengm@thenewage.co.za

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