Question NW1620 to the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

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17 June 2021 - NW1620

Profile picture: Mhlongo, Mr TW

Mhlongo, Mr TW to ask the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

With reference to his Budget Vote speech in Parliament on 13 May 2021, wherein he made reference to R10 million for the Debut Fund for emerging professionals, (a) what are the processes for administering the fund, (b) who adjudicates the applications and (c) what are the criteria for qualifying for the fund?


(a). What are the processes for administering the fund?

Department administration:

The department administers the R10 million allocated to BASA for three years through a Memorandum of Agreement. R3 million was distributed in 2020/21, R5 million in 2021/22 and R2 million in 2022/23 with each amount distributed in tranches quarterly following submission of the progress report to the department. This administration is coupled with meetings with BASA and monitoring the process by the Project Manager.

As a requirement, BASA submits a detailed annual report with expenditure to the departments regarding the debut fund programme.

BASA’s administration:

  1. Participation in immersion workshops and activities including submission of tasks.
  2. Adjudication and selection of submissions by an external panel.
  3. Announcement and communication to participants.
  4. Mentorship and Participant support by Mentor/Facilitators and Provincial Liaisons (2 per province).
  5. A final list of recipients whose documents have all been submitted, as well as the relevant documents for each individual is sent to the BASA Accounts department.
  6. Accounts verifies that all documents have been submitted. These include: ID Copy, Proof of banking, SARS tax Registration and signed agreement.
  7. A payment schedule is drawn up for each province and sent to BASA’s Finance Manager (FM) for review.
  8. BASA’s FM verifies each recipient's banking details and ID numbers with the bank. Once details are verified, the payment schedule is sent to BASA’s Head of Programmes, CEO and a Board representative, usually the deputy chair or the chairperson. Each must review the schedules and sign for approval.
  9. Once they have all signed, payments are then loaded and released from the bank.
  10. All signed payment schedules and proof of payments are filed accordingly.

Key to note: Participants receive 70% of their grants at the beginning. They are required to participate in the activities of the next phase and to submit a report on the first tranche. Once this has been reviewed, they then receive the 30% balance. Report includes the narrative as well as the expenditure component.

(b) Who adjudicates the applications:

Participants’ applications and submissions are evaluated by an external adjudication panel. Below is a list of the diverse individuals who have assisted with applications and the submissions of tasks.



Brief Profile

Tshepiso Shikwambane


IsiZulu, English

Actor, director, voiceover artist. Director and co-founder of Phandicraft

Active Drama

Aifheli Makhwanya

Tshivenda, Xitsonga,

Sepedi, Setswana,

Sesotho, English

Independent researcher and consultant for the cultural and creative industries. Managing Director of Dzanda Consulting & Events

Onthatile Ditshego

Setswana, Sepedi,

Sesotho, IsiXhosa,

IsiZulu, English,

Afrikaans, Siswati

Programme Manager at the

Trevor Noah Foundation

David April

Setswana, Sepedi,

Afrikaans, English

Director, teacher, choreographer, and lobbyist

Dimakatso Motholo

Sesotho, Setswana


Stage manager, performing artist, researcher,

administrator, and project manager

(c) What is the criteria for qualifying for the fund?

Target Audience:

  • Emerging artists working in all disciplines, in all provinces
  • Between the ages of 18-35 years old
  • Individuals from Rural/Peri-urban communities are given first preference

Applicants submit WhatsApp videos of who they are and why they want to join the Programme.

Adjudicators first check against the key requirements as per the above, including whether:

  • The participant showed potential to develop further/alignment with programme objectives
  • Reason(s) for wanting to join the programme
  • Their ability to articulate their need for entrepreneurial /business skills and how they will utilise these skills

Access to funding within the programme:

For participants to make it to the next phase(s) of the Debut Programme and to receive funding they are required to complete all required tasks/activities in the relevant phase and then to submit a formal application for their business ideas or ventures, using the knowledge gained during the Workshops.


  • Viability: How viable participants’ business ideas/ventures were
  • Market Knowledge: How well the participant understands their market
  • Finance: How well the participant understands the financial aspects of their business idea/venture
  • Coherence: How coherent is the participant's overall submission?
  • Translation: How well did the participant outline their business idea onto the Lean Model Canvas?

NB: Participants are required to meet the deadline in time for the adjudication.


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