IN QUOTES | Nathi Mthethwa apologises to creative sector for the mismanagement of funds
Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa has apologised to the creative sector for the mismanagement of funds earmarked to provide relief for artists during the lockdown.
He said the department was “let down” by the National Arts Council (NAC), which was tasked with disbursing the funds.
Mthethwa, who briefed the media on Monday about the distribution of funds made available through the presidential employment stimulus programme (PESP), said the alleged mismanagement of funds will be investigated.
Here are five quotes from the minister's address:
Budget over-commitment by the NAC
“The [council] found that the budget was mismanaged by the NAC, mainly by way of over-commitment of the available funds that were allocated to creative sector organisations by more than double the allocated amount in their possession ... Money is not missing; people overcommitted.”
The NAC will be held accountable
“I have instructed the department to do a deep forensic investigation about this matter so that whoever transgressed in mismanaging funds is brought to book. We are going to pursue this to the bitter end to ensure those who have done the injustice face the full wrath of the system and the law.”
Mismanagement of funds
“Some people who had applied have been given more than what they had applied for and again, all those things will have to come out through the process of investigation.”
Addressing the shortfall
“The problem with R300m is the shortfall as a result of overcommitting and overbudgeting. We have engaged the National Treasury and we have not been successful especially because of the economic climate we find ourselves in and financial constraints, but also, they are raising the issue of mismanagement.”
The third phase of funds
“The department received over 6,000 applications for the third phase and has adjudicated about 4,000 of these focusing on individual applications as the priority. Processing of payments to the 2,300 recommended individual applicants will commence this week.”