A potential hostage situation at the Gauteng Arts and Culture Department in downtown Johannesburg has been averted. A group of disgruntled artists barred staff from leaving the building and demanded answers on COVID-19 relief funds.
Many people have already lost their jobs during the lockdown as businesses struggle to stay afloat.
The government said it has received about 6,000 applications from the arts and culture sector for assistance during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Nomazwe Ntlokwana, departmental spokesperson of the Gauteng Sports, Arts and Culture Department said it was not a hostage situation.
Situation has been diffused at the department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation after a group of artists barred the departmental workers from leaving the building and they want to be paid Covid19 relief fund. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/lElw4Y5uPR
— KhayelihleKhumalo (@KhayaJames) October 29, 2020
“We had some challenges where we had staff members, for a brief period, could not enter nor leave the building. Working with management and the members of the South African Police Service, the situation was managed.
Ntlokwana said a meeting with the leadership of the arts fraternity and senior management is underway.
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