More than 3‚500 apply for government's R150m relief programme

Department of Sports, Arts and Culture spokesperson Masechaba Ndlovu.
Department of Sports, Arts and Culture spokesperson Masechaba Ndlovu.
Image: Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu

More than 3‚500 applications have been made for the R150-million relief fund made available by the Department of Sports‚ Arts and Culture.

On exactly 3‚500‚ that would work out to just more than R42‚000 per application.

The department said in a statement on Tuesday that applications had closed and added it would not extend the deadline that ended at midnight on Monday.

The Democratic Alliance had on Monday asked for an extension until after lockdown‚ saying there had been technical issues with the given email address.

“The Department was not in a position to extend the deadline further due to the urgency of the situation‚” the department said in a statement.

“This timeline takes into account that the funding is for a three-month period until the end of June 2020.

"This means that submissions have to be assessed and adjudicated‚ those approved need to be processed and funds need to be disbursed to approved applicants to ensure they receive the relevant funds to survive the next three months.

“Those applicants whose projects are approved need to receive their funds to ensure all projects are completed by the end of June 2020.

“In order to fulfil these tasks and ensure the fund is effective and fully utilised by the end of June‚ it is necessary to maintain the published deadline for submissions of no later than midnight today‚ 6 April 2020. The Department will not accept any submissions after this deadline.

“Extending the deadline to 17 April [as requested by the DA] would seriously compromise this process as well as the timelines required for implementation.”