The EFF have continued to weigh in on pretty much every topical news story and protest happening in the country this past week. The party now focused on the artists’ protest.

The EFF supports artists who have staged sit-ins at the National Arts Council (NAC) and Performing Arts Council of Free State (PACOFS).

Artists are looking for answers as to why the government has not honoured promised payments in terms of the employment stimulus program which was meant to aid artists during the lockdowns.

The EFF statement calls for the NAC to be held accountable for the lack of promised payments to creatives. Speaking at the sit-in at the NAC offices Sibongile Mngoma, an opera singer said:

“It’s uncomfortable but we’re determined that we should get answers. It’s been years of artists having the same concerns; it didn’t start now with Covid. The NAC is failing to come clean about what has happened to the money and how it was allocated”.

In addition, the EFF have supported the call from artists for the NAC to release a list of which artists have in fact received disbursements from the Presidential Stimulus Package.

In the Free State, artists have been protesting PACOFS after a report allegedly found the artistic director and acting CEO guilty of wrongdoing.

The EFF statement is scathing in its admonition of Sports, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa. The EFF statement lays the blame for the current crisis in the arts squarely at the Minister’s feet.

“We support all these actions because artists have suffered the most in the COVID-19 meltdown because of the incompetence of a minister. The EFF has been vocal about the incompetence of Nathi Mthethwa and his entire department. There is not a single SOE under that department that is being run properly.”

The party added that the “entire industry is in disarray because of Nathi’s lack of understanding of the industry” after more than two terms at the helm.

“The minister is useless and must be removed.”

In addition to supporting the protests by artists around the country, the EFF have vowed to lobby for Mthethwa’s removal and “the insertion of a competent replacement.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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