An artists holds up a placard during a demonstration for Covid relief for the industry. File Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency / ANA
An artists holds up a placard during a demonstration for Covid relief for the industry. File Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency / ANA

More than R234m paid to artists, says Arts Council

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jul 6, 2021

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Cape Town - THE National Arts Council (NAC) has made payments to artists totalling R234 171 381 related to the Presidential Economic Stimulus Programme (PESP), acting CEO Julie Diphofa said.

Briefing the sport, arts and culture portfolio committee, Diphofa said 1309 beneficiaries were paid R208 334 861 in the first tranche payment and 608 received payments totalling R25 836 520 in the second and final tranches.

She said there was still a balance of R50m to pay beneficiaries who were still in the process to submit compliance reports in order to receive payments due to them.

Diphofa told MPs that the NAC had announced a total of 1331 applicants that were approved for the PESP funding.

“As of 11 June, a total of R 220 823 463 has been paid to 1307 beneficiaries, which is a combination of 70% of grant value (the first tranche) and the full grant amount payable to beneficiaries.”

She said 98% of 1331 beneficiaries have received 70% of the grant value for the first tranche.

Diphofa also said the total jobs to be created for all beneficiaries was 26 433.

She, however, said the disbursement of the first tranche payments that were still due comprised 20 applicants.

Ten contracts were still to be sent to beneficiaries on receipt of the revised required information.

There were seven contracts sent but not yet received back from beneficiaries and three other contracts with specific queries – which have since been sorted out – queries being adjusted figure or banking information.

Diphofa stated that second trance payments would be paid in various intervals following receipt of required reporting.

She confirmed that as of June 10, the NAC had received 22 letters of demand from the beneficiaries' lawyers to honour original contracts to the value of R34 135 117.

There were 75 letters of appeal received by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

“Some of the beneficiaries have not signed their revised grant notification letters, and some have not been paid.

“The NAC’s counsel has sent response letters to some of the complainants advising them of our stance to not have any further funds to pay out at this time,” Diphofa said.

She also confirmed that the court cases involving the National Arts Festival and Assitej were still in court because leave to appeal has been lodged.

“The NAC is waiting for the final decision on the matter,” Diphofa said.

She stated that the suspension of CEO Rosemary Mangope and CFO Clifton Changfoot has been extended pending the forensic investigation by Mazars Forensic Services

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