The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Gauteng Sports, Arts and Culture MEC Mbali Hlophe to account for her department’s alleged failure to provide relief for the artists and athletes who applied for funds.

In a statement, the party says applicants received an SMS from the department informing them that the outcome of the Gauteng Relief Fund is currently in the audit phase and will be released by next Friday.

Applications for relief funding were opened in June with payments due to start in July.

In the video below Minister Mthethwa discusses the COVID-19 Relief Fund:

DA Member of Provincial Legislature, Kingsol Chabalala says, “The fact that none of the applicants have received relief funding due to unnecessary delays, is a clear indication that this department cares little about the challenges faced by our artists and athletes during this period as a result of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.”

“It is worrying that in 8 months of the lockdown, the department has not yet provided any financial relief to our artists and athletes who are struggling financially and are unable to make ends meet. This is by far the clearest indication that the department is incompetent and that MEC, Mbali Hlophe doesn’t know what she is doing,” adds Chabalala.

In the video below, artists react to the COVID-19 relief fund: