Closing the country for strict Covid-19 fourth wave lockdown will 'finish us', say KZN performing artists

Closing the country for strict Covid-19 fourth wave lockdown will ’finish us’, say KZN performing artists
© Provided by Mercury

DURBAN – Fears and speculation of a strict lockdown and imminent closure of the country, as a result of the Covid-19 fourth wave, is creeping in with artists in the entertainment industry saying this will be the end of their careers.

THE KwaZulu-Natal Cultural and Creative Industries Federation in South Africa (CCIFSA) has raised concerns about another possible lockdown this festive season when many in the industry were hoping to use this period to recover from the nearly two years of no activities in the entertainment industry.

The spokesperson for artists in the province, Umtwana Thokozani “Tzozo” Zulu, told the Daily News that any attempt to close the country will “finish” the struggling artists who have not been able to perform since the Covid-19 breakout.

“We appeal to government think of our children and families as calls to shut down the country emerge, we cannot afford another shutdown. Artists have not been making money due to the strict regulations. We are suffering.”

Zulu pleaded with the government to be considerate and show empathy towards the entertainment industry through financial support and collective initiatives in raising awareness around Covid-19.

“We are pleading with them to use our talented artists to spread awareness and work with us to educate people about the pandemic. If we were to work together, we would use our influence and encourage citizens to observe Covid-19 protocols so that we help end the pandemic.

“The government must come to the party and throw in financial support so we do not die of hunger. We humbly ask that they think before they act. We are at their mercy and we can all work together to end this,” Zulu said.

He appealed to KZN municipalities to step in and find ways of working with all artists as the country gears for another economic blow that will impact all artists.

EThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said that the city could not comment on speculation. He said they were focusing on attracting tourists to Durban and ensuring that the city’s economy improves.

Darren Sandras, the spokesperson for one of the biggest annual events on the calendar, the Ballito Rage, told the Daily News on Sunday the organisers will respect any decision taken by the government.

“We rely on information, guidelines, and mandates from government and the national and local departments of health relating to Covid-19. Any changes that may be communicated or required will be affected as needed, said Sandras.

Restrictions on gatherings and the movement of people may be enforced as reports of Omicron the new coronavirus variant kept spreading around the world.

The variant was first discovered by South Africa scientists. It has since been detected in Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Botswana, Israel, and Hong Kong.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to brief the nation on the recent developments which have raised concerns about the possible lockdown.

In 2020, the global pandemic impacted the entertainment industry as production studios temporarily closed, and millions of people were quarantined.

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