Western Cape mobilises in solidarity with the creative practitioners at the NAC sit-in, KZN elects provincial committee, North West starts preparing a programme of action pending MEC’s response to issues raised, & Limpopo poised for provincial elections.
In the past month, attention has been directed towards solidarity with the creative practitioners at the NAC Sit In. The NAC Cape Town Protest group was launched on 15 March. With growing support from individuals, arts organizations, media, political parties and other Civil Society organizations, the group organized an outdoor event for 27th March at Artscape. The event included vibrant performances with placard demonstrations from 80 community artists with 300 people in attendance. Transport and food sponsorship were raised and a media spokespeople liaison team was set up. Interviews were conducted with Cape Talk Radio, Cape Town TV, and GroundUp. A feedback meeting was held on 29th March where the need to intensify the protest with practical ideas across the City / province, was discussed. A petition was created and visual documentation of the protest event was posted on social media. Alternative venues are going to be identified as spaces for occupation and other forms of protest. It was suggested that professional artists become more involved in future.
Thanks and deep appreciation go to written endorsements (ASSITEJ SA, SAGA, Right2Know Campaign, NWASA, The Baxter), social media update pages (Creative Survivor SA, Im4theArts), donations for transport and food (NWASA, Solidarity, AfriFeeste), venue space (Artscape), and artists Zoey Black, Yusrah Bardien, and Nicky Newman.
Naren Sewpaul, Im4theArts Provincial Coordinator, Western Cape
The KZN Provincial Committee held 3 consecutive meetings with the aim of formalising the provincial committee. The provincial committee was elected and individuals were nominated for different portfolios within the committee. The group includes: National leader- Lucky Cele, Provincial leader – Simthandile Mtolo, Assistant to provincial leader- Sphiwe Xulu, Co-ordinator – Thobi Maphanga, Communication officer- Sanele Sibiya, Administrative Assistance – Lerato Molemong, Memberships – Thokozani Mbuyisa, Arts education- M. Mulla, Policy making and implementation- Mthandeni Mbambo, Runner – Cebolenkosi Mthembu.
Through engagements and discussions, a plan was developed, which included writing a letter to the provincial government departments to introduce the committee and to request for an appointment with heads of departments for clarity on plans the Provincial department may have for the province. A radio station was approached for a feature to address arts matters within the province, a feature was approved with Vibe FM, research on KZN relief funding is underway, the Playhouse was also approached to outline it’s community development strategy with programmes in place to develop audiences, and to also reduce the venue hire fees. The leadership is also planning on supporting the sit ins at the NAC offices by the President of the movement and other artists through on the ground activities in KZN.
Lucky Cele, Im4theArts National Steering Committee (KZN)
North West Province
1. We have an active provincial WhatsApp platform where we discuss all matters of the arts in the province and nationally.
2. As the province, we regularly have virtual meetings with our membership.
3. Our membership drive is currently going on in every district. We have volunteers who are assisting in this regard and forms are given to members who cannot access the online registration and they are regularly updated and registered online.
4. We have written a letter to the MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation in the Province. We are awaiting the MEC’s response and will then start with a programme of action if there is no positive response. The programme of action may include Artists marching to her office and even do a “sit-in” until our demands are met.
Kindly noted the issues in the letter placed before the MEC:
1. Covid Relief funding – North West
2. Funding Policy and Model – events/productions
3. Provincial Arts and Culture Council (PACC)
4. Mmabana Foundation
5. North West Cultural Calabash (Taung)
6. National Arts Festival (Grahamstown) – outstanding payments
7. DSAC Service points and District offices – Effectiveness
Tiego Shametja, Im4theArts, Provincial Representative, North West Province
Limpopo has just reached enough members (25) to be able to call an election, according to our constitution, so we will be calling for nominations for the role of coordinator shortly.
Please note that the other provinces are served by:
Theoddore Mohlala-Kgaphola, Mpumalanga
Sivuyisiwe Giba, Eastern Cape
Letlhogonolo Nche, Northern Cape
Lebo Leisa, Free State
Bailey Snyman, Mohamed Ali and Lerato Dlamini Thooe, Gauteng