Department of Sport, Arts and Culture: Progress regarding the applications for COVID-19 relief fund

17 April 2020

On 25 March 2020, Minister Nathi Mthethwa, deeply concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the livelihood of South Africans in the sporting and cultural sectors, announced a relief fund of R150 million.  Indeed, the sector is among the hardest hit by the economic impact of the Coronavirus 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 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.

Sport Applications Status

Sport applications were submitted through sporting federations, and the DSAC received over 300 applications. 6 independent panelists were appointed by Minister Nathi Mthethwa. The adjudication team has processed most of the applications and will submit a report to the department today. Some applications were sent back due to technical errors. The final step is that payment will be processed to those recommended by the panel.

Arts and Culture Applications Status

In total, more than 6, 000 applications were received. 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.

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

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

Minister Mthethwa said, “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.”



Media Enquiries:

Masechaba Khumalo: Spokesperson (Minister)

Tel: 066 380 7408 | Email:


Mr Mickey Modisane: Chief Director Marketing and Communications (Sport)

Tel: 082 992 0101 | Email:

Ms Zimasa Velaphi: Marketing and Communications (Arts and Culture)

Tel: 072 172 8925 | Email: