The Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP)


The Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) aims to stimulate employment creation and job retention across sectors in the South African economy, including the audio-visual sector


What is the NFVF Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) for?

A comprehensive plan to stimulate new employment and job retention in the South African audio-visual industry, following the devastating impact of the nationwide lockdown on the economy.

What is the closing date for the call?

Monday, 30 November 2020, 00h00. Submitting your application prior to the closing date is encouraged to avoid any technical problems.

Organisations involved?

Several entities that fall under the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture have been mandated with the implementation of the PESP. Under Objective 2 of employment creation and job retention, the NFVF and the National Arts Council (NAC) are the two entities that will be administering the PESP in their respective sectors.

What are the 4 streams:

 Stream 1 is Production, Stream 2 is Skills Development, Stream 3 is Industry (distribution), and Stream 4 is Business Recovery

Which sector does this specific call address?

The audiovisual sector as determined by the NFVF mandate.

Who is eligible to benefit?

Practitioners – individuals and companies – within the sector with projects that can generate employment opportunities as businesses within the sector that incurred job losses (or are at risk of) due to the nationwide lockdown.

Concepts may encompass fiction and non-fiction, animation, as well as television concepts; and any other audio-visual concepts with the potential to contribute to the objectives of this Fund. Submissions from (or that target) Youth, Women, people with disabilities and previously disadvantaged groups/individuals are encouraged.

How much is being availed for the PESP?

R140 million to be administered by the NFVF and completely disbursed by 31 March 2021 – R100 million earmarked for streams 1-3 and R40 million for stream 4.

How much is each applicant limited to apply for under the different streams?

Allocation decisions will be determined by the adjudication panels bearing in mind that 100% funding of proposals may not be possible as the PESP serves as a stimulus to re-ignite economic activity (and employment) in the sector.  The NFVF Funding Policy Caps do not apply to this process.

What else is supported under the different streams?

Projects that support innovation in digitisation efforts for content creation (development and production) and the dissemination and development of e-commerce systems.

How many employment opportunities will be created and retained?

The PESP aims to stimulate the creation of 5000 jobs and retain 3000 jobs.

What is the suggested length per project?

The PESP funding is proposed for a period of 3 months until 31 March 2021.

How many people can a project employ?

Proposals with an ability to employ at least ten (10) or more people will be prioritised.

Will the PESP be treated according to NFVF Funding Policy Tiers?

Whilst the Funding Policy will only serve as a guide, the PESP will not be following established tiers, it will be open to all members of the audio-visual industry.

How to apply?

Applicants need to register and complete the online application form using the following link:

What is in the Production Open Call?

Production proposals including fiction and non-fiction including documentaries, animation, television concepts and any other audio-visual concepts.

What is in the Skills Development Call?

Training and development initiatives and proposals with a demonstrated job creation ability.

What is in the Industry Call?

Distribution strategy proposals with the potential to create jobs.

What is in the Business Recovery Stream?

Proposals with job retention or recovery potential from businesses or individuals who were negatively affected by COVID-19. Companies/businesses in this category will need to disclose/demonstrate the full scope of lost employment (actual and potential) i.e. affected job categories; the number of persons; age, race demographics etc. Proposals in this stream may include historical payroll data for the twelve (12) months to 31 March 2020 as well as year-to-date payroll data (1 April to 30 September 2020); should the latter exist; and an income statement providing information on operating expenses.

Who will be adjudicating the applications? 

An independent adjudication panel will evaluate the applications.  The adjudication process will be done in accordance with the published criteria.

What if I have problems with the online system? Are drop offs allowed?

No drop-off will be allowed. For queries contact or

Is there an email/number I can call for someone to assist me with my application? 0r 011 483 0880. We advise applicants to contact us before the closing date to avoid any last-minute disappointments

When and how will the successful applicants be notified?

Successful applicants will be notified by 15 January 2021.

How soon after being approved will payments be made?

Payments can be expected by the end of January 2021 provided all documents to facilitate payments are accurate and verified. In the event that delays are anticipated, communication will be shared on the NFVF’s website and with applicants directly.

What is the appeal process should an application be declined?

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by 15 January 2021 with an opportunity to submit appeals by 20 January 2021.

How many days will the appeal process take?

The process will not exceed 15 days. Appeals are expected to be concluded by 31 January 2021.

What if there is dissatisfaction with the internal appeals process? And can this be escalated to DSAC?

No. The appeals process ends with the appeals panel administered by the NFVF.

Can my projects be a Co-Production?

Yes. however, all other funding must be secured, and the must be able to start principle photography within three months from approval.

Can my project be an existing project that requires additional funding?

Yes. All projects are eligible.  

What if I already have a project with the NFVF, do I still qualify?

Yes. Current NFVF funding or an active application is not a disqualification factor.

What if I have been rejected by the NFVF for a project, can I send the same project for the PESP?

Yes. It may assist to strengthen your application if you implement feedback received on a previously rejected project.

What if I have a project that is ready for implementation and only requires Marketing and Distribution funds?

The proposal would be eligible under Stream 3, provided the Marketing and Distribution funds requested can demonstrate employment creation.

What are the factors considered for evaluation?

  • Functionality – demonstrable project management capability and likelihood for high impact success i.e. project success, number of jobs created, and geographical reach.
  • Scarce Skills Gap – training and development proposals with the potential to address the scarce skills gap, while creating employment opportunities.
  • Geographical spread – deliberate focus on proposals that target underserviced areas as well as areas with high population density and therefore resultant high unemployment.
  • Ability to create ten (10) or more industry jobs.


What are the Compulsory documents for individual applicants?

  • Certified copy of Identity Document.
  • Individual Tax Certificate.
  • Comprehensive CV.
  • Budget and proposed project.
  • COVID-19 Plan aligned with the National Department of Health and Department of Employment and Labour regulations.


What are the Compulsory documents for Company applications?

  • CVs of key personnel.
  • Budget and proposed project.
  • Original valid tax clearance certificate (MUST BE VALID FOR 3 MONTHS);
  • Company registration documents.
  • COVID-19 Plan aligned with the National Department of Health and Department of Employment and Labour regulations.


What are the compulsory application requirements for Production Call?

  • Proposal synopsis (half-a-page)
  • Brief project summary (maximum 5 pages)
  • Treatment (maximum 20 pages)
  • Fully developed script
  • CVs with career profiles of the key creative team
  • Development and production schedule
  • Marketing and distribution strategy
  • Production Company’s (or Individual) experience and previous productions
  • Detailed Budget and recoupment plan
  • A full credit list/total number of jobs to be created


What are the compulsory application requirements for Skills Development?

  • Training programme outlines with objectives
  • Timelines
  • Selection criteria
  • CVs of the facilitator
  • Detailed Budget


What are the compulsory application requirements for Industry Call?

  • CVs of key management 
  • Project Plan
  • Activation area(s)
  • Audience Development Strategy
  • A unique selling point demonstrating sustainability and contribution to industry recovery and growth.
  • Proposed screening schedule and structure.


What are the compulsory application requirements for Business Recovery?

  • Recovery plan for the company.
  • Proposed project plan/list of projects or active projects.
  • Historical payroll data for the 12 months ended 31 March 2020, and payroll data year to date (1 April to 30 September 2020).
  • List of jobs to be created.
  • Income statement reflecting operating expenses.
  • The cost incurred due to COVID 19


What are the evaluation stages?

Stage 1 – Administrative Compliance

During this stage, applicants will be assessed on their submission of mandatory documents as stipulated in the call. The Adjudication Panel has the discretion to disqualify applicants who have not submitted all mandatory documents.

Stage 2 – Functionality Evaluation

Applicants who provided all required administration documents will be evaluated on functionality contained in the call.   

Applicants need to register and complete the online application form, by 30 November 2020 at 00h00, using the following link: 


May NPO’s apply?

If you are an NPO in the film industry, yes, what we will not be funding are things that are not aligned to the NFVFs mandate.


Does the production need to end in March?

Not necessarily. A project may have a lifespan for longer than 3months but the support will only be available for 3months


Are we allowed to apply for more than one stream?



Maximum amount to apply?

An independent panel is going to advise per application. We are looking for a minimum of 10 jobs created during the period


If you submitted projects for Funding under the past NFVF Cycle and are awaiting outcome, can you submit the same projects to this Programme?

Yes you may as this is not allocated from NFVF internal funding.


What is the amount one can get for job retention?

The NFVF will not fund the holistic amount but and a % of wage support.


SARs is no longer giving tax clearances, just SARS pins, may I submit a pin?

We will accept a SARS document with a pin, and we will verify applications


Can internships and mentorship be under commissioned work?

Yes, you can.


Can cancelled festivals apply?

Cancelled festivals will qualify under stream 3 under distribution or at stream 4 that is essentially a business that had cancelled work.


Do I need to pay back the fund?

This grant is not recoupable, it is a grant that you do not need to pay back.


What are the timelines for the programme?

We anticipate to have the outcomes ready by January 2021. The support itself is only for a period of 3months and the NFVF needs to have completed the project by March 2021.


Will this be a once off payment?

Not all funds will be paid 100%. Payments will be in 2 or 3 tranches for the purposes of accountability and auditing.


Can anyone apply?

Applicants need to be people that are covered under the mandate of the NFVF.


If I already have funding approved by the NFVF, can I still apply?

Yes, this is a PESP fund from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and Presidency and not an NFVF fund.


Will the cashflow start in January?

The cashflow will start as soon as the contract is signed.


Will the stimulus be rebatable by the DTI?

The DTI does not rebate government grants.

For a feature film submission should I submit a full script?

For fiction production you do need to submit a full script.

For non-fiction production/ Doccie you do need to submit an outline and treatment