By Matimu Mabunda
Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has issued a public statement informing the public affected by the lockdown that they are providing relief and support to those affected by Covid-19 pandemic in the sports and creative industries.
People who are eligible to apply for the Covid-19 Relief Fund are those fall under Sports and Recreation structures, Event Organizers, Producers, Freelancers, project managers, visual artists and performers in all cultural and creative industry as per set criteria.
The department said it has allocated R8.3 million for COVID-19 relief funds in Limpopo. The application process opened on Friday. Athletes, artists and coaches whose sporting events have been cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19 have been urged to take advantage of the opportunity and apply.
Department’ spokesperson, Lucky Tshilimandila said applicants can submit their applications at the district offices and the provincial offices in Polokwane. Tshilimandila said, “The provincial relief fund for artists and athletes was opened on the 15th of May 2020 and will close on 19 June 2020”.
The South African Arts and Culture Youth Forum (SAACYF), an organization representing artists, said the provincial department must review the criteria for the relief fund. SAACYF president Romeo Ramuada said the requirements exclude many artists from benefiting from the fund.
“A lot of artists are not going to qualify because of the criteria where they want everybody to come with issues like your tax clearance. Many artists don’t have such documentation. We are not happy, we are very disappointed and we are going to make sure that as an organization that represents artists, we are going to watch this particular process and we want to see our members being part of the adjudication panels,” he said.
Match officials including those officiating Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) and National First Division’s (NFD) games are amongst those applying for relief funds.
SAFA Deputy Chairperson in Limpopo Vincent Ramphago said they are making applications for match officials and SAFA administrators. Ramphago said, “we have distributed the COVID-19 forms to all our regions and LFA”. Only referees that are not civil servants are eligible to apply. He said regions are assisting these referees to apply. “We are doing applications for 30 administrators and we believe that before the end of the week, we will be done with all our applications,” stated Ramphago.
Meanwhile, only athletes and artists who lost income as a result of cancellation of the events are eligible to apply for relief funds. The National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture also allocated R150 million for COVID-19 relief funds. Application forms are now available at BA-PHALABORWA Municipality main office (Reception). Forms should be collected and submitted to the municipal offices.
For further information regarding Covid-19 Relief fund application contact Mr E. T Ratlapane on 073 416 1831 / 071 406 9686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org