The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, will on Monday host a media briefing to update the nation on the coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief Fund for the sector.

In March,  Mthethwa announced an R150 million relief fund to help ease the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the livelihood of the athletes and Arts practitioners, based on a set of criteria defined for each of the two sectors.

Mthethwa says the department received nearly 5 000 applications from the arts and culture sector and 300 from the sport sector.

He will update the nation on the outcomes and pending outcomes of the adjudication process, as well as address the challenges faced by the Department and present further solutions.

Artists have mixed reactions regarding government relief 

Although government has availed a relief fund to ease their financial woes, not everyone is impressed with the criteria.

Actress Vumisipho Mondi says only a few people are considered in the arts industry.

“A few people are only considered in the art industry. For instance, if you are under an organisation, NPO or NGO; you are considered by all these relief funds or if you had a production and it has been postponed, they can pay for that. And for others, it’s unfortunate and then you ask yourself what is going be my next move.”

Musician Nonkosi “Noxy” Sokoyi says they didn’t sign contracts for some show.

“For some of the shows, we didn’t sign contracts. We didn’t get any agreement note. So it’s very difficult to prove that you were booked. So that criteria is just messing us up.”

Some want the process to be fast-tracked. Musician Tebogo Nkadu is one of the people that qualify for the funding.

“Yes, definitely. I’m going to participate as one of the people that qualify for the funding and would like to thank the Department of Arts and Culture for giving us this opportunity because we were worried as to what will happen to us as artists.”

In the video below, artists say they are facing tough times due to the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19: