The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, to request an extension of the application period for athletes and artists to access support funding from the Arts and Sports Sector Relief Funding.
Today marks the deadline for athletes and artists to apply for funding and the DA has requested that the deadline be extended to 17 April 2020, a day after the lockdown.
Our request follows several complaints of technical challenges such as continued system errors and emails bouncing due to the mailbox being full. These challenges have created great confusion and tension because it has prevented artists and athletes from accessing the system and have made it difficult for them to meet the current deadline.
The arts and sports sectors have been among the hardest hit industries by the outbreak of the Covid-19, which resulted in cancellations or postponement of almost all major sports events and arts festivals across the country and worldwide.
This has had a negative impact on the livelihoods of our men and women in arts and sports and it has become increasingly clear that these technical problems will prevent them from getting their much needed relief if the deadline is not extended to 17 April.
We call for the deadline for submissions to be extended until after the lockdown. 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 lessen the impact caused by virus on their pockets.