Probe into PESP payouts a top priority - Mthethwa

Sport, Arts & Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Monday set the record straight on reports that R300 million meant for artists had gone missing.

FILE: Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - The duplication of fund payouts earmarked for struggling artists was now part of a forensic probe into the matter.

Sport, Arts & Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Monday set the record straight on reports that R300 million meant for artists had gone missing.

Mthethwa said that the money was not missing and that the National Arts Council (NAC) has simply overcommitted funds to be disbursed.

READ: Mthethwa: Alleged mismanagement of funds for artists will be investigated

Minister Mthethwa came under fire for how the funds meant to bring relief for artists during the COVID-19 pandemic had been managed.

He said that a total of R4.8 million had been paid out to beneficiaries who'd been awarded more money than what they actually applied for.

"We've heard in the media that there's R300 million missing. The money is not missing. People overcommitted the money that was given to them."

The minister said that the investigation in the matter was a top priority.

"There is a process of investigating costs and duplication and people who may in a process or possibility of getting more."

A forensic investigation has been launched to probe the alleged mismanagement of these funds by the National Arts Council.

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