"The number of people who were not recommended is huge, and we are concerned that such a huge number did not succeed," said Mthethwa.
"These applications come from historically disadvantaged communities, and it is people who desperately need this assistance. At the same time, through the adjudication panel, we have to do due diligence to ensure we adhere to the agreed upon criteria, but we are really concerned."
Mthethwa said reasons applications were turned down ranged from incomplete application forms to lack of evidence of cancellation of shows owing to the lockdown and leading to loss of income. He said these were important determining factors in whether or not one got funding.
"Remember in arts and culture we said we are going for those who have had their events cancelled," he said.
"We were specially concerned when the adjudication panel raised reasons for people not to access this funding. One of those was that the time for application was narrow so some people may have missed the opportunity. Also, because of the lockdown, some people have not been able to access information and communications technology so they could not apply on time to get assistance."
Mthethwa said it was easier to approve funding for athletes because they applied via sports federations, while the challenge for artists was that they were applying as individuals. He said a new window for applications was being considered.