Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela spent 67 years fighting for social justice. In honour of his legacy, Business and Arts South Africa (Basa) is making 67 Artist Relief Grants for medical assistance available to creatives diagnosed with or hospitalised due to Covid-19.

Founded in 1997, Basa is a connector catalyst for businesses and the arts, driving focused and sustained partnerships by unlocking shared value and fostering social cohesion. In April 2020, Basa announced that it was extending its Supporting Grant platform by launching a funding campaign aimed at specific support for South African creatives infected or affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Basa chairperson Charmaine Soobramoney voiced the organisation’s support, saying: “Basa champions business investment in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors. Covid-19 has forced the world to unite and fight against this invisible enemy… The Basa board of directors acknowledges the continued challenges artists are subjected to [as a result of this pandemic].”

“We have raised just over half a million rand, bestowed by a range of individuals, businesses and academic institutions. This amount has been supplemented with funds redirected from other areas of operation to provide support to 122 individual artists, with grants to the total value of R1,174,467.50,” reports Madeleine Selmer-Olsen (Basa head of research and development).

“A primary objective in Basa’s mission is the economic empowerment of South African creatives. It has been clear during this extensive lockdown the degree to which everyone has relied on the creative sector to maintain a degree of normalcy. Indeed, we could go as far as to say the arts have been critical to mental health and wellbeing. As such, we are proud to be providing further relief to the creatives whose livelihoods have experienced severe strain as a result of the pandemic,” adds Savannah Feeke-Fortune (Basa Head of marketing and communications).

Applicants interested in applying for a medical assistance grant can apply directly via the Basa website at by clicking the ‘Grants’ tab and navigating to Artist Relief Grants. Grants will be awarded on a first-come basis, to the first 67 eligible applicants, after which applications will close. For enquiries or call 066 314 3374 during office hours.

Help Basa help more artists by visiting to make a contribution or show your support by sharing the link on your social media platforms. Basa Supporting Grants are made possible through the generous support of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.

About Business and Arts South Africa

Basa is constituted in terms of the Companies Act. Basa is registered as a public benefit organisation (PBO) and is accountable to its stakeholders. The Basa board of directors comprises chairperson Charmaine Soobramoney, with deputy chairperson Mandie van der Spuy and Kojo Baffoe, Kathy Berman, Devi Sankaree Govender, Ashraf Johaardien (CEO), Hilton Lawler, Andre Le Roux, Khanyi Mamba, Zingisa Motloba, Dr Yacoob Omar and Mirna Wessels.

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