Arts and Culture Dept to continue working with MAT to resuscitate sector

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has received an update report from the team on interventions made to deal with the plight faced by creatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE: South African artists are seeking legal redress over the presidential employment stimulus package. Picture: Veronica Makhoali/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - The Sport, Arts and Culture Department said that it would continue to work with the Ministerial Advisory Team (MAT) to resuscitate the creatives sector.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa has received an update report from the team on interventions made to deal with the plight faced by creatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MAT is an advisory body of organisations in the arts and creative sector established in March following discussions with the minister on how best to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on the creative sector.

The department said that in the first and second phase of relief interventions, over 14,800 beneficiaries, including enterprises, received funds. This added up to R112.3 million overall. In the third phase, 4,061 creatives and sport beneficiaries were paid out.

“There is a number of beneficiaries that are still going to be benefiting as we conclude in this particular process. We're looking at about 1.898 that will still be benefiting in a few weeks’ time,” said the department's Cynthia Khumalo.

The department will now focus on the recovery and reconstruction of the sector. Over and above the relief measures, the Ministerial Advisory Team provided solutions on challenges within the sector.

They are divided into five workstreams, including Banking and Landlords Portfolio, Wellness, School fees, the Retail and Transport, and the private.

“We have successfully achieved via Cogta and with Human Settlements, rental relief for our practitioners, as we know many of our practitioners are struggling because landlords are now trying to evict them,” said
chairperson Sharif Baker.

He said there were still ongoing talks with SARS for tax relief matters.

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