Many artists in the film industry continue to suffer due to a lack of financial and training support from the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC). This entity constantly spends almost 50 percent of its budget on salaries and less money on the development programmes for the film and television industry in the province.
The financial woes of Gauteng artists in the film and television industry have been neglected for far too long by the GFC, and the newly appointed CEO, Keitumetse Lebaka, is facing a crucial task. has big shoes to fill. She must ensure that the local film industry is empowered with much-needed skills to provide world-class films that can compete with other internationally-produced local films.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the continued suffering faced by the artists in the film and television industry. CEO Lebaka must review the GFC budget allocations and prioritize support for local film and television artists in Gauteng.
In the 2018/19 annual report for the GFC, they spent 54.9% of the budget on salaries while they had four vacancies, and in the 2020/21 annual report, they spent 47% of the budget on salaries while they had seven vacancies.
This shows that this entity continues to spend almost half of the budget on salaries which is unacceptable and indicates poor financial and management planning.
The DA will be monitoring how the new CEO is going to turn around this entity to ensure that its budget is spent accordingly to benefit local film and television producers.
The only solution is to prioritise a budget that is focused on skills development through funding initiatives that aim at producing highly skilled filmmakers and providing training, workshops, and mentorship to emerging filmmakers.