South African Cultural Observatory

Department of Sport, Arts and Culture: Sector relief framework and criteria

BY 29.03.20

Our country is dealing with a national emergency, as all efforts of the government, private sector and civil society combine to fight the health disaster that threatens to ensue with the rapid spread of COVID-19 across our provinces. Furthermore, the resultant projected economic losses are an additional threat for our country’s already struggling economy. The JSE, banking, telecommunications, mining, export and other sectors have already lost billions of Rands, and Moody’s has downgraded South Africa’s credit rating to junk status at the worst possible time for our economy. This also means that South Africa’s Government Bonds will be excluded from the FTSE World Government Bond Index. There is not a single sector that will not be affected and millions of ordinary South Africans will lose their incomes and livelihood in the months to come. The President of the Republic has announced a relief fund along with other measures to assist primarily small businesses that are likely to suffer the most during the COVID-19 crisis.

It is with this massive challenge in mind that the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Minister Nathi Mthethwa, announced measures and a relief fund of R150 million towards assisting artists, athletes, technical personnel and the core ecosystem that supports them, to soften the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on their livelihood, on 25 March 2020.

The criteria for accessing this support, the identification of beneficiaries and the mechanism through which the relief fund will be managed has now been finalised in consultation with SASCOC and CCIFSA for the different sectors.

ATHLETES, COACHES AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL

The athletes who were confirmed to participate at events that have now been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, and whose income is generated solely through specific sporting events will be eligible for relief. They must provide proof that their events have been cancelled and their taxes must be in order.

Coaches and technical support personnel must work with athletes whose sporting events have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, and make their earnings solely from these events. They too must have their tax matters in order.

Athletes on the Operation Excellence Programme (OPEX) are potential medalists earmarked for International Multi-coded events such as the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games etc, and the above conditions and criteria are applicable to them.

NB: For Sports, relief will only be availed to athletes, coaches, or technical support personnel after the date on which the cancelled or postponed event would have been held.

The Department reserves the right to determine the quantum of relief based on the availability of resources.

ARTS AND CULTURE SECTOR RELIEF CRITERIA

The following categories of arts and culture are to be considered for support through the relief intervention.

For DSAC funded projects that have already entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department, and the first tranche of payment has been made, where artists, venues and other suppliers of the project have been paid, but the project implementation has been cancelled due to COVID-19, the beneficiaries will be compensated for the expenditure incurred. To benefit from the compensation, the beneficiaries will have to submit a claim that does not deviate from the original MOA and provide supporting documents such as contracts and valid invoices to the Department. The DSAC reserves the right to determine a flat rate fee for all such beneficiaries. The above criteria also applies to Funding and Associated Institutions such as the National Arts Council (NAC), the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the National Heritage Council (NHC), Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), etc.

For DSAC Institutions whose productions and events have been cancelled, the Playhouses that have had to cancel productions scheduled from March to June will pay the artists and practitioners who were already booked for these productions.

For cancelled Non-DSAC Funded Projects, the list of 25 productions and 15 live events already submitted by national industry organisations will be compensated. To benefit from compensation, producers and organisers are required to submit a spreadsheet of the costs that were due to be incurred from March - June with proof of existing contracts and relevant documentation. A second spreadsheet of the full details of practitioners and committed costs will also be required. The Department reserves the right to determine the compensation to be made.

The Department has been receiving and will continue to accept, spontaneous Project proposals for the use of online solutions (4th Industrial Revolution) until 4 April 2020. These concepts should 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. Compensation will be in the form of a flat-rate payment, to be included in the proposal. The Department reserves the right to make the final determination of the artist’s fee. The duration of the project must be limited to two months, and not more than five pages clearly outlining the concept, budget and time frames. The projects must also involve artists to assist them in making an income during these difficult times. A list of artists and practitioners must also be provided. Only proposals from good standing compliant sector organisations will be accepted (NPC, NPI and Companies).

NB: Proposals should be addressed to the Arts Culture Promotion Development (ACPD) Branch and sent to DSAC.covid19@dac.gov.za by the 4th April 2020

For the Arts, relief will only be availed to producers, organisers, project managers and department beneficiaries after the cancelled project/event would have been held.

The Department reserves the right to determine the quantum of relief based on the availability of resources.

Minister Mthethwa said, “The above relief support of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture is guided by Schedule 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.  Therefore, athletes that have not earned the status of being national athletes would have to be catered for by their respective provinces, and projects and events that are not considered to have an impact at a national level, involving artists and practitioners from various provinces, would have to approach their respective provinces.”

Excluded from the above relief framework are, athletes, coaches and technical personnel who do not rely solely on income earned from participating at sports events and permanently employed personnel in institutions and organisations. In other words, all athletes and art practitioners on fixed-term contracts (with Salaries).

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