Terry Tselane

Nothing in life is constant and none more so than in the business sector where top people come and go. So it is to be with the Gauteng Film Commission’s (GFC) chief executive officer Terry Tselane who will be leaving the GFC to take up a new role as Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission effective from the 1st of January 2012.

Tselane assumed the role of CEO of the GFC in 2005, and immediately his affable, uncompromising and understanding nature made itself felt. He also came with vast experience having previously excelled at high school and pursuing a qualification in education at the University of the North West. He acquired his Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in 1989 at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits).

Tselane played a leadership role for many years as a student activist during the apartheid years. He served in various capacities as a student leader and community worker. He was elected president of the Black Students Society at Wits and was later elected vice president of the Executive Committee of the Convocation. He also served in various leadership roles as a member of the Council of Wits.

Tselane was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Gauteng Tourism Authority in 2001, a position he held until 2005. During this time he created a strong partnership with the tourism industry with the creation of the Gauteng Tourism Forum. Also during his tenure he raised the profile of tourism in Gauteng by helping to boost international tourist arrivals.

His appointment as Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is a welcome one. “I am honoured by this appointment and with the trust and faith that has been placed in me by the President, Mr Jacob Zuma” he says.

“I see this as an opportunity to contribute even more to the development of our country and all its citizens. Our country’s record and reputation in achieving fair and free democratic elections since 1994 is to be protected and valued and I intend to make whatever contribution I can to sustaining this.

“I would also like to thank the Gauteng Provincial Government, and in particular the MEC for Economic Development, Qedani Mahlangu for the faith shown in me and their support of the GFC’s initiatives in promoting the audio-visual sector in this province”.

The Gauteng Film Commission has been through a couple of difficult years with budget cuts compromising some areas of their activities. Tselane was always optimistic regarding their gaols and objectives however, and believed that two important projects currently being tackled will create benefits for the industry in Gauteng.

“We are busy with both the Film Partnership document as well as the Film City proposal” he says. “Both of these projects are in the advanced stages of development and we hope that the reports will be released shortly. The Film City Project is an internal document which seeks to establish sites and motivation for the development of a true film city within the province.

“2010 was tough, and 2011 has also been tough. We have had budgetary cuts and the effect is we have had to compromise on quite a number of projects we intended to be working on. Every year we try to take our projects to international markets, but unfortunately when budgets are cut this is the first platform that is sacrificed”.

Ironically in the same week that he was appointed as Deputy Chair of the IEC, Tselane was also appointed to the position of CEO of National Film Video Foundation (NFVF). Whilst acknowledging that the offer of this appointment was a great honour and privilege and that the NFVFV Council believed that he could take the NFVF to another level, he had to decline the position. “I have worked for the film industry in Gauteng for the past six years and I was confident that I could make a positive contribution to the NFVF, but in terms of the Electoral Commission Act, whoever gets appointed on a fulltime basis has to serve to the exclusion of any other appointment or position”.

During his tenure Tselane encouraged engagement with the film industry and under his guidance, the Gauteng Film Partnership, a body comprising key representatives of the film industry sector and the GFC, was established.

Tselane believes that the GFC’s achievements over the past six years are due largely to the commitment of his team at the Commission.

“I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with a dedicated team of professionals, whose passion for the sector and the country will no doubt be of immense support to the incoming CEO”.