Following our previous briefing session on the 1st of April 2021, we take this opportunity to reiterate, that the funds to be disbursed for funding allocated to the NAC have not gone missing. The NAC has been continuing to disburse funds to our beneficiaries on a daily basis.
The National Arts Council received an allocation of R300 million of which R285 million was to be distributed for PESP funding. As of Thursday, 8 April 2021, the following milestones have been achieved;
- 948 beneficiaries have been paid their first tranche (70%) grants to the value of R150 357 809.60. Second tranche (30%) payments of these are to be made after the reporting stage, as stated in beneficiaries’ contractual agreements;
- This means the NAC has now disbursed 78% of the funds in accordance with the first tranche payment agreements to approved and compliant beneficiaries;
- The balance of the first tranche left to be paid is now R43.3 million.
The R43.3 million balance left to be paid is inclusive of contracts being processed for payment today (31 contracts of R9.7 million). This will bring a total of 979 beneficiaries, amounting to R160 057 809.60 by close of business today. There are 30 contracts yet to be finalized for processing, contracts not returned by beneficiaries, contracts with outstanding queries, and beneficiaries who have opted to not continue with their projects.
In line with ensuring that we close off on all the PESP project beneficiaries, we would like to inform beneficiaries who have not signed and returned their contracts or GNLs that the final submission deadline is the 16th April 2021.
Beneficiaries should note that should the NAC not have received these outstanding contracts by this date, the NAC will remove the application from the final approved list.
Therefore, we encourage all successful beneficiaries to urgently submit their outstanding contracts or outstanding documents, as requested in their GNLs, in order for us to expedite the payment of the balance of outstanding first tranche payments.
We would also like to address an important matter that has been widely spread by the sit-in group on various social media outlets, which has led to death threats received by a Member of Council.
We have learnt with absolute sadness, of a threat received on Dr. Sithole’s life, based on false allegations captured via video and shared widely by the group staging a sit-in at the NAC offices. In the video Mr. Brian Ntombela makes false and baseless accusations to Dr. Sipho Sithole. The NAC will be reporting these death threats to the law enforcement authorities for further action. The NAC would like to urge members of the public that the entity distances itself from these accusations as they are not true. The entity has repeatedly stated in various platforms that no funds have been stolen from the NAC.
In conclusion, the NAC welcomes the court ruling today issued by the Johannesburg High Court, whereby it awarded the Order for Eviction of the group illegally sitting-in at our offices.
This Council remains fully committed to successfully completing the PESP process to ensure that the PESP funds reach all beneficiaries so they can retain and create the much-needed work opportunities in our industry.