Artists look forward to talks with Zuma

SOUTH African musicians and actors have welcomed a meeting with President Jacob Zuma, who will lead a cluster of ministers at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg at 10am today.

SOUTH African musicians and actors have welcomed a meeting with President Jacob Zuma, who will lead a cluster of ministers at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg at 10am today.

"The truth is this is long overdue. To imagine that people have been smoking cigars in top cigar lounges for the past 15 years instead of doing work is making me angry as someone who voted for them for 15 years," veteran actor Sello Maake ka-Ncube said.

"African culture has been marginalised to an extent that the phenomenon of the born frees (those who did not experience apartheid) have only experienced one kind of freedom, freedom to be like white people," he said.

Freddy Nyathela, president of the South African Roadies Association, said the meeting with Zuma was important as it was the first time that the president of the country was meeting the creative industry.

"The creative industry plays an important role in terms of job creation and skills development. We welcome this meeting," said Nyathela.

"It is good in that he will hear what we as artists expect from the government," Afro-soul/jazz artist Candy Mokoena said.

Zuma will meet the artists to discuss issues of concern that have been a bone of contention for a long time, particularly those relating to broadcasting content, intellectual property rights, industry unity, anti-piracy, tax education and participation in 2010 Soccer World Cup activities.

He will be accompanied by ministers in the Presidency Trevor Manuel and Collins Chabane, Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana and her deputy Paul Mashatile, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and others.

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