The entertainment industry continues to feel the pinch as mass gatherings, events and live shows are locked down due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Three months into the national lockdown that was enforced by the South African government, theatres were given a green light to open their doors and operate again, of course, under strict regulations.
Though many theatre houses welcomed the new laws of operation, some decided to keep their doors shut until later in the year.
That changed when the lockdown regulations were eased and most theatre houses were delighted to welcome back patrons, but that was short-lived when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the country was going to adjusted level 3 lockdown.
With the new level 3 restrictions, only 50 people are permitted to attend an event and many theatre houses had to shut down, yet again, which resulted in the loss of income for many actors, producers, directors, musicians and staff members.
This is despite Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa’s announcement that R150 million has been set aside to assist struggling artists and sports personalities, who were unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement was made in May and artists have on numerous occasions expressed their disappointment on social media about not benefiting from the relief fund.
This week, a group of theatre-makers and practitioners started an online petition, calling for Mthethwa’s resignation.
In their petition, theatre-makers urged President Ramaphosa to axe Mthethwa.
“We call on President Ramaphosa to launch ‘a new dawn’ for arts and culture by exercising his right to replace the Minister, as well as the leadership of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture that has been complicit in the failures of the Department and the minister for the last number of years.
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