Message from the Council – PESP Industry Briefing, 30 July 2021

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Message from the Council – PESP Industry Briefing, 30 July 2021
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Johannesburg – The NAC welcomes the creative and cultural sector to another PESP Industry Briefing. This webinar comes a month after the officially announced closure date of PESP, which was the 30th of June 2021. These webinars provide weekly updates on the progress made with respect to the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) and the disbursement of funds. This webinar follows the previous briefing session, which was held on Friday, the 23rd of July 2021.

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

  1. To date, a total of R248 745 528.50 (TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY-EIGHT MILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHT RAND AND FIFTY 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.
  2. Second tranche payments are being paid in various intervals following receipt of the required reporting from beneficiaries.
  3. The number of beneficiaries who have been paid their final tranche has increased to 63%, following the submission and verification of their reports. This is made up of 90% of Stream 1 beneficiaries and 53% of Stream 2 beneficiaries.
  4. The anticipated number of job opportunities retained and created by contracts returned stands at over 26 000, however, this will be finalised upon receipt of all final reports.
  5. 548 PESP funded events have been published on our website’s Event Calendar and across all our social media platforms.

 

The acceptance of PESP reports and outstanding payments to PESP beneficiaries continues, and as the project draws to a close, the PESP Team is working hard to ensure that all reports are received, and final payments are made as efficiently as possible. The reviewing of interim reports remains a challenge and team members are engaging with beneficiaries to assist with the process. Beneficiaries who require assistance with reporting can let us know and one of our team members will gladly assist by phone or zoom.

The NAC still notes that there are beneficiaries who have received 70% of their grant and have not yet submitted an interim or final report, as per their contractual obligations. Further steps are being taken to ensure that funds are accounted for.

The NAC understands 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 quickly as possible.

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

Unfortunately, The NAC has received allegations of non-payment to third parties or the misuse of funds, after beneficiaries have received their payments. The NAC is investigating these accusations, which are considered to be very serious.

The DSAC Appeals Committee is continuing to review appeals and the date of the final outcome will be announced.

We thank all beneficiaries who have shared their innovative projects with us, and the invitations received to events. We continue to urge beneficiaries to share any updates and press coverage with us by tagging us on our social media pages or via email at communications1@nac.org.za.

This Council remains fully committed to successfully completing the PESP process, which has, enabled the retention and creation of much-needed job opportunities in our sector.

Council hosted its Strategic Planning Session on 16th and 17th July 2021. One of the most important outcomes from the session was a response to the industry’s request of changing our approach towards our annual Call for Funding.

Council has resolved to follow a “Discipline-Based” approach towards its Call for Funding. This means practitioners will be able to submit their applications for project funding in the disciplines of craft, dance, literature, multidiscipline, music, theatre, and visual arts. Due to limited funding allocated for the year, the minimum funding applicants can apply for is R50,000 and the maximum funding allowed per project will be limited to R350,000. This is to spread the limited funding to more arts practitioners.

In addition, the call for International Bursaries will be amended to include undergraduates in all disciplines, instead of focusing only on Post Graduate bursaries.

The call for funding for both Project Funding & International Bursaries is expected to be announced in September 2021. The call will be out for 4 weeks (one month). We encourage Arts Practitioners to check our website and social media websites for information on how to apply.

Provincial Roadshows will be held to create awareness of the NAC Funding guidelines, funding criteria, navigating the Grant Management System and assessment criteria to assist applicants. Due to the rising challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic in alignment with the current level 3 lockdown regulations, the NAC will be making every effort to ensure the safety of all our Stakeholders by migrating this initiative to a virtual engagement.

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

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