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DSAC Updates Parliament on COVID-19 Relief Fund

September 4, 2020

Department of Sports, Arts and Culture

The sport, arts and culture department anticipates that a total of 11 666 athletes and art practitioners will benefit during the 2nd wave of COVID-19 relief funding.

The department revealed this in a briefing in parliament on an update on the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Lessons learnt during the 1st wave include that, given the lockdown, many applicants were unable to fulfil the requirements of the criteria of the Application Call as they required paperwork confirmed by banks and employers, and technical support at internet cafès, etc.; applications represented both formal/professional and informal/amateur practitioners and both should have been supported through parallel but different application processes and criteria; the R20 000 Relief Fund ceiling was not widely communicated to applicants in advance resulting in extremely diverse grant amount requests; the process of adjudicating was extremely labour intensive, time consuming and unwieldy; applicants, in some cases, demonstrated opportunistic behaviour and potentially fraudulent behaviour and three officials are now involved in reconciling approved applications received, what is sent to Agencies and what comes back from Agencies.

In the 2nd wave, the department indicated that, in terms of the Sport Application process, the department will follow the same process as followed for the 1st wave but through online applications.

As regards the Arts, Culture and Heritage Application process, the department has enlisted the services of Business and Arts South Africa and the National Arts Council to provide end to end management and co-ordination of the second phase of the relief application process utilising their Grant Management Systems.

The department and the small business development department have agreed to jointly set aside R23 million to respond to a plea from the Cultural & Creative Industries Federation of South Africa for the Craft, Design, Visual Arts and Audio-Visual sectors to provide relief amid the Covid-19 pandemic.