MZANSI artists demand to know where the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture’s relief fund is.

The coronavirus lockdown has put many lives on hold, including that of local artists.

But they were promised money through a relief fund by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, which most of them claim they haven’t received.

Over the past few weeks, musicians have been on social media saying they haven’t received they haven’t received any money from the fund.

One of the artists L’vovo Derrango took to Instagram to ask President Cyril Ramaphosa to help because artists haven’t received the money.

Speaking to Sunday Sun, L’vovo said he thinks it would have been better if the money was given to the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro), to pay the artists.

“Firstly, the criteria for getting this fund were not fair. My application was rejected because of these criteria. I’m a well-known artist in Mzansi, why don’t I qualify to get a relief fund?

“This fund thing wasn’t fair to a lot of artists, we had to send documents and places where we could print, scan and make copies were closed. People who don’t have easy access to these things couldn’t even apply.

“This would’ve been easy if the department had given Samro the money,” he said.

“All artists are registered with Samro, so we would’ve gotten paid. We need money to survive and we’re struggling right now.”

Kwaito legend, Mapaputsi said he had about eight events cancelled and some were postponed, but he hasn’t received any money.

“No one performed during Easter, that cost us a lot. I had eight shows to do.

“At the end of the day, we can’t complain because this is a pandemic, but the least they can do is do as they promised. If they didn’t plan on giving us relief funding, they shouldn’t have said it on national TV.

“We’re suffering and are in arrears. We need to know whether they’ll pay us or not. If not, then they must tell us so we’ll look for another way to make money. They must stop deceiving us, we’re not clowns. All the artists I’m speaking to haven’t received any funds and it’s annoying,” he said.

Singer, Candy Tsa Mandebele, said she has been applying and is still trying to, and not getting any luck.

“I’ve had more than six events cancelled. This lockdown has affected me really bad. I’ve applied for the relief fund and didn’t get anything. I’m still trying to apply, hoping they’ll get back to me soon. The hardest thing about applying is we need to submit proof of cancellation and don’t have such documents,” she said.

“The department should’ve given the money to the provinces.They know their artists so this would have been easy.

Spokesperson for the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Masechaba Khumalo, said artists whose events were postponed won’t get the relief fund.

“Applicants, whose events or work was postponed and not cancelled don’t meet the criteria. Those who are eligible to appeal their application are those who met the criteria and submitted their application by the close of deadline 6 April 2020. Those who met the criteria can appeal their applications to appealcovid19@dac.gov.za.”