Issued by:The National Arts Council of South Africa

The National Arts Council (NAC) has received a considerable number of enquiries pertaining to the Arts Organisation Support Funding (AOSF) outcomes that were recently released on 13 April 2023. As a result, the NAC has resolved to issue this statement to provide clarity on these enquiries. 

The AOSF call received 654 applications requesting funding to the value of R522 558 071, 25 as stipulated in the below summary:

DisciplineProjectsRequested Amount
Craft52R35 660 923,20
Dance61R42 231 046,50
Literature40R46 213 343,00
Multi Discipline259R220 567 963,41
Music126R107 616 299,01
Theatre47R28 786 579,70
Musical Theatre13R8 628 864,00
Visual Arts45R27 446 898,43
Visual Digital Media10R4 851 154,00
Visual Gaming1R555 000,00
Grand Total654R522 558 071,25

The total budget available to fund AOSF applications was R23 000 000. Out of the 654 applications received, only 339 successfully completed the compliance phase and were allocated to the advosory panel. As per the AOSF call published by the NAC, specific requirements applied to all applications that served on the panel. With reference to the call, as part of NAC AOSF policy prescripts, consideration was given to organisations that have the capacity and proven track record to implement arts programs according to various phases.

In addition, organisations that demonstrated the capacity to utilise the funding with integrity and compliance with the principles and practices of sound governance were considered. The 39 organisations that were successful demonstrated the above qualities as per their respective provinces and have also scored within the required average score range.

Accountant audit verification:

Part of the AOSF requirements for applications, organisations were requested to submit Audited Financial Statements. The Panel requested the office to run an audit verification process on the attached Annual Financial Statements submitted as part of AOSF 2023 requirements. It was discovered from the verification process that some organisations provided information which was not registered with the recognised Audit Firms and Accounting authorities and:

  1. Some auditors who provided practice numbers were not found on the system;
  2. Some auditors who drafted reports were not in good standing with Accounting verification bodies;
  3. Organisations also supplied practice numbers which did not correspond with their details.

It is important to note that in ensuring that the NAC gives opportunities to other organisations within this limited funding pot, the NAC mostly prioritised organisation that are new entrants to Arts Organisation Support Funding, have proven track record and have passed all the due diligence verification and compliances to receive the 3 year Arts Organisation Support Funding.

The NAC would like to ensure that all applications are considered for funding due to the devastation of the covid-19 pandemic that is also still being felt not only by the creative industry but the economy as a whole. Unfortunately, due to budget limitations, we can only fund applicants based on the available budget.

We hope that the above has provided some form of clarity regarding the AOSF process including obstacles that needed attention.

Allocation to the  Western Cape and Gauteng provinces:

The AOSF Review Panel was happy to maintain the desired balance of a provincial spread and art discipline spread. However,  due to the challenges of poorly written proposals with inadequate information to assess the impact of the proposed projects in the communities and the sector, it became an impossible task to conform with the desired provincial spread.

During  the process, the panel noted that Gauteng and Western Cape presented good proposals which adhered fully to the AOSF funding guidelines which led to the announced outcome. It should be noted that the NAC Advisory Panel and Council have accountability to uphold which is not to approve proposals that have not passed all mandatory requirements, as such, applications cannot be approved or be funded only because of the province of the applicant(s).

Organisations which were not successful in this cycle, should continue to apply for other NAC funding programmes as the requirements for these are less stringent as compared with AOSF.

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Issued by the National Arts Council of South Africa

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