Dear incoming Minister of Arts & Culture
Thami akaMbongo: Advancing the Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa.
I trust this letter finds you in good health and high spirits as you assume the honorable role of Minister of Arts and Culture in our beloved country.
As an ardent supporter and active participant in the Cultural and Creative Industries, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations on your appointment and offer my unwavering support as you embark on this crucial journey.
The Cultural and Creative Industries play a pivotal role in shaping the identity and fostering the socio-economic development of our nation. I believe that with your leadership, we have a unique opportunity to elevate these industries to new heights, positively impacting the lives of countless South Africans.
To that end, I would like to share some insights and recommendations that I believe could contribute to the advancement of the Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa:
1. Establish Solid Industry Councils:
Work towards establishing robust Industry Councils for each sub-sector within the nine sectors of the Cultural and Creative Industries. These councils should serve as effective advocates for the unique needs and challenges faced by practitioners in their respective domains.
2. Implementation of the Revised White Paper:
Prioritize the effective implementation of the Revised White Paper on Heritage, Arts, and Culture. This document is a crucial roadmap for the sustainable development and preservation of our cultural heritage.
3. Rework Funding Models:
Explore alternative funding models to reduce the heavy reliance on grants. This could involve partnerships with the private sector, innovative financing mechanisms, and the creation of investment opportunities to ensure a more stable and sustainable income for practitioners.
4. Review Legislation:
Conduct a thorough review of existing bills and legislation governing the Cultural and Creative Industries. Ensure that these legal frameworks are conducive to growth, fair competition, and protection of intellectual property, while also safeguarding the interests of practitioners.
5. Appoint Competent Leaders:
Ensure that the Department of Arts and Culture is staffed with capable and passionate individuals in leadership positions across all three spheres of government. Competent leaders will drive the implementation of policies and initiatives that benefit the industry as a whole.
6. Encourage Constructive Criticism:
Surround yourself with advisors who are not afraid to challenge ideas and perspectives. Constructive criticism fosters innovation and ensures that policies and decisions stand up to rigorous scrutiny.
7. Cultivate Humility and Active Listening:
In your interactions with industry stakeholders, be humble and receptive to their needs. Actively listen to the concerns and aspirations of those within the Cultural and Creative Industries, as their insights will be invaluable in shaping effective policies.
I am confident that, under your stewardship, the Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa will flourish and contribute significantly to our nation’s cultural richness and economic prosperity.
Please consider these recommendations as a humble contribution to the success of your tenure.
Wishing you every success in your new role, and looking forward to witnessing the positive transformations that will undoubtedly arise from your leadership.
Thami aka Mbongo
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Thami aka Mbongo writes on his personal capacity.