For The People

Minister allocates relief funds

Nathi Mthethwa, minister of Sports, Arts & Culture has come to the fore and mobilized funds for athletes and artists amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The criteria for accessing these funds, the identification of beneficiaries, and the method through which the relief fund will be managed has now been finalised through consultation with South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and Cultural & Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA).

Athletes who were scheduled to compete at events that have otherwise been cancelled or postponed by COVID-19 fears will be eligible on the grounds that those events were to accrue a form of income for these indivduals.

A stringent aspect of the criteria is for all the tax standing to be in order upon submission for this relief fund.

For sports, relief funding will only be made available to athletes, coaches, or technical support staff after the date on which the cancelled or postponed event would have been held.

All athletes on the Operation Excellence Programme (OPEX) are also eligible for the relief funds. These athletes are classified as potential medalists assigned for International events such as the Paralympics, Olympics, and Commonwealth Games.

The minister has also recognized the impediment in the arts industry and acknowledged those who derive income from gigs and events with audiences and crowds. Many artists in the industry have expressed their dismay and concern with covering basics such as mortgages and fees for their kids.

After convening with creatives, the Minister announced that he will allocate R150 million to the arts sector to provide financial relief. Since all events have been postponed or cancelled, they will endeavour to create a trend of live streaming on the various platforms to ensure artists can continue to entertain and connect with their loyal fan base during these unprecedented times.

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