The South African Screen Federation (SASFED), which represents the interest of film and television industry organisations as a collective federation, has issued the following statement in support of the termination of CNBC contract with Gauteng Film Commission (GFC).
On 11 of November 2009, SASFED sent a letter to the Chief Executive of the GFC in which they expressed concern on a report they had received that US$3m of the GFC’s annual budget was committed to broadcaster CNBC each year by way of a five year MOU, (signed by Paul Mashitile the former MEC for the Department of Economic Development) that has already been in place for two of these years. This alarmed SASFED since CNBC does not act to promote local content production, especially in the independent production sector. SASFED called for this money to rather be made available to Gauteng based companies in the independent production sector, if they were to survive these tough times.
Recently the current MEC for for the Department of Economic Development, Firoz Caachalia , reported to a SASFED board member that contract with CNBC has been cancelled, and went further to express the GFC would continue to enjoy government support.
SASFED is heartened that such a large budget, (reportedly half of the GFC’s total annual budget) has now been freed up within the GFC to the benefit of the Gauteng based Industry. SASFED congratulates the GFC and the new MEC for negotiating the cancellation of this contract and looks forward to GFC re-doubling its efforts with the increased funds to assist in rebuilding the industry in the province. SASFED supports the development of provincial film commissions and offices, and is encouraged by provincial investment in this vital industry.