South Africa: Committee On Sports to Conduct Oversight On Grant Disbursements in Arts Sector

The Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture will conduct an oversight visit to entities administering Covid-19 relief funding. The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Beauty Dlulane, asked that the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture prepare detailed information on the disbursements.

She said: “We will check the viability of visiting the projects as funds are being disbursed. The committee should get the information from the department. The committee said that it won’t rely on media for information. Huge sums were given to the National Arts Council (NAC) and the National Film and Video Foundation.”

The committee received a detailed briefing yesterday on the disbursements of the third phase of Covid-19 relief funding in the arts sector. The committee heard that although the second phase was characterised by stringent approval criteria and only a few applicants were eligible, R80 million had been disbursed since October. The committee also heard that the department partnered with the Department of Small Business Development and the Solidarity Fund.

After the briefing, committee members asked questions on a range of issues. One question concerned artists staging a “sit-in” at the NAC offices. Other questions were about the newly-established Ministerial Advisory Council and the contracts signed with artists. Committee member Mr Tshepo Mhlongo said there seemed to be contradictions in the presentation and he alleged that some athletes and organisations were “double-dipping”. He wanted to know if fraud charges had been brought against anyone in this regard.

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