Briefing by Department of Arts, Culture, Science & Technology on Performing Arts Councils & Appointment of National Research Fou

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EDUCATION AND RECREATION SELECT COMMITTEE

EDUCATION AND RECREATION SELECT COMMITTEE
21 May 2002
BRIEFING BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ON PERFORMING ARTS COUNCILS & APPOINTMENT OF NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBERS

Chairperson:
Mr D Kgware (ANC)

Documents Handed Out:
Briefing on the Performing Arts Councils, Budget, Programmes and Plan of Action for 2002 (Appendix 1)
Proposed NRF Board members list (Appendix 2)

SUMMARY
The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology briefed the Committee on the Performing Arts Councils and on the appointment of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Board members. Issues raised in regard to the Performing Arts Councils include; the history of the performing arts environment in South Africa, restructuring and funding in the post 1994 era. Regarding the National Research Foundation board members, the Department pointed out that the process of appointment is nearly complete. It is only for Parliament to finalise the appointments.

MINUTES
The delegation from the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST) included Mr Patterson, acting DDG, Ms Z Mvuso, Mr S Selepe, Mr S Sachs and others. Mr Patterson explained that their presentation would focus first on the performing arts councils and then the other issues will follow. He handed over to Mr Sachs who pointed out that the presentation would have two parts. The first would be an overview of the history of the system and the second more detailed part would be by Mr Selepe.

Mr Sachs informed the Committee that historically, there were only four performing arts councils as according to the old provincial system. Post 1994, these arrangements had to be restructured because they largely served the white population. He pointed out that the performing arts now receive about 40% of the DACST's budget in a more evenly spread manner.

Mr Selepe (Department) pointed out that the funding of the various Performing Arts Councils is based on the development of a Strategic Plan for each, according to the requirements of the PFMA.

Mr Selepe set out the various budget allocations to the performing arts around the country. These figures include Artscape with R 18 755 000, located in Cape Town, the State Theatre with R 16 436 000, in Pretoria. The PlayHouse Company in Durban with R 15 708 000, PACOFS with R 12 780 000 in Bloemfontein as well as the Market Theatre with R 6 323 600 in Johannesburg amongst others. Presently, these institutions, with the exception of the Market Theatre, which is backed by African Bank, are surviving on the grants from the Department, hence the grant to the Market Theatre is much smaller than the others.
He also informed the Committee that the DACST has encouraged the formation of a CEO's forum so that these institutions can operate in a harmonised way regarding their performing arts activities and programmes.

The Chair commented that he was unsure of the Portfolio Committee's views are on the matter, but as a Select Committee they represent provincial concerns and would like to help on the issue of budget allocation where possible. He pointed out that for him the performing arts is one of the vehicles that can be used to unify the nation.

Discussion
Mr L Suka (ANC) asked to what extent the DACST has made the performing arts accessible to everyone.

Ms C Nkuna (ANC) noted that she felt satisfied that the community arts centres seem to be in good use with activities being staged regularly. She made reference to one such centre in the Limpopo province where she pointed out that this is helping to keep the youth off the streets. Secondly, she asked the DACST at what rate they are contributing to the production of academics in the field.

Mr B Zulu (ANC) asked what the DACST is doing to bring these institutions to the most rural people in the country?

On the issue of the accessibility of the performing arts, Mr Selepe noted the example of the Playhouse in Durban where they use trucks for promotions and shows in the rural areas. They also stage productions involving the people from the rural areas. He noted that PACOFS has a similar project called Vuka. The Windybrow theatre in Johannesburg, for example, has long been involved in such projects.

On the issue of academic output, he pointed out that they do not have the figures yet, but the Department, through the National Arts Council, funds students to study the arts. Through the National Film Foundation, they also provide bursaries for Photography and Audiovisual studies. Mr Sachs added that they have also received notice by Wits, Rhodes and the University of Cape Town that competition for places in the performing arts has never been higher, so students in this regard are not in short supply.

With regard to access for rural communities, Mr Sachs (Department) pointed out that the DACST has three programmes in the Lebombo, the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast and the Maputo corridor. They seek to develop a performing arts culture in these areas and expose it to the wider South African audience. The Chair pointed out that this interaction helps to bring to the fore the provincial concerns about these issues. This should help the DACST to identify areas where they need to focus on more strongly.

Appointment of NRF Members
Mr Patterson, the acting DDG, briefed the Committee on the appointment of members to the NRF board. The National Research Foundation is an institution responsible for funding postgraduate study and research in fields like the social sciences, commerce, science, engineering and some parts of medicine that the MRC does not cover.

The Minister has consulted with his colleagues in other Departments like Education, Trade and Industry and Agriculture amongst others in putting together the shortlist of the nominees into the NRF board.

Mr Moake (Department) pointed out that an important consideration in this regard has been the diversity of skills so that the various academic disciplines are taken into account in appointing members to the board.

Discussion
Mr B Qhokweni (UDM) asked what the gender balance is in terms of making appointments to the board. Has it been considered?

Mr J Tlhagale (UCDP) asked what the reason is for the racial classification. Was it necessary to use the race issue?

Mr Patterson responded that one of the problems is that the researcher-publication profile is aging. In 1998, one in two publications were by a person over 50, this means effectively 50%. A direct cause has been the historical lack of a balanced output in terms of researchers, academics, scientists and so forth, so that is precisely the reason for this classification. The chair asked how far the process of selecting the members to the board was? Mr Patterson pointed out that Cabinet approval is the next step given the authorisation of both the Select and Portfolio committees in Education. If the Cabinet approves the selection, then the Minister will go ahead and appoint the board.

The meeting was adjourned.

Appendix 1:
DEPARTMENT OF ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DIRECTORATE: ARTS INSTITUTIONAL GOVERNANCE

BRIEFING FOR THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND RECREATION: 21 MAY 2002

PERFORMING ARTS COUNCILS, BUDGET, PROGRAMMES AND PLAN OF

ACTION FOR 2002

The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology is currently supporting the following six Playhouses previously referred to as Performing Arts Council's in a form of an annual grant as follows:

1. BUDGET AMOUNT LOCATION

1.1 ArtsCape R18 755 Cape Town

1.2 The State Theatre R16 436 Pretoria

1.3 The Playhouse Company R15 708 Durban

1 4 PACOFS R12 780 Bloemfontein

1.5 The Market Theatre R 6 323 Johannesburg

1.6 The Windybrow Theatre R 2 400 Johannesburg

All budget allocations are for the financial year 2002-2003.

2. PROGRAMMES AND PLANS OF ACTION

In line with the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the general principle of good governance all the above Institutions were required to produce and submit to the Minister Strategic Plans for the year 2002 - 2003. These strategic plans have been submitted and are currently being analysed by the department. Guidelines for the development of these plans were circulated to all institutions in order to facilitate uniformity. The following are the programmes emanating from the strategic plans.

2.1 Ed: The rest of the document is a list of all programmes running at the above Playhouses, their time and duration.


Appendix 2:
NRF Board Members
(e-mail
info@pmg.org.za for a more detailed listing)
Prof BD Reddy
Dr JL Job
Prof CC Mogale
Prof SS Abdool Karim
Dr T Mdaka
Prof SF Coetzee
Prof T Mdaka
Prof SF Coetzee
Prof PE Ngoepe
Prof CA Hamilton
Mrs B Radebe
Prof J van Zyl
Mr WW Cooper
Mr MM Nxumalo

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