Meeting SummaryThe Departments of Arts and Culture, and Tourism briefed the Committee on the revitalisation of heritage and cultural tourism in South Africa. The work of the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and that of the National Department of Tourism (NDT) was interrelated. Whilst the DAC facilitated the preservation and development of artistic, cultural and heritage products, the NDT facilitated their marketing for both domestic and international tourism. Interaction and coordination between the DAC and the NDT was taking place. Due to the importance of culture in the tourism industry, the DAC and the NDT were working together in mainstreaming culture in tourism activities. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two Departments had been initiated but due to intense consultation in the DAC, the MOU remained unsigned. As part of the DAC’s promotion of
The NDT believed
The Committee was in agreement that the MOU between the DAC and the NDT needed to be finalised. Members felt that the MOU should be extended to other government departments as well. No MOUs between the aforementioned Departments existed with provinces or municipalities, interactions were more on a project to project basis. Members noted that road infrastructure and facilities at heritage sites were lacking. Provinces and municipalities seemed to have funding issues regarding the maintenance of heritage sites. It was also felt that there should be more work done in conjunction with SA’s SADC neighbours on promoting heritage and culture regionally. Members felt that huge opportunities existed in promoting SA crafts and beadwork. Comments made by members gave the impression that the Tourism Indaba 2012 could have been better than what it was. Members seemed impressed by the energy present at the SADC Pavilion at the Indaba.
Department of Arts and Culture (DAC)
The Department of Arts and Culture briefed the Committee on the revitalisation of heritage and cultural tourism in
Mr Ndima undertook briefing and noted that he would try to address the issues which the Committee had raised with the DAC. The work of the DAC and that of the National Department of Tourism (NDT) was interrelated. Whilst the DAC facilitated the preservation and development of artistic, cultural and heritage products, the NDT facilitated their marketing for both domestic and international tourism. Interaction and coordination between the DAC and the NDT was taking place. Due to the importance of culture in the tourism industry, the DAC and the NDT were working together in mainstreaming culture in tourism activities. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two Departments had been initiated but due to intense consultation in the DAC, the MOU remained unsigned.
The core business of the DAC was to preserve, protect and promote SA’s cultural heritage. Cultural tourism had positive externalities for a wide range of industries ie hospitality, transport, creative, textile, food, and other industries. The protection, preservation and promotion of heritage were dependant on people who had the requisite skills to ensure best practice guidelines were adhered to. It was against this background that the DAC embarked upon the heritage skills audit to produce a Heritage Human Resource Development Strategy. Skills shortages were identified in conservation, collection management, archaeology and heritage management. As part of the implementation of the Strategy, the DAC introduced a bursary programme to assist students to study in any field related to heritage and cultural tourism. As part of the DAC’s promotion of
National Department of Tourism (NDT)
The National Department of Tourism briefed the Committee on the revitalisation of heritage and cultural tourism in SA. The NDT was represented by Ms Leonore Beukes, Chief Director: Product and Enterprise Development and she undertook the briefing.
Ms Beukes reported that
The Chairperson stated that when he had visited the Vaal area he had been informed that the Treaty of Vereeniging had been signed next to the
He asked how the DAC was intending to create 5m jobs within 10 years. SA needed to move away from a resource based economy.
Mr Ndima responded that the DAC would be contributing towards the creation of 5m jobs and not take it on all by itself. He noted the comments of the Chairperson on the Treaty of Vereeniging and Sharpeville.
Mr R Shah (DA) addressed the NDT and noted that there surely were challenges between the two departments. What were those challenges? Referring to the establishment of agencies in various parts of SA, he asked when they were established and what progress had been made thus far. He also asked what effort had the NDT made to encourage provincial departments to look at road infrastructure improvement and development in areas where heritage sites were located. There was furthermore a lack of facilities at heritage sites. How did the NDT engage with provincial departments? Was there a dedicated department on Archaeology within the NDT? He proposed that there should be a dedicated department as tertiary institutions alone could not be responsible for research on archaeology.
He asked what the nature of co-operation between the NDT, the DAC and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) was. What was the nature of co-operation between provincial departments and national departments? He asked whether there was a working relationship between the NDT and its sister departments in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries was. Had the NDT explored the possibility of joint tourism packages with countries like
Ms Beukes responded that on roads and facilities infrastructure the NDT was working with other departments. The NDT had been restructured to work on a regional basis. She conceded that the issue of roads was a huge problem. The R74 was one such road where work on it needed to be completed. The NDT had a working document on key bulk infrastructure and the R74 road was covered in it. The NDT could not do its work if roads were not in place. The NDT did however work with its provincial counterparts.
She noted that archaeology was covered by the Department of Science and Technology and the DAC engaged with that department in that regard. There was also engagement with the DIRCO. The DVD she had mentioned earlier in the presentation would be distributed through DIRCO. It was important for tourism that the SADC arrangement worked. In 2008 the now defunct Department of Tourism and Environmental Affairs had launched the Borderless Southern African Brand. It was still in existence and sat with the Department of Environmental Affairs. The intention was to transfer it to the NDT. The International Relations Branch of the NDT focused on
Mr Ndima explained that institutions that were established since 1994 had to be maintained by the DAC. New institutions were also established. The intention was to establish a Steven Biko Memorial Centre. There was a strong urban bias towards institutions which needed to change. Rural areas should also have institutions. In addition, he pointed out that there was no separate archaeology department. The SA Heritage Resources Agency had archaeological capacity and conducted archaeological research. Archaeology was one of those areas where skills were lacking.
The DAC did engage with DIRCO on two levels. The first was on multilaterals by way of international treaties and the second was through SA embassies by way of bilateral agreements to allow for cultural exchanges. He pointed out that work was already done in the SADC region ie
Mr S Farrow (DA) wished to see the MOU between the DAC and the NDT finalised. He asked how municipalities and provinces were held to account. In the
Ms Beukes acknowledged that things could be moving faster in respect of the MOU.
Mr Ndima agreed that the state of museums in municipalities was a challenge. The DAC worked with communities when it established an institution. The crux of the problem was resources. Resources were needed to maintain museums etc. Perhaps the DAC should have MOUs with local municipalities and provinces. The DAC worked with provinces by way of Ministerial Members of Executive Councils (MinMECS). Unfortunately there were no MOUs or structures which held municipalities and provinces accountable. The interaction was more on a project to project basis.
The Chairperson stated that the upkeep of museums by municipalities was a problem. The three tier structure of government was problematic in this regard. The issue of research was also important.
Mr Ndima noted that research was being done and sites linked to the liberation struggle would be placed on the map. Research on historical figures was also done. The DAC was trying to redesign its approach. When new institutions were started it wished to know beforehand how many temporary or permanent jobs would be created.
The Chairperson pointed out that the R66 was another road that was not complete. The issue of roads needed to be prioritised but the question remained where the financing would come from. It was clear that there were fiscal constraints. He noted that there was a new National Development Plan which everyone should contribute to.
Ms C Zikalala (IFP) was concerned about many South African artists died poor. How did the DAC connect with the current generation of artists? The word indigenous kept on coming up. In provinces one would often find stalls that sold crafts and many people made a good living off it as many of these crafts were bought to give out as gifts to family members during African weddings. She did not hear much being said about the issue of crafts. What was the DAC doing to encourage the youth to know their culture and traditions. The 24 May 2012 had been African Day yet most Members of Parliament had not worn their traditional garbs. Most of the female members wore SADC African dresses.
Addressing Ms Beukes she agreed that there was not much to see at stalls at the Tourism Indaba 2012. Perhaps civil society did not know what was expected of them at the Indaba. The SADC stalls were good and glossy.
Mr Ndima responded that the fact that many artists died poor was concerning to the DAC. There was work in progress to address the issue. Work was being done on an insurance scheme for artists. The problem was that when artists were doing well in their careers they did not think about the future when things might not be going so well. Artists should take their professions seriously and treat it like a business. The DAC had interventions in place.
The issue of crafts would be covered by the Mzanzi Golden Economy Strategy. There would be a sourcing company in place. What was in place and what was needed would be identified. People actually doing the craft work was also being exploited.
On people wearing African indigenous attire people could not be compelled to do so but rather to convince people. The DAC had programmes to popularise the country’s living heritage. The idea was to ensure that people appreciated their heritage and the attire that went along with it. The DAC’s heritage programme would cover it.
Ms Beukes noted the comments made about the Tourism Indaba.
Ms M Maluleke (ANC) spoke about the bursaries which the DAC awarded to students and asked what happened to those students once their studies were complete. What was the DAC’s relationship with the Department of Basic Education as cultural education started at a young age? She asked where the DAC’s Arts and Culture Competitions were which it used to have from municipal to national level.
Mr Ndima said that there were internship programmes for graduates in government departments and institutions. Students were prepared for the job market. He pointed out that one of the DAC’s units dealt with arts education. It was considered important that heritage and culture be covered at basic education level. There was a clear working relationship between the DAC and the Department of Education. .
Ms M Njobe (COPE) appreciated the efforts of both Departments. Co-ordination of efforts by various government departments and spheres of government was what the Committee had been calling for. The delay in the finalisation of the MOU between the DAC and the NDT should not be used as an excuse to delay matters. Referring to the efforts of the DAC in sponsoring the studies of students she noted that the DAC should keep a check on students’ progress.
She commended the NDT on the rural nodes as illustrated by the presentation. In
She addressed Mr Ndima and noted that beadwork was a cultural industry which should be promoted. The only problem was that the cost of beads was expensive. There had been plans to open up a bead manufacturing plant in SA which would lower the cost of beads.
Mr Ndima conceded that the issue of beadwork had been with the DAC for some time. The DAC had done a study tour of
Ms Beukes stated that the efforts of the NDT on rural nodes did not exclude other areas.
Ms X Makasi (ANC) was glad that the DAC and the NDT was working together but the Committee wished to see the fruits of their co-operation. She pointed out that in Arts and Culture the Minister, Deputy Minister and the Director General were all males. In 2011 a Women’s Parliament had been hosted but disappointingly no presentation had been made by the DAC. Many of the women present felt that perhaps the reason for the no show was because the DAC was male dominated. How did the DAC determine which students to award bursaries to? On heritage sites in the SADC region she said that the then residence of Mr Oliver Tambo in
Mr Ndima apologised for the DAC’s non participation in the Women’s Parliament and would bring up the issue with his principals. He hoped that the situation would not be repeated in the future.
The awarding of bursaries to students was done by way of a public process. Adverts were placed in newspapers. The Minister appointed a selection panel.
The issue of the house of Oliver Tambo in
The Chairperson asked whether the Convention Bureau of the NDT was working with the DAC. He asked whether there was a centre to support small businesses in the craft industry. In
Ms Beukes noted that the NDT had an events strategy. A national events committee was needed. One of the reasons why the NDT wished to be on the Standing Committee on the World Heritage Sites was the role which the NDT could play. The question was how the NDT could provide support through the EPWP.
Ms Zikalala noted that foreign tourists came to
Mr Shah suggested that a huge event be held which was on such a huge scale that it could run over a few days. It would involve all departments and there could be many activities ie singing, dancing, sports etc. The event must leave an impact on the minds of not only SA but foreigners as well.
The Chairperson noted that an event of such a magnitude needed dialogue and interaction. The issue of the constitutional imperative of concurrent functions needed to be looked at. There were challenges but a way around it had to be found.
He noted that the Committee would be undertaking an oversight visit to
The meeting was adjourned.
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