Sports, Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, says they will be guided by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) when it comes to re-introducing spectators at stadiums.
Minister Mthethwa was speaking during a media briefing on the work of a Ministerial Advisory Team established four months ago. Mthethwa says they will be guided by the National Coronavirus Command Council on whether to re-introducing spectators at stadiums.
Four provinces are already on third wave and the Health Department on Thursday told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health that the entire country may soon be on third wave. And that the rate at which the infections are going seem to be faster than the first and the second wave.
“People ask all the time, when are you going to open the sporting events and so on. We are guided by the command council and we will do what we are doing based on that guidance. We got to balance the saving of lives and sustaining livelihoods. But we are not going to do anything outside of what government is doing as a whole,” says Mthethwa.
The Ministerial Advisory Team, which was set up by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture aims to address some of the challenges in the sector. It says it’s in conversation with the Tax Revenue Collector to provide artists who couldn’t earn an income during the lockdown with some relief.
In an effort to resolve some of the challenges in the industry, they have urged organised groups representing artists to meet with the team.
Sharif Baker of the Ministerial Advisory Team says: “There are some of the corporate sectors that are willing to assist us to upskill our creative sector as well. Not to say here is R5 go and do something. They also want to get involved to try to create intervention and stimulus for our sector. So it’s very important to understand that these are very key objectives that we are working on because government cannot do everything by themselves. Government does not have a very deep pocket to say every second, let’s do a first phase relief, a second phase relief.”
Speaking on the concerns raised by artists on how and when concerts will resume, Mthethwa says they rely on the advisory council.
“Currently you would have heard what the president has said two days ago about us being on level 3. We will move and we are well aware that we have to balance the saving of lives and livelihoods. We are not going to do anything outside of what government is doing as a whole,” says Mthethwa.
The Ministerial Advisory Team say it aims to work together with the department to ensure that artists are paid the relief intended for them quickly.