The GFC's 2009 Sector Employment Audit, which includes statistics on black ownership and equity within the Province, raises the important issue of the rate of transformation in the industry.

According to Faith Mokale of Eclipse TV (Big Up, The Chatroom, I want to Sing etc), transformation could be quicker. "However, because the television industry is a specialised industry, the pace at which transformation should be happening is hampered by shortages of experienced skills in the industry. Although black people - and women in particular - were left out of high level management processes in the past, it is now the new black/female graduates who are bringing top level skills to the world of TV production but experience is still lacking among these new entrants. This necessitates that white experienced TV practitioners continue to hold the proteges by the hand and help them up the production value chain."

Seton Bailey, of Film Afrika Worldwide, comments: "It is almost impossible to fast-track the careers of previously disadvantaged people as a career in the film industry takes a lifetime's dedication and only time will tell therefore, whether transformation is happening 'quickly enough'. It is difficult to assert just how quickly the transformation process should occur. While there are comparatively few formal qualifications required or formal barriers to entry in the film sector, notwithstanding the uneven historic playing field, career paths in the industry are bound by a lifetime of passion and almost unnatural dedication to the profession."

Eileen Sandrock, CEO of Sasani, maintains that training and skills transfer are the most important aspects for Sasani and ZSE TV. "It occurs at all levels within the company: financial, technical and at management levels. A vast amount of time and numerous resources are dedicated to this upliftment strategy. Through intensive mentorship programmes, we have seen numerous staff members move from operational and/or support staff positions to senior management positions. This is a time consuming and resource-intensive process that requires dedicated management. We are also seeing more women in top management positions, which is encouraging. However, there is still an imbalance in the skills sector, which needs urgent rectification and Sasani is currently working on remedying this situation."

Asked whether black people have enough of a stake in the industry, Mokale responds: "When Eclipse started in 2001, it was already 50% black owned. By 2005, the company was 100% black owned. The 50% white shareholder spent the first four years of the business training the 50% black shareholder on all matters related to running a TV production company and, by 2004, the 50% white shareholder was no longer fully operational in the business. Our dream is to continue to grow the company."

Bailey comments: "As regards ownership, you would have to put that question individually to owners. Regarding empowerment and skills development, the Western Cape long form industry has put the Film Industry Learner Mentorship (F.I.L.M) in place to provide for career opportunities through work-based mentorship on local and international shoots. The skills focus is on management. The intention is to encourage the careers of previously disadvantaged people."

Regarding the status of women and youth in the industry, Mokale says there is still a shortage. "However, BEE is slowly seeing many black women acquiring stakes in existing production companies and we trust that these new black female bosses will make room for more black youth in the industry."

Bailey concludes: "Every individual earns her or his place in the industry by gaining experience and respect through excellence in their performance. Exactly the same applies equally to men, women and youth."