Based on what they have called a successful march to the Union Buildings and the contents of a statement issued by the department of sports, arts and culture (DSAC) on Wednesday, representatives of the South African entertainment industry are looking forward to the president's address.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation on Wednesday evening where he is expected to announce a highly anticipated move to alert level 1 for the national lockdown.

Entertainment industry representatives are hoping that the president will announce the re-opening of certain entertainment activities, according to demands outlined by artists and handed to his office on Tuesday. Among those demands is that events be allowed to take place at "70% capacity."

Industry leaders present on Tuesday also shared their concerns about what they call bureaucratic and administrative processes of the Covid-19 Artist Relief Fund, citing various bottlenecks for artists who applied in desperate need of funding after their source of income was completely cut off during lockdown.

#VulaPresident protesters optimistic as govt looks at re-opening economy


A group of artists protest in Church Square in Pretoria, 16 September 2020, as part of a national march to highlight their sector's issues. They are demanding that the creative industry and events must be open to 70% capacity so they can continue to work. Picture: Neil McCartney

They also cited problems with the relief fund coordination for theatres and arts organisations, stating that it was very scattered, ineffective and based on nonrealistic criteria for application, "demonstrating how out of touch the department of sports, arts and culture is, with the reality of our sector".

The group also demanded the release of artists who were arrested in Durban earlier this month during the first #VulaPresident protest.


DEPARTMENT OF SPORT, ARTS & CULTURE RESPONDS ON RELIEF FUND SECOND WAVE & THE REOPENING OF THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY #COVID19 #VulaPresident pic.twitter.com/z6lIOEiLI1

— ATHI GELEBA (@AthiGeleba) September 16, 2020

DSAC attributed the issues encountered by relief funding applicants to issues with tax registration, and announced an agreement they had reached with the South African Revenue Service to find a speedy way around this issue.

The department promised that it was in touch with all those who had applied for relief funding and were unsuccessful for this reason.

"With the recent directions that were published, the department re-opened venues, under strict health protocols, and further created live streaming opportunities for the sector to continue its work.

"Currently, based on consultations with the sector, we have taken their proposals to the government and government is favourably looking at the re-opening of the economy, including the creative economy."

The department concluded by adding that government would "pronounce on this matter in due course."

#VulaPresident protesters optimistic as govt looks at re-opening economy


A group of artists protest in Church Square in Pretoria, 16 September 2020, as part of a national march to highlight their sector's issues. They are demanding that the creative industry and events must be open to 70% capacity so they can continue to work. Picture: Neil McCartney

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