Artists suffer while govt commits to fund Zuma’s music career – PVD

DA spokesperson says if eThekwini goes ahead with proposed funding of record deal, it will be seen as an act of corruption

KZN artists suffer while government commits to fund Zuma’s music career

14 January 2019

Today the DA met with the BAT Community Arts Development and Cultural Entertainment Centre management to discuss the challenges that struggling artists face on a daily basis. It is public knowledge that many artists die as paupers because of the lack of funding and support.

During the visit we learned that eThekwini Municipality used to fund the centre by over a million rand, funds that were used to develop up and coming artists. However, the municipality has since stopped this funding, leaving the centre to fend for itself.

Yet, on the other hand, the eThekwini Council has committed to fund former President Jacob Zuma’s music career.

The Bat Centre located in Durban works very closely with a number of smaller centers throughout the province, with a spillover to the Eastern Cape, focusing on Visual Arts and Music. The centre depends on funding for survival. The stoppage in funding without any explanation has opened a gap and led to many projects being cancelled including the Sunday Jazz session.

The DA will therefore escalate the matter by writing to the to the Department of Arts and Culture to ascertain as to why the cutback in funding.

It cannot be that the failing ANC chooses to use the people’s money to support someone who engineered a project of grand ANC-sponsored state corruption, which saw 2 million people join the ranks of the unemployed, thus robbing our people of opportunities.

"Following today’s meeting, the DA will plan meetings with artists across the province who are struggling to put food on the table. We will be writing to the eThekwini Council to halt all funding to Zuma and to direct that funding to artists who need and deserve support" said Van Damme.

"If eThekwini goes ahead with the proposed funding of Zuma’s record deal, it will be seen as an act of corruption, and we will be forced to take action that comes with combatting acts of corruption, and call for those facilitating these corrupt activities to be prosecuted leading to 15 years in prison. The theft of the people’s money cannot be treated with kid gloves".

The DA committed itself in assisting the centre to fulfill its vision of focusing on observing the quality of the arts and performances displayed by local artists.

Only the DA can bring change that builds One South Africa for All, where the people come first and acts of corruption are acted upon, leading to 15 years of imprisonment. The people of KZN deserve a government that acts in their interests, not the interests of corrupt and failing politicians.

Issued by Phumzile van Damme, DA Team One Spokesperson on Corruption, 14 January 2019