South African Context

The Multi media industry has been identified as a key sector to unlock economic growth potential at all levels of government in South Africa – national, provincial and local. This recognition is manifested in the numerous institutions that have been established to support the SA film and media industry, including the National Film and Video Foundation, Cape Film Commission, Durban Film Office, Gauteng Film Office, the Media Diversity Development Agency (MDDA) and various initiatives in the other provinces and government departments. Whilst primary responsibility for the development of the film industry has historically rested with the national Department of Arts and Culture, a growing understanding of the economic importance of the sector has led to the recent creation of a large film and television incentive, constituting an additional R300 million – to be administered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The DTI in the meantime has created a local rebate scheme to encourage production of local content. Furthermore the SABC has committed significant capital towards film production.

The introduction of one or more satellite channels, regional channels as well as an explosion of on-line media platforms will place a huge demand on the quality of skilled personnel that will enter the market. Recently 2 feature films were shot in Mitchells Plain and we are aware of a few more that is planned. The MDDA’s projected income over the next three years from various media houses clearly shows a projected increase in revenue from these respective sources. CTV in Cape Town has indicated that they have great difficulty in sourcing product from communities on a consistent and regular basis.

From this information it can be established that The Youth Media Movement will be required to play a very strategic and dynamic role in the development of high quality and innovative skilled personnel that can utilise the opportunities that are being presented in the digital media industry.

There is a growing recognition of the fact that South Africa in general has many of the requirements needed to become one of the top areas for the production of film and television and multi media content. Based on the current opportunities and long term prospects, the creation of The Youth Media Movement comes at an opportune moment.

Competitiveness: The Youth Media Movement is a strong brand that will introduce a strong competitive service in the non profit training and development sector. This is largely driven by the fact that the founders and associate members of YMM have been involved in film production, training and development, media development and activism over the last 15 years.  Our key product namely digital media skills development training is a unique product that have been developed for marginalised communities and mainstream industry as well as emerging media producers in marginalised urban and rural areas. Together with our comprehensive development and innovation strategy YMM will be a very competitive force.

Employment Intensiveness:  The digital multi media sector is highly employment intensive. The average TV production company employs up to five people full time, and between 20 and 50 crew depending on the size of the production. Actors, models and extras can also range between 1 to 300 people. Feature films employ up to 150 people for up to five months. The diversity of production and the demand for digital local product speak volumes for the opportunity to increase employment in the digital media industry. Several other intervention strategies across the country, such as audience development and the introduction of Regional and Community TV service will also contribute significantly to employment. Radio, print and new digital media platforms also has the capacity to contribute enormously to employment in the community. New ventures are required to expand the existing media market. The existing media houses cannot absorb all the graduates from institutions at present, where are they going to have opportunities for youth from marginalised communities. It is therefore imperative for YMM to create opportunities of employment through our media entrepreneurship  programmes.

Sustainability: The projected investments in film, television, video and digital media industry in the country over the next three years is conservatively projected at over R14 billion. The level of skills training required will increase significantly to meet the demands of the various digital media platforms. Through proper, innovative and measured training programmes we intend to drive YMM to sustainability within a 5 year period.  Growth projections for the future augur well for this scenario.

Impact on Poverty Reduction: One of the strong point points of convergence is the need to reduce poverty by half in 2014 in South Africa. The Youth Media Movement through the demand for locally driven goods and services, and the supply of skilled personnel will allow the digital media industry to contribute significantly to poverty reduction, job creation and cultural enrichment in Mitchells Plain and the Western Cape.

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