Today, the Council of the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) has given management the go ahead to proceed with the disbursement of the PESP grants to successful and published beneficiaries who had signed their contracts and are fully compliant with all the legislative requirement and National Treasury regulations.
Since assuming its tenure, which was at the most crucial time when the NAC was busy completing the PESP process, Council has spent endless hours trying to address numerous issues raised by the industry and concerned individuals pertaining to the management of the PESP process. To ensure that it was satisfied that the PESP process was not at risk of contravening legislation and governance processes, Council undertook a meticulous process of consultations with Management before giving the go ahead to proceed with disbursements.
Whilst seeking solutions that will resolve the identified challenges as speedily as possible, Council could not be oblivious to risks that might arise had it hastened to take decisions without first understanding the seriousness of identified problems and to seek solutions thereof.
As we embarked on this process to ensure compliance, proper management and accounting of the public funds entrusted to the NAC on behalf of all Artists in South Africa, Council has identified some solutions that will allow the entity to resume PESP operations, whilst we find additional solutions to the numerous other applications still being reviewed for compliance.
Council has advised Management to proceed with the payment of grants ONLY to beneficiaries that have signed contracts and fulfilled all contractual conditions precedent, based on principles of fairness and equity that will be explained to each compliant applicant. Furthermore, successful applicants who have failed to meet the necessary compliance by a scheduled date, as communicated to them by the NAC, will be disqualified.
Together with Management, Council is now in the process of trying to seek a solution on how to resolve the matter of applications that were approved but have not received Grant Notification Letters, after the NAC exceeded the PESP budget, due to the oversubscription of applications. To this effect, Council will issue further communication on how it will speedily resolve this matter.
Council remains fully committed to completing this process and ensuring that all successful applicants approved on or before 30 December receive funding as soon as possible. We are resolute that the PESP funds will reach the deserving, successful and compliant applicants in order to sustain and create jobs within the Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector.
Issued by the Council of the National Arts Council of South Africa
For All Media Enquiries: Tshepo Mashiane – NAC Council Member (072 037 3358)