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Apply here for COVID-19 relief funding in sports, arts sector

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Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa said in a media briefing on Monday that the second wave of COVID-19 Relief funding for the arts, culture and heritage sector officially opens on Tuesday.

Through its COVID-19 Relief Fund, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture have managed to disburse a total of R65.7 million to cater for various categories, such as the digital applications, the living legends, relief for athletes in the sector as well as relief for the arts and culture practitioners.

The fund was established to support the sectors as they are amongst those hardest hit by the economic impact of COVID-19.

In response to the dilemma faced by practitioners in the sector, the department established a second wave of relief which will take into account any mistakes that were made during the first rollout and correct it.

“The department will be rolling-out two processes to implement sector relief. The first process will include relief for athletes and all technical personnel in the sports sector. While the second process will focus on arts and culture sector relief,” said Mthethwa.

Candidates who are eligible for the sports relief include athletes, coaches, technical support personnel and freelance fitness instructors or practitioners.

“These are applicants who rely solely on income generated from participating in sports competitions, events and in fitness activities, who operate as freelancers. Only applicants who are South African citizens as per Home Affairs official definition will qualify for relief,” said the Minister.

Applications for this category must be submitted to the applicant’s respective National Federation.

Note that only applications from fitness instructors/practitioners must be submitted to a portal on the department’s website.

Arts, culture and heritage relief

The arts, culture and heritage relief will be available to people belonging in categories of performance and celebrations such as music; festivals and events; books and publishing as well as heritage practitioners.

Other practitioners will be included via the partnership with the Department of Small Business and Development (DSBD).

“A joint allocation of R23 million has been set aside by both departments to respond to a plea from the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) for the craft, design and visual arts sectors towards relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A total of R77 million is set aside for relief - of which R11.5 million has been ring-fenced for a contribution towards the partnership with the Department of Small Business Development,” the Minister said.

Should the total amount be paid specifically to beneficiaries and no other costs are considered, a total of 11 666 recipients (athletes and artists) will receive financial aid.

“The relief will be paid as a once-off payment of R6 600, instead of three staggered payments. This decision was made after consulting with implementing agencies, the National Arts Council and Business and Arts South Africa. The approach cut out a lot of administrative processes and time consumption,” said Mthethwa.

Solidarity Fund

To date, the Solidarity Fund has provisioned 10 000 food or cash vouchers of R700 to the department which totals R7 million.

The department says that it is working with sector organisations and the provinces to create a list of recipients eligible to benefit from these vouchers.

“Each province will receive 1 000 vouchers which can either be redeemed as cash or for food. Beneficiaries will be identified as follows: 50% urban and 50% rural areas.

Minister Mthethwa concluded by saying that the vouchers will be available to the athletes, artists, freelancers, sport and art legends. Those receiving social grants and money from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will be excluded.

The database will be screened through the Department of Social Development to ensure that beneficiaries are not recipients of the SASSA grant

The closing date for all applications is 31 August 2020.

To apply, simply log onto our official website’s information on the criteria and requirements.

Visit www.dac.gov.za and www.srsa.gov.za for more information.

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