Three-week long Northern Cape artist protest called off

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A three-week long sit-in protest at the office of the Northern Cape MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture by artists has been called off. The department and the artists have reached an agreement over a R4 million plan of action for the arts in the province.

The plan includes the full operation of the Northern Cape Theatre and the establishment of hubs for arts and crafts in the province.

Artist Mkhululi Mabija says they are now ready to get back to work.

Finally, they could see and take artists seriously and that has been the problem. People sometimes think this is a hobby, but now they can see we were dead serious. This is our living. We need to all come together as a sector to discuss our concerns. There is a programme ready for the year at the theatre. So, we can start including everybody from the districts in the programme,” explains Mabija. 

Northern Cape Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Conrad Fortune, says R4 million has been allocated.

“After an intensive exercise of re-prioritising and re-planning we have managed to allocate an amount of R4 million to assist with the implementation of the three projects. We are also in the process of developing a service level agreement, which basically indicates how the funding will be utilised and remain in line with all the financial policies and acts of government when incurring expenses,” he adds.

Free State artists demand relief funds and an end to graft: