MINISTERIAL BRIEFING STATEMENT: The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture COVID-19 sector relief fund

Honouable Minister Mthembu, Minister in the Presidency responsible for monitoirng and evaluation,

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Ms Nocawe Mafu, The Director General of the Department, Mr. Vusumuzi Mkhize. Members of the Media,
Dear Compatriots,

We meet immediately after the Freedom Month of April, which we deemed this year a month of “solidarity and triumph of the human spirit” in these challenging times.

This month of May, International Workers Month, we salute workers, especially in our country who, through death-defying deeds, ensured that we joined the world to enjoy Mayday as Workers Day.

Similarly, this is also Africa Month. Every year as Government and broader society, we pause, reflect and celebrate our Africanness. We do this as an endeavour to constantly highlight the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (now the AU) on 25 May, which is Africa Day. Our main recurring theme which is underlined by our commitment is “Building a better Africa and a better world”. This year is special since South Africa, under the leadership of President Ramaphosa, is the Chairperson of the AU.

A unity and solidarity of Africans is called upon in this contemporary era of the challenge of the Coronavirus pandemic.

After President Ramaphosa announced a national state of disaster, on the 15th of March, following the outbreak of the Coronavirus, our Department held a consultative meeting with the sport and creative sector. We made a point at the time that the sector is going to be the hardest hit by the pandemic since the necessary measures to curb the spread of the virus were detrimental to the sector.

We were propelled by this state of affairs when we committed ourselves to do something to try and soften the impact of COVID-19.

On the 25th of March, we announced a R150 Million Rand Relief Fund to assist artists, athletes, technical personnel and the core ecosystem of the sector. The other part of this fund was open to proposals for live streaming the work of of creatives and athletes, particularly, intergenerational cooperation between younger artists and the legends.

The deadline for application of the Relief Fund was the 6th of April. Subsequent to that, we appointed independent adjudication committees.

Sport Adjudication process

The sport adjudication panel was the first to be appointed on the 9th of April - and the first to begin the adjudication process. The 9th of April was also the deadline for proposals for service providers applications.

On the 23rd of April, more than 300 applications were received and the disbursement of relief funds to successful applicants began.

On the 24th, 93 successful applicants received their relief funds.

Once more in the sporting sector, after re-submission of applications were referred back to the federations, a total (aggregate) of 473 applications were received from 25 sporting federations.

Arts and Culture

The total number adjudicated upon is 1050. 232 were recommended.
603 were not recommended.
203 were referred to DSAC.

12 is the number of digital applications to be moved to the NFVF.

We are concerned that the the largest number of those not recommended are artists who are seemingly in greater need of relief. Some of the reasons of non-compliance include:

  • DSAC application document missing, or attached but not filled in.

  • No cancellation or even contract documents.

  • No proof of event at all.

  • Postponement, and not cancellation (as per judging criteria this should be

    changed in the next tranche of applications).

    We were especially concerned after the adjudication committee advised us of some of their reasons, many of them legitimate reasons such as lack of resources, etc....However, it is important to note that the applicants who were not recommended have the option to address the appeals committee.

    Wednesday the 6th of May we will be meeting with the sector, especially the key national organisations in the sector to look at how, within the legal parameters, we can ensure that those who really need the assistance, especially fom the disadvantaged communities, receive funding.

    We have seen that we have not moved as fast as we can in allocating these funds so we have beefed up our mechanisms in order to fast-track the process.

    There were technical glitches in the beginning, as we are creating a new system to deal with a new problem. In some instances, teething problems as it were, the adjudication panel felt that the Department needed to give more information. They therefore referred such applicants back to the Department. So the back and forth in that process was one of the major causes of the delay, which speaks to inherent flaws in our system.

    Over and above the quality assurance of the approved and conditionally approved sport applications, the Department has also quality assured all declined sport applications to ensure that no applicant is declined erroneously and further, given the undertaking that, should any such applications be found through the adjudication panel secretariat, to have been wrongly disapproved, they will once more be referred back to the Panel. The arts and culture adjudication panel will be following the same process.

    //END//

Media Enquiries:

Masechaba Khumalo: Spokesperson (Minister)
Tel: 066 380 7408 | Email:
MasechabaN@dac.gov.za
Mr Mickey Modisane: Chief Director Marketing and Communications (Sport) Tel: 082 992 0101 | Email: Mickey@srsa.gov.za
Ms Zimasa Velaphi: Marketing and Communications (Arts and Culture)
Tel: 072 172 8925 | Email:
ZimasaV@dac.gov.za

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