South Africa: National Arts Council Apologises for the Way It Handled R300m Stimulus Programme

The front door of the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town.
analysis

At an online meeting on Sunday night with the arts sector, the National Arts Council apologised for how it had handled the stimulus package.

At a Zoom meeting on Sunday evening, the National Arts Council (NAC) apologised to the arts sector for how it has handled the R300-million Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme.

In the meeting, attended by officials from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Princess Celenhle Dlamini, the acting chairperson of the NAC's council, apologised to the arts sector.

"I really do apologise for all of this. With each and every meeting we're going to have, we'll have to apologise because we really didn't want to be at loggerheads with the artists," said Dlamini.

Since 3 March a group of artists has been staging a sit-in at the NAC's offices in Newton, Johannesburg. About 12 artists have been sleeping at the offices, with about 50 people present during the day delivering food and showing support, said opera star Sibongile Mngoma, who's been leading the sit-in.

This was after the NAC told the industry that the money that they were to initially receive was to be reduced.

The guiding figure was adjusted from the maximum of R25,000 for organisations...

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