- The Methodist Publishing House and the Christian Connexion Book Store chain have announced that they will be permanently shutting their doors.
- After 127 years in existence, the publishing arm and chain of book stores will cease to exist at the end of April.
- This is just one of many institutions that have suffered due to the lockdown and alleged mismanagement of Covid-19 relief finds by the NAC.
The Methodist Publishing House and the Christian Connexion Book Store chain have announced that they will be permanently shutting their doors come the end of April, 2021.
Announced by way of a press statement released by The Methodist Church of Southern Africa, the institution announced that after 127 years in existing, the literature arm of the church in South Africa would cease to exist after the end of April.
"The bookstores have taken pleasure in serving the Methodist Connexion over the years and the publishing aspects of the business will be continued by Christian Media Publishing (CMP) with whom a licensing agreement has been brokered," explains the statement.
"We pray for all the staff and families who will be affected by this closure. We urge all the people called Methodist to support the bookstores in the coming days as they seek to sell off as much of the remaining stock as possible."
The statement urged readers to look out for closing specials as advertised on the Facebook pages of the Methodist Church of South Africa and Christian Connexion
A number of artists have occupied the offices of the NAC for a month now, led by world-renowned Opera singer Sibongile Mngoma. On 1 March 2021, artists reached out to the NAC to ask more details on what went wrong with the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme. Artists began asking for more information after the council suspended its CEO, Rosemary Mangope, and the CFO, Clifton Changfoot.
Through this suspension, artists learned R300 million allocated to them by the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme had allocated them. With the council being over budget, Mangope and Changfoot are being investigated regarding the management of the fun
A group of artists in Kimberly announced the commencement of the hunger strike. Led by Thabo Motlhabi, former Provincial Coordinator of CCIFSA (Cultural and Creative Industry Federation of SA Northern Cape), artists marched to the offices of Arts and Culture MEC to demand the release of the promised Covid-19 relief funds.
"The march is taking place because the Covid relief for loss of income that the department promised have not been released," explains Motlhabi. "They're claiming that they are still dealing with internal processes, but we are not getting clear answers as to why. Since October of last year, we went through the process of application, moderation and adjudication. We've been expecting people to get paid out but we are not getting any clear answers on that. Over and above that, this is the kind of treatment that we get from the Department of Arts and Culture in our province. They commit to things, and they never deliver."
In Bloemfontein, 40 or so artists staged a sit-in at the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (Pacofs) on Monday last week.
In February, a petition calling for the removal of Nathi Mthethwa as minister of Arts and Culture was delivered to Cyril Ramaphosa. The president is yet to respond.
*This is a breaking story and is still under investigation.