Today the National Arts Council held its first industry briefing since its appointment to Council on 1 January 2021. The purpose of the briefing was to appraise the arts, culture and heritage sector, particularly the leaders of various industry organisations and industry arts practitioners, on the progress Council has made in resolving and expediting the disbursement of PESP grants to all approved applicants.
It has to be noted, that due to the size and scope of the cultural and creative industries, the NAC call for PESP Funding was over-subscribed and the generous allocation of R300 million by our National Government proved insufficient to meet the demands of the sector.
The NAC received a total of 2 486 applications for both Stream 1 & 2, with Stream 2 receiving most applications totaling 2 031 and Stream 1 only registering 455 applications. Of the total applications received only 2 080 applications were adjudicated by Panels, whereas 406 applications could not be processed as they failed to meet the minimum compliance requirements. A total of 1 374 applications were then recommended for approval and 706 applications were declined by Panels.
With a total of 1 374 successful applications, the available budget of R285 million could only accommodate 613 beneficiaries, and those were then published by the NAC at various phases. The remaining 761 that had been adjudicated and approved, could not be published as the budget had been depleted.
Today, Council is happy to announce that it has resolved that all successful applications, published and not published must receive the PESP Grant.
In reaching this conclusion, Council applied the following principles:
- All Approved and compliant applications must receive a PESP Grant
- All compliant applicants approved must not receive more than what they originally applied for
- Approved projects must not exceed R2 million, however Council will consider projects that create jobs at scale and have a national footprint.
Therefore, in ensuring that all the 1 374 applicants, (including the 761 that were approved but not published) will benefit from the disbursement of the PESP funding, in a manner that Council considered fair and equitable, Council had to readjust the guiding figure. This was to achieve the maximum number of jobs that the PESP programme was intended for and to achieve a 100% PESP Grant disbursement to all approved applicants. The Guiding Figure has been adjusted from the maximum of R25, 000.00 (for organisations) and R16,600 (For Individuals) per job to R10, 895.00 per job. With the adjusted Guiding Figure, the NAC exceeded the number of targeted jobs from 14, 000 to 21 249 jobs.
The NAC is in the process of re-issuing Grant Letters to all applicants affected by the adjustment and will recontract all successful applicants in line with the readjusted guiding figure. Council & Management urge beneficiaries to sign the GNL’s and Contract immediately upon receipt to allow for prompt processing and release of funds.
This Council remains fully committed to completing this process as soon as possible and to ensure that the PESP funds reach all the deserving and approved applicants so that projects create or sustain the much needed jobs without any further hindrance.
Issued by the Council of the National Arts Council of South Africa
For All Media Enquiries: Tshepo Mashiane – NAC Council Member (072 037 3358)