LIS Transformation Charter, Community Libraries Grant, Indigenous language development by provinces: Department of Arts & Culture briefings

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture

15 February 2011
Chairperson: Ms M Makgate (ANC; North West)
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Meeting Summary

The Chairperson pointed out that education was one of the key priorities identified by the President, and that was interwoven with the need for libraries, encouraging a culture of reading and use of indigenous languages. The Department of Arts and Culture gave three presentations on libraries and language. The first presentation set out the background and progress of the Library Information Services Charter, which defined the challenges facing the sector and would provide a framework for eliminating illiteracy, inequality in the sector, promoting social cohesion and building knowledge through reading. The Charter called for institutional reform and changes in how librarians and managers of educational institutions should work. The challenges included a lack of national policy on norms and standards, the need to build more libraries, since only 2.7% of schools had functioning libraries, the need to review legislation to eliminate overlaps and confusion, and the need to address and resolve the training, recruitment and retention of librarians. Free and easy access for all to Library Information Services was a basic right. Television and other means should be used to resocialise citizens in Batho Pele values and to promote a culture of reading. The National Library Board and Library and Information Association should be given greater authority on issues directly affecting them. Adequate funding, and an independent monitoring and evaluation system, should be put in place. Members asked what measures were proposed to overcome the challenges and overlapping mandates, noted too much concentration on English, including SABC 1, and asked about the role of the National Library Board. Members were concerned about the closure of Library Science departments at universities, and asked how and when the Department intended to address the challenges, and who had been consulted. Members stressed the need also to involve the community and parents who were home-schooling, asked if visits had been paid to schools, and cited several instances where library books were packed away and unused. They also stressed that these problems were compounded in rural areas.

The second presentation outlined the Community Libraries Grant, which was targeted primarily at disadvantaged communities, and which was intended to transform urban and rural community library infrastructure, facilities and services through a recapitalised programme at provincial level, supporting local government. The spending since 2009 was set out. The achievements included close working relationships with the SA Library for the Blind, republication of African literature classics and drafting of a Community Library Information Services Bill that would set the framework for developing norms and standards for the community libraries. Challenges included staff turnover and negotiations on service level agreements, as well as complex and difficult relationships with the Department of Public Works around infrastructure requirements. Members regretted that the provincial departments were not available to answer questions, and queried why the MECs were apparently not working out allocations properly to ensure capacity and adequate budget. They were concerned about withholding of grant funding due to lack of spending, questioned whether it could be reallocated to other projects, and questioned fiscal dumping in the last quarter. Members requested breakdowns of spending by province, and pointed out that it was necessary to establish who was using the libraries, and whether they were truly accessible. They questioned why the library profession was not seen as attractive, especially since bursaries were available. Several Members were severely critical of the report on infrastructure progress, pointing out that it did not accord with the reality on the ground. They urged the Department not to rely solely on written reports, but to monitor the situation by sending inspectors, and to monitor the transfer of funds from province to municipality. The relationship with the Department of Public Works was questioned.

The third presentation outlined the role of provinces in the development of indigenous languages. The Constitution provided the legal framework for developing and promoting multilingualism and required language rights of citizens to be honoured through national language policies. In 2007, Cabinet had taken a decision that, by 2012, dedicated language units should be established. Some local government structures had not done this at all, whilst some provinces had not yet finalised their policies, for lack of capacity, budget and infrastructure. Litigation against the Department was effectively forcing all provinces to pass legislation, and there was an urgent need to mainstream language support. The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) was mandated to promote and create conditions for development and use of all official languages, including the Khoi, San and sign language, and it was necessary to amend the legislation to address its status. It was increasingly difficult to source teachers of African languages, as students tended not to major in these subjects, and many parents opted to have their children taught in English. Members asked why there was a delay in implementing the dedicated units and what was being done to address it, and what programmes were in place to promote and teach the Khoi, San and Nama languages.

Meeting report

Department of Arts and Culture briefings
The Chairperson welcomed officials from the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC or the Department), and noted that education was one of the key priorities identified by the President for the first term. Education required libraries and encouraging people to read and write, and the issue of indigenous languages was crucial.

Ms Veliswa Baduza, Acting Director General, Department of Arts and Culture, tendered apologies from the Minister and the Deputy Minister.

Library Information Service (LIS) Transformation Charter
Prof Muxe Nkondo, Chairperson, National Library Board and Chairperson, Transformation Technical Team, Nkondo gave a brief overview of the key elements and structure of the Library Information Service Charter (the Charter). The scope and purpose of the Charter was to define the challenges facing the sector and to provide a framework for effecting them, to contribute to the elimination of illiteracy, eradication of inequality in the sector, promotion of social cohesion, and building an informed and reading nation.

There had been briefings in nine provinces, which he outlined.

The twelve chapters laid out a structure to guide librarians, managers of educational institutions and public officials, so they could enhance the public value of libraries. In particular, the Charter set out:

- What citizens should expect of librarians and public officials involved in the sector, the political, professional and ethical responsibilities librarians assumed in taking office, and how success in their work would be judged;
- A framework to guide librarians and managers of educational institutions in analysing their working situations and assessing the potential for effective action;
- The particular types of interventions that librarians could take to exploit the potential of their political and institutional settings for enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.

The Charter called for institutional reform and changes in how librarians and managers of educational institutions should do their work. There were, however, some challenges. Firstly, there was lack of national policy on norms and standards. Guiding principles on the provision of libraries must be developed, since currently provinces were establishing libraries without any guiding framework, and it was difficult to coordinate and redress strategies. Prof Nkondo urged the Committee to ensure that a process was started to develop a national framework to guide the provinces. The second challenge arose through overlapping mandates and lack of capacity to transform the sector. Legislation had to be reviewed to eliminate overlaps and confusion, particularly those between the Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Education, and national and provincial legislation.

Prof Nkondo noted that the future of the education and training sector lay in its human resources. The sector must resolve its training, recruitment and retention crisis, in order to contribute to national development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The South African curriculum could not be delivered without access to well-managed collections of learning resources. A number of universities were closing down their library studies departments. There was a declining image of a librarian, because of uncompetitive working conditions. He stressed that in particular the government needed to enforce the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and develop a sector policy framework, give free and easy access for all to Library Information Services, and develop a culture of reading. He urged that steps should be taken to mobilise television and other forms of mass media in the campaign to resocialise all South Africans, especially children and the youth, stressing values provided by the Constitution and the White Paper on Batho Pele. Resocialising called for a change in attitude, including promoting a culture of reading in the home.

Prof Nkondo also said that the other memory institutions, archives and museums should be advised to develop their own charters. The Library and Information Association of South Africa and the National Council for Library and Information Services must be given greater legal authority on issues that concerned them, and be responsible for accreditation qualification. Adequate funding must be provided, and an independent monitoring and evaluation system should be established.

Ms B Mncube (ANC, Gauteng) noted that reference to stakeholder consultation omitted the Select Committee.

Prof Nkondo responded that it was a matter of process, since the Department of Arts and Culture would give presentations first to the Portfolio Committee and thereafter to the Select Committee.

The Chairperson added that the Department was supposed to have presented on the Transformation Charter last year, but programming requirements meant this presentation could only be given in 2011.

Ms Mncube also asked what measures were put in place to overcome the challenges of governance and overlapping of mandates.

Prof Nkondo explained that a process was needed to iron out the overlaps. There was confusion about the conditional grant that covered schools. In some provinces school libraries and community libraries had been merged. There was tension between the Departments of Arts and Culture and Education, because people were experimenting on a number of libraries as models, raising uncertainties.

Ms Mncube raised the issue of African content and African languages that needed to be transformed in the mass media industry. SABC 1 had too much concentration on English. She asked how far the sector had gone in interacting with stakeholders in order to promote local content and indigenous languages.

Prof Nkondo said the culture of reading and transformation was very difficult, and responsibility could not lie solely with government. Parents must be actively involved in creating a culture of reading, and were regarded as key instruments for implementing that recommendation.

Ms R Rasmeni (ANC, North West) asked about the role of the National Library Board in relation to the provinces, whether they were performing in line with their responsibilities and mandate, and what the challenges were. She pointed out that DAC was supposed to be leading in reviewing the legislation and addressing overlapping mandates and lack of capacity. She also asked what advice had been given to universities who were closing down library science departments, and what implication this held for their students.

Prof Nkondo responded that the sector had held long discussions with the university librarians and tried to urge them not to close down their Library Science Departments, but they had countered that the Library Science Departments were not self-sustaining, and fewer and fewer students registered for those course. Most of them depended on cross subsidisation. Because of university autonomy it was very difficult for the Department to intervene. Government needed to influence Library Science education and persuade the universities not to close down these services.

Ms Rasmeni asked when the mobilisation of TV and mass media would start.

Ms Rasmeni also asked whether the Department had allocated any funding, or whether the National Library Board needed the Committee to assist it in getting adequate funding. She asked when the Department was to address the challenges.

Prof Nkondo responded that there were three processes, namely, the setting of guidelines, the development of policies, and the development of legislation to support the policies. The detail on each of these challenges would be set out by the Department. The challenges identified distilled all problems in all provinces that were highlighted through observations and recommendations. The sector tried to canvass all stakeholders and reach national consensus. The Department would be deciding how to carry the recommendations forward.

Mr S Plaatjie (COPE, North West) referred to challenges raised on the national norms and standards and asked whether the Department or the Technical Committee had the responsibility of ensuring that there were properly crafted national guidelines.

Prof Nkondo responded that the need for national standards was identified by almost all the stakeholders as most urgent, and a special project should be initiated soon to establish national norms. Most advanced economies had an established framework, which was desperately needed in South Africa, because of the historical inequalities. Only 2.7% of schools in this country had functioning libraries when education was outcomes-based, and resources were very important. The mandate given to the technical committee was to define the challenges and points needing to be addressed, and then to present the recommendations on the mandate clearly to the Department.

Mr Plaatjie pointed out that methodology would collect information and asked what critical issues about the challenges in the sector were highlighted in the interviews with scholars and practitioners.

Ms Mncube sought clarification whether the sector should take responsibility for its own development, in which case it must be given greater authority on relevant issues.

Prof Nkondo explained that it was recommended that there should be a professional authority body, which would enable responsibility for quality assurance. The two existing bodies should be elevated into formal structures with legal force. The Community Library Amendment Bill had started to deal with the question of norms, providing an enabling framework for the norms to be developed.

The Chairperson noted the stakeholder consultation and briefings held in the nine provinces. She asked whether there were provincial technical committees for easy coordination.

Prof Nkondo replied that there were not. At the moment a Technical Committee of seven people worked with the Provincial Departments of Arts and Culture and of Education.

The Chairperson asked about the strategy on training and recruitment. She also asked what advice was given to provincial technical teams about overlapping in the local sector.

Ms D Rantho (ANC, Eastern Cape) said that there should also be involvement of the community and parents who were home-schooling. She asked whether interviews had been held at high schools, colleges and universities, and in the local schools, especially in the rural areas, in order to address issues of children either not being able to read and write properly, or not having a culture of reading outside of school.

Ms Rantho asked whether the Board had visited the schools to see how many learning resources they had and what their budget was. She pointed out that in some rural areas in the Eastern Cape, libraries were changed into classrooms and library books were simply packed away and not used. She was concerned that the Department was seeking budget for learning resources that existed but were unused. The television in a Jamestown school was also locked in the strong room, and never used. She suggested a feasibility study to establish whether it was necessary to bring learning resources to the schools.

Prof Nkondo responded that it was very difficult to fully involve the poor in rural areas, with major challenges arising through distance, language and the need for interpreters.

Mr M de Villiers (DA, Western Cape) asked what the Department did to encourage learners to make use of the books currently at the schools. He suggested small and visible libraries in classrooms. He asked what was recommended to encourage the learners to read.

Prof Nkondo responded that teaching should extend to reading, as reading attitudes were determined by the methods used. If examinations were based solely on textbooks or lecture guides, and students need not read anything outside of those, then they would not choose to read, but if the way they were taught and examined forced them to consult library material, then their reading culture would improve. Outcomes-based education would encourage students to read when working on projects and in real-life situations. Prof Nkondo continued that it was important to have qualified people to staff libraries, and to do studies on how children and the general public used libraries.

The Chairperson thanked Prof Nkondo, and said that it was unfortunate that little research was done in the rural areas, which remained a challenge to the Committee, who sat here to represent their provinces.

The Community Libraries Grant
Mr Puleng Kekana, Director: Library Policy and Coordination, Department of Arts and Culture, gave a brief overview on the building of libraries in the provinces and answered some financial issues raised by Members.

He noted that one of the government priorities was education, which involved support for quality education and the eradication of illiteracy. The purpose of the conditional Community Libraries Grant (the grant) was to transform urban and rural community library infrastructure, facilities and services, primarily targeting disadvantaged communities. This would be done through a recapitalised programme at provincial level, which also supported local government, to ensure that the needs of the communities for libraries and information services were met. This should result in improved coordination and collaboration between the three spheres of government, a transformed and equitable LIS delivered to all rural and urban communities, improved library infrastructure and services reflecting the needs of communities, improved staff capacity and an improved culture of reading.

The grant should achieve the building of community library governance structures and new libraries, purchase of library materials, ICT infrastructure, services for the visually impaired, additional staff, and monitoring and evaluation.

In 2009/10, the provinces collectively spent 88.7% of the total budget available for LIS. In the 2009/10 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) allocations, the rural provinces received a significant amount of funding to upgrade the lack of infrastructure in those provinces. In the current financial year, provinces had, by the end of December, spent 53.5% of the available allocation. As a result of under expenditure the Department took a decision to withhold funding from some of the provinces, as set out in the Division of Revenue Act, until they were able to use the grant funding for the intended purposes. An assessment would be made at the end of the month, together with National Treasury, whether that funding would then be released.

There were serious challenges around LIS in the provinces. In Mpumalanga the only funding available for library services was the conditional grant. The equitable share budget was exhausted, which posed some risk to the sustainability of the library project. Provinces remained accountable for funds transferred to municipalities.

Mr Kekana said that in 2009/10 there had been upgrading of 43 libraries. Two new libraries were established in Mpumalanga, three new libraries in Gauteng and one in the Northern Cape; and an integrated library management system was set up in six provinces. In the current financial year, upgrading of 15 libraries was completed, while two new libraries were completed in Limpopo, two in the Northern Cape, one in the North West and one in the Western Cape. A further 18 projects were at various stages in eight provinces.

Mr Kekana noted some of the achievements as including close working with the SA Library for the Blind, republication of African literature classics, and the completion of consultations leading to the drafting of the Library Transformation Charter. The Department was also drafting a Community Library Information Services Bill that sought to set the framework for developing norms and standards for the community libraries.

Major challenges included staff turnover, resulting both from disparities in salaries between municipalities, and people moving from the rural provinces to the cities. Provinces were expected to sign Service Level Agreements with municipalities but those negotiations were complicated by the unfunded mandate. There were sometimes issues around moratorium on spending. The DAC relied on the Department of Public Works (DPW) to appoint consultants, advertise tenders and appoint contractors for infrastructure requirements, and the relationship between the Provincial Departments of Arts and Culture and DPW was very complex. Most under expenditure in the provinces was based on infrastructure problems, and the DPW was not assisting.

Role of Provinces on the development of indigenous languages
Dr Joyce Sukumane, Director: Language Services, Department of Arts and Culture, noted that the  Constitution provided the principal legal framework for multilingualism, the development of the official languages and the promotion of respect and tolerance for South Africa’s linguistic diversity. It determined the language rights of citizens, which must be honoured through national language policies.

The National Language Policy Framework catered adequately for the harmonisation of language policy at all three levels of government and articulated clear policy positions on the status and use of the indigenous official languages in all nine provinces.

The language policy and Constitutional provisions on multilingualism were in concert with government’s goals for economic, socio-political and educational growth, as well as government’s aims to promote the equitable use of the eleven official languages. The promotion of good language management, in order to achieve efficient public service administration and meet client expectations and needs, included requirements for interpreting, and meeting the needs of the deaf community.

Dr Sukumane emphasised that the establishment of language units was key to implementation at all levels. Each national government department and each province impacted on the scope of policy implementation. The DAC coordinated and monitored the management of policy implementation through the National Language Forum. The Department also facilitated training for language unit staff in language planning activities. It offered a bursary scheme for translators, editors, document designers, interpreters, human language technologists, terminologists and lexicographers. It had established operational guidelines on quality issues.

Dr Sukumane outlined the challenges. In 2007, Cabinet took a decision to establish dedicated language units by 2012. This placed a responsibility also on local government, but some of these local government structures were dedicated to sport only and did not concentrate on language issues. Some provinces had not formulated their policies, because of lack of capacity, budget and infrastructure. Litigation started by Adv C J Lourens meant that all provinces now needed to put enabling legislation in place. The creation of sustainable jobs was delayed. There was a need to mainstreaming language support and revisit the budgets allocated for the development of language.

Dr Sukumane asked that the Select Committee assist in discussing strategies to fast track the initiatives and means to mainstream language support. She noted that DAC facilitated, coordinated and guided provinces in policy implementation. The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) was mandated by the Constitution to promote and create conditions necessary for the development and use of all official languages, as well as the Khoi, San and Sign languages.

The Chairperson said it was unfortunate that the provincial departments were not represented, as there were many questions to be answered, but noted that the Committee would invite the MECs to come before the Select Committee.

Mr W Faber (DA, Northern Cape) was ashamed that his province was the only one who had not presented developed policies on terminology development. He would find out why it had not been done. He did not know why lack of capacity and budget should be named as constraints, because the MECs should work out the necessary budgets. He noted that R12.8 million in grant funding had been withheld, due to lack of spending on library services, and wondered if it was possible to redirect the money from one project to another.

Mr Kekana responded that the Community Libraries Grant was managed in terms of the Division of Revenue Act and because it was earmarked, it was not possible to shift the funding from libraries to languages. Within the whole libraries programme, in certain conditions, it might be possible to shift funding from one project to another project, provided that both were library projects. A request had been received from the Northern Cape to amend its business plan to shift the funding from one library to another project in the same province.

Ms Mncube referred to the spending of the Community Libraries Grant, and requested a breakdown, by province, on the figures for this, as well as the spending on ICT.

Ms Baduza said that she was aware of the need to prepare a breakdown, and requested her colleagues to respond in more details about upgrading of libraries and the roll out of the ICT programme.

Mr Kekana said that he had a list with him, but had not presented it in the interests of time. Most upgrading was in Eastern Cape. The roll out of the ICT had taken place in the Western Cape. It was launched in Cape Town, and in the main libraries of the Northern Cape; North West, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Ms Baduza then spoke about extension of African languages, noting that many language departments at universities had been closed for lack of intake. Many teachers did not take African languages as a major subject, so schools had a problem teaching African languages. She believed that to be the result of the redeployment of teachers that started in 1996. In the former Model C schools parents tended to opt for English, at the expense of promoting the African languages, so children grew up unable to communicate in their own languages. DAC had the task of educating the community and making them realise that language was power. It had to promote all languages to prevent a return simply to English and Afrikaans.

Mr Kekana said most consumers of public libraries were schools and learners, and that partnership was encouraged. In Gauteng, there was an MOU between the Provincial Departments of Arts and Culture and Education to facilitate cooperative work between the schools and community libraries. Most of the community libraries were buying curriculum support material.

Mr Kekana added that the library sector had republished indigenous classics as a contribution to multi lingualism. Copies of the lists were available for the Members.

Ms Mncube noted the provision of bursaries and asked why the librarians’ profession was not seen as attractive.

Mr Kekana responded that the DAC intended to have a national bursary scheme to support the flow of students. Provinces supported a small number of students studying library science.

Ms Mncube then questioned the promotion of languages, and progress on indigenous languages. She asked what mechanisms were in place to monitor what PanSALB was doing, and asked if there were any plans to amend the Constitution to bring PanSALB under the DAC or hold them to account for promoting the indigenous languages. She thought that at least one university should promote an African language. Students at Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges often failed because of the medium of instruction.

Mr Plaatjie referred to the infrastructure projects for 2010/11 in the North West province. He noted that he had queried these in the past. He noted that a library worth R5.1 million was supposed to be built, yet nothing was yet in place, and another community library was housed in a community hall, with no evidence of any building having started. He asked where it was to be built.

Ms Baduza apologised if these questions were not answered previously and undertook to respond.

Mr Kekana added that a previous presentation noted plans for building a new library, but had not said that the project was due to be finished by the end of March, but that the projects were in various stages. He thought that Boikhutso had completed the tender process. He would speak to the provinces and other stakeholders concerned in that regard.

The Chairperson interjected that, according to the report, the library at Boikhutso was due to be finished in April. Again, she would have liked the provinces to be present to report on this.

Mr Plaatjie asked about the progress, and also asked who was responsible for dealing with provinces that did not account for funds transferred to the municipalities. The Department in North West had apparently transferred money to the municipality.

Mr Kekana said the Chairperson was correct. Some provinces did transfer funds to municipalities, but probably not at the end of the financial year, because any intended transfers of funding must be published in the Provincial Gazettes at the beginning of the year, to notify the municipalities of any funding.

Mr Plaatjie asked for clarification on staff turnover and what was being done to address the shortage of staff.

Mr Kekana responded that staff moved between provinces. The entry levels for library staff differed from one province to another. This had been raised with Department of Public Service and Administration, and there had been an evaluation of the job description and salary scales for librarians. The Department was waiting for recommendations, to try to achieve better uniformity in the way that librarians were paid at provincial level.

Mr Plaatjie noted that DPW dealt with maintenance and tender processes of the library infrastructure. He asked if DAC gave specifications and requirements, and verified the processes of the DPW.

Mr Kekana responded that the DAC was continuously looking at this issue. There were problems with the relationships between the national and provincial departments on both sides. DPW appointed consultants, had to approve architectural plans, and had to approve contractors for a project. This was where most of the blockages occurred.

The Chairperson asked whether the Department had a proper monitoring mechanism. Reports were received at quarterly meetings that did not reflect was happening on the ground. She therefore wondered if there was value for money. She had had meetings with two municipalities, and noted that spending was low in the third quarter, but in the final quarter it rose due to fiscal dumping to the municipalities, even if those municipalities had not even identified the new sites for libraries, nor followed any other processes. That then resulted in the municipality spending the money on other matters. She wondered if there was real monitoring, or if the DAC depended on written reports. She noted that the written reports seemed positive, but people on the ground in those areas would know that little had been achieved.

The Chairperson stressed that DAC should therefore change the way in which reports were considered. She could show the Department sites where reports claimed that matters were nearing completion, but where he sites were bare. It was vital that the Committee must get proper reports.

Mr Kekana responded that the Department did meet with the provinces and also had monitoring and evaluation support staff visiting the sites where the projects were taking place. DAC did not rely only on meetings and written reports. It might be necessary to verify some information, and he undertook that this would be done.

Mr de Villiers referred to the Community Library Grant annual expenditure for 2009/10, noting that the figures given and the percentage of spending did not match.

Mr Kekana said that roll overs from the previous financial year should have been included.

Mr de Villiers noted that the spending for 2010/11 ranged between 77% and 34%. He asked what DAC was doing to assist the different provinces to spend during the year, stressing that monitoring and evaluation should guard against low spending of only 44.6% was spent.

Mr Kekana undertook to review capacity at national level to establish whether there was sufficient capacity to implement the projects. Provinces were assisted by the National Treasury’s Technical Assistance Unit that would visit the provinces and assist them in streamlining procurement procedures.

Mr de Villiers asked about the status of the upgrading and building of the new library, pointing out that there was no point in building a new library if the community did not use it.

Mr de Villiers also asked whether the national departments could provide assistance to provincial departments in drawing the policy. He also wanted to know the cause of the delay in creating sustainable jobs at the Department.

Dr Sukumane responded that provinces’ inability to create units dedicated to language delayed the development of legislation. It was necessary firstly to have sufficient fully qualified and equipped people to do the work, otherwise there would be serious problems in implementing any legislation. In 2004, a language bursary scheme was put in place to train language practitioners, and the Department worked with higher education institutes throughout the country to produce those with postgraduate degrees in language practice to run the unit. While they were training, other processes lagged behind. This had delayed the process, but Cabinet had then decided then to establish fully-fledged language units.

Mr de Villiers asked what programmes existed to promote and teach the Khoi, San and Nama languages in the different provinces, and how the Department was assisting to make the best use of the current resources.

Dr Sukumane said the Western Cape was busy with indigenous languages, had been holding writing workshops since 2007 and held a writers’ symposium in 2010, where awareness was created around Braille. It had also produced a basic introduction to Nama in CD form, to address literacy levels in the communities. The Western Cape also produced a ‘Teach yourself Nama’ guide in 2010, and had given out certificates in Nama, isiXhosa and Afrikaans.

Ms Mncube also referred to the delay in the creation of sustainable jobs, and noted that Cabinet and the required numbers of how many jobs DAC had contributed towards that commitment. This was also referred to in the State of the Nation Address. She asked about the powers of MinMEC in regard to the deadline next year.

Dr Mbulelo Jokweni, Chief Director: Language Services, Department of Arts and Culture, explained that the Director General had written to all provincial departments and they had made significant progress.

Dr Jokweni then went back to questions around PanSALB and said it was very important that strategic intervention should take place at political level. Although an amendment to the legislation would be required, DAC was currently working with PanSALB at operational level and PanSALB was a member of the National Library Forum. He asked the Select Committee for its assistance in the PanSALB issues.

Ms Baduza said that Ms Mncube had mentioned the unintended consequences of the democratic dispensation around the issue of language. She noted that her comments would be “brilliant” if she could speak in her home language, rather than thinking in her home language and simultaneously translating to speak in English. She said that it was necessary to discuss how African language teachers were perceived and promoted. She suggested that PanSALB should be asked also to appear before the Select Committee.  She noted that her team had taken note of points raised and would visit the projects.

The Chairperson thanked the Department. She added that it was important to focus on the audit of community and school libraries, whether the sites were really accessible to communities, and the necessity for uniform guiding principles.

The meeting was adjourned.


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