Sports, Arts and Culture Department pays out R61 million in COVID-19 relief grant

Nathi Mthethwa
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The Ministry for Sports, Arts and Culture  intends rolling out the second wave of financial relief for those who have had their income decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced in Pretoria on Monday that the Department has already paid out R61 million in coronavirus (COVID-19) relief grant,

Athletes whose sole source of income is derived from prize money will be able to apply for relief shortly.

The department has received over 5 000 applications for the relief funds. This is the money paid out to sport athletes and to those in the arts, culture and heritage sectors.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture says it has received over 5 000 applications for the relief grants.

Out of that number, only 4 602 applications were recommended to be granted relief.

Mthethwa says applicants in the arts, culture and heritage sector are expected to provide proof that they had earned an income in their fields.

“To date, R61 million has been disbursed to beneficiaries. The department has taken into consideration the commitments for the unpaid beneficiaries in the first phase estimated at R34 million. These would be people who would have been approved and in the process of getting their relief.”

Mthethwa says the department will, in the second phase of granting relief, disburse an amount of R77 million. He also announced that venues such as museums can be reopened.

He has also announced the resumption of sporting activities.

Mthethwa says his department will be working in partnership with other departments.

“For the second phase, the amount that is allocated for relief is R77 million of which R11 million has been ringfenced for contribution towards the partnership with the Department of Small Business development. If the entire amount is to be paid specifically towards beneficiaries and no other costs are considered, the allocation will cover the total of R11 666 practitioners.”

In the video below, Mthethwa hosts a virtual media briefing to update the nation on the progress made with regards to the COVID-19 relief fund allocation:

Meanwhile, the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has announced that it has in partnership with Small Business Development Department, set aside R22 million for the craft, design and visual arts sector towards relief amid COVID-19 pandemic.

“The department has partnered with the Department of Small Business Development and have agreed to jointly set aside R22 million to respond to a plea from Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CEFSA) for the craft, design and visual arts sector towards relief amid COVID-19 pandemic.”

Master KG

Mthethwa has further announced that Kgaogelo Moagi, known as Master KG and his co-singer Nomcebo Zikode, will be the ambassadors for the next two years.

MasterKG is known for a hit song Jerusalema that has people all around the world dancing to it.

Mthethwa says this is part of his department’s Cultural Diplomacy Programme. He says the two singers will travel the world on cultural exchange and to showcase their talents.

“We have decided that as the department that MasterKG and Nomcebo are going to be the ambassadors for the next two years. We will assess that thereafter. The ambassadors for our cultural diplomacy programme as the department. This is the programme where we send creatives to other countries on the continent and the world to exchange and showcase their talent.”

Meanwhile, the application for the second phase of COVID-19 relief funds will open during this month of August.