Published: July 30, 2020

Published:  July 30, 2020

Yes, there are relief measures for the film and creative industries.


These are the measures:

  • Netflix & SASFED Film And TV Relief Fund
  • Western Cape Relief for the Cultural, Creative and Sport Sector
  • Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)
  • Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) measures for Arts and Culture
  • National Film And Video Foundation (NFVF) Measures
  • South African Film And TV Incentives and COVID -19
  • Other COVID-19 Relief Options in the Sector
  • Visa Assistance


Netflix & SASFED Film and TV Relief Fund

The South African Screen Federation (SASFED), supported by the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), have announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund in collaboration with Netflix to provide emergency relief to the hardest-hit workers in South Africa’s creative community.

Netflix will donate over R8.3 million, which will be administered by Tshikululu Social Investment.

How does it work and who is eligible?

  • The fund will provide a one-time emergency relief grant to below the line workers such as electricians, carpenters, hair and makeup artists, drivers, costume designers and many other freelancers who are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis. The workers will be eligible to apply for the R15 000 one-time benefit.
  • Eligibility criteria will be posted on Tshikulu’s website on 3 August 2020 (here).

How can I apply?

  • Starting 3 August 2020, applications can be made by filling out an online application on Tshikululu’s website (here), or mailing physical applications.



Western Cape Relief for Cultural, Creative and Sport Sector

For information about the Western Cape Government Relief for Cultural, Creative and Sport Sectors, please click here 


Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)

The BASA Artist Relief Grants support artists in South Africa who have been infected or affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically:

  • Artists who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or are being treated for COVID-19 symptoms or
  • Artists who are experiencing a loss of income due to cancellations or postponements of confirmed engagements in South Africa, as a result of being infected with COVID-19 or due to the National State of Disaster and subsequent lockdown.

The standard and established rules for Supporting Grants applications apply (read more here) with the following specific to individuals who might now potentially qualify.


Eligibility Criteria:

In terms of Eligibility Criteria, BASA notes the following:

  • The BASA Artist Relief Grants will assist the individual artist, freelance creative or independent contractor.
  • Applicants must be:
    • Practising artists, whether emerging or established, at least 18 years of age, with proven work experience of at least 12 months in any arts/culture/creative genre, and who are South African citizens with valid ID documents, or
    • Practising artists, whether emerging or established, at least 21 years of age with proven work experience in any arts/culture/creative genre for at least 3 years and who have had permanent residence in South Africa for at least 12 months with a valid passport and the applicable visa.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have been hospitalised with COVID-19.
  • Exclusions:
    • Organisations, collectives or any other group of artists are not eligible for these grants. Members of such groups who have been affected may only apply for an Artist Relief Grant in their personal capacity (as per guidelines and required criteria). However, organisations and their business sponsors are still invited to apply for Supporting Grants through the regular channels.
    • Artists with permanent employment of any kind are not eligible for these grants. The Artist Relief Grant is specifically aimed at freelancers or independent contractors whose sole income source is their creative work, and who do not have a regular salary source or institutional support.
    • Similar to Supporting Grant eligibility, projects or events outside of South Africa are not eligible for this these grants. The Artist Relief Grant will only consider applications for loss of income within South Africa.
    • Similar to Supporting Grant eligibility, film and television projects are not eligible for these grants. The Artist Relief Grant will only consider applications for film festivals, not production or other film and television project costs, as these are the mandate of the National Film and Video Foundation which also receives funding from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.


What will be funded?

  1. Proven medical expenses to a maximum value of R10 000 (copies of medical certificates, prescriptions, and receipts for the purchase of medication specific to the treatment of the COVID-19 infection will be required).
  2. Up to 50% of proven loss of income due to a cancelled contract, to a maximum value of R10 000 (a one-page letter from the applicant’s client/employer detailing a high-level overview of the project, copies of contracts, official letters, communication, and any other relevant supporting documentation will be required).
  3. A percentage, as decided by BASA, of proven loss of income due to the postponement of a contract (a one-page letter from the applicant’s client/employer detailing a high-level overview of the project, copies of contracts, official letters, communication, and any other relevant supporting documentation will be required).


How does it work?

Applicants must:

  1. Submit a short proposal letter via e-mail to grants.basa@icloud.com with all relevant information, and a breakdown of the details and loss of income.
    • Supporting documentation in the form of a medical diagnosis, or project contract must be attached.
    • A one-page letter from the applicant’s client/employer with a high-level overview of the cancelled or postponed project must be attached when applying for loss of income relief.
  2. Incomplete proposal letters will not be processed.
  3. Successful applicants will be invited to complete the online application and will be notified of an outcome within 10 working days.
  4. Eligible applicants may be added to a waiting list due to the availability of funds.
  5. Approved grant payments will be paid out twice monthly (mid-month and month-end).
  6. Note: The Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has instructed BASA that all grants made by BASA must be disclosed on IT3(a) certificates; where grants are paid to individuals, SARS will be seeking to tax the amounts received. BASA will supply copies of the IT3(a) certificates to SARS, and SARS may cross-check to ensure recipients of such grants have disclosed these.

For further information on guidelines and criteria, please visit the BASA site here.

Submit your Artist Relief Grant proposal letter to grants.basa@icloud.com

For any enquiries about Artist Relief Grants please e-mail grants.basa@icloud.com .

For further information on the Artist Relief Grants, click here.



The information is provided as reflected on Business and Arts South Africa’s (BASA) website.



Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) measures for Arts and Culture


  1. DSAC Funded Projects that had to be cancelled where a MOA exists and tranche payments are yet to be made, the following criteria will apply:
  • Submit documentation that does not deviate from the existing MOA requirements (narrative report, invoices, valid compliance documents etc).
  • Supporting documents: e.g. cancellation letters, proof of payments made to artists/participants/service providers etc. involved and proof of contracts and payment due.
  • For approved projects without a signed MOA but with a grant letter, all valid compliance documents and action plan (April – June) should be submitted.
  • However, projects that were affected during March (after the State of Disaster Announcement), will also be considered.

1.1      Institutions (Entities) of the Department

  • Productions/Events/Projects scheduled for March– June that had to be cancelled. The Institutions/Playhouses will compensate the practitioners in accordance with their Agreements and the above-mentioned requirements may apply.
  • Institutions/Playhouses reserve the right to determine the quantum of compensation.


  1. Non- DSAC Funded Projects:

In order for cancelled productions/live events/projects to be considered for the Relief Assistance, submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Projects/Events/Productions with a national footprint (involving creatives from various provinces) particularly those that are submitted by national industry organisations.
  • Compensation will be considered for the period April to June;
  • Collaborative projects which already had existing partnership or had a potential to attract other funders/investors.
  • In the case of Freelance workers and independent contractors: Proof of loss of income – should demonstrate that the creative worker was contracted, a signed contract; formal letter indicating a standing arrangement with other party, and that the other party will not provide for compensation.
  • Any other information outlined in the application form.
  • Compliance for organisations: CIPC documents, valid Tax Clearance,
  • Compliance for individuals: Copy of ID, Tax number (if applicable).
  • Relief will ONLY apply to the projects/events/productions that have been cancelled (not postponed).



  1. New Proposals:

The Department will accept proposals that respond to digital solutions, for the creatives to continue working during this period. Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Emanating from all cultural & creative disciplines, the content can also respond to the Covid-19 in the Sport, Arts and Culture sectors
  • In the form of Video on Line, streaming, podcasts, animation and documentaries to mention a few.
  • Scheduled for April to June.
  • Guideline: the proposal should not exceed five (5) pages: outline a concept, brief profile, budget breakdown and a list of participants with their details should be included. (see Annexure form)


Guidelines forms are available. The proposals should be emailed to: DSAC.covid19@dac.gov.za . The deadline for all the above submissions is the 6th April 2020.


National Film And Video Foundation (Nfvf) Measures

The NFVF has announced that they will offer immediate relief to film practitioners amid COVID-19 lockdown with the early release of Calls for Funding. The NFVF will also provide a once-off cash injection to the ten companies currently commissioned by the organisation to assist during this distressing time of cancelled production shoots.

For more information please click here.

The NFVF has also announced that the call for cycle 1 funding applications for the 2019/20 financial year is now open for the following funding categories:  Production and Development.

For more information please click here.

The NFVF has also announced that the call for cycle 2 funding applications is now open for Marketing and Distribution as well as Festival Hosting (for festivals taking place in July – November 2020).

For more information please click here.


South African Film And TV Incentives and COVID-19

Will approved applications be granted an extension on principal photography?

According to the DTIC all approved applications from principal photography which were still compliant and have not automatically expired on 18 March 2020, are effectively granted an additional six (6) months from the approved start of principal photography.

Will productions that have already commenced be granted an extension?

According to the DTIC, applicants who have already commenced with principal photography and are still compliant with the applicable incentive guidelines will also receive six (6) months for completion and submission of their final claims. The six (6) months is calculated from initial approved dates, compliant Form B’s (notification of start with principal photography) or as advised in the extensions granted by the department.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants must provide the Department with revised dates where applicable and those who are ready to submit their claims and updated information must submit them electronically only, no walk-in clients or hard copies will be accepted at this stage.

Can we apply for SA Film and TV Incentives during lockdown?

No. According to the DTIC, new applications will not be accepted due to the COVID-19 National Lockdown announced by the President. This will be reviewed, subject to further announcements on COVID-19 National Lockdown by the Presidency.

PLEASE NOTE that according to the DTIC, planning and executing a project remains the responsibility of the company and the department will not be held responsible for any costs or consequential losses incurred, due to postponement and or cancellation of approved projects, as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

Click here for PDF of DTI notice to Film and Creative Industry on COVID-19 (25 March 2020)


Other COVID-19 Relief Options in the sector

To support creatives and creative organisations in the visual art sector and the creative and cultural space outside of government, below is a set of resources which may be of assistance (source – https://vansa.co.za/art-info/artright/coronavirus-covid-19-resources/ ):

  • Artist Relief Project: Initiative run by Artly World Nonprofit offering short term relief and long-term assistance for artists, musicians and performers impacted by event cancellations and venue closures
  • Business and Arts South Africa Artist Relief Grant: BASA will consider applications from individual artists for once-off, short-term financial aid for COVID-19-related medical care and/or prescription medicines. The aid can also be used to offset the loss of income due to the cancellation of confirmed engagements, because of the nationwide lockdown or other emergency measures.
  • Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Emergency Covid-19 Fund: Cultural and artistic sector, emergency support to artists or artistic production entities that have seen their projects cancelled or in areas to which the Foundation commonly attributes support
  • Field of Vision Documentary Freelancer Relief Fund: International funding opportunity for freelancers involved in documentary filmmaking
  • Format Photographer Fund: Photographers facing financial difficulties due to Covid-19.
  • Hear My Voice Poetry Relief Fund: Hear My Voice, is a non-profit poetry organization based in Tshwane (South Africa). The fund is aimed at providing help to South African freelance poets who have unwillingly forfeited income from canceled events and possible bookings due to covid-19. The fund will go towards paying poets a meagre honorarium for partaking in a series of live-streamed readings and performances. It will further provide poets who want to host their own live-streamed shows the resources to do so by providing access to a paid version of Zoom which has no time restrictions and offers streaming capabilities to Facebook and various other social platforms. All events will be streamed on the Hear My Voice and the respective poet’s Facebook pages:
    • The fund will avail R1 000 per poet for their live-streamed performance that is curated by Hear My Voice, alternatively the poet can choose to do their own live streamed event using our platform and charge an access fee or solicit donations.
  • Patreon Artist Fund: The grant program is open to any creator, anywhere in the world, who is being demonstrably impacted by the COVID-19 situation.
  • Small Business Relief COVID-19 Fund: financial assistance for small to medium sized business.
  • South African Banks Repayment Relief: Offering various interventions including loan and debt repayment holidays for qualifying customers.
  • South African Filmmakers Relief Fund: The main aim of this non-profit organisation is to raise funds to not only help struggling creatives to keep on creating content on a small scale, like music videos and short films for free, but primarily to help pay the salaries of every single person working on a shoot. These smaller projects will not only keep our artists alive, but will continue to support other struggling elements such as casting agents and gear rental companies. Lower budget productions with smaller skeleton crews also pose significantly lower health risks. To further ensure the safety of everyone involved, we will partner with a medical team for every shoot to provide us with not only health and safety guidelines, but also frequent check-ups.
  • South Africa Future Trust: Oppenheimer Foundation provides financial assistance to employees of South African SMMEs who are at risk of losing their jobs or will suffer a loss of income because of COVID-19 and payroll support to companies with a turnover of less than R25 million.
  • Sukuma Relief Programme: Rupert Foundation and Remgro fund for businesses affected by Covid-19 (*Note: temporarily closed however still accepting grant proposals to the value of R25 000 for qualifying sole proprietors)
  • Tourism Relief Fund: adjacent industry to the arts – galleries and organisations can apply as “Attractions”
  • Youth Business Fund: A relief fund initiative of the Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industry South Africa to assist young people in business who are already affected by Covid-19. The fund assists with labour costs, operational costs etc.
  • The Vulnerable Artist Fund: The fund is specifically for artists facing situations where they are unable to support themselves and their families during this period in South Africa.
  • SAFE Relief Application: South Africa fund for entertainers. SAFE is a Non-Profit Organisation galvanising the entertainment industry by creating positive, wide reaching initiatives together and delivering heartfelt support to our most severely affected people.




For travel and visa-related queries, please click here.

To view the Contact Film Industry Visa Assistance website, click here.

Click here to read the full statement.


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