Everyday various sectors across our continent are adjusting and finding ways to deal with challenges brought about by the current pandemic. Given our position in Africa’s video entertainment sector, we are acutely aware of the challenges our partners in the industry face. At this time we would like to stand by them.
Across the continent we are seeing disruptions and delays. Production has been impacted across many countries and production has come to a complete halt in across the continent as the industry adheres to the national lockdowns and calls for residents to stay at home. For many years we have been a leader in the sector and are a leading investor in local content production. We have deep rooted partnerships and long-standing commitments that have grown the industry for the benefit of many, both in front and behind the camera.
It is for this reason that MultiChoice has decided to implement several measures, aimed at safeguarding the incomes of cast, crew, and creatives as well as the sustainability of production houses. With these measures we can hopefully steer the industry through this tumultuous time.
MultiChoice has set aside R80 million to ensure that current productions are able to pay full salaries of cast, crew, and creatives for the months of March and April, by when hopefully we will have the worst of the disruptions behind us. The need to secure salaries of our creatives goes a long way in creating income stability for them and their families. We believe this to be critical for the industry and in our view, this is simply the right thing to do.
Through the MultiChoice Talent Factory we will be launching an online learning portal that will support over 40 000 members of the industry to gain access to courses and online master classes, so they can continue to hone their craft whilst adhering to the public health measures of social distancing and isolation.
Furthermore, we have committed to guarantee the incomes of freelancers in our SuperSport Productions, who are currently unable to work due to the suspension of sport and the national lockdown. This extends to guaranteeing the income of freelancers in our broadcast technology environment.
MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela: “Our main concern is to ensure as much as possible that we secure the incomes of creatives, cast and crew over this period. We want to ensure that they and their families are not negatively impacted as work has come to a standstill.”
As an industry made up of thousands of freelancers which include actors, producers, directors and camera operators, Africa’s video entertainment industry is particularly vulnerable at this time. These people play a critical role in keeping our viewers and communities informed, entertained and connected. All the whilst contributing significantly to the economy.