Fri Oct 21 22:28:37 SAST 2016

Artists' fury over funding

By unknown | Sep 26, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

More artists have come forward to tell how frustrated they are with the National Lotteries Distribution Fund.

Last week outspoken arts activist Freddie Nyethela, president of the South African Roadies Association (Sara), lifted the lid when he condemned the fund for rejecting their application for funding.

Yesterday, community theatre director Mike Manana of Vukani Community Theatre and Jerry Raletebele of Soyikwa Institute for African Theatre, added their voices to condemning the NLDF.

Sara has in the past been funded by the Lottery and according to its president all money had been accounted for - a requirement for continued funding.

The NLDF said it had denied Sara continued funding because funds had not been properly administered. This has angered Nyathela who has appealed and has been supported by a letter from the auditors confirming that Sara's books are in order.

Yesterday Raletebele said that besides coming up with "ridiculous excuses for rejecting applications for funding community arts organisations, the NLDF had double standards".

"The fund demands that we furnish them with a list of actors, ID numbers and where they live. But they never ask for this information from the Market Theatre, Windybrow Theatre and Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

"These demands are actually not part of the information required on the standard form. Besides they repeatedly lose our forms and we have to keep sending them back. This is not fair," said Raletebele.

Manana, speaking on behalf of a group of arts organisations from the community sector whose applications have been rejected, said: "Artist are angry because we apply and are given money, after which we are required to give reports, which we always do.

"But they keep on making excuses not to fund us. This is destroying the arts in the community."

Spokesman for the lottery board, Sershan Naidoo, defended its position.

"We have to be accountable and need to be careful about who we fund and whether they meet all the requirements.

"The people who decide on who gets the money is the distribution agency which is staffed by artists themselves. It is their peers and not the board that decides on funding."


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