The Limpopo Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has urged athletes and artists who have been affected by the national lockdown to submit their applications to the relief fund by June 19, 2020.

The department says it has allocated R8.3 million for COVID-19 relief funds in the province.

The application process started on Friday. Athletes, artists and coaches whose sporting events have been cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19 have been urged to take advantage of the opportunity and apply.

Department spokesperson Lucky Tshilimandila says applicants can submit their applications at the district offices and the provincial offices in Polokwane.

Tshilimandila says, “The provincial relief fund for artists and athletes was opened on the 15th of May 2020 and the closing date is the 19th of June. At the moment applications are coming in everyday. Athletes and artists are submitting their applications in our respective district offices.”

The South African Arts and Culture Youth Forum (SAACYF), an organization representing artists, says the provincial department must review the criteria for the relief fund.

SAACYF president Romeo Ramuada says the requirements exclude many artists from benefiting from the fund.

He says, “A lot of artists are not going to qualify because of the criteria where they want everybody to come with issues like your tax clearance. Many artists don’t have such documentation. We are not happy, we are very disappointed and we are going to make sure that as an organization that represents artists we are going to watch this particular process and we want to see our members being part of the adjudication panels.”

The video below is on artists reacting to the COVID-19 relief fund:

 

Match officials including those officiating Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) and National First Division’s (NFD) games are amongst those applying for relief funds.

SAFA deputy chairperson in Limpopo Vincent Ramphago says they are making applications for match officials and SAFA administrators.

Ramphago says, “We have distributed the COVID-19 forms to all our regions and LFA –  only referees that are not civil servants are eligible to apply. The regions are assisting these referees in applying in terms of administrators. We are doing applications for 30 administrators and we believe that before the end of the week, we will be done with all our applications.”

Meanwhile, only athletes and artists who lost income as a result of cancellation of the events are eligible to apply for relief funds.

Professional boxer Thembani Hobyane says the requirements should have covered all professional boxers. Boxers are not included because they did not yet have dates for their tournaments.

Hobyane says this means they will not have any income.

He says, “We are not included because, I was not having fights coming up, I feel very bad – because without a fight, I’m not gonna eat, I don’t think the fight will happen soon and I think government must include us.”

The National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture also allocated R150 million for COVID-19 relief funds