The Gauteng department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation announced a R28-million relief fund in a virtual briefing on Sunday. The department’s MEC, Mbali Hlophe, emphasized that a lot of informal athletes and artists were not able to benefit from the R150 million relief fund, distributed by the national government. Successful beneficiaries of the fund will be entitled to R1000 from July until December.
“These are the people we call hustlers, they coach our community teams, these are our arts and craftsmen who work in our communities,” Hlophe said. Hlophe indicated that with the season winter underway, the country might not be moving to a lower lockdown level anytime soon. “We felt that we should have this sector approach and to give our people this cushion, as of next week advertisements will be out and a team of adjudicators will be appointed to start processing applications,” she said.
The department has also roped in several donors to assist artists and athletes with food parcels. “These are people who have taken a sector approach to say, let us take care of each other and we’re so happy to work with them. We hope that this will encourage others.”
In March, Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said athletes and coaches whose livelihoods have been affected by the cancellation of sporting events due to the coronavirus will receive assistance from the government.
“Athletes who were confirmed to participate at events that have now been cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19, and whose income is generated solely through specific sporting events will be eligible for relief,” the minister said in the statement. “They must provide proof that their events have been cancelled and their taxes must be in order”.
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