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Sanef launches relief fund for journalists who’ve lost income due to COVID-19

Only freelance, contract or permanently employed journalists who have been retrenched or had their contracts cancelled since the implementation of the national lockdown will be eligible to apply.

Picture: Sanef.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) is launching a relief fund for journalists who’ve lost their livelihoods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sanef on Thursday said mobile giant MTN had already contributed half a million rand to the fund.

The forum’s chair Mahlatse Mahlase said: “In making the announcement today, we want to express our warm gratitude to MTN SA for their contribution of R500,000 to start the fund and for their further commitment to lobby other corporates to contribute.”

Sanef has set up a team to process the applications with the help of a financial services company.

The purpose of the funding is to assist those in dire need with a small donation to buy necessities like food and clothing.

Only freelance, contract or permanently employed journalists who have been retrenched or had their contracts cancelled since the implementation of the national lockdown will be eligible to apply.

The media industry has been hard hit by the pandemic, particularly print media, with the closure of two magazine publishers and 80 small print publications operating across the country, leading to the loss of over 700 jobs.

Mahlase added that this was just the first step and “far more” needed to be done.

MTN is encouraging all large corporates, companies in supply chain, clients and individuals who can, to step up and help by contributing to this fund.

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