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South African SACP says to contest elections
on its own but remain in alliance

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The South African Communist Party (SACP) resolved Saturday to contest future elections on its own but remain on the reconfigured alliance with the ruling party.

At the closing of the SACP Congress in Johannesburg, Chris Matlhako, the party’s Second Deputy General Secretary said, SACP Central Committee will draw modalities and road map on how the party will go about contesting elections.

“After considerable debate at congress, we have resolved that while the SACP will certainly contest elections, the exact modality in which we do so needs to be determined by way of a concrete analysis of the concrete reality and through the process of active engagement with worker and progressive formations,” said Matlhako.

SACP is in a tripartite alliance with the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). SACP however expressed its commitment to remain in the tripartite alliance which is reconfigured where they have more power and say.

“The SACP remains committed to strengthening and consolidating our ANC alliance. This will require a significant reconfiguration. Whether the ANC has the capacity to lead its own process of renewal, and whether it will be able to once more play the critical role of uniting itself and its alliance remains uncertain,” he added.

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the congress and pleaded with SACP not to leave the alliance saying it has benefited South Africans in various ways.

COSATU and SACP have in the past campaigned for the ANC and asked their members to vote for the ruling party.

The SACP resolved to fight for radical land-reform through a major drive to expand black small-scale farming, facilitated through a land tax on absentee landlords and large farming operations. There are about 280,000 SACP members in the country.



South Africa works to improve filmmakers’ access to funding

DURBAN, South Africa South Africa (Xinhua) -- The South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Sunday they will spend about 7.5 million U.S. dollars by March 2018 to support emerging black filmmakers in the country.

At the Emerging Black Filmmakers Workshop during the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), Director of Film Production at the DTI, Nelly Molokoane said the South Africa Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive started in 2014 and has so far benefited 40 filmmakers.

“We are planning to host intense workshops in various provinces to assist filmmakers in accessing this support,” said Molokoane.

Some producers have been struggling to access funding and the workshop was an information session. The Emerging Black Filmmakers Workshop was targeted at emerging film producers who want to access the incentives scheme and inform them on how to do it.

The workshop was hosted to assist those that needed training on the incentive scheme and guidelines, said Molokoane.

Rehad Desai, Director of the Marikana documentary, Miners Shot Down and a beneficiary of the incentive, said the funding will enable South African producers to compete on the continent and in the world in terms of quality production.

“We are seeing far more films being produced since the launch of the scheme and this means funding of projects happens in a lot short space of time and one can go into production quicker. This also means our production companies are becoming sustainable but the incentive can be made more accessible as some of the costs are regarded as non-qualifying and this affects the production qualification,” he added.

DIFF is an annual event which is the oldest and largest film festivals in Southern Africa. The film festival started on July 13 and will end on July 23, 2017. 



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