By Andile Dlamini | 2020-02-14
THE budget speech is being delivered today by Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg and artists have expressed their wishes as to what they hope government can do for the arts industry in the country.
Legendary musician Mshikishi said government should take into consideration that music is not a hobby but a business for artists.
“I implore government to ensure that artists get paid for their work and see the fruits of their work,” he said.
He added that piracy is still a problem in the country despite the copyright act as he feels that it is not enforced as it should be.
“Piracy still is problem in the country but we do not see people going to court for contravening the copyright Act artists are not making money from their music because of piracy,” said Mshikishi.
He said government must approve the bill speaking about the payment of royalties to artists,’ especially by the radio and television.
Swazi soul artist Bholoja said government must set standard minimum fees for artists’ performances in government functions, adding that musicians artists must be rewarded handsomely.
“Government must put aside enough money for education and training facilities for artists this is what will improve their production.
“Productive work means more royalties, that means stable income. Currently, artists are paid peanuts, yet they are taxed by government,” he said.
Bholoja also said artists need to be given diplomatic status when going outside the country.
“Artists work hard to better our country and gain recognition internationally either by winning competitions while representing the country, but only to find that government doesn't have money to support such important projects or functions,” he said. Musician and producer Mozaik said the government should engage the people involved in the industry before they come up with the budget. “I assume that the country operates like a business hence during strategic planning, the stakeholders should be engaged to get their views on what their vision is,” he said.
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