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Artists unhappy with alert level 2 lockdown

Spokesperson for the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation in South Africa in KwaZulu-Natal, Umtwana Thokozani “Tzozo” Zulu. Picture: Supplied

Spokesperson for the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation in South Africa in KwaZulu-Natal, Umtwana Thokozani “Tzozo” Zulu. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 13, 2021

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DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal Cultural and Creative Industries Federation in South Africa (CCIFSA) says the government has failed to take into consideration their concerns about Covid-19 restrictions.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday, September 12 that the country will be under adjusted lockdown level 2 from Monday, September 13. Restrictions on gatherings and the movement of people have been eased following a steady decline in new Covid-19 infections. All gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.

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Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.

Federation spokesperson Umtwana Thokozani “Tzozo” Zulu said when artists took to the N3 freeway in Durban and protested, one of the demands was that the government allowed for venues to be filled to at least 70% capacity. This would allow them to have concerts and generate income.

“To say that venues must have no more than 250 people in attendance is of no help to us because this means we cannot have big concerts and sell tickets. We cannot have big concerts with less than 500 people. There will be no Macufe African Cultural Festival, spring or summer concerts because we cannot sell tickets and profit from 250 people,” Zulu said.

He said the government continued to neglect artists. He claimed that they were not consulted on the impact of Covid-19. Neither were they given an opportunity to express their views and come up with solutions to generate income.

In September last year, a group of Durban artists took to the N3 to protest against the lockdown and how it had impacted their livelihoods.

The group set up a stage on the national highway and hosted a mini-concert. They said the lockdown regulations and the limitation of people at venues was impacting their pockets.

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