Department of Arts and Culture on Fourth Quarter Expenditure Report; South African Heritage Resources Agency on turnaround strategy

Arts and Culture

05 June 2013
Chairperson: Ms T Sunduza (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department’s performance overview showed that 57% of targets had been achieved, while 43% had not been fully achieved, although it was noted that the Department was going through an audit process, and some of the figures had since changed.  The Department had spent 99.4% of its R2.7bn budget.  Most provinces were spending the majority of the conditional grants that had been allocated to them.  This was interesting to see, as it indicated that the money was moving from the Department to the provinces, and that this money was being used

A Member said it was very important to look at the outcomes in terms of ‘what happened to the money of the taxpayer’.  The Department needed to clarify how 99.4% had been spent, but only 57% of the planned targets had been achieved. Surely there had to be something wrong somewhere. Where was the output now that the money had been spent?  Other issues raised were the lack of progress in the programme to install flags and flagpoles at schools,  only six of 13 planned new libraries had been built, delays in paying suppliers, the excessive use of consultants rather than in-house expertise, and the neglect of cultural and artistic development in rural areas.

The presentation by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) on its turnaround strategy covered the financial, supply chain management and human resource areas, and the status of leases. Discussions centred on the move of the South African Heritage Resources Agency headquarters, the transfer of moveable assets, the use of consultants, the writing off of assets, the use of contract workers, de-recognised accounts, the use of meters on properties owned, tenants and leases, the investment policy, the formulation of new policies, the appointment of the new Chief Executive Officer and the involvement of unions.

Meeting report

Ms L Moss (ANC) expressed concern that the Parliamentary Liaison Officer was not present at the meeting.  He needed to attend to know what the issues presented to the Department were. She did not believe his job was to attend events.

The Chairperson agreed and thus did not accept the apology of the Parliamentary Liaison Officer. She also pointed out that when a quarterly expenditure report was issued, one of the political heads needed to be present.  However, none was in attendance.

Fourth Quarterly Expenditure Report

Mr Sibusiso Xaba, Director General of the Department, presented the performance overview, showing that 57% of targets had been achieved, while 43% had not been fully achieved. He wanted it noted that the Department was going through an audit process, and some of the figures had since changed.  He gave a comparative analysis of the third and fourth quarter performances for 2012/13, and a summary of budget vs expenditure per programme and per economic classification. Programmes included administration, performing arts national language services, cultural development, heritage promotion and national archives and library services.  The Department had spent 99.4% of its R2.7bn budget.

An explanation of the expenditure of conditional grants was given according to provinces. It showed that most provinces were spending the majority of the money that had been allocated to them.  This was interesting to see, as it indicated that the money was moving from the Department to the provinces, and that this money was being used (see slide 10).

An amount of R313 million had been spent on goods and services, which included payments for financial assets.  There was a small saving due to the advertisement of the tender for the costing of the Community Library Bill being delayed.

The Households expenditure item related to all the financial assistance projects that the Department funded during the financial year.  An amount of R158 million (97.2%) had been spent as at 31 March 2013. The reason for the non-payment of the three projects of Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) was that processing had not taken place due to an expired tax clearance certificate, banking details being rejected by the safety web, and payment had been submitted after system closure.

An amount of R475 million (98.4% of the budget) had been spent on capital works. The under-expenditure was due to projects that had not been implemented -- the two digital screens projects for the National Film and Video Foundation.

The budget for capital assets related to the purchasing of machinery and equipment, including the information and communications technology (ICT) equipment and heritage asset. An amount of R5.349 million (76%) had been spent. The reason for under-expenditure was the late delivery of invoices by the suppliers after closure.

The presentation then gave detail of the budget vs expenditure by programme and economic classification.  This was given in terms of administration (99.7% spent), performing arts (99.2%), the national language service (99.8%), cultural development (96.7%), heritage promotion (99.6%) and national archives and library services (99.7%).  An explanation of programme performance on key indicators was given in terms of all those areas.  (See presentation)

The risk management report for the third quarter showed the operational risks status of implementation at departmental level. It also outlined the risk mitigation status, achieved mitigation results and delayed mitigation/ absorbed risks.  (See presentation) 


Mr N van den Berg (DA) said it was very important to look at the outcome in terms of ‘what happened to the money of the taxpayer’.  The Department needed to clarify how 99.4% had been spent, but only 57% of the planned targets had been achieved. Surely there had to be something wrong somewhere. Where was the output now that the money had been spent?

Mr Xaba replied that when thinking about the variance between expenditure and the meeting of targets, one needed to know that it had been decided that targets that were termed as partially achieved were counted as not achieved. However, some targets were in progress, and there were few targets that had not been achieved at all. One also had to note that there were some aspects of the budget that had been fully spent, such as the compensation budget, which had been paid every month.

Mr Van den Berg wanted it noted that it was the ANC-run provinces that had failed to spend over 90% of their grants, while the Western Cape had managed to spend 100%.  Why was there a problem in spending the conditional grant?  It was a pity that these provinces had not managed to spend over 90%, as this was service delivery being taken away from the people who really needed it.

Ms Moss said that when oversight was conducted on projects and plans which had had 99% of the budget spent, the situation on the ground was often very different and did not necessarily reflect where the money had been spent. The money was sometimes spent, yet the community said that they had not received service delivery. The Western Cape had spent 100%, but if one went to the people on the ground, where had the 100% been spent?   District Six had received no funding from the government of the Western Cape.  She added that it was not good to bring party politics in to the Committee meeting.

Mr Van den Berg said he felt it was inappropriate to discredit his question, as he had been referring to hard facts on paper.

The Chairperson said that she would not allow this, as he was only getting emotional as the Western Cape had been mentioned

Ms H van Schalkwyk (DA) asked whether the social cohesion report had been submitted to the Cabinet.

Ms Van Schalkwyk asked what type of challenges had been encountered in terms of flag poles for schools.

Ms H Msweli (IFP) asked why the implementation of the programme to install flags and flagpoles at schools was going slowly.

Ms F Mushwana (ANC) asked why schools could not be given the responsibility to implement the flag programme themselves. This responsibility could be given to schools and communities and eliminate the problem of service providers.

Ms Moss asked why there was such a problem with implementation. If service providers were not delivering, then there was a need to remove them. The flags were not being rolled out at the rate that they needed to be.  Under the apartheid government there had been flags everywhere, but this democracy was struggling with implementation.

Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Acting Deputy Director General: Heritage, conceded that at previous meeting the problems that had occurred in terms of flags, and the way forward, had been outlined.   Despite the fact that there had not been much progress so far, the coming quarter would show far more progress, as new appointments had been made

Ms Van Schalkwyk asked what had happened to the six libraries that had not been built, as the target had been 13 new libraries.

Ms Msweli also asked why the target for libraries had not been achieved.  Were the remaining six in the process of being built?

Mr Xaba replied that most of the libraries were in rural areas. The libraries that had not been completed had contractors on site. There were various units under construction. In the Eastern Cape, there had been a saving of R2.5 million in the construction of libraries.   There had also been some under- expenditure in other provinces in terms of library construction. 

Mr S Ntapane (UDM) asked why some projects had not been implemented.  

Mr D Mavunda (ANC) said there needed to be reasons why things had not been implemented. One could not just say that projects had not been implemented.

Mr Ntapane asked what had been done when the department had noticed that some invoices were outstanding.

Mr P Ntshiqela (COPE) said that it had been stated that a reason for the under-expenditure had been the late delivery of invoices. Had this continued, or had the issue been resolved?

Mr Xaba replied that when service providers were appointed, they were checked for compliance and one of the things that the Department checked for was a valid tax certificate. Sometimes, when a service provider invoiced the Department, their tax certificate had expired during the time. One thing the Department checked when invoiced, was whether the tax certificate had since expired. In these cases, the Department had to go to the service provider and ask them to get a valid tax certificate, and this sometimes took time.

Mr Ntapane asked why targets had been set that were unachievable?

Mr Ntapane asked if reports had been received about the students who had been awarded bursaries?

Dr Mbulelo Jokweni, Acting Deputy Director General: Arts, Culture and Promotional Development, replied that reports had been received.  Universities that received bursaries to give to students were required to submit reports on the students. The Department had received reports at the end of the second quarter and the end of the fourth quarter.

Ms Mushwana asked for a breakdown of the students who had been awarded bursaries, according to provinces.

Dr Jokweni replied that there was information on which students had received bursaries, and this could be gained from all five universities. It would probably be best to have that information as an annexure, as to put it in the presentation would make the presentation too bulky. The information was available, however.

The Chairperson said ever since she had come to Parliament, the question had always been, ‘where were the students coming from, and what were the challenges in terms of giving bursaries?’  This did not seem to have changed.

Mr Ntapane asked about the indicator which had stated that the target for publications was more than one, although only one had been produced.

Mr Ndima replied that the number of publications was derived from the annual target. The target for the year had been four -- and this was one publication per quarter. In this instance, the target had been achieved, as there had been a publication for the gazette.

Mr Ntapane asked if the time frames of provinces were taken into account when setting targets, as it reflected badly on the Department when provinces did not reach targets. Did the Department conduct follow-ups on the failure of the provinces to meet targets, because it was the people who were suffering?

Ms Van Schalkwyk asked what happened to the money that had not been spent?

Mr Ntshiqela asked whether the unspent money was just rolled over.

Ms Ntombi Skosana, Acting Chief Financial Officer for the Department, replied that if money had not been spent within the provinces, then a roll over was requested only for funds that had been committed. This had been done with the conditional grants, as the money was ‘already on the provinces’ books’.

Mr Ntapane asked for an explanation for the decline between the third and fourth quarter.

Mr Xaba replied that this was a report against the target for the fourth quarter only, and not accumulatively.

Mr Ntshiqela asked what was happening with the Mzansi Golden Economy.  He did not see how this was going forward.

The Chairperson asked about cultural diplomacy and cultural agreements. More needed to be done in this regard.

Ms Louise Graham, Chief Director of International Relations for the Department, replied that cultural diplomacy had become an umbrella function spanning various departments. The idea had gained great momentum, and there had been talks with various countries, including China and the United Kingdom. There had been engagement with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to discuss the technicalities of appointing cultural attaches to some key missions. The Department was arguing that cultural diplomacy should be the fourth pillar of diplomacy.  This matter was being taken to Cabinet. and then to Treasury.

The Chairperson brought up the issues of consultants, and asked if this meant there was no internal capacity.

Ms Moss said that the use of consultants was a serious concern. Over 50% of the Mzansi Golden Economy budget was being spent on consultants, but there were no time frames. Consultants were merely trying to make money out of state entities.

Mr Xaba replied that the issue of consultants had been addressed previously. They were used for two reasons. The Department did not decide on the human resources budget -- this was decided by Treasury, and was never enough. The one part of the budget that had not grown was compensation of employees, which meant that more had to be done with the few people the Department had.  There was a need to complement the staff that the Department had, and it used consultants on matters that did not fall within its core business. Consultants were also used for activities that used skills that were not needed over a long period of time.

The Chairperson asked about the issue of monitoring and evaluation and how it was conducted, saying there were issues within the Department and its entities, especially in terms of cultural development.

Ms Moss asked what role the youth played in the Mzansi Golden Economy. There was a need to say what percentage had been put aside in terms of the youth

Ms Moss asked if service providers had to be used for events. Was there not enough staff within the Department to run the events?

Mr Xaba replied that the use of event management companies was a difficult matter. The Department had a great number of events, but he felt there should not be staff who organised events within the Department. If the Department did not use event management companies, then they would have to own things such as tents, stages and the like.  This was what the private sector was for. The Department ensured that they did not use the same companies again and again by putting out tenders and requesting quotations, and in line with the PFMA, chose the cheapest quote. The process was legal and transparent.

Ms Moss asked if the budget for the capital equipment would be spent?  If not, what would be done with the budget?

The Chairperson asked why little was being done in terms of rural development.  

Mr Xaba replied that it was a global phenomenon that cultural and artistic growth was greater in urban areas, but this did not mean that the rural areas should be neglected. Most of the Department’s heritage projects were in rural areas.

The Chairperson argued that South Africa could not be compared to the developing world. She asked if some places would have had no development because there had been no heritage or cultural significance to the area. Were some areas to be neglected because they did not have ‘scale’?

Mr Xaba replied that the report had been done by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and it had not been done only on developed countries. Cultural events did not happen only in urban areas.  It was only some events, such as the Jazz Festival that did not happen in rural areas, as there was no scale. There were many events that happened in rural areas.

The Chairperson said there was nothing sustainable within these areas -- it was just festivals that occurred.  Rural development was not just about festivals.

The Chairperson raised some concerns that Mr Xaba was answering questions and not allowing his delegation to respond.

Mr Xaba replied that he had planned to allow his colleagues to also answer questions.

Mr Ndima said that the liberation heritage route needed to be seen not only in terms of the work happening at the various sites, but also in terms of the conceptual framework, an area in which the Department had been lacking. The technical committee was in place that could take finalised projects to Cabinet.

Ms Moss asked where the institution representatives were, as they received most of the Department’s funding. They needed to account for all the wrongdoings.

Mr Xaba replied that the institutions implemented the Department’s policies.

Closing comments

The Chairperson said the Committee was becoming like a broken record -- the same issues were always being raised. There was an element of laziness within the Department. The Committee would continue to conduct its oversight. The Department must advise when they would be appointing a new Chief Financial Officer.

South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) Presentation: progress on the Turnaround Strategy

Dr Somadoda Fikeni, Chairperson of the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) Council, said he had learned a lot from his experiences, but he had signalled to the Department that he would not be returning to the Board. He was an academic and would be returning to that realm. A CEO who was to be appointed, needed to be a person with a heritage background and respected byhis  peers within the sector, and should have a proven leadership record.  It had been said any ‘mis-appointment’ in this case could set SAHRA a few generations back, as it was a highly specialised area.  The disclaimers and audit queries that had been raised had been dealt with, and the audit findings would show an improvement on last year.

There had been a crafting, implementation and also oversight of the turnaround. There had been two issues in terms of the turnaround that had been raised with management. The healing process had to include a complimenting of the management and staff, as there could be alienation between them. The use of consultants also needed to include a skills transfer within the organisation so that when they left, the staff were left holding the mantle. There had been a memorandum of agreement (MOU) signed with Public Works.  The National Heritage Council had approached the Navy in terms of protecting the country’s underwater heritage. He wanted to emphasise that the turnaround went much deeper than the audit queries which would be addressed in the presentation.

Ms Mmabatho Ramagoshi. Acting CEO, said the document was an update from what had been presented in March. The turnaround strategy had been developed and approved by Council. All approved vacant posts had been filled, except for the Human Resources Executive.  There had been an update of all old policies and the development of new ones. There had been approval from the Minister for the relocation of the Head Office to Tshwane. There had been approval from MINMEC for the transfer of movable assets to the provinces. There had been recruitment of expert teams to assist in building capacity of staff in terms of finance (Altimax), property (Grant Thornton), organisational development (Tsebo Lwazi) and forensic uudit (Uback), who would start in June.

There had been Improved financial management, as most of the prior year’s misstatements which had led to the disclaimer reports, had been corrected. The filing system had been improved to enable the improved safeguarding of documents and the provision of an audit trail. Internal controls had been enhanced to enable improved financial management. These controls included monthly reconciliations of accounts and expenditure management. The financial statements had also been prepared and submitted to the Auditor General and National Treasury by 31 May. Project bank accounts had been analysed and reconciled with the bank and liability accounts. The revenue arising from these accounts had also been properly classified according to the relevant Generally Recognised Accounting Practice (GRAP) standards. Some of the bank liability accounts had been de-recognised. A public call would be made for the trust accounts that had been inactive for a long time.  The CFO was currently drafting the investment policy which guided the investment opportunities that could be leveraged from the trust and donor funds. 

In terms of supply chain management (SCM) turnaround, the presentation spoke to asset verification, indicating that there had been a physical verification of all of the entity’s assets. This included all locations in the different provinces. Obsolete assets, or assets not in use, had been identified and written off. Assets that were not on the register, had been identified, and brought on to the register.  The useful life of assets written down to R0 and which were still in use, had been reassessed.  SAHRA had reassessed the residual and useful lives of all other assets and recorded the changes.  They had verified additions per the register to supporting invoices for 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.  SAHRA had scrutinised the expense accounts and identified any additional assets that had not been capitalized. They had corrected the depreciation and balanced the asset register to the general ledger.

In terms of irregular and fruitless expenditure, the SCM unit had been capacitated by contract workers while the organizational design project was in progress. Irregular and fruitless expenditure had been investigated retrospectively from the 2009/10 financial year through a vigorous review of all the payment batches and all payments. The prior balances had been adjusted to reflect the new cases discovered. Some of the cases had been condoned by the Council after thorough analysis of the incidents. SAHRA was currently addressing some of the cases with the responsible managers. It should be noted, however, that some of the transactions had been concluded in prior years and the responsible managers had left the organisation.  SAHRA had developed registers for all deviations and had reported those above R1 million to the National Treasury and Auditor General.

In terms of contract management, SAHRA had developed a register of all long-term contracts. The register was monitored by the SCM manager to identify contracts that were about to expire. It was currently correcting all the old contracts that did not have signed agreements.  Some of the contracts could not be immediately terminated, as the services were ongoing.

Human resources had assessed all personnel files and ensured that all documentation was in the files. This included developing checklists for each file. There was a plan to follow up with the few cases where information was still missing.  All leave had been reconciled, and the VIP and Employment Services system (ESS) had been upgraded.  All approved vacant posts had been filled and contract workers had been recruited into areas of great need.

In terms of property turnaround, SAHRA was busy assessing the leases and contracts of all 36 properties. It was also developing a property strategy that would inform it with regard to the economic values of all these properties. It was ensuring that all the tenants paid rentals as per their contracts, and had issued summons for those still owing SAHRA.  The presentation ended with an outline of the status of leases.


Mr L Khoarai (ANC) said that it seemed SAHRA operated like a regional office, and he was not sure how he felt about the move of the headquarters to Gauteng.  He asked about the moveable assets that were to be transferred.

Ms Ramagoshi replied that it was only computers and vehicles that would be transferred to provinces and if they were not accepted, they would be donated to schools.

Mr Khoarai asked if there was legislation that allowed for the writing off of assets.

Ms Van Schalkwyk asked what had happened after the obsolete assets were written off.

Ms Van Schalkwyk asked how many contract workers had been used.

Ms Ramagoshi replied that contract workers had come into places where there were few workers. The contract workers had helped with ‘retrospective cleaning up’.

The Chairperson said she had never seen the advertisements for contract workers. It seemed there were about four consultants coming in, but she questioned if anyone had been employed who could help with the turnaround strategy? She was concerned with the use of consultants. She wanted to understand what the consultants were doing.

Ms Ramagoshi replied that if SAHRA had had competent officials, it would not have needed to go the route of consultants. The consultants had transferred skills, however, so that when they left the staff could continue the work.

Mr Ntapane said that the Committee owed Dr Fikeni and his Council a debt of gratitude. Before Dr Fikeni and his Council had come on board it had been a complete mess. He also wanted to thank the present management of SAHRA, as he had found a number of improvements in the turnaround.

Mr D Mavunda (ANC) commended the manner in which SAHRA had done things.  Not everything was in order, but the organisation needed encouragement.

Mr Ntapane asked what was meant by ‘accounts were de-recognised’. Were the accounts closed?  What had happened to the money?

Ms Moss asked what had been in the account that had been closed?  There had been a great amount of mismanagement in SAHRA and so she would like to see the financial statements.

Ms Catherine Motsisi, Chief Financial Officer for SAHRA, replied that the accounts that had been de-recognised were ones that had been removed from the general ledger.  There was a need to de-recognise bank accounts and incorporate them into the general bank accounts. This allowed for the minimisation of bank charges and better investment opportunities, which is what the investment policy sought to do.

Mr Ntapane asked how water and electricity was paid for, if there were no meters. This needed to be attended to as soon as possible.

Ms Ramagoshi replied that SAHRA was installing meters in each household so that the households could pay SAHRA.

Mr Ntapane asked about the tenant who was paying R1 a year with a contract that had just been renewed. When had it been renewed, and when would the contract end?

Dr Fikeni said there was a property strategy being developed.  SAHRA was waiting on professional advice and was also waiting to deal with the whole range of properties, rather than just one. In terms of the leasing of a property for R1, this was unfair under any legal system, and SAHRA had approached entities such as Public Works and Treasury for advice.

The Chairperson said she had seen that apart from one person, all those who were leasing properties were white. She was not trying to make this a race issue, but it did speak to the continuation of a corrupt system and practice.

Dr Fikeni replied that the leases were an indication of how corrupt the apartheid system had been and the plan was to reverse this process so that there was fairness. The Council hoped that there was some continuity and institutional memory to take the process forward when there was a new council.

Ms Ramagoshi replied that an anomaly had been identified in terms of the leases. The challenge SAHRA had was the ones that had been renewed in 2006, as the provisions of the contract had not been changed. This was an issue that had been identified and would be corrected.

Mr Mavunda asked for a little more clarity on the investment policy that was being drafted by the Chief Financial Officer.

Ms Motosisi replied that the investment policy sought to look at how to invest SAHRA’s money without compromising on service delivery.

Mr Van den Berg said he would ask a question that had been ignored in the previous presentation. It was sad to hear all the stories, as SAHRA should not have been in this mess. At some point, someone had allowed it to degenerate to the state it was in. He asked who had let this happen, and how it had fallen apart under the gaze of Parliament and the public. There seemed to be a constant turnaround strategy. Someone needed to take responsibility.  Because there were a number of failings in various entities, the ANC government needed to take responsibility. This was about politics, and the Committee Members were public representatives who held the mandate of the people.

The Chairperson said she knew the meeting was live on TV. She also understood that it was close to election time and some people may be campaigning. She felt that ‘taking it to politics’ would make this ugly, as it was even said that the former CEO was a DA member.  If one was to start pointing fingers about why the country was the way it was, then there were other people who could also be implicated.  It was best to stick to questions without bringing politics into it.

Mr Ntapane said that he was disappointed with his colleague Mr Van den Berg, as when the Committee came together they were ‘one unit’ and not different parties.  He felt that Mr Van den Berg was ‘campaigning.’

Dr Fikeni replied that there was a comprehensive report that would tackle a number of the issues surrounding how SAHRA got where it was.  One point that had been raised was that there should never be a Council vacuum again.  There had also been the problem that some staff members had used their relationship with the Department to frustrate the Council.

Mr Van den Berg asked what was going to happen to the dwellings where people were to be evicted, as the property often degenerated when this happened.  What was the plan forward, as there was a great value on those dwellings?

Ms Mushwana asked why, in terms of leases and properties, there were levies being paid on properties that were not being utilised.

Ms Moss asked if the Provincial Resource Agencies were serving the purpose that they were meant to.

The Chairperson said she had received a letter a while back outlining the problems within SAHRA and would give it to the delegation to read.  During the time when SAHRA had faced a number of problems, there had been a few people who had helped the Committee to conduct its oversight and had attempted to help the institution.  She was going to give the delegation the letter, but did not want a witch hunt, as there were some people who had actually worked to help the institution turn around.

Dr Fikeni replied that the term of the Council ended on 31 July.   However, there had been an anomaly in that they had not been able to do any work for half a year after the letter of appointment.  This had been due to the need to stand on ceremony, as there had been the delay in the official events to signal the appointment, such as galas and the like.  This delay had allowed to mischief to occur. The letter that the Chairperson had mentioned spoke to a time when the Council had been waiting to come and take on their work.

Ms Moss asked when the Council’s term expired, and why they were going ahead with the appointment of the CEO.  The issue of the CEO and CFO were critical, and there had been a recommendation that the appointment be postponed.   Why was there a rush to appoint the CEO?

The Chairperson said there was a need to clarify why the Council wanted to appoint a CEO now, despite the fact that the Committee had written a letter saying that SAHRA should wait for the new board. She wanted to set the record straight that there was no favouritism within the Committee in terms of SAHRA employees.

Dr Fikeni replied that the term of the Council ended on 31 July. When the previous CEO had been fired, the Council had come before Cabinet and the Committee to say that the CEO position needed to be filled during the tenure of the present Council.  The Council had gone ahead with the process without having seen the letters that had asked for the process to be halted. He had personally gone to the Minister and said the process for the appointment would be occurring soon.  He assured the Committee that the process had been above board. The focus of the Council had always been to appoint a replacement through a transparent process.

Ms Moss said it was not best to continuously develop new policies.   It was best to see what was in the Department, and to utilise what was there.  Ms Moss asked to be provided with documents that had been presented before in order to compare the progress that had been made.

The Chairperson asked why there was again no representation from the unions. If the unions were not brought on board then no real change could happen. There was a need for their buy-in. If the human element of forgiveness and kindness was not brought in, then the turnaround strategy would not work.  If there were instances of purging or a lack of trust, then there would be problems.

Dr Fikeni replied that purging would not take place, as there was a process of healing under way.  The Council was in the process of meeting with everyone who needed to be consulted about the situation, including the unions.

Ms Ramagoshi replied that the relocation process was focused on staff members, and had not yet included unions. SAHRA’s union had only recently been recognised.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would request a report on the occurrences within SAHRA, and they would continue to monitor the entity.

The meeting was adjourned. 


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