The unprecedented actions taken to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the complete lockdown of museums across the country since 23 March 2020 until 6 July 2020, after which they could apply to the national Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture to reopen in terms of the lockdown level 3 regulations.
Museums lost significant amounts in revenue with each passing day of the national lockdown with many now struggling to recover as the sector reopens. Museums in the Western Cape have risen to the challenge as far as possible and entered the virtual space of publicly accessible, timed, online exhibitions and events which was new territory for many of them. While these online exhibitions and events ensured that the public still had access to the museums during the lockdown, it did not take care of the lost opportunities in revenue from people visiting museums (entrance fees) as a result of the lockdown.
To ensure that museums in the Western Cape were able to access relief funding for the loss of revenue, Minister Anroux Marais approved the Cultural Affairs COVID-19 Relief Funding Strategy 2020/21. Accordingly, the relief strategy made available R 1,305,544.00 to ensure the business continuity of museums in the province during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.
While, the District Six Museum is not an affiliated museum of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) in terms of the Museums Ordinance No. 8 of 1975, it is a valuable stakeholder and champion of cultural heritage conservation and social inclusivity in the province. We are happy to announce that the District Six Museum’s application for the DCAS relief funding was successful and is now in the process of receiving R334 109,62 to assist in keeping its doors open to continue sharing the community’s history and contribution to our democratic society as experienced today.
In addition to the relief funding, DCAS continued to provide as much resources as possible to affiliated museums in the Western Cape to ensure their sustainability. The strategy during lockdown was three-fold:
Minister Marais said, “As we value the cultural heritage significance of the District Six Museum, we have on a previous occasion proposed that it could affiliate to the department in order to facilitate a sustainable funding model. However, the proposal was not received favourably by the museum at the time. We remain open to collaboratively work with the District Six Museum to ensure its long term sustainability and possible affiliation to the department so to safely move forward”.
DCAS currently supports 31 affiliated museums across the Western Cape and remains committed to assist these museums through annual subsidies, grant-in-aid and the secondment of personnel during and post-lockdown to ensure their sustainability.
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
083 504 1171