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COVID-19 relief fund applications being examined

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An independent panel for the sports, arts and culture sectors has commenced with the process of adjudicating applications for the R150 million relief fund.

The fund was announced last month by Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa in an effort to support the sectors as they are among those hardest hit by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund was set up to assist all athletes and arts practitioners, based on a set of criteria defined for each of the two sectors.

“The department strives to ensure that the process is completed as quickly and as efficiently as possible to ensure that the relief funds can reach athletes and artists without any unnecessary delay. We would like to reassure artists and athletes that we are doing everything in our power to finalise this process,” the Minister said in a statement on Friday.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture put out a call for athletes - through their federations - and individual artists to apply for relief, with a deadline of 6 April 2020. 

More than 300 applications were submitted through sporting federations and the department.

Six independent panellists have been appointed and the team has processed most of the applications. The team is expected to submit its report to the department on Friday. Payment will be processed to those recommended by the panel.

Arts and culture sector

Initially, more than 6 000 applications were received in the arts and culture sector.

“In capturing the data, it was discovered that some of the applications had nothing to do with the relief fund. Some were general enquiries and others were proposals for non-related projects. After the data was captured, arts and culture applications stood at nearly 5 000 for relief funding,” the department said.

An independent panel for the arts and culture sector has been appointed and will commence the process of adjudication on Friday.

The adjudicators will provide the Minister with a report on the outcome once the process of adjudications has been completed.

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