Minister Nathi Mthethwa held a successful and productive meeting with national organisations of the arts and culture sector to discuss the ongoing relief funding process aimed at alleviating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihood of creatives and athletes. The Department invited national organisations and the federation of the sector, which is CCIFSA, The Cultural and Creative Industry Federation of South Africa. The national organisations invited were SAMIC – The South African Music Industry Council, SASFED – The South African Screen Federation, SAACYF – The South African Arts and Culture Youth Forum, SARA – The South African Roadies Association, SWIFT– Sisters Working In Film and Television, IBFC – The Independent Black Film Makers Collective and The Children’s Foundation.
The major objective of the meeting was to deal with the vast majority of applicants who did not succeed in accessing relief funding due to non-compliance with the criteria set to qualify for funding. Prior to the meeting, some stakeholders in the industry were suggesting that we make a second call for applications. However, today the meeting unanimously agreed that we should instead ensure that all those who had applied initially, but were not recommended, are assisted to comply in order to be eligible for relief funding.
It was further agreed that the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, together with CCIFSA, should interface with these national organisations in order to ensure that their constituent members are assisted with filling their forms and ensuring that their applications are in order. The industry has made a number of proposals, which are aimed at relaxing the criteria going forward and the fast tracking of the process of adjudication, amongst others. The industry has also offered to assist the Department in order to achieve this objective. All these suggestions from the industry were wholly welcomed by the Department