By: Collen T Ndobo
The Cultural and Creatives Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) in the Free State acknowledged the efforts of the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation (DSACR) steered by MEC Limakatso Mahasa in the province for the commitment it has shown to the creative industry during this trying times.
The department has called on artists and athletes whose income has been negatively affected by the Covid-19 lockdown to apply for the relief fund. The disbursement of the relief funds to deserving and relevant individuals and structures is based on a particular set framework and criteria. This framework is said to be duly consulted around with the representative bodies for both athletes and artists to ensure the realization of the principles of equity, fairness, openness and transparency.
“I commit to ensure that these principles are met on the side of the Department. Coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in a manner which is unprecedented.” Mahasa stated
“We have consulted with the structures representing artists and athletes in the province, the CCIFSA and the Free State Sport Confederation (FSSC)”, said the department. The acting provincial coordinator of CCIFSA, Mbuyiselo Nqodi said that the pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the industry, killed all income streams and left artists with problems of food insecurity and economic strain.
Nqodi said that the CCIFSA is in support of the relief fund. He further said that this was a challenging time for the sector and that it is an opportunity to redefine the sector and find ways to preserve it. “The times we are in require us to unite and work together in finding solutions for our sector because post corona virus, we will walk into a different world that has new rules and would have no choice but to adapt to the changing world and the dynamics it brings”, Nqodi added.
The Free State Provincial Government Executive Council in collaboration with the department took a decision to cancel both cultural and sporting activities such as the flagship programmes that included the Mnagung African Cutural Festival (MACUFE). These decisions were taken as a quest to ensure social distancing thus, curbing the spread of the virus.
The deadline for applications has been extended to 20 May 2020 and application forms and guidelines are available at municipal offices across the province, Musicon in Bloemfontein as well as Arts and Culture Centres in Phuthaditjhaba, Thaba Nchu, Zamdela (Sasolburg) and Thabong (Welkom).