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COVID: Report into mismanagement of funds meant for artists welcomed

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Nathi Mthethwa

The Theatre and Dance Alliance has welcomed the findings of a forensic investigation into the mismanagement of the R300 million meant to help artists whose livelihoods were threatened by COVID-19.

On Monday, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa shared the report detailing how the presidential employment stimulus package earmarked for those in the creative sector was disbursed improperly.

A number of irregularities were identified including that some applicants received more money than they had applied for.

Senior National Arts Council members implicated in the scandal have been given seven days to give reasons why they should not be suspended. The Theatre and Dance Alliance was launched earlier this year to prioritise the rights of those in the creative sector.

It has repeatedly called for accountability amid allegations of mismanagement of funds at the National Arts Council.

The group’s chairperson Lindiwe Letwaba said they welcomed Mthethwa’s efforts.

“…To be accountable and to hold others accountable for the mismanagement of the PSP funding,” Letwaba said. Letwaba said they hope the department has learnt from its failures and will do all it can to protect artists in this country.

“Without the necessary action going forward, and a willingness to truly serve the arts and culture sector, the minister’s briefing does little,” she said. According to the National Arts Council, about 55 % of approved beneficiaries have not yet received their funding.

Source: News365

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