Theatres across the city have chosen to keep their doors closed until next year, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency
Theatres across the city have chosen to keep their doors closed until next year, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency

Cape Town theatres decide to remain closed until 2021

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Aug 4, 2020

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Cape Town - Many Cape Town theatres have decided to remain closed until next year.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said that when his department announced directions regarding the reopening of sports, arts and culture premises and venues, 35 applications were completed from four provinces.

Mthethwa held a media briefing on Monday, when he provided an update on the department’s relief to the sector, as well as on the resumption of sport.

The department’s director-general, Vusumuzi Mkhize, said the government would respond with a three-pillar approach that included economic recovery. He said there were ongoing engagements with theatres regarding the employment stimulus packages.

Mthethwa confirmed that R61 million had already been disbursed to beneficiaries. He said there were 117 outstanding applications being finalised by the department.

For the second phase, the amount allocated for relief was R77m, of which R11m had been ring-fenced for contribution towards the partnership with the department of small business development.

Mthethwa said his department had received 5322 applications in the categories of sport and digital, as well as arts, culture and heritage.

Fugard Theatre founder and benefactor, Eric Abraham, said: “The Fugard Theatre and Bioscope will remain closed until we can be confident that staff, performers and audiences will not be at risk. We do not envisage this to be until some point late next year.”

Baxter Theatre spokesperson Fahiem Stellenboom said: “While we would love to open our doors and welcome back audiences and artists to our spaces, a limit of 50 people, or less, does not make any financial sense for any theatre”.

Cape Argus

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