Tebogo Msimanga |
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) says it supports the demands of creative workers who have been staging a sit-in at the offices of the National Arts Council (NAC) in Johannesburg for the last 29 days.
Creative workers are demanding answers from the Council as well as the National Sports, Arts and Culture Department for its failure to pay out covid-19 relief funds for workers in the sector. For nearly a month now, artists in the creative sector have sacrificed time with their families’ in order to stage a sit-in at the offices of the National Arts Council (NAC) to demand accountability from its board and management.
NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said R300 million which was earmarked for workers in the creative sector for covid19 relief, has not been received by all those who need it.
“It is a disgrace that workers have been forced to take such drastic measures in order to be heard. Minister Nathi Mthethwa should hang his head in shame for the fact that under his watch millions of artists are suffering the indignity of poverty, hunger and homelessness caused by him and the failure of the ANC government to transform the creative sector.”
Jim added that NUMSA supports the artists’ demand for minister Mthethwa to be fired “because he has failed to transform the sector for their benefit.”
South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) will be staging a picket at the NAC today from 10 am in solidarity. The artists are also planning an all-day performance as a form of artistic protest at the offices of the NAC from 10am – 10pm to highlight their demands. This is an indefinite sit-in until their demands are met.