Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town was reportedly a hive of activity on Saturday when artists gathered to protest over the management of the COVID-19 relief fund.

News24 reported on Sunday that the artists, who also presented a variety of performances, claimed that funds meant to offer them relief had been mismanaged.

They demanded answers from the National Arts Council (NAC), as they questioned the council’s allocation of the R300 million handed over as part of the Presidential stimulus package (PESP) last year.

The protest was in solidarity with their counterparts in Johannesburg, who last week held a sit-in at the NAC offices regarding the stimulus package.

Daily Maverick reported that a South African Cultural Observatory study published in in November 2020 found that 90% of the live music industry had lost income owing to COVID-19 and 25% of artists indicated that they would not be able to continue with any elements of their business under lockdown.

Like many other industries, the arts and culture sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, as public gatherings remain restricted.

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