The Arts community of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMB) says the lockdowns over the past two years have caused them great suffering.
This emerged during a two-day indaba hosted by the NMB Metro.
The aim of the indaba will also reflect on the impact of the pandemic on the industry and how to grow the arts in the metro.
The MMC for Arts and Culture, Bassie Kamana, says this sector was one of the hardest hit.
Kamana says, “It was devastating to the artists. One cannot over emphasize that. It should’ve been declared as a state of emergency where our artists should’ve been given some grants to uplift them because some of them had to leave art to go seek for jobs that were not there and some of them have passed on and are being pauperised. They are property less, they have nothing. Therefore, it is the duty of the municipality as it has a developmental agenda to help them.”
VIDEO: Struggle of up and coming artists in 2021 due to COVID-19:
Last year, artists have occupied streets surrounding Luthuli House in Johannesburg, protesting the closure of the industry.
They say while other sectors have reopened, the government is side-lining the entertainment industry.