South Africa: Sports, Arts and Culture Responds to Allegations By South African Arts Culture Youth Forum of Failed Support

press release

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture responds to unfounded allegations by the South African Arts Culture Youth Forum (SAACYF)

The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture rejects with the contempt it deserves that it has failed to support the South African Arts and Culture Youth Forum (SAACYF).

To date, we have funded SAACYF an amount of R 2 950 000 as follows:

The Musina Heritage Festival done by the Limpopo Chapter of SAACYF in 2016/2017 financial year with R500 000. The Chapter reported in line with departmental requirements.

'Pad A Girl' done by SAACYF national office in 2017/2018 financial year with R750 000. SAACYF reported once more in line with departmental requirements.

Furthermore, the Department supported "The Voices of June 16" project of SAACYF through committing an amount of R1 700 000. The Department signed a memorandum of agreement to support the project and committed an amount to be paid in two tranches. The contract commenced on the 03 September 2018 until the 31 March 2019. The first tranche was paid during October 2018 to the amount of R1 500 000. The second tranche was to be paid out on receipt of a signed narrative report accompanied by supportive documents, including financials, invoices etc.

Upon evaluation of the report submitted and the related documentation, it became evident that the reporting did not reflect that the funding was used for its express purpose as there were no supporting receipts backing up the narrative report.

Upon further examination, as the Department does not take contractual obligations lightly and insists on complete accountability for public funds disbursed to beneficiaries, SAACYF alleged that a break-in occurred in their offices on 1 December 2018 where they keep their records. SAACYF further alleged that documents were taken from their office as a result of the alleged break-in. SAACYF claimed that one file containing invoices and receipts regarding this particular project had gone missing in the break-in and that this resulted in them failing to account fully for the funding granted for the project.

The Department demanded that SAACYF go back to their suppliers to re-issue them with outstanding receipts supporting their narrative report. On Thursday 30 May 2019 SAACYF submitted the final financials on this project.

Therefore we refute the allegation that we are failing to support this organisation or to honour our contractual agreements and obligations. The Department is perturbed by the misleading insinuations on social media platforms galvanising public opinion based on the spewing of malicious misinformation. In fact we have gone out of the way to engage them more than once to ensure that proper reporting is done.

The Department expects SAACYF to be honourable enough to issue a public apology for their deliberate stoking of public dissent through unfounded allegations.

The Department remains committed to support deserving projects under the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) programme. However we shall continue to expect beneficiaries to honour their contractual obligations to the fullest extent. We shall continue to exercise our fiduciary responsibilities, without fear or favour.

Issued by: Department of Arts and Culture

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