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South Africa: Govt Sets Up Task Teams for Music Industry

Pretoria — Government, working with musicians, has set up task teams to look into the challenges facing the various sectors of the music industry.

The announcement was made by the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, after a meeting between President Jacob Zuma and musicians in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The meeting was for government to report back on issues raised by artists in November 2009 to Zuma.

"Task teams have been set-up for the various sectors of the music industry, performing artists, producers and everybody else who are going to look at their own sector to bring all the issues facing their sector together so that when we meet early next year at least we will have a comprehensive report with details from various sectors of this industry," he said.

Chabane said after listenening to the challenges raised by the artists in November, Zuma had set up a committee led by Deputy Minister in the Presidency Obed Bapela and comprised of other Deputy Ministers from other departments.

"Today this committee presented a report of their work, which received positive reaction from the artists. Some of the issues raised [include] the conditions of work for the artists in the main and the support which they are supposed to be getting from government. Other areas of concern included copyright, piracy, airtime on radio and television, social welfare issues and taxation.

"The relationship with various parts of the industry and how they are contributing to the industry is being looked at," said Chabane.

Asked if the meeting helped government and the music industry find common ground, Chabane, who is also a musician, said the parties were already together, they were now just looking for solutions to their problems raised.

"Remember this is a very complex industry. It is an industry that we must look at from an economic point of view, as in the past our focus was only on the entertainment part," he said.

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