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Extend R150m relief package application deadline‚ says the DA to minister Nathi Mthethwa

Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa has been asked to extend the deadline.
Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa has been asked to extend the deadline.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The application deadline for the Department of Sports‚ Arts and Culture’s R150m relief programme should be extended‚ the Democratic Alliance has said.

The deadline is midnight Monday‚ but DA shadow minister Tsepo Mhlongo said in a letter to minister Nathi Mthethwa that it should be pushed out to April 17‚ the day after the scheduled lockdown.

“Our request follows several complaints of technical challenges such as continued system errors and emails bouncing due to the mailbox being full‚” Mhlongo said in a statement.

Mthethwa tweeted late on Monday morning that technical issues had been resolved.

Mhlongo also told the Sunday Times that many people did not have access to the internet and printers to fill out and send their applications.

“We call for the deadline for submissions to be extended until after the lockdown‚” he said in the statement.

“This is a fair and rational call to make‚ and if granted‚ it will allow artists and athletes a fair opportunity to access relief that will less the impact cause by [coronavirus] on their pockets.”

Masechaba Ndlovu, Mthethwa's spokesperson, said on Monday morning she would respond later in the day.