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National Arts Council starts distribution of PESP relief for artists

Some 1 215 practitioners in the arts, culture and heritage sector are receiving much needed relief as the National Arts Council (NAC) starts the distribution of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) grants to successful beneficiaries.

After careful due diligence in ensuring that equity, fairness and administrative justice is applied for approved beneficiaries, the NAC is going ahead with contracting and effecting payment to all compliant and approved applicants.

The new Council that was appointed in January 2021, chaired by the Acting Chairperson of Council,  Princess Celenhle Dlamini, is now confident that all approved, contracted and compliant beneficiaries will be paid by 31 March 2021.

This is as a result of the tireless work by the Council, over the last few weeks, which was to ensure that all hurdles and challenges discovered in the distribution of the PESP are addressed. Whilst a total 1 215 practitioners’ applications have been finalised, deemed compliant and approved, Council has revealed that there are still a few outstanding approved applications that are yet to be finalised. The work of cleaning up all outstanding approved applications have been assigned to the Council’s War Room. This work is expected to be completed in due course.

To ensure that an honest and transparent process was undertaken, a list of the recipients was published including amounts related to each applicant. The successful applicants are expected to retain and create 24 735 job opportunities through the PESP intervention.

The NAC is urging all published beneficiaries to submit the required information and return the contracts urgently, so as to allow NAC to effect payment for intended beneficiaries.

NAC acting chairperson, Princess Celenhle Dlamini, has confirmed the Council’s pledge towards the arts:

The NAC is committed to continuously engaging with the industry to solicit counsel from all industry stakeholders, especially practitioners, on how to best work together. The improvement of the lives within the arts, culture and heritage sector remains our top priority. The Council has equally set up communication mechanisms to allow the industry to engage with it in addition to industry briefings.

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