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National Arts Council denies COVID-19 relief funds have gone missing

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Applicants and beneficiaries of the Presidential Empowerment Stimulus Programme have criticised the council for slow payments while members of the arts and culture sector have also claimed that there was corruption within the National Arts Council.

National Arts Council (NAC) logo. Picture: nac.org.za

CAPE TOWN – The National Arts Council has denied claims that COVID-19 relief funding had gone missing.

The organisation on Friday gave an update on the distribution of funds to beneficiaries in the arts and culture sector.

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Applicants and beneficiaries of the Presidential Empowerment Stimulus Programme have criticised the council for slow payments.

Besides complaints of slow payments, members of the arts and culture sector have also claimed that there was corruption within the National Arts Council.

READ: Protesting artists claim NAC mismanaging R300m COVID-19 relief fund

Its chairperson, Dr Sipho Sithole denied the claims.

“No money has been squandered from the coffers of the NAC and that the R300 million PESP that was given to the entity is still in the coffers, at least the balance that is there and it is still being distributed.”

Sithole said that R68.4 million had been paid out to 512 beneficiaries.

He added that R216 million would be distributed to a further 862 beneficiaries in the coming weeks.

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