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Following the lapsing of the term of the Free State Arts and Culture Council (PACC), the new council has been appointed in line with Free State Arts and Culture Council Act, 2007 (Act No. 7 of 2007). The outgoing council was appointed in September 2016 for a period of three (3) years as gazetted on 23 September 2016. The term of the Council came to an end in September 2019. Due to the time required to appoint the new Council, the term of the outgoing Council was extended until the new Council could be appointed.

Established in terms of the above referred to Act, and constituted by eleven (11) members, the following constitute the powers of the Council amongst others:

1) Render financial support, advice and information to persons, organizations and institutions that may approach it for that purpose;

2) Investigate and determine the need, support, advice and information for persons, organizations and institutions;

3) Promote and encourage equity in arts and culture;

4) Conduct research into various fields of arts;

5) Advice the MEC on matters and policy regarding arts and culture;

6) Report quarterly on its activities to the MEC.

The new council takes over at the time when the creative sector is seized with challenges relating to the devastation of the livelihoods of artists by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the Lockdown which was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic many artists lost their source of income which was based on performances at various events as well as other activities within the Creative sector. A Relief Fund was introduced to address the financial challenges faced by the artists and the Department has finalized arrangements for the payment of funds to qualifying artists.

Reflecting on the matter, the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mrs Limakatso Mahasa, stated that: "We have no doubt that the new council will rise to the occasion with regard to the support to be provided to artists particularly during these difficult times. Besides its core mandate as prescribed by the Act, this council should assist the Department in addressing the challenges faced by artists in the context of COVID-19".

With the new Council now appointed, MEC Mahasa would further like to thank members of the outgoing council for their valuable contribution and for consenting to continue to serve in the Council until the new Council could be appointed.

Issued by the Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation (DSACR)

Tankiso Zola
Director: Communication and IT
Cell: 082 940 2392
Tel: 051 410 4735/4821