The DA calls for R150m arts and sports relief funding to be audited and for process to re-open

Please find an attached soundbite in English and Zulu, by Tsepo Mhlongo MP, DA Shadow Minister of Sports, Arts & Culture

For the sake of transparency and accountability, the Democratic Alliance (DA) calls for the R150 million relief funding issued to the Department of Sports Arts and Culture, which was meant to mitigate the effects Covid-19 on the sector to be audited.

This follows numerous allegations of corruption and mismanagement of the funds and the accusation that the department was not transparent about the funding process.

The relief fund application process has been laden with uncertainties and poor communication form the department.

Throughout the entire lockdown period, the DA has always had misgivings regarding the payments made by the department’s Covid-19 relief fund to artists and athletes. We have continuously demanded clarity on the criteria used to decide the amounts paid out and who it is paid out to.

Thousands of South Africans athletes and artists whose applications for relief funding has been rejected are rightfully questioning why some people benefited while they haven’t

We reiterate our call to Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, for the re-opening of the application process to the relief fund. This will provide those who were unsuccessful or missed the previous deadline a new and fair opportunity to access this much-needed funding

The second phase must be a substantial, 15-day period that allows artists and sportspeople a fair opportunity to access aid.

The distribution of relief funding must not to be ensnared in unnecessary red tape. Artists and sportspeople are suffering and the Department must step up and ensure that the money that was allocated for this relief is distributed in a fair, transparent and timeous manner.

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