Multinational streaming service company, Netflix, has pledged to invest R929 million worth of investment into the South African creative industry this year.
According to Netflix Vice President for Public Policy EMEA, Professor Madeleine de Cock Buning, the company has created more than 7000 jobs thus far in the country.
“As Netflix we see operating in South Africa as an untapped opportunity. We are encouraged to keep investing because the country has beautiful stories.
“We strongly believe that the creative sector and much largely the TV and film sector are extremely impactful for economic growth and jobs. That cannot be underestimated,” she said on Thursday.
Addressing the fifth South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) taking place in Johannesburg, Buning said the company wanted to build on the success of shows like Unseen, which is currently in the top ten of the global watched shows in 48 countries.
“We are extremely proud of Unseen. It is a great series and is loved throughout the world… that tells us that African stories and culture is appreciated throughout the world,” she said.
“If you look at the government policy objective, we think that the sector can contribute to job creation, capital development, infrastructure development and economic empowerment.
“We really want to show the beauty and diversity of South Africa, which has several cultural and economic effects. This includes direct investment; the wider economy that profits such as hairdressers, hotels, security and carpenters. It has a ripple effect.
“On top of that there is cultural and tourism effects that we have researched together with the South African Tourism office,” Buning added.
Research has shown that people from around the world are 3.1 times more likely to visit South Africa after they have seen a show on Netflix. The streaming service is available in more than 190 countries and has at least 230 million subscribers.
Buning encouraged government to “cut the red tape” to access the film incentive and described the regulatory environment as challenging.