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Fri Aug 29 18:10:38 SAST 2014

National Lotteries Board concerned over JPO statements

Times LIVE | 16 November, 2012 10:54
A violin rests on a seat in the orchestra. File photo.
Image by: LISI NIESNER / REUTERS

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) said it is concerned about statements made by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) that they will close their doors because the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) has not funded them.

The statement said: “The JPO’s most recent application for funding was submitted on 28 April 2011, one day before the closing date of 29 April 2011.

“This application has not yet been adjudicated. Applications are processed and adjudicated chronologically.”

The NLB said if the current application is successful, the JPO will be advised of the amount and also the budget line items they can use the grant for.

“As with all applicants, the JPO’s application for funding will only be considered favourably if we are satisfied that the previous grants were used in line with the grant agreement.”

It said the amount requested was R16 billion, whereas the budget for Arts, Culture and National Heritage sector was R600 million, with 1 300 applications needing attention.

The NLB said it cannot guarantee funding to any applicant.

The Times reported that the orchestra staff of about 40 has not been paid for three months, according to musician Danny Bower.

Last month the orchestra applied for business rescue, he said.

SABC explains that the plan that allows companies in financial distress to be rehabilitated under supervision and subject to a court order, giving it between three to six months to secure financial help or else shut down.

The orchestra needs around R1.1 million a month to keep afloat, according to the report.

The JPO’s managing director Shadrack Bokaba told The Times he hoped the orchestra would be saved and that they "have raised the financial distress signal and we are hoping that we can turn this situation around".

“The JPO used to rely on private sector funding for years and with the recession the funding slowly dwindled and so the focus has shifted heavily on public sector funding. Last year 62% of our funding came from the public sector.”

The board took a resolution to initiate business rescue proceedings after months of financial distress. It’s appointed a business rescue practitioner to help them get their affairs in order.

They have been given up to six months for that to happen, SABC said.

The business rescue practitioner must supervise the company during its rescue period.

The Department of Arts and Culture is expected to provide funding, based on its undertakings.

“Per annum we need about R23 million so this is not only the salaries but the cost of production, it’s a cash intensive exercise, added Mokaba. “

The orchestra relies heavily on public sector funding from the NLB and the Department of Arts and Culture.

The NLB said while it sympathises with the JPO’s plight, there is no funding that is owing to them over and above what they have already received from the NLB as a result of previous successful grant applications.

The statement said the JPO has received four grants, totalling R46 million, from the NLDTF –R2 million, R1 million, R6.9 million, and most recently, in 2009, R36.3 million.

Payment of the 2009 grant was in seven tranches, as follows:
R6.5 million, December 2009
R4.3 million, March 2010
R7.2 million, July 2010
R4.8 million, November 2010
R8 million, May 2011
R3 million, May 2012
R2.4 million, August 2012

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Fri Aug 29 18:10:38 SAST 2014 ::