Music industry stakeholders ask department for second call on Covid-19 relief fund application

04 May 2020 - 13:00
By Patience Bambalele
Image: Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Deon Raath Nathi Mthethwa

The local music industry stakeholders have called on department of sport, arts and culture (DSAC) to reconsider a second call for funding after many Covid-19 relief fund applications did not make the cut due to lack of basic information and appropriate documents.

DSAC has received 5,000 applications and 1,050 have been adjudicated so far. Out of the 1,050 that have been adjudicated, 232 were approved and 603 did not make the cut while 203 were referred back to DSAC for consultation.

South African Music Industries (Samic) has called on the DSAC to consider opening a second call for funding applications because they wanted assistance for music industry practitioners during this difficult time.

Samic spokesperson Stanley Khoza said: “Musicians and music sector organisations are already struggling financially due to lack of work opportunities and we need to support them so that they can work and take care of their families.”

“South African Music Industry Council has not to close the opportunity for funding based only on compliance related issues. We call on the DSAC to work with sector organisations and other stakeholders to resolve all flagged compliance challenges.”

Addressing the media on Monday, Mthethwa voiced his concerns that the largest number of rejected applications were from artists who were seemingly in a greater need of relief fund. He said the reason that led to rejection of the application included missing document, unfilled documents, missing cancellation documents and missing contract documents.

Mthethwa said some applications had no proof at postponement or cancellation documents.

“We were especially concerned after the adjudication committee advised us of some of their reasons which some of them showed lack of resources. However, it is important to note that the applicants who were not recommended have the option to address the appeals committee,” he said.

Mthethwa said moving forward, he was going to engage with different industry stakeholders and look at how to address some of the challenges.

He admitted that the application process was hit by technical glitches and teething problems on their administrative side since it was a new territory for them. Mthethwa further explained that the relief fund was R20,000 maximum.

“It means that if you feel you lost R4m, we won’t have that amount. Again, this does not mean that if you had asked for R5,000 or R10,000, you will voluntarily get R20,000. You will get what you have asked for as long as it does not go beyond R20,000.”