DA calls for 70% capacity opening of creative sector
21 March 2021
The DA calls on the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture to consider opening the creative arts industry at 70% capacity, in accordance with strict health, safety, and Covid-19 protocols. Theatres, choral music competitions, and creative arts festivals, among others, should be opened at 70% capacity to ensure that the creative industry is once again financially stimulated.
Currently, the creative arts industry is not classified as a critical industry that contributes to the economy, whilst at the same time the government has failed to assist the sector with relief funds. To date, many artists are still waiting for access to the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) meant as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its devastating effect on the arts and culture sector in South Africa.
Our calls for a 70% capacity opening of this sector comes in light of Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s refusal to respond to artists that have been protesting and staging sit-ins across South Africa.
Recently, the creative industry was rocked by the closure of the historic Fugard Theatre in Cape Town. Sadly, the Fugard is not the only nor the last creative arts establishment that will suffer as a result of the ongoing restrictions on the industry.
We urge the government to do the right thing and show reprieve for an industry continuing to suffer the consequences of the pandemic and the disastrous lockdown.
Issued byTsepo Mhlongo,Shadow Minister of Sports, Arts, & Culture, 21 March 2021