Minister Nathi Mthethwa responds to Vatiswa's open letter, denies 'lack of support' claims
Three months after a disgruntled Vatiswa Ndara penned an open letter that went viral on social media, minister of arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa has finally responded to her concerns.
The minister shared a statement on Twitter this week, addressing claims of alleged exploitation in the industry and advised that actors should study and “evoke the Basic Conditions of Employment Act et al in the interim”, and that the matter fell within the jurisdiction of the department of employment and labour.
The minister denied claims that there was a lack of support for artists from his department and mentioned the financial support that Vatiswa and other cast members of iGazi received previously.
The minister said it was “unfortunate” that he and the department had been cast in a negative light.
“There are notable names across the Culture and Creative Industries sectors that can be cited as having received tangible support from the department, and this is not limited to financial support.
“It is unfortunate that the voices of the artists that have benefited from the department now known as 'Sports, Arts and Culture' cannot present when criticism of 'lack of support' is levelled against the department and Minister Mthethwa as its head.”
Vatiswa reacted to the statement, sharing how disheartened and discouraged she was by it.
“Rather disappointing response Minister Nathi Mthethwa. It's almost as if the Minister does not want to be accountable. Minister the industry is falling apart please act ... excuse the pun.”
Actress Rami Chuene, who supported Vatiswa at the time of her open letter, called the minister out for allegedly tiptoeing around the issue at hand.
“There are more questions than answers here, my minister Nathi Mthethwa. Did you just pass the artists onto the Department of Employment and Labour? With all due respect sir, you’re heading our department. This is still in your jurisdiction before it even gets to (DEL). Do better sir.”
The actresses weren't the only ones frustrated by the minister's statement.
Here are some of the reactions:
Wow. What a heartless response. It would be nice to know what the dept has done lately, in light of these disgruntlements. Nicer would be to know what implementations will be put in place to avoid this vicious cycle. Would it be too much for the minister not write in 3rd person?— Amanda Ngudle (@amandan777) January 22, 2020
What on earth is this? Did everyone really wait this long for these empty words? I am so disappointed on behalf of all the Arts people. Gutted!!— Masi Siko (@SirsikoM) January 22, 2020
He should’ve rather kept quiet ! Wow! I doubt he even understands the processes of the industry he’s supposed to represent, if he fails to see the cry in that letter then that portfolio is doomed! To refer the matter to labor 😳 I’m defeated ,I give up on SA’s “supposed” leaders— ᶤ'ᵐ ђ Ʊ ₪ Z ♣ (@TheRealHunzo) January 22, 2020
I told u about Nathi Mthethwa...he was on Kaya fm minutes ago.Angimuzwa Alibaba saying anything to help the industry. I think it's time we stand up against this toothless teddy bear minister.Otherwise there shouldn't be a department of arts,culture or sports...it's a sad joke— Law Mabuya Ngwenya (@ngwenya_law) January 23, 2020
Bathong Minister!?! After so many months of waiting you give us this? He.e Monna dira plan, se ke makgakga!— Apostle Deza (@MekgweDeza) January 23, 2020