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Parliament Briefed on COVID-19 Sports, Arts and Culture Relief

July 16, 2020

Department of Sports, Arts and Culture

95% of respondents in the cultural creative sector report that they have experienced cancellation or indefinite postponement of work that was to have taken place this year.

The sports, arts and culture department revealed this during a briefing last week on Covid-19 sports, arts and culture relief.

In terms of the impact of Covid-19 on the cultural creative industry, other findings are that approximately 11% of businesses and freelancers said that they could probably continue with 60% of more of their normal business activities with 45% saying that they could not continue at all.

As regards employers, 38% said that they were ending the employment of short-term contract or informal employees as a way of coping with the crisis.

Focusing on the impact of Covid-19 on sport, the department highlighted that 83.7% of respondents believe they will only be able to survive for six months or less in the current lockdown environment, 89.8% hold the view that the government is not doing enough to support sports federations during the current pandemic, 42.9% indicated that relief funding is their key priority in terms of more support from government and 34.7% indicated that an early return to play is their key priority in terms of more support from government.

At the end of March 2020, the department committed R150 million towards a Relief Fund to assist artists, athletes, technical personnel and the core ecosystem in order to soften the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A call for applications was released at the beginning of April.

In response to the risk of double dipping by applicants, the department informed parliament that this will be mitigated by the sharing of successful “national” beneficiaries with provinces and double checking by paying agencies (NAC/BASA/Sports Trust/NFVF) based on ID.

The department added that, in order to ensure objectivity, impartiality and transparency and to safe guard the integrity of the adjudication process, it set up an Independent Panel of Experts, a threshold for different categories, the Appeals Committee and the verification and authentication of compliance documents.

In terms of lessons learnt, the department pointed out that technology must be explored to speed up the electronic submission and subsequent management of applications, access to the most disadvantaged must be a priority and the Covid-19 Relief Process has presented an opportunity for the establishment of the national database of Creatives and their organisations and businesses as no such database currently exists.