CCFISA in trouble for alleged self enrichment and looting

Troubled waters. Actor and president of CCIFSA Tony Kgoroge will have to respond to allegations of financial irregularity and self-interest at the organization.

As a result the CCIFSA’s AGM had to be stopped by other concerned members recently- citing amongst others;  

  • Since March 2015 at the Bloemfontein Conference; CCIFSA has not been structured legally, there are no records of minutes which gives a clear direction of where the federation is headed,
  • It has failed to secure the buy-in of most organizations and interested stakeholders in the creative sector.
  • Has failed to unite and consistently report to the creative sector as a whole not just to those that are in bed with the current leadership,
  • National General Council (NGC) members have never met for the past three years.

CCIFSA that is led by its president Tony Kgoroge- a renowned actor- has been mandated to organize the sectors under one umbrella body of the cultural and creative industries that would enable better industry interface with government.

It was established in 2009 following the then President Jacob Zuma’s meeting with artists and actors to discuss their role to social cohesion and nation building within the sector in the country.

But it seems things have gone horribly wrong as a result of no transparency, unaccountability and meaningful representativity of the sector, amongst others.

The North West Cultural And Creative Industry Association (NWCCIA); The South African Arts and Culture Youth Forum (SAACYF); Musicians Association of South Africa (MASA); and representative of entities such as Dorkay, Ngwane Records, Cstahodd Arts Foundation (CAF), South African Woman in Arts and Culture (SAWAC) and LECIATAINMENT, are among those that have raised their concerns about the rampant abuse of the creative sector and its practitioners for narrow benefits.

When asked what was taking shape at CCIFSA, Thobela Dlamini from Ngwane Records responded tersely “a lot of nonsense is happening there.”

NWCCIA did not respond but only sent us correspondence the department of Arts & Culture, select committee on Education and Recreation had with CCIFSA.

According to a media statement from Creative Industry Transformation Forum, one of the main issues at the heart of the collective concerned is that CCIFSA is bankrolled by public money through the Department of Arts and Culture and it would appear tax payers’ money has been used to benefit individuals with narrow selfish interests.

In June 13 2018, CCIFSA made a presentation to the Committee on arts & culture, were it presented an overview of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI), CCIFSA sectors, strategic objectives of the Federation and government acknowledgment.

There was some displeasure with the fact that the CCIFS executive present was all male – this was asked to be changed so that the Committee could fully support the organisation.

This irked deputy Minister Arts and Culture Maggie Sotyu, who had only just became aware that the CCIFSA executive was majority men. She committed to this being corrected.

There were questions on funding of the CCIFSA, Usiba awards, provincial coordinators and celebration of 16 June.

The CCIFSA was pointedly asked what it was doing to transform historically white art sectors and ensure they were more inclusive of black youth, protection of women in the creative industry against sexual assault and education of inexperienced and young artists on the business and legal side of the industry.

Albeit no figure or financial irregularity was given on the alleged corruption and looting at CCIFSA, were there is a smoke there’s always a fire.

However, concerned members have proposed solutions among others:

  • Election of leadership, in about sixty days, with integrity whose mandate should include ensuring CCIFSA has a balanced representation of sectors within the creative industries so as to bring about a singular coherent and strong voice for all and not just some sectors;
  • CCIFSA – To adopt a 100% Local Content as a policy;
  • CCIFSA – should be active and visible in cultural and creative industries policy formulation and most importantly monitor or ensure implementation;
  • Among the most paramount objectives of CCIFSA should be to actively engage in or support initiatives meant to protect, promote, preserve and advance the domestic cultural and creative sectors along with defending the livelihood of practitioners and entrepreneurs. i.e. Global Citizen Event, Essence Festival and all events National, Provincial and Regional;
  • To legally structure the federation, ensure transparency, accountability and constant communication or engagement with all relevant stake holders;
  • Actively promote and facilitate inter-cultural trade between South Africa and rest of the rest of the African continent.

At the time of publishing CCIFSA had not responded for a comment.

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