Thursday, 6th May 2021
The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture continue to effect more sectoral relief payments this time around, within the Digital Solutions creative space
On the 25th March 2020, taking into account the massive challenges which were anticipated within the creative and sporting sector by Minister Nathi Mthethwa in relation to the announcement of COVID – 19 Pandemic National State of Disaster, the Minister announced a relief fund totalling R150 million towards assisting artists, athletes, technical personnel and the core ecosystem that supports them with the objective of softening the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on their livelihood.
During this announcement, Minister Nathi Mthethwa went on further to announce that the relief fund will also cater for spontaneous Project proposals for the use of online solutions (4th Industrial Revolution) which was opened for submission until 4 April 2020.
Note as well that these were concepts which were supposed to respond to the effect of COVID-19 on the sport, arts and culture sectors with digital platforms, VOD ideas (Video on Demand), streaming, podcasts, social media, webinars, short animations, and documentaries, etc.
To ensure a spatial disbursement of the funding, the grant amount was capped at a maximum of R75 000,00 per applicant. Those who applied for amounts less than R75 000,00 were then given the exact amount in line with their digital proposals. The grants were then disbursed in two tranches (i.e.) first tranche prior to the commencement of the project and second tranche upon receipts of narrative and expenditure reports of the 1st tranche.
The projects were to involve artists and be able to assist them in generating income during COVID – 19 pandemic and the Department was explicit in indicating that only proposals from good standing organisations and individuals will be accepted (NPC, NPI and Companies).
The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture therefore takes this opportunity to inform the sector and the public that during the National Disaster COVID-19 Pandemic period, it has managed to execute 600 Digital Solutions payments in two tranches, the first payments were made to 341 beneficiaries with the second payments effected to 259 beneficiaries.
In total and over and above other relief measures introduced by the Department, the Department has paid a total amount of R 23,047,136.60 to Digital Solutions Beneficiaries with only 82 outstanding in the second tranche who still must submit their outstanding narrative and expenditure reports.
The department once more take this opportunity to thank the sector especially those who submitted their digital solutions reports for their patience and request the rest of beneficiaries to comply as the Department is working around the clock to finalize such payments.