Minister for Sports, Arts and Culture Budget Speech & response by DA


17 Jul 2019

Minister for Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, gave his Budget Vote Speech on the 17 July 2019

Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Honourable N Mafu,
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee,
Honourable Members,
Chairpersons and Chief Executives of Public Entities,
Distinguished guests,
Members of the media.
Ladies and gentlemen,

We extend our warmest greetings to all of you here present, on this year where we celebrate 25 years of democracy. Our artists continue to make us proud especially across our national borders. We congratulate the Soweto Gospel Choir for winning the third Grammy Award. We also congratulate such artists as, Nkosinathi Maphumulo also known as Black Coffee, Sjava and the first African woman Majozi who won the best international act at the BET awards.

It is a year of key milestones in the evolution of our nation state:

  • It prides itself with the second centenary of the battle of eGazini, where warriors like Makhanda kaNxele, Mdushane the son of Ndlambe, distinguished themselves in this battle against colonial plunder. All these under the watchful eye of Chief Ndlambe. This war of resistance was not in vain. Their motherland is now correctly restored and decolonizing as Makhanda. uNxele ubuyile indeed.
  • It is also 140th anniversary of Impi yaseSandlwana, where King Cetshwayo’s warriors crushed the British imperialist army, prompting Frederick Engels to observe thus: “we have witnessed quite recently examples of this bravery in Africa, the Zulus did what no European army could do.”
  • We commemorate the death of a young combatant of UMkhonto weSizwe, the martyr Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, 40 years on.
  • We also reflect on 40th anniversary marking the birth of that militant, disciplined and progressive student movement called the Congress of South African Students. We say “Each One Teach One.”

The Branch: Institutional Governance

In pursuit of the bold vision of the NDP, the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, was given the mandate of coordinating Outcome 14; Nation Building and Social Cohesion.

A socially cohering nation is an imperative if we are to undermine the legacy of colonialism and apartheid. Colonial conquest had two contradictory consequences. On the one hand, it brought together various different communities into one state, in a single territory. On the other hand, the very conquest was used by the colonisers to prevent the unifications of these communities into a nation. The colonisers who enjoyed exclusive political and economic rights developed forced and false sense of identity premised primarily, on the basis of race and European descent. South Africa for a long time was a state (a pariah one at that) without a nation. It also means that there was no shared identity, even for imagination.

Nation Building and Social Cohesion programme is at the core of the architecture for building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. The details of how we go about implementing the program will be elucidated to by the Deputy Minister.

Arts, Culture, Promotion and Development

This section deals with the promotion and development of Arts and Culture. The promotion is implemented through festivals, exhibitions, symposiums, community engagements and programmes beyond our national borders et al. Any programme undertaken has to respond to our vision, as enshrined in the NDP and in line with our quest for nation building and social cohesion. All provinces are given an opportunity to identify flagship programmes amongst others. Some have seized the moment, putting their provinces on the national and international map; however, others have not been so successful. These flagship programmes have contributed immensely to the social cohesion programme  and in local economic activity.

The Eastern Cape has Makhanda Arts Festival attracting the whole world to it, in fact it is the second biggest arts festival in the world after the Eddinburgh. In 2013 the festival contributed R349 million to the GDP and injected R90 million to the local economy of Makhanda (the source is Rhodes University Economic Department study of 2013).

The province also hosts iSingqi Sethu and Buyelekhaya festivals. Macufe in Free State, Joy of Jazz in Gauteng, Mapungubwe festival in Limpopo, Cape Town International Jazz festival. The other provinces still have some ground to cover to be on par with one mentioned above. We acknowledge though that they are trying their best, like Mahika Mahikeng in the North West, Ugu Jazz Festival in KZN, Mpumalanga cultural experience and Kalahari festival in the Northern Cape.

We continue to note that the organisations in this industry are concentrated in three provinces namely; Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal. There are deliberate moves to disrupt this state of affairs by amongst others creating platforms and spaces in the rest of our provinces. One such example is the commencement to construct a Polokwane theatre in the Limpopo province, by the department. Similar initiatives in other provinces would be considered.

In order for the development of the sector to succeed, we have resolved to professionalise it. We do this through training and upskilling of the artists, positioning the creative economy at the centre stage of economic growth and job creation, and continuously improve on research and development. The department has resolved to invest substantially in order to fund academies and incubators to realise the above-mentioned goals.

During 2018/19 budget vote, we committed ourselves to support the five times Grammy Award winner’s initiative, to establish the Ladysmith Black Mambazo Mobile Academy. We have since supported the Academy and it has moved around four provinces, promoting the preservation of indigenous music and isicathamiya. The academy has discovered, developed and exposed new talents through this initiative, we hope to identify the new generation of international achievers. The Academy further awarded artists and promoters who played a major role in the development of this genre of music. The department has allocated R12 million for the support of the Academy. This support will run for three consecutive years.

In December 2018 we launched phase one in the process of building the National Academy of Africa’s Performing Art. This is an initiative by Mr Caiphus Semenya and Ms Letta Mbuli, under Caiphus Semenya Foundation. The Academy will offer professional art training in music dance and drama. It will promote a highest level of human aspiration and artistic integrity through the composition, documentation and performance of the art. To date the department has contributed R10 million towards the construction.

The department is working on the study it commissioned in 2017 on human capital development, for the events technical and production services sector. The events technical and production constitute the range of services, provided in the background of the creative industry or in support of good services required for “the creation, production, marketing, distribution and in consumption,” of goods and services in the sector. This is the real golden side of the creative economy. The champion of this key section of the creative economy is Mr Freddie Nyathela. We commit to pursue the implementation of the backstage academy.

Mzantsi Broadcasting Academy; is the newly established academy supported by the department with R7.5 million. It is going to be officially launched in August 2019. The academy is spearheaded by Mr Linda Sibiya and will offer an accredited media information and communication technology sector, training programme in radio and television. At the launch the academy will commence with an intake of 50 young learners on a 3 months radio call and in 2020 there will be full time classes.

Pitika and Antoinette Ntuli Academy of Visual Art and Culture

The academy provides practical and applied theory in training for fine art and culture, including drawing, painting, sculpture, poetry and African cultural history. The department is contributing R8.6 million towards this endeavor. 

Mzantsi Poetry Academy

This is a Public Community-Learning Centre; in the performing art, established by Mr Mzwakhe Mbuli in 2016. The total seed grant from the department was R10.5 million paid over 3 years. More than a thousand creative writers have gone through the academy, with over 300 successfully completing the poetry leadership development programme. The academy was recently accredited by CATHSSETA, which serves as huge milestone in closing the existing gap in the skills development sector.

Casterbridge Music Development Academy

The Academy run its programme, which includes courses in song writing, video production and digital literacy. Annually 200 emerging musicians and aspirant entrepreneurs go through the academy programme. This is one of the successful incubator programmes coming in handy for the youth of Mpumalanga. To date the department has contributed over R7 million from 2016.

Indoni My Heritage, My Pride

A cultural school and moral regeneration organization targeting the youth. The programme officially launched in June 2011, formulated as a direct response to various social ills faced by youth on a day-to-day basis. It offers various intervention programmes that include NGO management, arts, culture, heritage, education, skills development, life and business skills. More than 2500 youth go through this school in the form of a youth camp every year, targeting young people from the age of 8 to young adults. The department has contributed R10 million towards this initiative. Its founder Dr N. Mthembu has transformed lives of young people, instilling the spirit of Ubuntu in them. This school has attracted a lot  of young people, amongst others, those learners from former model C schools.

Emerging Creatives (Design Indaba Incubator)

This Cape Town based incubator provides support, education and mentoring for South African future designers. The programme is a developmental platform for young creatives, who have relatively little or no industry exposure. Since 2015, the department has contributed over R20 million.

South African Cultural Observatory

In 2014, the National Department of Arts and Culture established the South African Cultural Observatory to assess the socio-economic impact of the Arts, Culture and Heritage (ACH) sectors and the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in South Africa using innovative statistical methodologies, audits and research tools. South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) report on cultural employment in South Africa explores the role of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in facilitating job creation and economic growth in South Africa. The study, which used Statistics South Africa’s (StatsSA) Labour Force Dynamics Survey using annual data from 2008 to 2014, found that the cultural and creative industries account for 2.93% of employment in South Africa.

This equates to 443, 778 jobs, slightly more than mining, which makes up 2.83% of employment in the country. A later study found that in 2015, cultural occupations made up 2.52% of all employment in South Africa. The bigger cultural sector also provided employment in non-cultural ‘support’ occupations for 4.2% of all those who had a job in 2015, meaning that altogether, the ‘cultural economy’ accounted for an estimated 6.72% of all employment in South Africa. The South African film industry is particularly important. According to the NFVF 2017 Economic Impact of the South African Film industry report, the industry had a direct impact of R4.4 billion (about $31 million) on economic production, leading to a rise in total production in the economy of approximately R12.2 billion (about $92 million). As an economic powerhouse on the continent, South Africa also plays an important regional role in profiling creative trade and influencing emerging creative industry trends.

Film Industry

The mapping study as conducted by SACO clearly shows the economic impact of the South African film industry. In BRICS partnership, we have identified this sector as our key national interest. We have therefore started a process of signing the co-production treaties with other BRICS member states. We believe that if we can access this market (BRICS) which is close to three billion people, our artists would be amongst the most successful and prosperous in the world. We also are forging relations with the film industry market on the continent.

We attended the 26th edition of the Pan African Film and Video Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), this edition of FESPACO marked the 50th anniversary of this mecca of Film Industry on the continent. We noted how the film festival participants warmed up to the South African Films, including instances where we were in collaboration with other African States.

We held our own inaugural national film summit earlier in the year.  The summit attracted delegates from the audiovisual industry, government, stakeholders, local and international delegates and members of the media, over 800 delegates attended the summit. It was informed by the theme titled “transformation and innovation in the South African Film/audio visual industry in the fourth industrial evolution; are we geared for change?”

Key instruments/recommendations addressing socio-economic transformation.

  • Transformation charter/sector codes and bargaining council
  • Policy, legislation review and attention to IP regime
  • Black industrialists programme
  • Audience development and stimulation
  • Mobile economy opportunities
  • Private investment stimulation
  • Establishment of film/audio visual fund innovation hubs
  • Advocacy
  • Marketing and distribution support
  • Skills and infrastructure

We support the industry’s hundred films a year strategy, which our sister department DTI has committed itself to fund it. We will play our role in supporting this initiative financially and otherwise. This will help to change the status quo in this industry.

For an example: 270 films theatrically produced by SA filmmakers since 1994, approximately only 30 are directed by black Directors and only about 22 black companies producing them.

222 films - theatrically released in SA cinemas in 2018   23 films - are by SA filmmakers – only 8 by black filmmakers

110 films – theatrically released in 2019 so far (approx.)      12 films – are by SA filmmakers – 5 are by black filmmakers

R1, 193 bill – Total SA Box-office 2017/2018   R45, million – SA Total (only 3.7% of total market share)

R635 million – Total SA Box – office 2018/2019 (first half)  R17, million – SA Total (only 2.6% of total market share)


Mzantsi Golden Economy

This is the main funding resource of the department. Initially conceptualised as the strategic fund, meant to deal with high value impact projects with a longer lifespan. However, reality faced by artists on the ground and the demand for funding compelled the department to apply flexibility to cater for all. The fund’s reach permeates all sectors of society, both urban and rural areas. The beneficiaries of the fund are spread throughout the provinces of our country, contrary to the lies peddled by some in the media. The 2019 estimated national expenditure earmarked/ring-fenced funds for MGE is R323 264 million.

Venture Capital Fund

In 2016 a tender to create a venture capital fund was advertised in three local newspapers and a government bulletin. The department received 26 proposals that were reviewed by a Special Bid Adjudication Committee, which was appointed by the accounting officer. The BAC panel members were appointed based on the expertise required for the establishment of this committee.

Its members consisted of 5 external members:

  1. Director- Development Finance Institutions from National Treasury.
  2. National Film and Video Foundation – Chief Executive Officer
  3. Chief financial officer from the National Arts Council
  4. Chief Director-Black Industrialist from the Department of Trade and Industry
  5. Investment analyst from Grovest (Private Sector)
  6. Two internal officials from the department, CFO and the Director Financial Administration

The BAC gave the NEF the highest score based on the set criteria.

Hon Chairperson, VCF is designed as a loan facility to support Black Entrepreneurs wishing to expand existing businesses in the creative industry. These are people ordinarily who would be rejected by the commercial banks. Similar partnerships between government departments and NEF have been witnessed; with the provincial government of Western Cape and the National Department of Tourism.

The partnership between DAC and NEF is premised on the funding formula of 60% from the NEF and 40% from the department. This was a three year collaboration from 2016, where R100 million was entrusted to the NEF by the DAC. To date R75 million has been transferred to NEF and in turn the NEF has disbursed R39 million to the beneficiaries across the length and breadth of our country. This investment has unlocked 1762 job opportunities.

The VCF also focusses on the commercial side of the businesses where concessionary interest is charged in every disbursement of fund. One of the most successful beneficiary of this fund to date is the internationally acclaimed 2018 movie by two young Black youth called “Sew the Winter to My Skin.” This movie was South African entry into the 91st Academy Awards also known as The Oscars under Foreign Language category.

Debut fund

This is the fund meant for the youth; it started as a pilot project in 2017 with R1 million funding facility. The department in partnership with Business and Arts South Africa and National Lottery Council provide knowledge and development skills to emerging artists on the cusp of “making it” to support them with launching/implementing their first album, film, book etc. it allows them opportunity to pitch for funding to further support their venture. The demand for this funding facility and youth enthusiasm has seen the department increasing it from R1 million to R10 million going forward. Two of the beneficiaries commented on the fund, thus, “I just wanted to thank you and your team, BASA and DAC for Debut Programme. The BASA-DAC PROGRAMME has equipped us with the necessary skills to better run our company within the creative arts industries. Since the first workshop in 2017 our company income has grown by over 300%.” Ms Khanya Ngumbela.

Cultural and Creative Industries of South Africa (CCIFSA)

Cultural and Creative Industries of South Africa is an organization which was formed by artists with the assistance of Department of Arts and Culture. Cultural and Creative Industries Sector of South Africa, was established to be the voice and champion of the interests and aspirations of the creative sector. In its inaugural conference in 2015 it resolved that its national structure’s term of office should be four years. This week all the nine provinces have held their provincial conferences and the national one would at the end of the month.

Books and publishing

This component focusses on promoting a national culture of reading and writing. It seeks to develop authors in telling the South African story, and supports initiatives that provide public platforms for authors. It provides funding of individuals, institutions, community groups and organization in literary arts, especially literary events, examples on this would be:

  • Abantu Book Festival (Soweto)
  • South African Book Fair, Open Book Fair (Cape Town)
  • South African Children Books Fair (East London)
  • Time of the Writer (EThekwini)

The books and publishing division also organizes lecturers and colloquial that promote a culture of reading and critical thinking.

Indigenous languages

UNESCO has declared 2019, the year of indigenous languages. This bodes well with the Department of Arts and Culture commitment to the development of indigenous languages. The Department gives bursaries to more than 400 students per annum to study languages with an emphasis on indigenous languages. They study in almost all the universities in our country. We will be hosting a conference on both literacy (literature) and celebration of indigenous languages from the 30th September 2019, (International Translation Day) on the 2nd October 2019. Professor Molefe, Asante who is well known for his work in Afrocentric thought is available to be key note speaker.


Towards the end of 2019, the department will hold the digitization workshop that will focus on promoting e-books in indigenous languages and engaging with our literature via digital platform.

Support for book clubs:

Promotion of a culture of reading

The department supports a pilot incubator to promote reading programmes through at list nine community arts centres. There must be at least one in each province. The impact of reading programmes are as follows:

  • Community and parents will have a responsibility to develop their children’s reading skills
  • Youth in particular are encouraged to read for pleasure
  • Bridge the divide between digital spaces for reading and books
  • Cultivate a well-informed educated society characterized by high degrees of social cohesion

Supporting the Presidential reading initiative

The department is also the partner in presidential reading initiative. It forms part of the national reading coalition and will focus on national mobilization pillar of the initiative. The department is supporting presidency and government communications with the launch of the presidential reading circle towards the end of July 2019 at Johannesburg public library. DAC is also part of the content committee for the presidential reading circle.

Heritage promotion and preservation

Living Human Treasures

In August 2019, the department will launch two books to honour and celebrate the lives and achievements of the two living human treasures. These are Dr Esther Mahlangu and Mama Noria Mabasa. These mothers of the fertile African soil possess rare skills in their respective fields of Ndebele, painting and wood sculpture, we say Halala Mbokodo!!

Transformation of heritage landscape

In October 2018 we renamed a place which was named after a vicious and violent butcherer and murderer called Colonel John Graham (Grahamstown), to Makhanda, a warrior, an African philosopher and a freedom fighter. Colonel John Graham used to kill amaXhosa for their land under his philosophy of applying maximum degree of terror. He maimed and killed men, women and children alike, burning their property, confiscating and killing their livestock implementing his scorched earth policy.

We salute the community of Bokaap for their unity of purpose in opposing gentrification of the area. The department was influenced by the spirit of resisting modern day forced removals. The declaration helps to protect, promote, conserve the cultural heritage value of this community, in the true spirit of their forebears like Dr Abdullah Abdurahman.  

One of the reason why English and Afrikaans as languages developed was because of strong supporting systems to their development. These systems included research institutions, museums, maximum utilization of libraries etc. the former National English Literary Museum in Makhanda was established for this purpose in the 1970’s to develop and promote English as a language. In May 2019 we changed the mandate of this institution to include indigenous languages, particularly isiXhosa, since more than 80% of people of Makhanda speaks the language. By this, we aim to develop, preserve and promote our indigenous languages.


Government endeavors to promote respect, an appreciation of our flag which is our identity continues. All South Africans are encouraged to fly it with love, affinity and dignity because it represents unity, patriotism and pride to our nation and its future. To date 20 093 flags were installed in schools. The bureau of heraldry aims to install 1000 flags in 1000 school during this financial year. We support the call by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee for Sports, Arts and Culture, Ms Dlulane that members should adopt a school to install a flag campaign.

In the department’s quest to promote the flag in 2018 it formed partnerships with South African Taxi Association, Professional Soccer League, South African Football Association in the launch of #IAM THE FLAG CAMPAIGN. During this financial year the department will embark on a project to install a monumental flag. One of the most iconic in the world, to give prominence to this symbol of unity and nationhood.

Legacy projects

The feasibility study is underway for the establishment of the Resistance and Liberation Movements museum. The museum will depict a true history of liberation struggle, lay bare the atrocities and horrors of colonialism and apartheid.

The department will also launch the 9 volumes of the seminal Hashim Mbita publication. This publication documents the history of resistance against colonialism and apartheid in the Southern African region.

The statue of Professor Robert Mangaliso Sobukhwe is now complete in Masizakhe township, Eastern Cape. The department is currently finalizing the exhibition part of the centre.

President Nelson Mandela’s life size statue was installed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in 2018.

 Projects to be finalised this financial year

  • OR Tambo Garden of Remembrance in Nkantolo Site in the Eastern Cape.
  • Mama Winnie Mandela Brandfort Site in Free State
  • Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance in Hankey, Eastern Cape.
  • Completing the destroyed site, Khananda which commemorates the 1960 Ingquza Hill Massacre
  • Signing and implementation protocol with KwaZulu Natal provincial government for the accomplishing of Enyokeni Project.

National archives

The national archives is repository and reservor of our national memory. We welcome National Treasury of allocation of R160million for the extension and upgrading of the National Archive building. The digitization of our archival material will be key in line with the fourth industrial evolution.


The department is in partnership with the National House of Traditional Leaders to deepen the understanding in society about the cultural diversity joint programmes on heritage are key focal areas for the further development of this relationship. The department is attempting to balance its focus between arts on the one hand and culture on the other. The criticism is that the department is more focusing on the former


This budget vote we are presenting today is the last one in this form of exclusively Arts and Culture. The next budget vote would be presented under the new reconfigured department, Sports, Arts and Culture. The glue that binds both segments of the new department is the realization of nation building and social cohesion objectives. We will frame our perspective in building the new department as a winning, active and socially cohering nation. Victory is certain.

Thank you for your attention.