Sports, arts and culture dept extends Covid-19 relief fund application date

Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture (Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

The department has set aside R150 million to help the sector amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has extended the submission date for applications for coronavirus financial relief for artists, athletes and technical personnel to 6 April.

“This extension will allow applicants sufficient time to submit all required documents. It is the intention of the department to expedite the relief to the sector as efficiently as possible and in compliance with the relevant prescripts,” said Mthethwa in a statement.

Mthethwa announced on 25 March that the department had set aside R150 million to help the sector amid the coronavirus outbreak that has left creatives without jobs.

Speaking at a briefing on government’s intervention in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a 21-day lockdown, Mthethwa said: “We have redirected an allocation at national level to avail R150 million to provide a much-needed relief to practitioners ninth sector.

“We also engaged our colleagues, the MECs in provinces, that we need to find a way of topping up what we have so that we give what we have to our creatives, particularly our athletes. As a result of what they raised with the private sector, we have seen a commitment that we’re not going to see our people being chased out of their homes or flats because they could not secure employment this time around.”

The allocated funds will be for the first quarter in the new financial year because the programs the department had planned to fund were now cancelled.

Priority will be given to artists and practitioners who were already booked by some of the cancelled and postponed events funded by the department, as well as the legends of the industry.

For the audiovisual sector, already 25 TV productions have been postponed, possibly to be cancelled, while 15 live shows have been cancelled, said Mthethwa.

READ NEXT: How the R150m relief fund for the arts and sports sector will work

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