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Dept seeks to reopen arts and culture facilities

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The Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture this week promised to send an application to Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa’s office to ask for permission to reopen cultural facilities.

Artists protesting earlier this week. Pictures: Soraya Crowie

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture this week promised to send an application to Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa’s office to ask for permission to reopen the Northern Cape Theatre, the Mayibuye Centre and the Warrenton Cultural Resort.

This is to allow local artists the opportunity to start with the production of plays and dramas in order for them to be reintroduced into the entertainment and arts industry and start earning an income.

A meeting was held between local artists and the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Desery Fienies, on Wednesday.

Artists also held pickets at the Northern Cape High Court and the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture offices.

The Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) indicated that Premier Zamani Saul promised to reopen the Northern Cape Theatre, the Craft Hub and the Music Hub.

The provincial co-ordinator of CCIFSA, Thabo Motlhabi, said they need a positive response with immediate effect.

Artists protesting outside of the Kimberley Theatre. Picture: Soraya Crowie

The spokesperson for the provincial department, Conrad Fortune, said that only the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture can approve the application to reopen the facilities.

“They will have to adhere to all regulations regarding the reopening of the theatre,” Fortune explained.

He also indicated that the names of the artists who applied for the Solidarity Fund vouchers will be submitted.

The MEC will further engage with the National Lottery Commission to see how artists in the Province can be provided with financial assistance.

The department promised to look into how artists can be assisted in terms of the revised annual performance plan of the Northern Cape Arts and Culture Council.