THE IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN REGULATIONS ON THE WESTERN CAPE SPORT & RECREATION SECTOR:
The COVID-19 pandemic has engulfed the world and has not only had a profound effect on public health, society and the economy as a whole, but has also inflicted mayhem on the sport & recreation sector. In an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, professional and amateur leagues across the world have been suspended indefinitely on advice from their respective governments to avoid large numbers of persons gathering in one particular venue.
Economically the sector has suffered with many events having been cancelled. Approximately 30 events across the Province have been cancelled inclusive of conditional grant and federation funded events. Currently no sport & recreation events are taking place across the Province.
The national Department of Sport, Arts & Culture (DSAC) have made available R150 million for allocation to sports, arts and culture bodies affected by the COVID-19 Lockdown. The criteria applicable to sports bodies is strict and limited to applications for National and International athletes who are on the SASCOC OPEX (Operation Excellence) programme, which only caters for athletes who are in the Top 8 ranking in the world.
Provincial major sporting events have been impacted severely, to name only two, the Two Oceans Marathon and the Knysna Oyster Festival were cancelled. Provincial Trials for the Winter Games, Indigenous Games, Golden Games and leagues & festival support for Club Development have been adversely impacted. Presently, no organised sport & recreation activities of any nature is currently underway in the Western Cape Province.
Provincial Sport Relief Fund Criteria:
In the same way as the cultural affairs chief directorate has, the Sport and Recreation chief directorate has also made provision for a provincial relief fund. An important aspect of providing financial assistance is ensuring that there are objective criteria in place to evaluate and confirm the following:
The application process:
The criteria for accessing this support, the identification of beneficiaries and the mechanism through which the relief fund will be managed and finalised in consultation with the Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation. Stringent criteria and audit/checking processes will be put in place taking the above factors into consideration. A committee comprising officials from the Department, Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation and independent entities will be put into place to manage the applications and the allocation of funding from the Western Cape Provincial Relief Fund.
Application forms are above and can be found on www.westerncape.gov.za/cas
Sport federation applications must be submitted to Mrs. Crystal Pather on Crystal.Pather@westerncape.gov.za and Recreation applications to Mr. Philasande Macwili on Philasande.Macwili@westerncape.gov.za
Deadline for applications is 19 May 2020 at 16h00.
The Department will also request the DSAC to provide the Department with a database of the Western Cape athletes, federations and entities that have applied for the National Relief Fund and where these applications may not qualify for funding from national.
Minister Anroux Marais said, “With the above in mind, we have a responsibility to protect the well-being of sport federations and recreation entities and will not hesitate to take a safety-first approach to our operations over the coming months. We will continue monitoring the situation, and we are committed to work with our partners in ensuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sport federations, recreation entities, affected events and programmes will be minimized to ensure sustainability of the Sector. We are therefore grateful that R1 million was made available from the National Conditional Grant to minimize the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
COVID-19 RELATED INTERNAL DCAS PROGRAMMES AND INTERVENTIONS
The department of Cultural Affairs and Sport has continued to be active during the national state of disaster with staff working from home. In addition to the relief effort focusing on the cancellations in the sector are interventions to support business continuity as well as stimulate the sector in the recovery phase.
Annual Arts Funding Initiative
The annual call for arts funding closed on 6th December 2019. At the time of the lockdown the department was about to commence the adjudication process. The department is mindful of the pressures that organisations are under during this time and to this end has continued to work on the adjudication process under the limiting lockdown conditions. The adjudications were concluded over the last two weeks. DCAS will announce the outcome of the adjudication process as soon as the outcomes are approved and thereafter funds will be transferred to successful organisations.
Commission of new digital works and content
This is a targeted programme focused on artists which have come through DCAS programmes over the last three years in Music, Dance, Drama, Literature and Fine Arts. Content must be COVID-19 related including spreading messaging on combating the spread of COVID-19. Types of projects to be supported:
i. Live streaming content/performances, podcasts, animation, documentaries, Online Viewing Rooms or Exhibitions.
ii. Arts Training materials/tutorial on DCAS platforms
iii. Development of scripts for Theatre performances
iv. Literature and poetry
v. Scheduled for April to June 2020.
Radio Promotion of SA Artists* who have lost work as well as those who have upcoming shows which will benefit from promotion given that it will take time for people to come out in their number post Covid-19. By profiling and keeping arts relevant when the pandemic ends, the arts stand a chance to be heard translating into sales and revenue generation.
This intervention should also seek to promote the playing of more South African music in general.
*Inclusive of actors, poets, dancers, visual artists, musicians, script writers, song writers etc.
Support for museums
Cultural institutions, both large and small, are losing significant amounts in revenue with each passing day. Museums in the Western Cape have risen to the challenge and entered the virtual space of publicly accessible, timed, online exhibitions which is new territory for many of them. Examples of these are the ‘Ceres’ly Positive’ online initiative by the Togryers Museum in Ceres as well as an online exhibition on YouTube; and a similar one from the Huguenot Memorial Museum to name a few. While these exhibitions ensure that the public still has access to the museum during the lockdown and position the Museum well for visitors during the recovery phase, it does not take care of the lost opportunities in revenue from people visiting museums (entrance fees) as a result of the lockdown.
A direct call for applications will be made to affiliated museums in the Western Cape museums as well as through SAMA (South African Museums Association) and ICOM South Africa (International Council of Museums) with clear guidelines.
i. Museums must provide proof of average monthly income derived from visitor entrance fees through latest audited annual financial statements.
ii. Museum must have existed for the past 12 months prior to the start of the national lockdown.
iii. Museums must be affiliated to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in terms of the Museums Ordinance No. 8 of 1975 or subscribe to the ICOM code of conduct.
Increasing expenditure on local content of library materials
With the coronavirus steadily spreading around the globe, the first sign of things to come was the postponement of international and national book festivals and with some of those usually in September unsure if they will continue this year. While South African Publications Network (SAPnet) reported an 8,6% decline in sales in week 12 of 2020, some bricks-and-mortar booksellers saw a more significant drop in the first two weeks of March. Bargain Books reported a double-digit decline in sales over this period, with shoppers steering clear from malls (SA Booksellers Association). This will have a huge impact on the writers and the entire literature value chain that rely on these sales for an income. In order to further our support to South African literature, we will increase the DCAS spend on South African content from 60% of the book budget to 65% in the current financial year.
Gig support in the recovery phase
This is a stimulus effort is to reignite the gig economy during the Recovery Phase and feeds into the third pillar of the national response, Economic Recovery. Because many working artists simultaneously work in the ‘gig economy,’ during this time these individuals are struggling to make ends meet and support their families. The effort is therefore artists focused. Support will go towards venue related costs for select venues for artists e.g. sound and venue booking. In instances where venues have infrastructure a contribution will go towards artists fees. This will be implement through an implementing agent. Through a partnership with municipalities where possible, strategically located venues will be targeted to ensure that as many areas in the Western Cape as possible are covered.
i. This relief option will prioritise artists that have had their gigs canceled during the period of the national state of disaster with no Cancellation fees.
ii. Artists will be required to submit a proposal (maximum 5 pages) outlining the concept of the gig, the arts discipline/s involved, target audience, venue options with a preferred venue highlighted.
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
083 504 1171
Head of Communication for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
076 093 4913