Netflix Donates Over R8.3m in Covid-19 Relief to South African Film & TV Industry

July 29, 2020

The South African Screen Federation (SASFED), supported by the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), has announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund in collaboration with online-streaming giant, Netflix.

Netflix will donate R8.3 million to provide emergency relief to workers in South Africa’s entertainment industry which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving many without an income. Entertainment industry workers – including electricians, hair and makeup artists, drivers, carpenters,  costume designers and many other freelancers – will be eligible to apply for a R15 000 one-time benefit.

The funds will be administered by Tshikululu Social Investment, who will screen the applications for eligibility.

From 3 August 2020 the members of South Africa’s creative community will be able to apply for the grant by filling out an online application at Tshikululu’s website (tshikululu.org.za) or by mailing physical applications. The eligibility criteria will be posted on Tshikululu’s website on 3 August 2020 when applications open.

Unathi Malunga, SASFED Executive Director: “SASFED is delighted about the announcement that the COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund will provide relief for workers in the film and TV sector who are not eligible for other available relief funds. The S.A. economy has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Netflix fund supporting the local film industry brings hope to struggling industry professionals. We hope other potential partners will follow Netflix’s example and support SASFED’s broader initiatives which offer assistance to industry professionals across the whole value chain – an initiative undertaken by industry, for the industry. SASFED applauds Netflix’s support of the local industry during the global crisis.”

Sisanda Henna, IPO co-Chairperson: “Following months of extreme hardship for most of our sector, the IPO is overjoyed that Netflix is providing this desperately-needed relief for those most hard hit by the pandemic – the industry’s below-the-line freelancers to whom no other relief has been available. This is a clear demonstration of Netflix’s commitment to the sustainability of the South African film and TV production industry, and we welcome them – with wide open arms – as a partner in our broader efforts to support the screen sector.”

Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix’s lead for African Originals: “We’re proud to be working with The South African Screen Federation and the Independent Producers Organisation to support the hardest hit workers in TV and film production. South African crews are vital to Netflix’s success and we want to help those freelancers who most need support in these unprecedented times.”

In March, Netflix announced a $100M hardship fund to help the hardest-hit workers in the creative community across the world affected by the pandemic, which has since been increased to $150M. The ZAR 8.3 million contribution in South Africa is part of this initiative.

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