The­atres to bow out un­til next year

Cape Argus - - METRO - MARVIN CHARLES marvin.charles@inl.co.za

MANY Cape Town the­atres have de­cided to re­mained closed un­til next year.

Arts and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Nathi Mthethwa said that when his de­part­ment an­nounced directions re­gard­ing the re­open­ing of sports, arts and cul­ture premises and venues, 35 applicatio­ns were com­pleted from four prov­inces.

Mthethwa held a me­dia brief­ing yes­ter­day, when he pro­vided an up­date on the de­part­ment’s relief to the sec­tor, as well as on the re­sump­tion of sport.

The de­part­ment’s di­rec­tor-gen­eral,

Vusumuzi Mkhize, said the gov­ern­ment would re­spond with a three-pil­lar ap­proach that in­cluded eco­nomic re­cov­ery. He said there were on­go­ing en­gage­ments with the­atres re­gard­ing the em­ploy­ment stim­u­lus pack­ages.

Mthethwa con­firmed that R61 mil­lion had al­ready been dis­bursed to ben­e­fi­cia­ries. He said there were 117 out­stand­ing applicatio­ns be­ing fi­nalised by the de­part­ment.

For the sec­ond phase, the amount al­lo­cated for relief was R77m, of which R11m had been ring-fenced for con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the part­ner­ship with the de­part­ment of small busi­ness de­vel­op­ment.

Mthethwa said his de­part­ment had re­ceived 5 322 applicatio­ns in the cat­e­gories of sport and dig­i­tal, as well as arts, cul­ture and her­itage.

Fu­gard The­atre founder and bene­fac­tor, Eric Abra­ham, said: “The Fu­gard The­atre and Bio­scope will re­main closed un­til we can be con­fi­dent that staff, per­form­ers and au­di­ences will not be at risk. We do not en­vis­age this to be un­til some point late next year…”

Bax­ter The­atre spokesper­son Fahiem Stel­len­boom said: “While we would love to open our doors and wel­come back au­di­ences and artists to our spa­ces, a limit of 50 peo­ple, or less, does not make any fi­nan­cial sense for any the­atre…”

THE­ATRES across the city have cho­sen to keep their doors closed un­til next year, amid the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

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