Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument on annual reports and audit queries 2009/10
Arts and Culture
01 March 2011
Chairperson: Ms T Sunduza (ANC)
The National Arts Council was asked to abandon its presentation on its annual report and audit queries for 2009/10 as Members, although appreciative of the content, objected to a printed document which was incomplete, lacked paged numbers, and did not correspond closely to the slide presentation. The Council had submitted a large document, after consultation with the Department of Arts and Culture, and then been asked, by the Committee Secretariat, to shorten it. Some problems had arisen thereby in the collation. There had been some difficulties in communication. The Council would be given a new date on which to appear before the Committee.
The Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument briefed the Committee on its annual report and audit queries for 2009/10. The presentation included the exhibits and community activities, the Museum's legislative mandate, location, and institutional arrangements. It was highlighted that the Museum endeavoured to establish mutual respect between Afrikaans and other indigenous languages by acknowledging the mutual influence of different languages on each other. Strategic priorities were to attract more visitors through increased service delivery, increase self-generated funds from 20% to 25% in the next five years, and improve infrastructure, facilities and security. Achievements included the Museum's being targeted by the Swedish Kalmar Läns Museum as the only national museum in South Africa where the Time Travel exhibit would be offered. A sponsorship of R50 000 was obtained for free transport of needy learners to the Museum. Also the Museum participated in the Roots project at the University of the Western Cape by staging an exhibition on the historical roots of Afrikaans. Altogether 22 museums and heritage institutions were brought together by the Museum to participate in the Museum and Heritage Expo. The curator presented a paper at the Commonwealth workshop held in Durban. A researcher was appointed to found a research centre and establish a network with all relevant institutions. The Museum generated 16% of the institution’s total income itself. Challenges – notably delays in appointing the Museum’s council, the need for funding for at least seven posts currently subsidised by the Museum’s reserve fund, and the alarming rate of depletion of the normal wages budget – remained.
The Museum reported that its finances stood on a sound footing, despite unavoidable qualified audit opinions over the past number of years resulting simply from the receipt of donations. These had been taken up at ministerial level and strategic changes made to prevent the occurrence of similar evaluations in future.
The Auditor-General's basis for a qualified audit opinion was that completeness of funding and marketing income could not be verified. Matters of emphasis were non-compliance with the regulatory and reporting requirements of the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury Regulations; the usefulness and reliability of reported performance; compliance with laws and regulations of the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury Regulations; and internal control – leadership, financial and performance management and governance.
Members asked why the basis for the qualification occurred in the first instance, why there were a number of entities without councils, if the Museum had an investment policy, when the procedures for strategic planning were implemented, about the prevention of fraud and the purpose of the engaging of consultants. Members also asked if the Museum deployed disabled people, about the delay in the appointment of the council, and hoped that the same issues that had caused a qualified audit report would not recur. Members enquired if the Museum's programmes were aligned with the Government's New Growth Path, if the internal audit function was fully operational, when the Museum had last reported to Parliament, and requested elaboration on the sponsorship that the Museum received, how the Museum interacted with the Department of [Basic] Education, and about the Museum's low reserve funds. The Chairperson encouraged the Museum to find other sources of income. She gave the example of the Holocaust Museum in Cape Town. She urged the Museum to strengthen its relationship with the Western Cape provincial government, and with the national Department of Tourism, also with the Pan South African Language Board. The Museum was also urged to encourage persons with disability to apply for employment by changing the wording of its advertisements.
The Department of Arts and Culture explained the current difficulties in constituting the councils of entities. In particular, fewer candidates of quality were coming forward. Clustering of institutions was one approach by which the Department sought to alleviate the problem.
The Committee held a brief discussion on the time frames and format for briefings, and on the draft itinerary for the Committee's oversight visit.
The Chairperson noted the importance of the attendance of the Department of Arts and Culture when its entities were presenting to the Committee as in the past there had been accusations levelled against the Department by entities. Apologies were received from Ms Veliswa Baduza, Acting Director-General, Department of Arts and Culture.
National Arts Council Annual Report and audit queries 2009/10 presentation
The Chairperson said that it was very important to meet with the National Arts Council (NAC), since it had received a qualified audit opinion. As public representatives, Members were duty-bound to ensure that public money was well spent. She noted the bases for the qualification. There were many issues for consideration as well, from the Committee's side. It was important that Members' questions were answered as honestly as possible. She observed that the presentation document, as received on Monday, 28 February 2011, was too big, and the Committee Secretary had asked the National Arts Council (NAC) to reduce it and had informed the NAC that only what was required should be presented. She asked Members to assist her in determining whether the shortened document was far different from the original.
Mr S Ntapane (UDM) said that Members would not be able to assist the Chairperson in her enquiry, since Members had not received the original, longer document. However, he proposed that the NAC proceed with the briefing.
Dr A Lotriet (DA), referring to precedent, proposed that, since the original document was received on Monday, the Committee should proceed with the briefing. It was not as if the NAC had not sent it.
Hosi T Nwamitwa-Shilubaha (ANC) said that the Committee should proceed, despite the technical difficulties that had had to be corrected.
The Chairperson asked the NAC to proceed.
Ms Annabell Lebethe, Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council (NAC), apologised for the NAC's overzealousness in preparing such a large presentation.
Legislative mandate, institutional background, strategic objectives, annual report highlights
Ms Lebethe explained the NAC's legislative mandate and institutional background; strategic objectives 2010/13; and annual report highlights 2009/10.
Under governance, Ms Lebethe noted effective executive controls, and effective internal control with annual risk assessments and a three-year internal audit rolling plan.
Under human resources, Ms Lebethe noted a stable staff complement. There was a functioning management/staff representative forum. A staff bursary scheme was in place. 96% of the staff were black, 4% white, and there were three women in middle, senior and executive management.
Achievements included the hosting of the fourth World Summit on Arts and Culture, in Newtown, Johannesburg, providing financial support to over 700 organisations, projects and individuals, partnering in hosting artistic programme during the Confederations Cup, supporting 61 companies through three-year Company Funding, initiating the “So You Think You Can Write” theatre scripting reading and mentoring programme, working with Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional arts organisations such as the Southern African Theatre Initiative and the Arterial Network, partnering with the South African Post Office (SAPO) to produce a series of Summit postcards thereby profiling NAC-funded visual artists, hosting a craft market during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown with 10 crafters, initiating and hosting “3 Artspeak” industry dialogue sessions in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, hosting a two-day workshop with the Provincial Arts and Culture Councils (PACCs), administering projects on behalf of Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) – namely, Mmino, Downtown Studios, and the Swedish project. The Mmino Music Programme was in cooperation with Norway. For the South Africa – Swedish project there had been a letter of intent.
Ms Lebethe indicated the funding landscape, with reference to the Department of Arts and Culture and Human Sciences Research Council's An Assessment of the Visual Arts 2010.
Ms Lebethe said that the NAC prided itself on its footprint of funding to the arts, which was relatively large.
The numbers of artists applying for funding and their success rates were indicated.
Ms Lebethe listed strategic challenges, and strategic interventions. There was a need for a clearly defined policy framework, for the appointment of the council, and funds were not sufficient to meet the needs of the seven sectors of the arts which the NAC was mandated nationally to fund.
The NAC's council was a competency of the DAC, but the NAC had to include it as a strategic challenge on account of reporting requirements.
Strategic interventions were national research that informed the NAC funding priorities, the funding model, and partnerships with sector organisations, international donor agencies, other governmental agencies and the corporate sector.
Ms Lebethe noted that the NAC had collaborated with the French Institute on dance.
(For further details, please refer to the Annual Report, 2009/10)
Mr Simon Letsoalo, NAC Acting Chief Financial Officer, gave an overview of the NAC's financial position. Operating surpluses were compared for 2008/09 and 2009/10 (see Annual Report, page 37).
Mr Letsoalo explained the reason for the surplus in 2009/10. It was the result of project allocations that were not recognised on the statement of financial performance.
NAC had sent a written request to the National Treasury for approval of the surplus to be utilised in 2010/11 to fund all the projects that did not meet the contract conditions at the reporting period 2009/20 as it was probable that the contract conditions would be met in the next reporting period 2010/11.
Ms M Morutoa (ANC) pointed out that the slide “The Year's Highlights” was missing from the presentation document as handed out in printed form.
Mr Letsoalo apologised for an error in printing.
Basis for the qualified audit opinion
Mr Letsoalo gave a summary of the NAC's audit history from 2005/06 to 2009/10. There had been four qualifications in 2005/06, none in 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2008/09, and five in 2009/10. There had been 16 matters of emphasis in 2005/06, none in 2006/07 and 2007/08, two in 2008/09, and one in 2009/10. There had been no other matters in 2005/06, three in 2006/07, two in 2007/08, one in 2008/09 and one in 2009/10.
The NAC had not recognised a grant from the DAC for the year ended 31 March 2009 in accordance with South African Standards of Generally Recognised Accounting Practice (GRAP) 23.
Property, plant and equipment
The NAC had entered into a memorandum of understanding with the DAC to acquire a business, Downtown Recording Studios and the property, plant and equipment, Fox Street Properties. The NAC had not recognised in 2008/09 the acquisition of business in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 3 and property, plant and equipment in accordance with South African Standards of GRAP.
Payments had been made without informing the National Treasury and without approval for the transaction from the executive authority.
The NAC had entered into a memorandum of understanding with the DAC to acquire property, plant and equipment which was not recognised. The NAC had not recognised rental revenue in accordance with South African Standards of GRAP 9.
The NAC had recognised the grant revenue contrary to the requirements of South African Standards of GRAP 23.
(For further details, please refer to the Annual Report, 2009/10, pages 30-32)
In each case, Mr Letsoalo explained the action that management had taken.
Prior year adjustment was concluded during audit period.
A service provider appointed to ensure that the purchase agreement entered into by both Downtown Recording Studios and Fox Street Properties (Pty) Ltd was accounted for in accordance with all applicable legislative and accounting reporting frameworks. The project was expected to be complete by the beginning of the 2010/11 annual audit.
Property, plant and equipment.
Property, plant and equipment had been registered in the NAC asset register.
A consultant had been appointed to ensure completeness and accuracy of information.
Management had engaged with the former Minister. The office had assumed that since National Treasury had approved request to open a separate bank account, it was a de facto approval.
Approval would be sought from the current Minister prior to transfer of asset and business to the special purpose entity (SPE) set up by the Department.
The NAC had tried unsuccessfully to recover the revenue from the Downtown Studios Hub Board. The matter had been brought to the attention of the Minister.
NAC had complied with the Standards of GRAP 17; the project would end in June 2011 and would not be extended.
Ms Julie Diphofa, Grants Manager, National Arts Council, began to give an explanation of NAC's funding activities.
Ms Morutoa objected that the pages were not numbered, and that what Members had in front of them was not the same as was on the screen.
The Chairperson said that the Committee must continue its work.
Ms Diphofa attempted to continue, explaining about bursaries, company funding, the three year cycle, achievements, and grant funding.
Ms Morutoa said that the presentation was very hard to follow.
The Chairperson felt that it was not appropriate to continue with the presentation. She sought Members' views, and suggested a break.
Mr L Khoarai (ANC) asked the presenters to slow down.
Mr P Ntshiqela (COPE) said that the most disastrous part was that Members were disempowered by the inadequacies of the format of the presentation. He agreed that a break should be taken.
Ms Morutoa acknowledged the great expense incurred in bringing delegations only to have to send them back. She agreed with Mr Khoarai that Members must complete the last page; however, at the same time, she did not want Members of the Committee to be seen as failures by their colleagues.
Dr Lotriet said that it was part of a bigger problem. It was not possible to continue and be satisfied with asking only a few questions.
The Chairperson ruled that it was not viable to continue with the presentation in its present formal. The NAC were dismissed and would be given a new date on which to present to the Committee.
Ms L Moss (ANC) agreed.
Ms Lebethe said that the NAC had received the request from the Committee in the week of the 15 or 16 February 2011 but it had gone through a different email – the general address email@example.com ; it was not directed to her office, so it was only after a second email that the NAC was informed. The NAC engaged with the Committee Secretary on the format and how long the presentation should be and the NAC had send the presentation on Monday, 28 February 2011 because the CEO's personal assistant (PA) had engaged with the secretariat as to when was the latest that the NAC could send it and NAC was given “a Monday date”. The NAC had even sat with the Acting Director-General and Dr Mbulelo Jokweni, Acting Deputy Director-General: Arts, Culture, and Promotional Development, Department of Arts and Culture, and gone through the presentation with them. It was after this consultation that NAC had sent the presentation on the understanding that NAC could send it on Monday at the latest. “So we got that as a response from the Committee Secretariat as to when we could send it.” However, Ms Lebethe admitted ignorance as to the processes of engaging with a parliamentary committee. The NAC had not known how much time would be available to present. “I'll take full responsibility for it, I'm not sure what happened, and I apologise to the Committee for that, but it would help to say – have ten pages, just cover the audit.” One could not be expected to use the presentation of the Nelson Mandela Museum, an entity which had been sent away, as a template. Ms Lebethe could have used it as a template only to be turned away. In any case she had been turned away.
Mr Ntapane commended the NAC on how it had presented; NAC knew what it was presenting. He was impressed. “The problem is just with the document.... No, we are so impressed with the way you present ... we are witnesses, the problem is the document. “
The Chairperson thanked Ms Lebethe for asking for the opportunity to explain the NAC's position.
The Chairperson thanked Mr Ntapane for his comment. Indeed it was not the case that NAC did not know what it was presenting. It was not an issue of not knowing what to report. It was an issue of page numbering. However, if an entity came with an unprofessional document with pages unnumbered it gave a bad impression of the Committee as well.
The Chairperson noted that the NAC could not be expected to use Nelson Mandela Museum's presentation as a template. The Committee would work on its internal issues. She noted Mr Ntapane's observation.
Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument presentation
Mr Jack Louw, Chief Executive Officer, Afrkaanse Taalmuseum en-monument / Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument (the Museum, ATM), gave an introduction to the Museum by way of a slide show, illustrating the Museum's 35 years history, its community activities, its staff, exhibits of early written Afrikaans – written phonetically in the Arabic script, the time travel exhibit, schools groups, an exhibit of the first officially written Afrikaans, stargazing, hospital patients, weddings at the Monument, the amphitheatre, disabled people, the fun run, the interpretation centre, and other facets of the Museum's programme.
Legislative mandate, location, institutional arrangements, vision, mission and values
Mr Louw explained the ATM's legal mandate. It was a national museum and monument established in terms of the Cultural Institutions Act, and a Schedule 3A public entity in terms of the PFMA. It was a museum and monument that told the story of Afrikaans and was located in Paarl, Western Cape.
The Museum and Administration was located at 11 Pastorie Avenue, Paarl.
The Monument and Amphitheatre was at Gabbema Doordrift Street, Paarl Mountain.
The Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument was governed by a non-executive council of independent members appointed by the Minister broadly representative of all South Africans. It was managed by a full time management team. It collected, conserved, exhibited and educated visitors, and offered educational, public, research and outreach programmes. It built relationships individually and collectively on a multicultural and multilingual basis. It was established on 1 July 1977 and consisted of a museum, a monument and an amphitheatre. The Arts and Culture Minister appointed a non-executive Council to oversee strategy and policy execution for three year terms. The management implemented the Council strategy within Council policy framework subject to the law and established norms and standards for institutions of this type and purpose.
The ATM accounted to Minister, National Treasury and Parliament.
The vision of the ATM was to operate the national Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument in such a manner that all South Africans are able to respect and appreciate Afrikaans. Its mission was to build relationships with all South Africans through the medium of Afrikaans and in the context of multilingualism, while collecting relevant material and information related to the origin and development of Afrikaans, and conducting research, and promoting and stimulating Afrikaans at all levels of society by offering educational programmes, guided tours and cultural activities. Its values included establishing mutual respect between Afrikaans and other indigenous languages, and acknowledging the mutual influence of different languages on each other.
Strategic priorities were to attract more visitors to our facilities through improved service delivery, increase average self-generated funds annually from 20% to 25% in next 5 years, and improve infrastructure, facilities and security.
Challenges on service delivery were an improved visitor experience – implementing feedback from visitors’ questionnaires; putting a new exhibition in place and preparing a new exhibition; guided tours in place; and new services to the public.
Staff development was an ongoing programme; Human resource capacity was still a challenge. Funding was needed for at least seven posts being subsidised by ATM reserve fund and normal wages budget which was running low at an alarming rate. Delays in council appointment were still a challenge. There was a need for self-generated funding.
Positive news coverage introduced profitable events and courses, such as full-moon picnics, stargazing evenings, author’s events, courses, e.g. creative writing sessions and book repair courses, photo shoots, and wedding and function venues.
Mr Louw highlighted projected and ongoing improvements to infrastructure, facilities and security. These included the construction of new Interpretation Centre at the Monument, the upgrading of the Amphitheatre, and enlarging the stage for music concerts.
Facilities for people with disabilities included wheel chair parking and a wheel chair path available at the Monument; there was a new wheel chair path to viewing area to be built from the Interpretation Centre. There was an urgent need for wheel chair toilet facilities at the Monument.
There was an urgent need for security cameras at the new Interpretation Centre.
Swedish Kalmar Läns Museum targeted ATM as only national museum in South Africa where Time Travel would be offered; ATM participated in the Roots project at the University of the Western Cape by staging an exhibition on the historical roots of Afrikaans; full-moon picnics and stargazing evenings offered at the Monument were increasing in popularity; 22 museums and heritage institutions were brought together by the ATM to participate in the Museum and Heritage Expo; the curator presented a paper at the Commonwealth workshop held in Durban; and a researcher was appointed to found a research centre and establish a network with all relevant institutions.
In particular, the ATM generated 16% of the institution’s total income.
Mr Louw emphasised that the Museum currently lacked a council. It was hoped that a council would be appointed within a few months.
The ATM did not achieve the unqualified audit report which was the aim for the year 2009/2010.
The ATM received most of its funding from the subsidy allocations from the National Government through the Department of Arts & Culture. The ATM also received a sponsorship of R50 000 from the Het Jan Marais National Fund for educational programmes and free transport of needy learners to the ATM. Total revenue for the year under review increased by 10% from R4 173 676 to R4 640 225.
The subsidy of the Department of Arts and Culture accounted for 84% of the total revenue. 9% came from entrance fees, 1% from a sponsorship for educational programmes, 2% was generated through interest from bank investments and 4% came from rental of facilities, events held, and sales of stock (i.e. postcards, T-shirts, etc.)
The expenditure for the year under review was R4 619 140 eliciting an increase of 9% from the recorded previous year due to a relative increase in other expenses comprised of communications expenses, staff expenses, audit fees, council travel and accommodation, exhibition expenses, repairs and maintenance and security expenses as main contributors. The total expenses were made up of 70% fixed costs on personnel, 8% on administrative costs and 22% on core functions.
The Afrikaans Language Museum and Language Monument was a going concern with a budget of R4 975 851 for the year 2010/2011. The ATM would continue to adopt a going concern basis in preparing its financial statements in the year ahead as the budget indicated.
(For further details, please refer to the presentation document).
Some prospects for 2010/2011 included infrastructure development, construction of new Interpretation Centre, ablution facilities for staff at Monument, the attainment of a unqualified audit report, public programmes, launch of a Youth Club, sunset evenings accompanied with music, maximum utilisation of human resource potential, and increasing revenue by generating 25% of total income.
Audit Opinion (Page 15 of annual report).
The Auditor-General (AG) had issued a qualified opinion on the funding and marketing income of the institution for the financial year ended 31 March 2010.
Completeness of funding & marketing income could not be verified
Action: The ATM amended its income procedure, which included funding and marketing, with the Auditor-General’s assistance. This was then immediately implemented and personnel were regularly checked to ensure the procedure was adhered to.
Attention had also been drawn to the following matters of emphasis:
Non-compliance with regulatory and reporting requirements of PFMA and Treasury Regulations
Issue: There was a lack of effective, efficient and transparent systems and internal controls regarding performance management (PFMA). The strategic plan of the entity did not include the indicators and/or targets for all of the entity’s objectives (Treasury Regulations). There was inadequate quarterly reporting on predetermined objectives.
A procedure on the strategic planning was implemented. Implementing the procedure as well as the help from a consultant resulted in addressing the requirement of indicators and targets in the strategic plan. This was already implemented in the quarterly reports for 2010/2011 and also for the strategic plan 2011-2014.
Usefulness of reported performance
Issue: Reported information was not consistent with planned objectives, indicators and targets.
Changes to planned predetermined objectives not approved.
Action: Implementing the procedure as well as the help from a consultant resulted in addressing the requirement of indicators and targets in the strategic plan. This was already implemented in the quarterly reports for 2010/11 and also for the strategic plan 2011-2014
Reliability of reported performance
Issue: Compliance with laws and regulations of PFMA and Treasury Regulations. Internal control - leadership, financial and performance management and governance.
Implementing the procedure as well as the help from a consultant resulted in addressing the requirement of adequate and reliable corroborating evidence to support the reasons for variances between planned and the actual reported targets. This was already implemented in the quarterly reports for 2010/2011
Compliance with laws and regulations of PFMA and Treasury Regulations
Issue: Internal audit function was only effective for one month of the financial year (approved on 26 February 2010). The entity did not undertake a risk assessment to assess any risks of fraud and had consequently not developed a fraud prevention plan. Quarterly reports, detailing information on its actual revenue and expenditure up to the end of that quarter, as well as a projection of expected expenditure and revenue for the remainder of that financial year were not submitted within 30 days of the end of each quarter
Action: The internal audit plan and charter were presented to the audit committee on previous meetings but were send back which caused a delay in the approval of the internal audit plan and charter. A risk assessment was done but focused more on catastrophic events than fraud risk and the prevention of fraud. An assessment was already done and a draft prevention plan were handed to the ATM. Implementing the procedure had resulted in the quarterly reports being submitted on time
Internal control: leadership
Issue: The AG highlighted that the procedure for income was not fully implemented; there was no procedure for strategic planning; the internal audit function was only fully operational for one month and no risk assessment was done for 2009/2010.
Action: The procedure for income was amended and was now fully implemented; a procedure for strategic planning was developed and implemented; the internal audit function was fully operational and a risk assessment was already done.
Internal control: financial and performance management
Issue: The AG highlighted that the entity did not keep proper records to verify the completeness of funding and marketing income and that there was no supporting documentation to support performance information.
Action: In amending the procedure of income, it was made sure that all relevant staff would be fully aware that proper records should be kept to help the AG to verify the completeness of income. In implementing the procedure on strategic planning all relevant staff now knew that supporting documents should be kept for audit purposes.
Internal control: governance issue
Issue: The AG highlighted that the internal audit did not substantially fulfil its responsibilities and no risk assessments were performed.
Action: The internal audit function was now fully operational and fulfilling its responsibilities and a risk assessment of financial risks and fraud was performed for 2010/2011.
Dr Lotriet pointed out an error in the penultimate slide and in the oral presentation. She was sure that the Museum envisaged attaining in 2010/11 an unqualified audit, not a qualified audit. “Otherwise we're in trouble here.”
Mr Louw acknowledged the mistake.
Dr Lotriet said that it was good that some steps had been taken with the assistance of the Auditor-General. However, why did the situation occur in the first instance?
Mr Louw explained the qualified report. There had not been sufficient cooperation between staff members. It had happened in the marketing department. The marketing manager was working at such a rate that she did not always check what she was doing and did not always report to the chief financial officer on what she was doing. This resulted in the discrepancy where the wrong computer program was used. Instead of using Pastel, which was numbered, the marketing manager used Excel. This mistake was noticed only after some time. It was subsequently corrected, and it was only one case, but because of this one case, the Museum was qualified.
Mr Louw said that the auditors – PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who were contracted auditors – had been very strict. They were not sympathetic to the Museum. However, this was as it should be.
Dr Lotriet asked the Department why there were a number of entities without councils. Would it not be possible to have some overlap to avoid entities being without councils?
(Please see Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Acting Deputy Director-General, Culture and Heritage, Department of Arts and Culture's response to the Chairperson's request below).
Ms T Lishivha (ANC) asked if the Museum had an investment policy.
Mr Louw replied that the Museum did have a policy for investments.
Mr Ntapane said that his colleague had covered most of what he was going to ask. He asked for clarification on page 17 regarding the prevention of fraud.
Mr D Mavunda (ANC) asked when the procedures for strategic planning were implemented (page 15).
Mr Mavunda asked about the engaging of consultants. What exactly were the consultants engaged for? (Page 16).
Mr Mavunda asked about the construction that was under way. From where did the funds come? Was it a grant from the DAC or from another source of funding?
Ms Moss asked if the Museum deployed disabled people, as the special toilet facilities were surely not for visitors only.
Ms Moss asked about the delay in the appointment of the council. Maybe the DAC could answer. The council was accountable to the Committee.
Ms Moss asked if the Museum had any measures or policies in place to prevent fraud.
Ms Moss hoped that the same issue that had caused a qualified audit report would not recur.
Hosi Nwamitwa-Shilubaha asked if the projected expansions were to take place on the land of Malherbe.
Hosi Nwamitwa-Shilubaha asked if the Museum's programmes were aligned with the Government's New Growth Path.
Hosi Nwamitwa-Shilubaha asked if the internal audit function was fully operational (page 17). Did the internal audit have a time frame, for example, to carry out auditing every three months so as to be in compliance?
Ms Morutoa asked when the Museum had last reported to Parliament, for the benefit of the Members who were not present a few years ago.
Mr Louw said that he thought that the last time the Museum reported to this Committee was three or four years ago. Two years ago he had reported to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA). He had also reported to the Portfolio Committee on Defence to talk about the use of Afrikaans in the Department of Defence.
Ms Morutoa asked for elaboration on the sponsorship that the Museum received.
Mr Louw replied that the Museum received its sponsorship from an Afrikaans organisation. One of the councillors was a member of that organisation. He obtained a yearly sponsorship of R50 000.
Ms Morutoa asked how the Museum interacted with the Department of [Basic] Education.
The Chairperson asked about the Museum's low reserve funds. For it to make an impact, it should also form a relationship with the Department of Tourism. Without that relationship the Museum would not be marketed properly.
The Chairperson asked if the Museum charged an admission fee. This question was significant since the Museum was trying to generate income. It was not enough to rely on the traditional approach.
Mr Louw replied that the 16% that the Museum generated was largely made up from that Museum's public programmes, including commercial shoots at the Monument.
The Chairperson asked if the Museum was promoted only around the Western Cape. How far did it promote throughout South Africa? Was it not a national Museum? It was her understanding that it was a provincial based approach.
Mr Louw said that the Museum did operate additionally in other provinces. The curator was a board member of a new private enterprise in Limpopo concerning language and cultural stories. The Museum had helped the establishment of a new museum at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The Museum tried to move around as much as possible. However, only 14 people worked at the Museum. Also the Museum's allocation limited its movement. It was necessary to work cautiously with the Museum's funds.
The Chairperson asked about the Museum's relationship with the provincial department of arts and culture.
The Chairperson said that the Committee was experiencing a problem with a number of entities that their new councils were not yet appointed. This was a serious challenge. All these entities would blame the council or the lack of one for their problems.
The Chairperson concurred with Dr Lotriet's opening observation, but noted that Mr Louw had already corrected the error.
Hosi Nwamitwa-Shilubaha asked if the ATM was still expanding on that private home of Malherbe.
Hosi Nwamitwa-Shilubaha asked if the ATM's regular accounting had a particular time frame.
Mr Louw replied that accounting was done on a regular basis. The ATM accounted for what the staff did at the Monument every three months. At the end of the year, the ATM did an evaluation of what had been accomplished. On that basis, the ATM asked for more funds from the Department. The evaluation was done by means of a strategic plan.
Hosi Nwamitwa-Shilubaha asked if the ATM was following up on the unfilled posts.
Mr Louw replied that the seven unfilled posts were because of expansions over the past two years and the need to employ more people. Unfortunately the ATM did not always have the money to pay these people, so it paid them small salaries, which they were willing to accept, from the ATM's reserve fund. Mr Louw had brought this to the attention of the Department.
Ms Moss said that time was money. She had asked about the improvement of infrastructure for disabled people. “Don't stop there!” On the issue of employment equity, that improvement was not only for visitors.
Mr Louw replied that the Museum was going to build more facilities for them at the Museum and at the Monument within the next year. It had already installed toilets at the Museum and would do so at the Monument within the next year.
Ms Moss asked if the ATM had measures in place to prevent fraud and corruption.
Mr Louw replied that the ATM had always had a fraud and corruption prevention plan and it was now fully implemented. Previously it had not been fully implemented.
Mr Ntshiqela noted that the procedure for income was not fully implemented. The ATM had written under action taken that these procedures had been amended and were now fully implemented. (Page 17, internal control).
Ms Tania Laing, Chief Financial Officer, Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument, said that the Auditor-General had pointed out that some of the ATM's invoices were not generated in Pastel, which was a pre-numbered system. The ATM had taken steps to ensure that invoices were now generated in Pastel to conform to accounting requirements. The ATM had had an income procedure and had implemented it.
Ms Morutoa asked specifically about the interaction of the ATM with the Department of Basic Education.
Mr Louw replied that the ATM did collaborate with the Western Cape provincial department of education. It had not done so with the national Department of Basic Education. However, the point was noted. It was the curator who was running the educational programmes. The ATM did make use of universities and colleges.
Mr Mavunda asked when the action referred to on page 15 was implemented.
Mr Mavunda asked (page 16) about the consultant. Who was paying him and why was he engaged?
Mr Mavunda asked if the ATM was using the grant funds for construction. Or was the Department or someone else funding the construction?
Mr Louw replied that ATM was improving rather than expanding on the former property of Malherbe. This was now the property of Government. The improvements were in the form of security cameras. The real expansion was at the Monument. The Museum was not allowed to undertake any expansions at the house itself, which was an old house, built in 1860. The Museum was merely making improvements there.
Ms Moss asked again about the employment of persons with disabilities.
Mr Louw replied that the ATM would consider applications for employment from persons with disabilities but the situation had not arisen before.
Mr Louw said that the ATM's strategic planning procedure had been implemented in September 2010. The consultant who had helped the ATM was from the Office of the Auditor-General. He had helped specifically with strategic planning. Strategic planning was a problem with all the entities. He felt that the situation was improving after attending workshops.
Mr Louw replied that for construction all the money required came from the Department of Arts and Culture.
Ms Morutoa asked how the ATM related to the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB).
Mr Louw replied that the ATM had been involved with PanSALB a couple of years previously, and PanSALB had paid the ATM a visit.
Mr Louw asked if there remained any questions unanswered.
The Chairperson replied in the negative, but said that the Department must assist and give reassurance that all issues had been covered.
Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Acting Deputy Director-General, Culture and Heritage, Department of Arts and Culture, confirmed that it was true that the ATM's council was not currently in existence, but it was currently in the process of being appointed. He indicated why the Department found itself in the present situation. The ATM's council was in the same league as other councils for which advertisements were published in January 2010 [“last year”]. However, because of the quality of the nominations, the Department had been advised to re-advertise. Some of the nominees did not even understand what it entailed to become a council member. So many nominees thought that it was some kind of employment, whereas, on the contrary, it was more of a kind of national service. This was evident from the way in which many of the nominees had packaged their curricula vitae (CVs) and from their enquiries. However, the councils sat normally three or four times a year. This was the reason for this kind of delay. Also, as much as it was an operational issue, it was a policy issue. Increasingly the Department was realising that the number of people prepared to serve in this capacity was decreasing. The level of stipend that council members received per meeting, when one considered that they were professional people, was not enough to attract many candidates, and the Department had to make a major effort to recruit them. Some years ago, the Department had started a process of “flagships”, of grouping institutions into clusters, each cluster governed by one council. In that way, the number of councils required would be reduced. Moreover, when one considered the amount of transformation that was still needed in South Africa, there was still a need to establish more museums, and if each of those new museums and institutions were to have its own council, it would constitute a challenge that the Department would not be able to meet. Of course, the Department did not want to shift the blame to those issues. The Department needed to examine its own capacities. Mr Ndima was hopeful that these challenges would be met and the councils in due course be appointed on time.
Mr Khoarai asked Mr Ndima to make clear what he meant with regard to the terms and conditions of positions of council member as advertised by the Department.
Mr Ndima explained that the Department did make it clear that it required persons with experience in education, finance and legal matters. The Department also indicated that the councils met about four times a year. Therefore it was clear that the post of councillor was not a full-time post. These were standard advertisements but he would still check.
The Chairperson insisted that presenters must write down Members' questions as they asked them to avoid the need for Members to repeat their questions while making follow-ups.
The Chairperson encouraged the ATM to reword its advertisements to encourage persons with disabilities to apply for employment.
The Chairperson thanked the ATM for explaining its audit queries but said that it must improve, otherwise the Committee would call it to account again.
The Chairperson encouraged the ATM to find other sources of income. She gave the example of the Holocaust Museum in Cape Town. She urged the ATM to strengthen its relationship with the Western Cape provincial government, and with the national Department of Tourism, also with PanSALB. She thanked the ATM for coming.
Discussion on the time frames and format for briefings
The Committee held a brief discussion on the time frames and format for briefings.
It was agreed that the Committee Secretary must direct requests for briefing documents to the chief executive officer (CEO) or general manager (GM) of the entity concerned. A request must also be directed to the chairperson of the council of the entity.
It was agreed that entities should ensure delivery of briefing documents to the Committee Secretary seven days in advance of the meeting. Copes of such briefings should be in Members' pigeon holes five complete days in advance of the meeting. For example, for a meeting the next Wednesday, the briefings should be in the pigeon holes the Thursday morning of the week before, not Thursday evening.
It was agreed that the Committee would expect briefing documents to be prepared and submitted in a professional manner.
It was also agreed that a management sub-committee would be of assistance to the Committee in expediting its work.
Discussion on the draft itinerary of the Committee's oversight visit
The Committee held a brief discussion on the draft itinerary of the Committee's oversight visit.
It was agreed that a visit to Robben Island would be deferred, on account of the logistics of the itinerary. It was also agreed that, because of logistics, travel would be by ground transport. There were some concerns about safety, and the Chairperson promised that she would make every effort to make the best possible arrangements for Members' travel and accommodation. There would be a break of journey at Polokwane.
Discussion with Department
Dr Mbulelo Jokweni, Acting Deputy Director-General: Arts, Culture, and Promotional Development, Department of Arts and Culture, sincerely thanked the Chairperson and Members for their professionalism. The Department was highly impressed.
The Chairperson thanked the Department for its support as well. She appreciated the Department's sign of respect to the Committee. She hoped that the Committee could have a meeting with Ms Louise Graham, Chief Director: International Relations, Department of Arts and Culture. She hoped that a permanent appointment of Director-General would be made soon.
Adoption of minutes
Past minutes were adopted.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday, 11 March 2011, at which the Committee would meet the Iziko Museums and Lamathonsi Entertainment.
The meeting was adjourned.
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