Mbabane: The Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Madze Bulunga on Monday met with the local arts industry association leaders to discuss crucial issues affecting the sector.
The minister led a ministerial delegation that met with the President of the Association of Christian Artists of Eswatini (ACAESWA) Phetsile Masilela, Vice President of the Eswatini Arts and Music Association (SWAMA) Lindelwa Mafa and SWAMA Secretary Tiyamike Tiyas Maziya to discuss a range of issues affecting the industry in Eswatini.
In a statement sent to this publication, some of the issues discussed in the meeting included future relaxation of current restrictions on the Arts industry’s operations. Worth noting is that the industry has been on lockdown for about four months and was the last industry to be opened when government was easing lockdown restrictions.
Other issues that were discussed also includes the long dragging issue of the implementation of the Copyright Act, the funding relief for artists as well as issues of airplay for locally produced content in local broadcasting stations.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Bulunga said, he was happy to have a chance to meet the Arts leaders. “We welcome the issues they presented to us and we were also able to update them on some of the work that Government continues to do behind the scenes in addressing the issues faced by local artists. Some of the issues they raised do not lie directly with us as a Ministry but we are already collaborating with the relevant Ministries and there is considerable progress that we were able to report to them on those respective issues,” he said.
ACAESWA President Phetsile Masilela appreciated Government for reopening the arts industry. She said they also appreciate the opportunity we have had today to discuss critical issues with the Ministry. We are assured that the issues raised will be concluded as soon as possible to address the impact of COVID-19 on the arts industry. We plead with Government to support us in resolving the issues we presented,” she said.