'We need answers,' Simphiwe Dana pleads with minister Nathi Mthethwa over artist relief fund

28 May 2020 - 13:00 By Chrizelda Kekana
Simphiwe Dana asked minister Nathi Mthethwa to follow up on applications the department has apparently not responded to.
Simphiwe Dana asked minister Nathi Mthethwa to follow up on applications the department has apparently not responded to.
Image: Supplied

South African artists have been breathing through the wound since the beginning of the lockdown and while some have received help from the government, others like Simphiwe Dana are yet to get any response.

The songstress took to Twitter to share her grievances, saying she was yet to receive a response to her application, 70 days later.

“It’s now been over 70 days since lockdown, I haven’t gotten a response to my Covid-19 proposal. Could you update us on what the hold up now is?” she asked.

Simphiwe is only one of several artists who have aired their grievances on social media, claiming that even though they've submitted all the necessary documentation, the department had not got back to them.

Some, like actress Nokuthula Mavuso, have written open letters to the minister of arts and culture. 

The actress said she had hoped the announced R150m relief fund allocated to help performers and artists during the lockdown would help her.

I was hopeful that the fund would cushion the #LockdownSA #COVID19SA blow. I sent through all required docs by your dept, I’m yet to receive an acknowledgment of receipt from your dept. It pains me that actors like myself have been ignored or rejected without plausible explanation,” she said.

Meanwhile, the department has issued statements and lists of the people who have already received payments.

However, as the complaints pile up on the minister's TL, he's resorted to using his DMs to follow up for those who say they are yet to receive any communication from his department. 


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