The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) gave a general overview of its 2012 1st Quarter performance. 47% of targets were achieved, 32% partially achieved and 21% not achieved. DAC outlined the key achievements in various priority areas including Development, Preservation and promotion of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Skills development, Promotion of Linguistic Diversity, Access to information, and Cross-cutting imperatives. DAC also included a break down of the budget vs expenditure in each of its programmes.
Members asked about the South African Language Practitioners' Council Bill, conditional grants to the provinces, leave gratuity once-off, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Tourism and the Department, bursaries, interns, Africa Day, social cohesion, how the Department related to other departments, the composition of employees, National Youth Day,and possible invitations to quorums.
The meeting was cut short as the Committee asked the Department to produce a presentation with more information as the one that had been given was found lacking. Members stated that they needed far more clarity than would be provided by a round of questions. The Department was sent away and told to supplement its information.
The Chairperson also facilitated a meeting between the Director-General and the Acting Chair of the Music Business Unit of South Africa. Tension rose slightly between the Chairperson and a Member over the ability of the Committee to follow through on plans and a statement made on the Music Business Unit. It was also noted that the Committee's application for a Study Tour had been rejected.
Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) 2012 on 1st Quarter 2012 Performance
Mr Sibusiso Xaba, DAC Director-General, gave a performance overview stating that 47% of targets were achieved, 32% partially achieved and 21% not achieved. A comparative analysis of first quarter performance for 2010/11/12 was given. Key highlights were identified in various areas-
Priority Area: Development, Preservation and promotion of Arts, Culture and Heritage.The achievements were:
Strategy on social cohesion
- The Department presented to the social sector cluster on 16 May and to the Governance and Administration Cluster on 14 June
- The draft had been approved by Cabinet on 13 June 2012
Cooperation with National Department of Tourism.
- The Task Team to govern cooperation between DAC and Department of Tourism had been established.
- Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)was being finalised
National Orders Award Ceremony was hosted on 27 April 2012
The DAC had partnered with the National Youth Development Agency
2012 Youth Month Activities
- My Historic Educational Tour
- National Youth Day (16 June 2012): National Youth Day was to become the responsibility of the Department next year.
The DAC partnered with several institutions on projects to celebrate Africa Day, including
- Visual arts by artists from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region
- The Annual Second Scramble for Africa Conference
Priority Area: Economic Development. The achievements were:
- One Design event had been staged. The Eco Design Initiative exhibition was staged in Malmo – Sweden in June 2012
- Held a successful Inaugural National Carnival Workshop on 9-11 May 2012
Priority Area: Skills development. The achievements were:
The Bursary Programme: 31 students received bursaries to pursue heritage studies.
Internship: DAC has increased workforce capacity through an internship programmme
A partnership was forged between DAC and Rhodes University by launching Integrated Heritage Human Resources Management.
Priority Area: Promotion of Linguistic Diversity. The achievements were:
Language Planning and Development - Drafted Ministerial submission and Cabinet Memorandum to introduce the South African Language Practitioners' Council (SALPC) Bill to Cabinet
The 14th National Language Forum had been held. Discussions had been around issues of terminology development, translation and editing ,literature development, etc.
Priority Area: Access to information. the achievements were:
The South African Community Library and Information Bill amended and submitted to the Office of the Chief State Law Advisors. Pre-certification opinion had been received from State Law Advisors on 12/6/2012
A successful National Archives Awareness week was conducted May 2012, approximately 1 200 people attended including other Government departments
Partnerships had been created with publishers who had donated over R100 000 worth of books for the organisation of National Book Week
Cross cutting imperatives: Global position, the achievements were:
Minister had signed the Charter on African Cultural Renaissance
Minister had signed a cultural agreement between South Africa and Spain
The presentation to host the regional conference on the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention was presented to the Africa Group attending the 36th session of the World Heritage Convention
Mr Xaba gave a summary of the budget vs expenditure per programme and per economic classification. This was broken down into a summary of the budget and expenditure per programme and a summary of budget and expenditure per economic classification. An explanation of expenditure was given which outlined the compensation of employees, goods and services, details of goods and services budget, conditional grant to provinces, departmental agencies transfers cur (subsidies), departmental agencies transfers CAP (capital works), non profit institutions, households and capital assets (machinery and equipment).
South African Language Practioners' Council Bill
Ms H van Schalkwyk (DA) asked what was the use of the South African Language Practitioners' Council (SALPC) Bill. Was this to organise the practitioners who were needed for the Languages Bill? She asked if the could get a copy of the Bill.
Ms Van Schalkwyk asked what BASA stood for. [Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)]
Conditional Grants to provinces
Ms T Nwamita-Shilubana (ANC) asked what were the challenges that stopped the provinces spending money when it was needed there? Was it because business plans had not been given to the Department?
Ms L Moss (ANC) asked why the money was not being spent. The ruling party had been attacked and told they were not doing enough but in provinces the grants were not being spent.
Mr D Mavunda (ANC) asked who were the ‘relevant provinces’ in terms of the conditional grants. He believed that all provinces were relevant.
Leave gratuity once-off
Ms Nwamita-Shilubana (ANC) asked what was meant by ‘leave gratuity once-off?’.
Memorandum of Understanding between Tourism and Department
M L Khoarai (ANC) asked for the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Arts and Culture and Department of Tourism and if it could be given to the Committee.
Mr P Ntshiqela (COPE) asked if there had been a guiding strategy that guided the task team between the Department and Department of Tourism on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). And in what way had the MOU been ‘finalised’?
Call to end vacancies and acting positions
Mr Khoarai said that the issue of overtime was not only due to the acting workers. The President had said that vacancies and acting positions must come to an end. Had the Department listened to the call?
Ms Moss said that the issue of acting positions needed to be closed. The Committee had asked for an organogram and it was needed in order for the Members to see who occupied what position. The issue needed to be addressed. Some people had been in acting positions too long.
Bursaries and lack of communication
Mr Khoarai said his constituents had asked about bursaries. How could the Department help in disseminating information within the constituencies in order for people to apply for them? He asked if the Department could provide this information.
The Chairperson said this was why she had asked where the Communications Unit for the Department was as the Department had not been communicating what it was doing. How were students supposed to know about bursaries and how were people supposed know? She was not happy with the format of the report on students and wanted more information in terms of race and provincial dynamics. What happened to the students who dropped out? There were students who needed these bursaries.
The Chairperson said that previously the Department had not had money for interns but now it stated that it had them.
Ms Moss said that no one knew who had organised Africa Day but, according to the presentation, resources had been given towards organising the day. This year’s event had been a flop and was badly organised. Money had been spent on an event and the people who were meant to be there had not been there.
Ms Moss said it was important to know what programmes were in place to tackle social cohesion. There was a need to do more in terms of social cohesion as the coming together of white and black people had not yet happened.
Ms M Morutoa (ANC) said that it seemed that the ANC alone seemed focused on social cohesion. To most it seemed like ‘politicking’. If the Department was focused on social cohesion there was a need to state what was being done, what were the challenges, and other information. One could feel that social cohesion was far from being accomplished even when one did things such as shopping. She was not sure everyone was walking in the same direction.
Mr Ntshiqela asked what programme there was for social cohesion and how far had the programme been implemented. What was the time frame for achieving what the country wanted to achieve in terms of a programme?
Mr N van den Berg (DA)said he could not tell people about reconciliation and national building because he did not know anything about it. He had not known what was being done by the Department.
Ms Morutoa asked how the Department related to other departments. There was a need to work with other departments in order to progress as it seemed that this was not happening. This was why there was a Cabinet cluster.
Composition of employees
Mr Mavunda asked what was the reason for employees working overtime.
National Youth Day
Ms Nwamita-Shilubana asked about the fact that Youth Day was to fall to the Department next year. She thought that there were other departments that could have this as a responsibility. She also had thought the Presidency was to take care of this. It had not been stated why this was to be the responsibility of Arts and Culture. She also asked why could National Women’s Day not fall to the Department as well.
Invitations to Forums
Ms Nwamita-Shilubana asked if in the future when forums such as the 14th Language Forum were held that Members would be invited so as to understand the matter being discussed. Less questions would have been asked if more questions had been answered.
Nature of the report and scheduling another meeting for more information
The Chairperson said that she was not impressed with the report as it was ‘empty’ and was no different from last year's. Not all the information required had been given and there was constantly the need to ask questions to get more information which should have been offered. She felt that the Committee was being undermined as the report from the previous year had been better and more in depth. She said maybe the Department thought that Members were ‘illiterate and did not know these things’. This seemed like a rushed report. Her thought was that the Department should not answer and instead leave and compile a more in-depth report. If the Committee was to sit with this report then it would be there a great deal of time as so much needed clarification.
Ms Morutoa said that something was wrong with the report. It seemed there was no improvement and the trend was the same from previous reports. This meeting was meant to be about improvement but the report did not allow for this as it was lacking. She was sure that the Department now knew what format the reports should take and what was expected.
Mr Mavunda said maybe the Department wanted the Members to do more research as the report seemed summarised and was for people who were ‘hands on’ in the workings of the Department. Maybe there was a gap between the Members and the Department and it was a call for the Committee to interact more.
Mr Van den Berg stated that there was a great deal of information missing on the report. What had been the outcome of some of these agreements, initiatives, programmes and the money spent? There was a need to be able to say that this money had been spent and had benefited South Africans in this way. This report had no specifics.
The Chairperson felt that the previous year’s report was far better than this years and she felt the Committee was being undermined. She said felt like telling the Department not to answer and merely go away and produce a more elaborate report.
Ms Moss proposed that the Department be released and a more elaborate report delivered at another meeting. This was so that Members of the Committee knew what they were saying at the Budget Vote. The report before them would not allow them to speak confidently at the Budget Vote.
Ms Morutoa said it was evident that there were a lot of good things the Department was doing but these did not come across in the report. She proposed that the Department be released and allowed to enrich the report and come back at a later date.
Ms Nwamita-Shilubana agreed with the other Members that there were good points but they needed elaborating. She asked the Department to give more information so that the Committee understood what was going on in the Department.
Mr Van de Berg agreed.
Mr Ntshiqela was concerned that to delay this process would delay a number of other things that needed to be done. He asked whether it was better to go through the process today. He was afraid that at another meeting there would be another delay.
Ms Morutoa stated that she understood the concern raised. She said that even if the Members spent more time the Committee was allocated a certain time to get through its programmes. She was concerned that there was not enough time or information to properly tackle the information which may breed more confusion.
Ms Nwamita-Shilubana said that she understood that what Mr Ntshiqela was saying was that the Department should add to it in a written form so that it would remain a reference for the Committee.
The Chairperson said she had had a sense that something was wrong and it was only when she compared the report of last year that she could confirm that the presentation quality had worsened. She said she would not tolerate this from the Department. The Committee would not accept a report for the sake of having a report. This had been happening year after year. The report needed to give all the information that the Committee needed but this report had a lot of gaps. The Committee also had not obtained the information for which it had been asking for for a long time, such as the organogram. The Committee had been lenient on many issues but would not agree to this.
The Chairperson allocated the time intended for the Department's responses for Mr Eugene Mthethwa, Acting Chairperson of the Music Business Unit of South Africa (who was present in the meeting) to meet with Mr Xaba. She said that if members of the public had tried to get in touch with the Department to no avail then the Committee would intervene. That was what was being done by getting Mr Xaba to engage with Mr Mthethwa.
Mr Xaba apologised on behalf of the Department about the report. He pointed out that a lot of the detail being asked for had been in the strategic plan which had been approved by the Committee. The nature of the presentation was to say what had been committed to and what had been done. More detail existed and what the Department would do was report in the same way that it reported to Treasury. The document would be bulky but would have more information. The Department would also submit the report as given to Treasury on a quarterly basis as an annexure. This would allow the Committee to access that information. He said that on two occasions the Department had been supposed to present the organogram but both times the meeting had been cancelled. The organogram was with the Committee; the meeting had just never happened. It was not due to the fault of the Department the organogram had not been presented.
Concern on actions of Committee
Ms Morutoa said that she was concerned that the Committee was not following the correct procedure and being inconsistent about decisions taken. When the Music Business Unit had presented on the 22 August 2012 there had been a decision to have a briefing from the Minister, as there had been a Cabinet meeting, and then write a letter to the President. She felt that this had been done and the Committee was now waiting. She felt that the Committee should act upon what had been decided on that day.
The Chairperson said that the letter had been written to the President and she had signed off on what Ms Morutoa was saying.
Ms Morutoa said that there had been an agreement to be addressed by the Minister on what had transpired during that Cabinet meeting. She did not see any reason why Mr Xaba should meet Mr Mthethwa as there was a process going on.
The Chairperson said that the meeting between the two was personal and did not have to do with the process involving the Minister and the letter to the President. Any citizen who was not able to access the Department would be aided by the Committee and that was why Mr Mthethwa was present. He was not the first person whom she had aided in this manner. If the Department would not meet with people then the Committee would intervene. The Committee had done its work politically by writing the letter and was waiting on the response.
Ms Morutoa replied that she had never said that the Committee was not doing what it was meant to do. S he was just concerned that the Committee was not consistent with what had been agreed on. She did not know what the political work was that the Chairperson was talking about. She did not want to interact with the Chairperson in this manner, through a dialogue.
The Chairperson said there was no dialogue: she was merely clarifying issues.
The Chairperson released the Department and said that another meeting would be scheduled. Next week was to be the Auditor-General’s workshop and so the Committee would apply for the Department to meet with it before that. The submission of the study tour was not approved as it had been stated there was no funding (see PMG Report Arts and Culture Portfolio Committee 23 May 2012 for more deliberation on Study Tours).
The meeting was adjourned.
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