Department of Sport, Arts and Culture Covid -19 Relief Update

Media statement

Saturday, 6th March 2021

Department of Sport, Arts and Culture progress update on COVID – 19 Third Phase Relief application process

On Sunday, 07 February 2021, Department issued the sectoral call for the Covid-19 Relief Fund Third Phase applications with the process closing on Monday, 22 February 2021.

In ensuring that a wider audience is reached this time around, the Department utilised various communication instruments inclusive of Local community radio stations platforms and initiated relief jingles and live reads with the objective of reaching far -flung areas.

The Department further appointed sectoral ambassadors assigned with the task of conducting interviews and utilising their Social media platforms to promote the sectoral relief. The Department also utilised social media platforms inclusive of various websites and social media platforms belonging to its Entities and sport federations.

In taking stock of the previous Relief Phases initiated, the Department was able to put mechanisms in place therefore enabling physical applications to be equally submitted especially for applicants who didn’t have access to internet and residing in far – flung areas. Working closely with Provincial, Regional and Local Municipalities, the department activated community libraries, community art centres and Lovelife centres as instruments to bridge the gap therefore enabling such sectoral applicants to submit.

The Department call centre, email address enquiries and WhatsApp enquiries were equally kept busy by prospective applicants who needed information on the application process.

From the day of the relief application announcement till the last day (22 February 2021) a total of 8021 enquires stemming from the three above mentioned platforms were registered therefore, making relief process the first to register the highest number of enquiries as compared to the previous initiatives. The enquiries went up to 10 171 by the 4th March 2021.

By close of business on Monday, 22 February 2021 (i.e.) last day of submitting applications, the Department received an estimated 6026 online and email applications inclusive of 1036 applications coming from sectoral organisations. The applications numbers received were still to undergo verification and further eliminate duplications.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture takes this opportunity to inform the public that the THIRD Phase COVID-19 relief application process has amassed a total of 4980 sectoral applications inclusive of 776 coming from sectoral organisations therefore cutting across the entire sector (i.e.) Audio_Visual_Interactive, Books Publishing, Fashion Designers, Festival Events, Heritage, Multi -discipline, Performance Celebrations, Technical Services, Visual_Arts_Crafts.

Coming to the sporting sectoral area, a total of 403 applications were submitted stemming from the sporting fraternity and ranging from Athlete, Coaches, Fitness trainers, Fitness instructors with a further 98 applications received from sporting organisations.

The public and members of the media should note that the applications adjudication process is well underway and to date (Friday, 4th March 2021), a total of 974 applications have been approved with numbers expected to double getting into the new week.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture takes this opportunity to thank all stakeholders inclusive of the media and the public on assisting with spreading news on the relief application process therefore reaching even far-flung areas and appeal for patience in dealing with and processing of all applications.

For further inquiries on the status of applications, applicants are advised to contact the Department COVID – 19 relief fund toll free helpline number 0800 724 278 which is still in operation.

Kindly note that this relief application process officially ceased to exist on Monday, 22 February 2021 and no applications or correspondence is being further entertained.

In relation to applicants who successfully submitted their applications for Third Phase COVID – 19 relief and were not furnished with reference numbers, no need to panic as the Department adjudication team is currently working around the clock to adjudicate all applications with the objective of ensuring that payments are processed soonest.

For media enquiries and clarity seeking questions kindly contact officials mentioned below.

Mr Mickey Fusi Modisane on / 082 992 0101

Ms Zimasa Velaphi on / 072 172 8925

Ms Masechaba Khumalo on / 082 858 4415

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