Message from the Council – PESP Industry Briefing, 2 July 2021

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Message from the Council – PESP Industry Briefing, 2 July 2021
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Johannesburg – The National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of its Esteemed Council Member, Advocate Dr Steve Kekana. This is a big loss to the industry and particularly the NAC because Adv. Kekana had just been recently appointed to the NAC Council by the Honourable Minister Nathi Mthethwa. The NAC Staff and Council wish to express their sincere condolences to his family and the arts fraternity. Let’s have a moment of silence to pay tribute to Adv Kekana. [MOMENT OF SILENCE]

The NAC welcomes the creative and cultural sector to another PESP Industry Briefing. This webinar comes two days after the officially announced closure date of PESP, the 30th of June 2021. These webinars provide weekly updates on the progress made with respect to the disbursement of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) and how the funds are distributed. This follows the previous briefing session, which was held on Friday, the 25th of June 2021.

The NAC received an allocation of R300 million, of which R285 million was distributed for PESP funding. As of today, the following milestones have been achieved:

  1. The NAC announced a total of 1 331 applicants that were approved for the PESP funding.
  2. To date, a total of R231 601 630.10 (two hundred and thirty-one million six hundred and one thousand six hundred and thirty rand and ten cents) has been paid to 1 309 beneficiaries, which is a combination of 70% of the grant value (the first tranche) and the full grant amounts payable to beneficiaries.
  3. We can now say that 98.5% of 1 331 beneficiaries have to date received 70% of the grant value (the first tranche).
  4. Second tranche payments are being paid in various intervals following receipt of the required reporting.
  5. The NAC has, to date, paid around 44% of all beneficiaries who have returned their signed contracts, their final tranche, following the verification of their reports. This is made up of 84% of Stream 1 beneficiaries and 29% of Stream 2 beneficiaries.
  6. The anticipated number of job opportunities retained and created by contracts returned now stands at over 26 000, however, this will be finalised upon receipt of all final reports.

 

The NAC would like to announce that the acceptance of PESP reports and outstanding payments to PESP beneficiaries is continuing.  We urge all beneficiaries to submit their reports as soon as possible. We request beneficiaries who have not yet submitted their interim reports to advise us via email as to when reports will be submitted.

We understand the urgency of completing this task and the need for final payments to be made and are working tirelessly to ensure that beneficiaries who have already submitted their reports are paid as soon as possible.

Beneficiaries who have received 70% of their grant and have not yet submitted reports, as per their contractual obligation, are being contacted to ensure that their reports are submitted. Beneficiaries who require assistance with reporting can let us know and one of our team members will gladly guide you through this process by phone or zoom.

We would like to emphasise the need for beneficiaries to check on their tax status, as payments can only be made to beneficiaries who are tax compliant.

We thank all beneficiaries who have shared their innovative projects with us, and the invitations received to events. As at 30th of June 2021, over 131 PESP funded events have been published on our website’s Event Calendar. Additionally, we have shared posters and content related to PESP funded programming across all our social media platforms. This includes 71 posts on Facebook, 104 tweets and retweets on Twitter and 239 posts on Instagram and Instagram Stories. We continue to urge beneficiaries to share their invites, press releases, press coverage as well as posters and marketing material with us by tagging us on our social media pages and via email at communications1@nac.org.za.

The period for unsuccessful applicants to submit appeals is now closed as these were due within 30 days of receipt of the decline letter. The DSAC Appeals Committee is currently reviewing appeals and the date of the final outcome will be announced soon.

The NAC has studied the court judgment regarding the National Arts Festival (NAF) and has officially requested its legal counsel to lodge a formal appeal on the judgement.

The NAC can now report that a forensic investigation firm, Mazars Forensic Services, has been appointed and their work has begun. The investigation is expected to be completed in less than 8 weeks. Again, the NAC will no longer comment on the irregularities pertaining to the PESP. The focus of the Council is the smooth completion of the funded PESP projects and a closeout report.

With regards to the processes unfolding towards the announcement of the NAC Call for Funding for 2021/22, Council will be hosting its Strategic Planning Session on 16 and 17 July 2021 to finalise plans for the NAC trajectory for the next four years. The Council, with Management, has commenced with Stakeholder Consultations, the first of which was hosted on Tuesday the 29th of June 2021. The NAC will continue with these Stakeholder Consultations to build a collective knowledge-sharing platform leading to the Strategic Planning Session. The Stakeholder Consultations have been an effective platform in engaging stakeholders about the NAC and what they would like to see in the future. The outcomes of the sessions will not only provide the NAC with the direction on what the call for applications will focus on, but it will also ensure that the strategic plan for the NAC is formulated in partnership with the sector and is responsive to its needs and modus operandi.

Following our update regarding provincial partners for COVID 19 relief funding disbursement, the second review for this process is currently underway and due for completion at the end of July.

Provincial Roadshows will be held timeously to create awareness of the NAC Funding guidelines, funding criteria, navigating the Grant Management System and assessment criteria to assist applicants. Due to rising challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic in alignment with the National response of an escalation to Level 4 Lockdown, the NAC will be making every effort to ensure the safety of all our Stakeholders by migrating this initiative to a virtual engagement that is responsive to the varying digital awareness and access status of all our stakeholders across the country.

The 45th anniversary of the June 16th Student Uprising in Soweto was commemorated in the month of June. Young people are key stakeholders in building the creative sector’s economy and in an attempt to help to draw more young people into the economy, PESP was geared towards employment creation and retention initiatives. The leading beneficiaries of this programme are youth, who make up 36% of the projects funded. 488 youth-led projects have received over R80 million in PESP funding.

This Council remains fully committed to successfully completing the PESP process to ensure that the PESP funds reach all beneficiaries, enabling them to retain and create the much-needed job opportunities in our sector.

 

 

ENDS…

For Media Enquiries: Council Spokesperson, Cllr. Tshepo Mashiane – 072 037 3358

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