NATIONAL NEWS - Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has set up a Ministerial Advisory Team (MAT) for the creative and cultural sector to advise him on how to deal with the plight of the creatives during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The appointment comes at a time when the entire nation is under enormous strain due to the pandemic.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture said it was evident from the onset that the creative and cultural industries in their various forms are the hardest hit by the pandemic.
In response to the difficulties faced by sector practitioners, the department introduced various relief measures which includes the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Phase Relief Fund.
“We have also partnered with the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) as well as the Solidarity Fund, amongst other partnerships, to try and soften the blow of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Whilst thousands of practitioners have benefited, it is apparent that there are many more who have not benefitted from the various relief funds,” said the department.
In an effort to find amicable solutions, working with the sector, the Minister established MAT comprising leaders in various portfolios in the creative sector.
The work of MAT is structured as per five work streams, outlined as follows:
- Banking and Landlords Portfolio: The team working on this portfolio will engage with the financial sector and propose various interventions that would assist practitioners with matters such as payment holidays, and other matters within this portfolio to ensure that practitioners do not lose their valuables during this period.
- Wellness Portfolio: The team will work closely with the Department and the designated service provider to implement wellness interventions for sector practitioners.
- School Fees Portfolio: This team will propose and implement interventions aimed at ensuring that sector practitioners’ children are not affected and excluded from attending school due to non-payment of fees during the COVID-19 period.
- Retail and Transport Portfolio and Private and Corporate Sector Portfolios: These teams will engage the private sector and solicit donations and sponsorships which will ensure that practitioners continue to sustain their livelihoods and put food on their table during the COVID-19 period.
- The overarching responsibility of MAT is to set up sub-work streams to ensure the inclusion of all sectors in the creative and cultural sector, attend to Departmental stakeholder commitments and a supervened collaborative partnership with the department to facilitate stakeholder engagement with the numerous nine sectors of the creative and cultural industry.
The appointed MAT members are:
- Sharif Baker
- China Mpololo
- Joy Mbewana
- Nozipho Nguse- Dlamini
- Gabi Le Roux
- Thobela Dlamini and
- Lara Foot