Artists up in arms over lack of funding

The battle is still raging between Mahuma Arts and Communications and the Limpopo department of sports, arts and culture.

This stems from the department's alleged failure to provide convincing answers to why it cannot support performing artists in the province, citing financial constraints.

But the artists said they have been complaining about the problem since 2004 and they believed that the department was deliberately snubbing them.

Chief executive officer of Mahuma Arts and Communications, Matome Rapetsoa, said they had held meetings with officials from the department to raise their concerns without success.

"The challenge is that the department would tell us to bring our proposals but nothing happens thereafter."

He said the department claimed to have only R2million budgeted for film and music.

But when they presented a proposal asking for assistance for a film on a disability awareness programme, My Pride, "all of a sudden there was no budget".

"We are fighting with government because we play its role by funding our own projects which were actually supposed to be supported by them," Rapetsoa said.

Last year, the department honoured Paul Rapetsoa (Matome's father) with a Life-Time Achievers Award but failed to fund his projects.

"The department is run by people who don't understand the ins and outs of the its mandate. That's why they are forever complaining about budget constraints," Rapetsoa said

Departmental spokesperson Adel van der Linde reiterated they only had a R2million budget meant for identifying and nurturing other talents and "not established companies".

"But because we don't have money we can give them endorsements."