MEDIA STATEMENT: DCAS RELIEF FUND OUTCOMES AND TRANSFER PROCESS TO OFFICIALLY COMMENCE NEXT WEEK
As the independent adjudication process has now officially concluded and the findings presented to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), outcomes of relief funding applications will be communicated to all applicants next week, 20 July 2020.
The public call for the DCAS relief funding within the sport and cultural sector officially opened on 5 May and closed 19 May 2020.
The arts, culture and heritage relief fund of R4 700 000 was set aside primarily to offer relief to creatives and not to compensate for losses incurred. The fund received 1058 applications in total, with 948 adjudicated after duplications and unrelated applications were removed. The work of the adjudicators was concluded on 3 July 2020 and underwent quality checks before presenting the report to the Department. Thereafter, the required administrative processes were followed to approve the 691 (73%) successful applicants, inclusive of Minister Marais’ sign off. The combined revenue losses to applicants came to a total of R 58 612 195, a clear indication of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector. Minister Marais will write to the national Minister to raise these concerns and motivate for additional funding to better assist the sector.
Minister Marais is happy to announce that we will begin the process of informing all applicants of their respective outcomes and start transferring the allocated funds in compliance with the legislative framework requirements. The expected date for informing artists of outcomes and processing of transfers is from the week of 20 July 2020. In cases where an applicant is successful but did not provide payment details with their application forms, it may take longer to process because of the time it would take to source and verify the needed information to securely process the transfer of funds.
To bring the sport and recreation COVID-19 relief funding strategy into fruition, the criteria for assessing this support, the identification of beneficiaries and the mechanism through which the fund is managed was done in consultation with the Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation. The sport and recreation adjudication committee completed its work in June 2020 after receiving 108 federation applications on behalf of their various coaches, athletes, technical officials and recreation entities across the province. To ensure transparency and greater range of support, with only R1 million available to fund our provincial sport and recreation relief applications, the national Department of Sport and Culture was requested to provide the Western Cape DCAS with a database of our provincial athletes, federations and entities that have applied for the national relief fund and the outcome of those applications. Should an application have been successful, the applicant will not be eligible for any provincial relief. Payment to successful applicants will also commence next week.
An Appeals Committee has also been established and will be responsible for presiding over all appeals and/or complaints that emanate from the COVID-19 Relief Fund Adjudication Panel and application outcomes. Details of the appeals process will be communicated to each applicant as they are informed of their respective outcomes. The Committee will consider the documents submitted and engage any other relevant person, including the applicant, to further engage on the matter before taking a decision. It is important to note that a decision of the Committee will be final and binding to all parties.
Minister Anroux Marais said, “In the dire fiscal environment in which we find ourselves, the possible deterioration of the socioeconomic wellbeing of citizens will further impact the tax base, increase dependence on governmental services, further augmenting the number of indigent households which requires additional support across the three spheres of government. This will compound existing developmental challenges and extend fiscal demands on government as unemployment will rise due to the lockdown. Based on the experience of countries further along the trajectory of the pandemic, this crisis is likely to last for months and will require an immediate planning and budgetary response, while considering a post COVID-19 strategic approach. Some of the hardest hit are sport federations, artists and cultural organisations whose sole source of income is generated from events and programmes that had to be cancelled due to lockdown regulations. Most of these organisations and individuals are adversely affected by the lockdown regulations, making the provision of social relief for them vital. We thank our valued partners and dedicated officials for their continued support in our joint efforts to combat this virus in trying times. Their proactive efforts to assist the Western Cape Government’s Whole of Society and Whole of Government Approaches does not go unnoticed. Together, we will beat this pandemic and continue to collaboratively work towards a socially inclusive, active and connected Western Cape through sport and culture.”