Arts dept launches online funding system

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) -- through the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) -- is launching an online application system for the financial year 2020/21 for open call funding.

“The e-service will provide a convenient electronic interface that allows cultural and creative practitioners to access applications from anywhere at any time via the internet for the duration of the open call,” the department said.

It is available as an e-service via the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) e-Services portal.

It can be accessed through a link on the Department of Arts and Culture website or directly on 

“By automating the application process for funding, the department will be able to track, trace and monitor turnaround times, thus speeding up the process. In addition, bottlenecks can be identified earlier and all applicants’ SA identity numbers can be verified through e-services portal web service,” the department said.

The e-system enables Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) capabilities and will send updates notifications to applicants through emails and/or SMS.

“An applicant must register on the e-services portal. Once registered, the applicant will receive a one time pin (OTP) to their cell phone number in order to verify the user. If the applicant has an existing profile, the applicant must log into the portal with his/her existing credentials.

“Once logged in, the applicant can access the DAC MGE Grant Management system, which is listed under e-services menu,” the department said.

The department will be able to track the spatial disbursement of funds, not only provincially but also at the level of local municipalities.

The online portal promotes transparency, accountability and creates a conducive environment for the Cultural and Creative Industry (CCI) to create jobs and increase its economic growth contribution of 1.7% to the GDP.

Only three MGE work streams, namely Cultural Events, Public Art and Touring Ventures, are funded through open call. The open call will run from 30 September – 11 November 2019. 

Support will be provided to projects/programmes that are to be implemented from April 2020 to March 2021.

Guidelines for 2020/21 are available on the website

The move from manual to electronic portal is to create a track and trace management system for all MGE Open Call applications. In the past, applicants have raised concerns regarding the MGE Open Call application process include;

  1. Loss and/or misplacement of applications,
  2. Lack of communication, to keep the applicants frequently informed on the progress of their applications;
  3. Long turnaround times;
  4. Lack of traceability and monitoring of proposal in their life-cycle. 

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