Veteran actress Linda Sebezo has opened up about her struggles as a freelancer during the Covid-19 lockdown. She said after her applications for financial aid were rejected, she now has to depend on her mother’s social grant to survive.
The Lockdown actress revealed on social media that her application to the Business and Arts South Africa (Basa) relief fund was recently declined after the fund reached capacity.
She said as a freelancer, with little to no other options, she now depends on her mother’s pension.
On social media, she said: “It never rains but pours. I just received an email that my application to the Basa relief fund has been declined because they have reached capacity. I ask again, sizolithaphi ke usizo?
“I have to rely on my mother’s pension to put food on the table, such a sad reality.”
The arts and culture department has implemented plans to help alleviate damage to the industry, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing and the process has been stressful for some artists.
More than 40 days since the official national lockdown started, most artists still have no idea if their applications were rejected or approved, or if they even qualify for the aid.
Unfortunately for freelancers, employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi said: “with the current legislation, they fall outside“.
Linda said as a citizen who pays tax when she is earning, she was highly disappointed at the apparent disregard shown by the arts and culture department towards helping people during this difficult time.
“We are taxpayers, contributing 25% or our earnings to tax, but the government is not able to assist us. As a freelance artist, it’s no work, no pay for me. We are still getting calls for school fees to be paid.
“Artists are some of the people hardest hit by this lockdown but we are told we don’t qualify for the relief funding. Where are we supposed to go? What are we supposed to eat? We are expected to provide for our families from empty pockets.”
Source – News365
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