In a move designed to assist the SA film industry during current economic times, the Department of Trade & Industry is to pay producers receiving rebates during the course of the production process and no longer at the end.

Speaking at the Cape Film Commission's (CFC) annual general meeting last month (September 2009), Dr Rob Davies, the Minister of Trade & Industry, also said he has great confidence in the industry's growth curve and says it has reached a level where local films are beginning to attract international attention.

Davies reckons there are three factors having a negative impact on the South African film industry.

The economic downturn has resulted in less money being spent globally on the production of films.

Secondly, incentive schemes offered to film producers by other countries take a bite out of the local industry. And, thirdly, the strong rand is taking its toll. For these reasons the Department has decided on the new payment procedure for rebates.

Another aspect that Davies argues needs urgent attention is the development of broad black economic empowerment in the movie industry.

He even went so far as to say that an empowerment charter ought to be drawn up.

"We are on the point of having to decide whether one should have to comply with empowerment conditions before the department gives financial support to a movie project."

If government is approached for money, it's reasonable for it to expect something in return, Davies declares.

Source: From article written by Carin Smith for Fin24.com, posted on 11 September 2009, http://www.fin24.com/articles/default/display_article.aspx?ArticleId=1518-1786_2552649