Min Hlongwane lends artists an ear
3 November 2017
…addresses piracy and IP policy
The Ministry of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture has been putting artists on the spotlight in an effort to understand their pleas.
Cabinet minister Makhosini Hlongwane took it upon himself to hold a question and answer session with various art sectors as he begins his ministerial journey with newly added arts and culture responsibilities.
Selected actors, musicians, designers and filmmakers took turns to bring to attention the problems in the industry and suggestions to tackle the issues.
The literary arts sector was represented by Dr Samuel Makore and he told the minister that they are suffering due to infringement.
“We contribute positively to the Gross Domestic Product and we are a very active sector.
“However, in the literary arts we are in danger of facing extinction, we have a lot of infringements in our work.
“You might have observed piracy which is so rampant, then plagiarism which is common in many institutions, illegal transmission of literal works through internet and scanning of our works by users,” Makore said.
He went on to say that all these problems are caused by lack of a book policy which has been an issue since the 80’s.
Hon. Min Hlongwane later said he will look into it as he is in agreement.
During the dialogue it was established that many artists are being gravely disadvantaged by piracy and they urged the minister to see to it that he engages relevant ministries so as to minimise the ill and enforce the law.
The issue of registering intellectual property so as to protect the fruits of artists’ effort was brought up by most art sectors.
When it was his turn to address the people, Hon. Hlongwane opened up by saying that he would no longer read his prepared speech but will answer the questions raised so as to be more interactive.
“I want to put across that the government is very clear in terms of its intentions for the arts sector and that’s why we are here.
“We are under no illusion as to the importance of the sector as far as the development of the country is concerned, a major key area of focus, is to try and remove the arts and culture from the fringes of the economy and to try to integrate it into the mainstream.
“The government can facilitate training and capacity development workshops to enable all artists to understand their rights as far as intellectual property is concerned,” Hon. Hlongwane said.
The ministry was joined by National Gallery of Zimbabwe director Doreen Sibanda and National Art Council Acting Director Moyo.
Hon. Hlogwane told the artists that his door is open and that he will be working hand in hand with them as they understand the industry better.