There's no money paid since July

MEC opens second round of relief fund for athletes, artists

Gauteng MEC for sports Mbali Hlophe.
Gauteng MEC for sports Mbali Hlophe.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Gauteng MEC for sports Mbali Hlophe has opened the second round of the Covid-19 relief fund for artists and athletes to apply.

But artists and athletes are still waiting to get paid their relief fund money from the first round.

Athletes are fuming as they are still waiting to get paid since July.

There are concerns that money may have disappeared from Hlophe’s office, hence the delay to facilitate payment to the artists and athletes. Hlophe’s department has also scrapped the Gauteng annual sports awards this year to prioritise the relief fund initiative.

Nomazwe Ntlokwana, the department's spokesperson, confirmed that artists and athletes did not receive their money. “There are two reasons why they did not get their money. Firstly, we did not receive a satisfying number of applications. Secondly, we are going through an audit. We are still waiting for auditors to complete the process, and we should know the outcome soon,” said Ntlokwana.

Ntlokwana appealed for patience as auditors are busy with the department’s financial books. “No money has disappeared in the department. But the process of checking our books has to be completed. They are accusing us of stealing, and we want to be transparent,” she said.

The deadline for the second-round funding is October 30, and Ntlokwana said Hlophe is calling on as many artists and athletes to apply.

But Hlophe’s office made it clear that no one would receive two sets of payment. “No one will get paid twice, and we want to make that clear. If you apply twice, you will only get paid once,” she said.

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