Artists Demand Answers Around Relief

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Artists are meeting with officials in the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture with regard to support for the industry.


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Artists are meeting with officials in the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture with regard to support for the industry.
They want answers regarding the provision of Covid-19 relief funds meant for artists. This is after many of them were denied access to funds from the Presidential Economic Stimulus Programme (PESP).
The South African Arts & Culture Youth Forum is calling on the government to release the relief fund for artists.
"This department is not really doing anything for us it's September now, it's heritage month, it's our month. We never got any gig from them even us who are giving them stress advocating for the creative and cultural industry, they want to oppress us even more because they feel like we are distracting but we are fighting for the good cause” the forum explained.
During the level 5 and 4 Covid-19 lockdowns, live performances were prohibited. Production of films and shows were allowed to be filmed with skeleton staff during level 4 for streaming purposes only. These different measures saw workers in the industry lose their ability to generate income.
Earlier this week, the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa confirmed members of the National Arts Council (NAC) were found to have wrongly provided oversight over the PESP.
The PESP iniative saw around R285 million be put aside to ensure that workers in the arts, movie, film and music industry were supported. This saw R85 million being allocated for job retention, while R200 million was allocated for job creation.
Minister Mthethwa said that while money was distributed, more than 55% of artists who applied for the PESP grant did not receive funding. He also revealed that some applicants who did receive funding were overallocated.

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