Artists from various disciplines are marching to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to hand over a memorandum of demands to the office of the President.

Artists are demanding that the President fully open the industry for events to take place.

The Sports, Arts and Culture industry was one of the first industries to be closed down during the national lockdown, and is according to regulations one of the last to be reopened.

Artists are also demanding that their industry be recognised. They claim that the COVID-19 Artist Relief fund has not served the most vulnerable members in the industry.

South African Creative Practitioners Union (SACPU) President, Hepter Mailula, says the creative industry is plagued with issues that need urgent government intervention.

“We are going to march to the Union Building to highlight the issues that have been affecting the industry forever since the dawn of democracy. It’s not just vula (open) President for the events now. We are just saying vula President for the creative sector because the creative sector has been under severe suppression. So we’re saying president it is about time to take our creative sector serious.”

Chaos

Earlier this month, there was chaos during protest action by members of the entertainment industry on the N3 near the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Durban.

They blockaded the south and northbound carriageways of the N3, demanding that President Cyril Ramaphosa allow up to 70% capacity to be filled at entertainment venues.

Thirty-three people were  arrested, many of them are believed to be well-known artists.

In the video below, call for entertainment industry to open in Lockdown Level 2:

Some Kimberley theatre artists are hoping for more financial relief as the sector remains strained during Level 2 of the lockdown.

Applications for the second phase of the relief fund for artists who did not benefit during the first phase closed on Friday.

In the video below, artists say the money they received for the first phase of the relief fund from the Department of Arts and Culture was not enough to sustain them long term: