Dali Tambo on National Heritage Monument Project; Department of Arts and Culture on its Annual Report for 2012/2013, with Minister & Deputy in attendance

Arts and Culture

15 October 2013
Chairperson: Ms T Sunduza (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

Mr Dali Tambo, Chief Executive Officer, National Heritage Project Company (NHPC), presented the National Heritage Monument (NHM) project to the Portfolio Committee meeting, which was attended by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile, and Deputy Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla.

Mr Tambo said the NHM was led, driven and funded by the DAC, with the aim of it becoming one of the leading heritage sites in the country. The project was now in its third year, with the first two years of the project focussed on consultations with stakeholders and research.

Mr Tambo said that the NHM project was a dedicated effort and included all who had taken part in the struggle for South African democracy and freedom. The Monument would celebrate generations of leaders of South Africa, from the 1600s up to 1994. This project was particularly important given that in 1993, the then National Monument Council had put out a report that at that time, 99% of South African heritage was about white experiences, white stories and white figures of history.  Hence, there was a need for more balance in the way in which South African history was told and represented. The NHM did not aim to destroy the past, as had happened in other countries.  The NHPC had preserved that past and added a new heritage and history. 
The project entailed creating 400 to 500 life-sized bronze statues of leaders of the struggles who represented the soul of South Africa.   The NHM would also have great resonance among tourists, who so far were focused on the South African wine farms, beaches, natural reserves and parks, but failed to capture the ‘soul’ and history of the South African people.   The NHM project was also about civic pride, as the NHPC planned to situate it in the Fountains Valley in Tshwane. The city of Tshwane had provided land in the Groenkloof Reserve, which was in itself part of the national heritage. The 400 to 500 statues would represent the Long March to Freedom. It would have a visitor centre for information, where interactive activities would take place.   Other entertainment activities included a Water Park. The NHM would have a great economic impact.  Direct and indirect impacts on local economy had been business planned. The project would create numerous jobs and large-scale temporary and permanent employment

Members of the Committee were very appreciative of the NHM. They praised the project and thought that it was important for social cohesion and reconciliation in the country. They asked clarification on the amount of money that the NHPC and the DAC needed to develop the project, and on who would have run and own the site after its completion. Appreciation was also expressed for the economic impact of the NHM and the job creations aspect. Members felt that young generations needed to be more in touch with the history of South Africa, and this project would contribute to this. They endorsed the NHM. 

The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA,) invited by the Chairperson to clarify its position on the Union Building and the installation of a Mandela statue in its proximity, explained that SAHRA had only a advisory role in the matter and did not object to the presence of the statue. It simply had to study the project and the combination of the Union Building and Mandela statue from an urban, aesthetic and architectural point of view before it was implemented.
The Department presented the 2012/2013 Annual Report. The Auditor General’s report was unqualified, but it had raised a number of matters regarding performance information and the low percentage of targets achieved. The DAC had achieved 55% of its goals while spending 99.4% of its budget.   Areas of under-expenditure and irregular expenditure came under close scrutiny.  The DAC had now a fully effective internal audit function with a fully functioning audit committee.
The Committee was not impressed with the DAC’s performance and progress.  Particular concern was expressed over the significant unauthorised and irregular expenditure, with questions on the under-perfomance of DAC staff and potential corruption within the Department, as well as non-compliance with rules and regulations on matters of procurement and Supply Chain Management (SCM).

Concerns were also raised over the performance of the provinces. Members asked the DAC to clarify the provinces’ under-expenditure and the sudden termination of contracts leading to uncompleted projects and unachieved targets. They also wondered how the DAC could re-prioritise their budget and activities during the financial year.  They asked about the DAC’s use of providers that had been blacklisted by the Treasury. Members also asked the DAC to look into the crisis at some of its institutions in terms of funding, governance and management, and in particular of the Windybrow and the Pan South African Languages Board (PanSALB).

Meeting report

Briefing by Dali Tambo on the National Heritage Monument (NHM) Project
Mr Dali Tambo, Chief Executive Officer, National Heritage Project Company (NHPC), presented the National Heritage Monument (NHM) project to the Committee. The NHPC was developing the NHM under the leadership and endorsement of the Minister of the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), Mr P Mashatile, and the Department of Arts and Culture. The NHM was led, driven and funded by the DAC, with the aim of it becoming one of the leading heritage sites in the country. The project was now in its third year, with the first two years of the project focussed on consultations with stakeholders and research.

Mr Tambo said that the NHM project was a dedicated effort and included all who had taken part in the struggle for South African democracy and freedom. The Monument would celebrate generations of leaders of South Africa, from the 1600s up to 1994. This project was particularly important given that in 1993, the then National Monument Council had put out a report that at that time, 99% of South African heritage was about white experiences, white stories and white figures of history.  Hence, there was a need for more balance in the way in which South African history was told and represented. The NHM did not aim to destroy the past, as had happened in other countries.  The NHPC had preserved that past and added a new heritage and history.

The project entailed creating 400 to 500 life-sized bronze statues of leaders of the struggles who represented the soul of South Africa.   The NHM would also have great resonance among tourists, who so far were focused on the South African wine farms, beaches, natural reserves and parks, but failed to capture the ‘soul’ and history of the South African people. The NHM would fill this gap and represent the journey towards democracy for both South African and international visitors.

The South African struggle had both national and international dimensions. It was part of the world heritage and international struggle because of the widespread solidarity movement. The struggle was also part of the national pride that would lead to a new era of social cohesion and reconciliation through the acknowledgement of the past and the celebration of its glory.

The NHM project was also about civic pride, as the NHPC planned to situate it in the Fountains Valley in Tshwane. The city of Tshwane had provided land in the Groenkloof Reserve, which was in itself part of the national heritage. The 400 to 500 statues would represent the Long March to Freedom. It would have a visitor centre for information, where interactive activities would take place.   Other entertainment activities included a Water Park.

The NHM would have a great economic impact.  Direct and indirect impacts on local economy had been business planned. The project would create numerous jobs and large-scale temporary and permanent employment.  Mr Tambo compared the NHM to the Washington Memorial in the United States -- a monument that before being a tourist site, had been primarily for the American people. The majority of visitors were Americans wanting to know their history. This heritage resource had fuelled the economy of Washington, as visitors used hotels, restaurants and other amenities.   The NHM would do the same in South Africa. It would honour the ancestors and through the project, young generations of South Africans would know about their history.

The NHPC also planned to build a water park. This was because other activities and entertainment linked to the NHM would attract more people.   However, the NHPC would also be mindful of the national reserve. At the moment, it was busy with master planning under the guidance of the DAC.  This step was crucial as master planning would ensure that the NHM would avoid impacting on the conservation of the site. 

The NHM was fundamental for social cohesion and for the citizens of South Africa. As Egypt had the Giza pyramids and Paris had the Eiffel Tower, the NHM would be the celebration of the South African struggle. The NHM would also be sustainable, an economic catalyst and a symbol of the struggle for democracy.

In terms of its development and infrastructure, the NHM would involve many government departments, such as Arts and Culture, and Tourism and Education. The project had the support of the Presidency, the Department of Arts and Culture, Department of Tourism, Tshwane municipality, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and many other stakeholders and NGOs in the tourism and heritage sector.

Mr Tambo said that the NHPC would like to use the 20th anniversary of South African democracy in 2014 to begin construction and full development.  This presentation coincided with the Committee’s budgetary planning period and he requested moral and financial support from the DAC, with budget allocations for Phase 1 of the NHM that would take place over the period 2014-2015.

Dr H van Schalkwyk (DA) said that redress and reconciliation were two crucial pillars to unite the nation. In terms of budgetary allocations, she asked what amount would be needed.

Ms F Mushwana (ANC) expressed appreciation for the presentation and highlighted the importance of the project in terms of remembering the struggle towards democracy. She particularly appreciated that fact that the NHM would create jobs and that this had been included as part of the project.

Mr P Ntshiqela (COPE) spoke in Xhosa.

The Chairperson translated Mr Ntshiqela’s questions and comments. She said that Mr Ntshiqela wondered when the master planning would be ready. He had also asked Mr Tambo to talk more about the public facilities that the NHM included.  Who was going to be involved?  He had also wondered if beside the municipality of Tshwane, other partners would be involved. Lastly, who was going to manage the rest of the facilities included in the NHM?

Ms T Nwamitwa-Shilubana (ANC) expressed appreciation for the project. She mentioned the inclusion of heroes and personalities who had contributed to the struggle from 1600 until 1994, but wondered if there were ways to include more heroes from after 1994. Was there any room to include others?

Ms Mushwana said that involving young generations was a new challenge. Young people and children needed to know where they came from. She wondered what could be done to attract the youth.

Mr Tambo replied on the involvement of the young generation. He said that the combination of heritage, educational aspects, entertainment, green spaces and conservation aimed precisely at the attraction of more people, especially the young generation. Young people today had pride in the new technologies, but not so much in their history. The NHPC had to use NHM in a modern way and find ways to attract people. With the NHM, people would not only know the name of Lilian Ngoyi, but know about her height and the way she looked. She was an ordinary person doing extraordinary things, and this could inspire young generations. The NHPC personalised heroes and humanised them.

It was also crucial that people involved in developing the project, like sculptors for instance, were South African. These heroes were last depicted by colonialists and those who had depicted them as terrorists. The NHPC was instructing sculptors to show the core and beauty of the nation, bringing these heroes back to life. South Africans would know about their past and would feel proud of their ancestors and who they were today.

In relation to the inclusion of post-1994 heroes, the main aim was to include those who, starting from 1600, had fought for freedom and democracy.  However, the NHPC had left space for the struggle to continue so that others post-1994 could join the ‘parade of honour’. New generations would decide who would be there in the future.

Mr Tambo addressed the issue of management of the NHPC.  The NHPC was still a small team with heritage professionals and researchers to study the people, the stories and the ways to do each statue. The research aspect was crucial, as the NHPC wanted people and the younger generations to experience the history through the statues, or by buying booklets and comics that described these personalities. The NHPC had a small team and was working closely with the DAC, who would be the custodian and owners of the site.

Mr Tambo also explained the partnership with the City of Tshwane. Originally the NHPC had planned to build the NHM opposite Soccer City.  However, the municipality of Tshwane had offered the NHPC the land. The location was five miles away from Church Square in Pretoria, and close to the highway, metro stops, the Gautrain and the University of Pretoria (UNISA).   Public transport increased connectivity to the site. The city and the area also needed a tourist destination.

In terms of master planning, the NHPC would complete a preliminary set of costs and a draft master plan by the end of October. The finalised master plan, with exact costs and amenities, would be ready by February/March 2014.

Mr Tambo addressed the issue of job creation, and said the economic impact in the business plan was impressive. The NHM would create 2 100 jobs annually. It would contribute R1 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) annually and over R90 million in terms of tax revenues and annuities to the government.  Also crucial would be the establishment of an African market, where local craftsmen could display and sell their products. The NHM would assist government departments with youth employment and development, and skills transfer.

Mr Tambo replied to the question on the amount needed for the NHM.  Currently he thought that considering the five-year length of the project, the NHPC needed R700 million to R800 million. This would include the development of the Long March to Freedom, the visitors’ centre, and the roads and infrastructure complementing the NHM. This would be a place of sanctity and dignity. Landscaping would be done very carefully, bearing in mind the conservation of the park itself.  The master plan would reveal the exact figures.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Gregory Ontong, South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) for attending and asked him to clarify SAHRA’s objections to the Union Building Mandela statue, as the Committee had endorsed it.

Mr Ontong, Manager of the Built Environment Division, SAHRA, said SAHRA was not objecting to having the Mandela statue erected at the Union Building. From an aesthetic, landscape and architectural point of view, SAHRA wanted to understand the art of the statue, against the landscape and the buildings.  SAHRA had considered the urban value contexts, and wanted a study to be done before implementing it.  SAHRA had simply adopted a cautious approach in order to consult members of the public on the matter.  SAHRA was only providing professional advice, but had no role in the decision-making process. Ultimately, the Union Building fell under the Gauteng Provincial Heritage Resources Authority, which was the decision-maker. SAHRA was only consulted and provided advice. SAHRA was planning a visit to assess the current proposal, the master plan and the conservation management plan. This was important, because SAHRA was in the process of declaring the Union Building a national heritage site. SAHRA had only an advisory role.

In terms of the NHM project, SAHRA had no objection. SAHRA accepted it.  Because of the scale of the project, it seemed to exceed the limits of 5 000 square meters, so a proportion of that project would need to be done under the National Heritage Resources Act, Section 38.

The Chairperson asked who would be responsible for operating the NHM site. She then highlighted issues of transformation and commented that the topic was rather controversial, with some minorities opposed to it. It seemed that minority groups did not think about the majority. Minorities were more covered by the media, and this was an ongoing challenge.

She referred to O R Tambo Airport, named after Mr Dali Tambo’s father. She was disappointed to notice that there was no statue at the airport, apart from a small bust. South Africans needed to be proud of their people and heroes. Transformation needed to occur on the ground and everywhere. The Chairperson said that this was also crucial for the education of the young.

Mr N van den Berg (DA) said he fully supported reconciliation. On issue of erecting monuments, South Africans -- all of them -- needed to feel they were loved and cared about. Every South African needed to be valued and to feel part of the nation. He supported any initiatives to unite a divided past and bring people together. All people needed to be accommodated in this country.

Dr Van Schalkwyk emphasised the importance of an inclusive history also being reflected in monuments.

The Chairperson still expressed some concerns about reconciliation and the language of ‘we’, ‘you’ and ‘they’. She asked Members if the Committee endorsed the project.

There were no objections and the Committee endorsed the NHM. 

Ms Mushwana said she hoped that it would change the country for the better and inform the uninformed.

Mr Van den Berg said that especially before the election, everyone should try to avoid using cultural art issues to create division.

The Chairperson said art and culture was crucial for social cohesion and transformation. There were still some people within minority groups against transformation, or inclusive history, and they were still resisting change.

Mr Tambo reassured the Committee that the nature of the project was African and that the market would be an African market, with African goods made by local people sold to international tourists. One of the aims of the project was to transform the value chain in tourism and culture, to ensure that there was more economic participation by South Africans.

He stressed that the NHM was a sustainable project and would create pride in being South African. The NHPC was also planning to develop Vignette Gardens to celebrate different communities in South Africa  -- Lithuanians, Portuguese and others -- to give them their own space to commemorate their own South Africanness. The NHM needed to be a unity monument and was meant to reconcile South Africans, as black and white South African children would celebrate together.

Mr Mashatile, Minister of Arts and Culture, said that the DAC had started talking about this project back in 2011 and he was pleased that land had been found in Tshwane, and that the project would be implemented. In two weeks time, the NHM project would be before the Cabinet.

He said that all narratives should be inclusive. The change that was going to happen would not destroy the past, but there was a need for new stories. He thanked Mr Tambo for his vision and said that the NHM was important for the South African nation. The NHM would be a national monument managed by the state. These facilities would need to be preserved for the years to come and also for the new generations.

Chairperson released the NHPC and SAHRA delegations.

Briefing by Department of Arts and Culture on its Annual Report for 2012/13
Mr Paul Mashatile, Minister of Arts and Culture, said that 2014 would be the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s democracy and there would be many activities to celebrate it.

2012 had been a particularly challenging year for the Department of Arts and Culture. It was the time when the Department had started implementing Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) and it was a time in which the Department had lacked some Deputy Director-General (DDG) posts.  But since then, the Department had made progress. Many of the challenges were currently being addressed.

Mr Sibusiso Xaba, Director-General, Department of Arts and Cultures, presented the 2012/2013 Annual Report. The budget of the Department was R2 672m and it had spent R2 656m, or 99.4% of its budget.  He presented the expenditure on each of the programmes, covering administration, performing arts, national languages services, cultural development, heritage promotion, national archives and library services.

On the compensation of employees, the DAC had spent the full amount allocated of R172.7m.  It had spent R313 million, 99.3% of the budget, on goods and services. The slight under-expenditure was explained as a delay in advertising the tender for the costing of the Community Library Bill.  The expenditure on households was of R158 million, or 97.2% of the budget allocated. This under-expenditure was due to a payment related to the three projects of Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) that could not be processed at the end of the financial year due to the expiration of tax clearance certificates and banking details that had been rejected. The validity of tax clearance certificate needed to be checked at the time of the appointment and payment. If the DAC had paid the service provider while not in possession of a tax clearance certificate, this would have breached the Treasury’s regulations. Under-expenditure of 24% was also registered in the capital assets area. This was due to a delay in the delivery of invoices from the DAC’s suppliers. Also in the area of capital work, which is used for infrastructure expenditure, there was an under-expenditure of 2.6% because of projects not implemented by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF).

The planned amount of funds to be transferred to provinces for the library grant was R564m and this had all been allocated. Each province had amounts rolled over by the provinces themselves, so provinces could effectively use R615m during the reporting period.  However, the money that had actually been spent was R518.7m, which meant that of the entire amount that was available to the provinces, only 84.3% had been spent. The provinces that had fully spent their budget were Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape had not spent their entire budgets.   The Eastern Cape had experienced major issues with libraries, with problems in appointing constructors, but Limpopo was the DAC’s biggest challenge. The province had about R68 million, and had spent only R49 million. In Mpumalanga, there were two projects in which contractors had had to be terminated because they were underperforming and delaying progress.

The Department transferred R69.5m to Pan South Africa Language Board (PanSALB) and R364.5m to performing arts institutions (theatres and playhouses).   A further R439.3m had been allocated to heritage institutions (museums and art galleries), and R80.8m to the SA National Library and the SA Library for the Blind.

In the area of human resources, 9.6% of posts were vacant, and the staff turnover rate was 4.8%.   Most of the DAC staff was female, with 261 women employed and 189 men.  All the DDGs appointed in the reporting period were female.

The DAC had a full effective internal audit function with a fully functioning audit committee that had met throughout the year and had looked at the DAC interventions, risk and systems of control. During the course of the reporting period, there was a time when the DAC did not have an Audit Executive. The Department Audit Manager had passed away in the course of the financial year and the DAC had needed to request assistance externally. The DAC had since appointed an Audit Manager.  

The audit committee guaranteed the functionality of the department across its activities and over the past year the DAC had increased its capacity. The committee, however, had raised some concerns about the DAC’s policies and procedures. Among others, there was a preoccupation with the supply chain policy and procedure, and the filling of the position of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The committee was satisfied with DAC’s monthly and quarterly reports, and had recognised improvement in the area of asset management.

The Auditor General’s (AG’s) report had been unqualified, but it had raised a number of matters such as performance information and the low percentage of targets achieved. However, the AG report recognised improvements when compared to the work of the previous years. There were weaknesses that had been identified and that the DAC had addressed.

Mr Xaba explained that some of the unauthorized expenditure was ‘historical,’ and related to the use of the FIFA World Cup budget. There had been an investigation conducted by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) which was concluded during the course of 2012/2013 financial year. Consequently, the DAC had acted according to the SIU’s recommendations. Unauthorised expenditure was not recent but had accumulated over the years.  By 2013, the DAC had incurred irregular expenditure of R97m.   There had also been instances of fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounting to R2.8m.

On the performance overview, the DAC achieved 55% of its 102 targets, and the balance had not been achieved. Where there had been a failure to perform substantially, the DAC took full responsibility. However,  there had been areas in which the DAC had not reached its targets but had performed substantially. This had occurred in particular where infrastructure projects needed to be completed and launched. In some cases, projects had been completed and were fully functional but had not been launched -- for instance, because of the unavailability of the President.

Mr Xaba covered the various programmes of the DAC.  Administration had received an unqualified opinion from the AG. Within the Performing Arts Programme, the DAC had planned to have three programmes implemented in collaboration with Department of Basic Education (DBE), but had achieved only two. One project had not been completed because the DAC had no budget for it.   During the third quarterly report, the Treasury had classified the MGE area of intervention as Goods and Services, instead of Households. Only the Treasury could change this classification, but it had not approved the virement allowing the DAC to use the money and implement the target. Once the virement had been approved, the Department had had to re-prioritise their programmes because of the loss of money. This had consequences on the number of the arts practitioners and facilitators placed in schools, a target that had not been met. The DAC had planned to have 200, but only 75 arts practitioners were placed in the provinces of North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. However, the number of cultural programmes supported was an area of over achievement, with eight implemented (against a target of two). Also, the number of programmes targeting vulnerable group had been  an over-performance, with seven planned and 16 achieved.

In terms of the National Language Service, the DAC had performed well. It had planned to offer 140 bursaries but had delivered 555. This had been done through UNISA, which had lower costs per student than other universities. It had also developed 29 860 terminologies in the domains of Arts & Culture, Life Orientation, Mathematics, Human, Social, Economic & Management Science (HSEMS) and Elections.

The Cultural Development programme had substantial challenges. The Department had not achieved its targets in the number of tri-lateral partnership programmes implemented, policy briefs and frameworks developed and implemented. Some of the targets were actually repetitions, such as design. This meant that if the target was repeated twice and the target was not met, this counted as a double underperformance. However, there were some instances in which the DAC had met its targets -- the number of cultural events/exhibitions/markets in which the DAC had participated (16), the number of partnerships supported and used in the cultural industries, and the signing of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance.

In the Heritage Promotion programme, the DAC had achieved significant targets. The reporting period was marked by the year of heritage and the DAC had focused on this area.  There were policies that had been finalised towards the end of the year but could not be submitted to the Cabinet. These included the Living Heritage Policy and the Underwater Cultural Heritage Policy. These had been submitted during the current financial year. The National Museums Policy and Human Remains Policy could not be finalised and approved. The Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance had been completed and the target achieved. The Matola Raid Memorial had been completed but the DAC had not obtained the completion certificate. The master plan of the J L Dube house, along with the construction of the Bambatha statues, and renovation and construction of the OR Tambo homestead had not been completed. The DAC had planned to deliver 3 000 national flags and flag poles for schools, but had delivered only 109 due to delays in the appointment of service providers. The number of hand-held flags distributed had not been achieved, with 300 000 planned and 164 900 delivered due to a decline in demand. The DAC had organised the Freedom Day and the Nelson Mandela Day celebrations and had co-hosted two national orders award ceremonies.

Within the National Archives and Library Service programme, the number of archival records identified and inventoried was mostly achieved. The Department had under-perfomed in the number of library items purchased, with 525 000 planned and 335 003 purchased due the slow delivery of international publications. Fifteen libraries were planned to be completed but 14 only had been completed. The 15th one could not be completed because of the termination of non-performing contractors.  Fifty library structures were planned to be upgraded, but only 36 had been upgraded because of differences in the financial year end of municipalities and provinces, which had also posed challenges for implementation and the termination of under-performing contractors. The DAC planned to have two oral history projects and had achieved three.

The DAC had made interventions to improve sensitive areas in which it had experienced problems in the last couple of financial years. The DAC had strengthened capacity and structures of the supply chain and hjad overhauled the Bid Evaluation Committee and the Bid Adjudication Committee. The new structures were now fully functional. The DAC had centralized both payment and procurement -- now units could not do their own procurement, but had to go to the Supply Chain Management (SCM) of the DAC. The Department had finalised the omnibus procurement of service providers in critical areas. It hosted numerous events for the national government, and could not afford to have tenders for each new event. The omnibus contract for the previous year had expired and procurement had not been done in time. This had led to irregular expenditure and the DAC had taken measures against some staff members of SCM who had acted negligently.  The DAC had recently finalised the omnibus contract.
The governance aspect had been centralised to guarantee complete oversight and ensure that all the institutions had functional councils. Those institutions which lacked functional councils would have been taken care of. The DAC had also made interventions in the planning and delivery of infrastructure. Libraries constituted a challenge, and planning needed to be done well in advance. The Department was now using two or three standard designs for all the libraries, so that costs and timeframes could be contained and projects delivered on time.

Dr Van Schalkwyk asked why there were inconsistencies in reporting outputs. On pages 24, 30 and 144-145 of the annual report, the number of new libraries built and existing libraries upgraded were different. This was particularly true in the case of upgraded libraries. On page 24, the DAC reported 40, on page 30 the upgraded libraries were 37 and on page 144 they were 36.  She also wondered how the DAC could spend 99.4% of its budget -- which was more than it had spent in the previous year -- but had achieved only 55% of its targets.

Irregular expenditure was a serious concern, as there had been a significant increase from a R9.845m of 2011/2012, to R97m. This matter of non-compliance needed urgent attention, since across the DAC portfolio there had been a huge growth in irregular expenditure in the period under review.

Ms H Msweli (IFP) asked the DAC to review the question of shortages of flags and libraries. The Department should talk to the service providers who had delayed the process to ensure they performed.

Mr Ntshiqela asked the DAC to clarify how it was strengthening the supply chain. He asked if municipalities and provinces would be entitled within their budget to help finance some civil societies’ initiatives, or if their budget could be spent only on their own activities.  He asked the DAC to clarify the use of the term ‘non-profit’ for its institutions. The term could be confusing, and the DAC should consider re-phrasing.  He also asked the DAC to clarify the use of expression ‘theft and losses’ within the payment of financial assets.  Talking about theft was a concern and he wondered if there were people stealing.  He raised concern about the non-payment for the MGE due to expiration of tax clearance certificates.  Although the Gauteng overspending was not big, Mr Ntshiqela wondered where the 1.2% of over-expenditure had taken place. Was it from stealing?  If this was the case, the DAC needed to be worried, because the following financial year this could increase.

Mr Van den Berg raised concerns about the unauthorised and irregular expenditure that in 2013 should no longer be there. The AG had reported that the procurement and management system of the DAC was inadequate. He wondered if there was a problem of corruption.   If the DAC was not following the correct procedure, there was something wrong and the DAC should prevent irregular expenditure by following the correct procedures. He asked if this had been done deliberately or because of ignorance. What measures were in place to prevent this in the future?  He referred to the administration budget and mentioned that all the employees in the Department had received their full salary, but the work had not been done properly. The costs of the DAC to the state were very high, but the Department was not performing as it should.

Mr D Mavunda (ANC) asked the DAC to clarify how it was possible that payments could not be made due to the expiration of tax clearance certificates. He was disappointed to notice that this was not the first time the committee had raised this matter with the DAC. What was the Department doing to rectify this?   On conditional grants on community libraries, he said that in Mpumalanga there were unspent funds to complete the projects due to the termination of contracts with service providers.  What were the reasons for the termination of contracts? What was the DAC doing to prevent this from occurring again in the future?

Mr Mavunda asked when the DAC had put the internal audit function in place and whether compliance to policies and procedures had improved since then.  Concerns had been raised over the DAC’s inadequate systems to prevent irregular expenditure. What was being done to prevent irregular expenditure?

Ms Mushwana was concerned with the problem of potential stealing and she thought that the DAC was not doing enough to prevent it.  She asked for clarity on the under-expenditure due to non-implemented projects. What caused those projects not to be implemented?  Why were the provinces not spending their budgets?

On the fruitless and wasteless expenditure, she noticed that the DAC had paid people who were prohibited from doing business with the public sector. She expressed a worry that the DAC had failed to defend a court case against a service provider that had resulted in fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Referring to page 56 of the DAC presentation, Ms Mushwana said that the DG had not explicitly talked of under-performance when referring to the percentage of females employed at senior management level. The had DAC planned to employ 50%, but had underperformed by employing only 41.5%.

Ms Mushwana was concerned with the unbudgeted issues on page 59 of the presentation. It was a concern that the partnership with Basic Education had been compromised because of that.

She asked the DAC to clarify how re-prioritising could be so frequent, with re-arrangement taking place during the financial year.

Ms Mushwana also asked the DAC how many libraries had been completed and in which provinces?

Ms L Moss (ANC) expressed disappointment with DAC’s performance. It seemed that every year the Committee was raising the very same questions. Most of issues raised by Members of the Committee had been raised since the financial year of 2008/2009. It seemed that the DAC was not trying to improve and implement suggestions coming from the Portfolio Committee.  Last year, she had raised the issue of human resources under Programme 1, and had proposed at the time that the DAC present its program on administration to the Portfolio Committee and discuss it with them, as they could provide insights and suggestions on how the DAC could be structured.  It was not possible not to have a control system. This was why the AG had issued an unqualified report, with matters. It was a matter of concern that the control system was not in place for a period of time, due to a vacancy in the Audit Executive.

On the supply chain policy, Ms Moss was also concerned that the DAC was using the same service providers all the time, in case of some event taking place. This matter had also been raised in previous years.  She asked the Department to clarify what their monitoring and evaluation strategies were.

On the problem of infrastructure and the provision of libraries, she proposed that the DAC needed to take into account the economic conditions, and consider saving costs.  On the issue of entities and infrastructure, she was glad to notice that the DAC was addressing the matter, but she wondered if the same entities had ongoing issues with infrastructures. What was the time frame to solve this?  She asked if the MGE was finally implemented and if it was creating sustainable jobs.

Mr Xaba replied on the matter of 99.4% of the budget being spent, with only 55% of targets being achieved. There were some areas in which the DAC had failed to deliver and for this DAC was taking responsibility. But there were areas in which work had been done and money had been spent. He gave some examples, saying that the DAC might complete a structure, but if the target was completing and launching it, the fact that the structure was actually completed and functional was not enough to meet the target if the launch had not taken place. This had happened in some instances because of unavailability of the President. He said that this was an important lesson for the DAC.

On the unauthorised expenditure, Mr Xaba agreed that it should no longer be an issue. He clarified the difference between unauthorised and irregular expenditure. He said that the DAC did not have a problem with unauthorized expenditure, but with irregular expenditure. The unauthorsied expenditure was not from the reporting period, but included previous unathorised expenditure that had not yet been resolved. Some dated back to 2006, and the DAC was still waiting to receive condonation, and this could be issued only by the Treasury after investigations had been completed. The investigations had been completed and the DAC was now waiting for the Treasury to grant condonation.
Mr Xaba then addressed the issue of procurement and usage of the same service providers. He mentioned that for instance for Freedom Day, two weeks before the event, the contract with the service provider had expired and the DAC did not have the time to make an appointment without a tender. However, he agreed that knowing about planned events and activities in advance could not justify this conduct.  Disciplinary action was been taken whenever any DAC staff members flouted the law.   He gave an assurance that anyone providing services needed to go through procurement and go through SCM, as the DAC had centralised its procurement system.

On non-profit institutions, Mr Xaba replied that the reason why the DAC called them that was because those were institutions which, unlike the rest of the DAC institutions, were not ‘gazetted’ in terms of Schedule 3 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Those institutions that the DAC defined as non-profit were not included in Schedule 3 of the PFMA, but were institutions that were supported because they helped the DAC to meet its objectives.  He agreed with Mr Nshiqela that perhaps this needed re-wording.

Mr Xaba replied to questions on the non-payment of MGE projects and the issue of tax clearances.  When the DAC had noticed that the tax clearances were about to expire, it had alerted service providers. However, it was the service providers’ own responsibility to get tax clearance certificates. This had compromised the DAC’s own expenditure.

On the administration programme issues, he said that in previous years the DAC had re-structured the department and did not have the opportunity to present the structure to the Portfolio Committee. In April 2013, the DAC had reduced the structure and cut down the on number of positions because the old structure was not affordable. He said that the DAC had also cut down on external consultancies.

The problem of the CFO position was a challenge. The DAC had had to advertise the position twice. People that the DAC had appointed had received counter-offers and declined the position.  It was difficult to find good finance managers, so the DAC had upgraded the position from Chief Director to DDG level and had readvertised it. The DAC was now finalising the matter and would soon consult with the Cabinet to make the appointment.

Mr Xaba addressed the issue of using people blacklisted by the Treasury. Everyone could do business with government, unless the service provider had been blacklisted. The DAC did not have access to the blacklist and had had to ask the Treasury to disclose it. He reassured members that the DAC was contacting the Treasury to get that information.

He replied on matters relating to the internal audit function. The Audit Manager of the department had passed away and the DAC had been left with no Audit Manager for few months. For this reason, the DAC had used the Risk Manager to cover the function until an appointment could be made. It also had a company that outsourced internal audit, and its contract had come to end.  It had extended their contract so that the company could complete the report. Following this, it had issued a tender and now they had a new internal audit company.

In terms of reprioritizing the budget, Mr Xaba said it happened that during the financial year new responsibilities or activities needed to be undertaken. The Treasury had refused to provide funding and had asked the DAC to re-reprioritise its activities and budget.  This was a common practice for other departments as well. In the case mentioned by the members, the DAC was waiting for a virement to be granted by the Treasury. But since such virement had not beengranted, the DAC had had to reconsider its budget and activities.

Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Deputy Director General, Heritage Promotion and Preservation, DAC, confirmed what Mr Xaba said about re-prioritisation and said that this had also led a hold being put on the National Museum Policy project.  The discrepancy in the numbers of libraries built and library upgrading was an oversight. The correct figures were 14 libraries built and 36 upgraded.   On the early termination of contracts in Mpumalanga, he said that this had been done because the performance of the service provider was poor. When it was clear that the company had no capacity to complete the work, the DAC had terminated the contract.

Ms Ntombi Sikhosana, Acting Chief Financial Officer, DAC, replied on the SCM questions. A Deputy Director and two Assistant Directors had been appointed, so progress was expected.  The non-profit institution terminology was the classification that the Treasury adopted. It was not a DAC choice.  She addressed questions on “theft and losses”, and said that this was the name of a special account that included various transactions, such as the damage or scratch of a car, or the loss of cell phones.  This was then followed up. Since these were unforeseen losses and there was no budget for it, the DAC had decided to include it in the budget.  She confirmed that re-prioritisation could come at any time, depending on circumstances, but she stressed that the DAC always asked the approval of the Treasury.

Mr Mandla Langa, Financial Director: DAC, said the Department had just finalized a policy to prevent irregular and unauthorised expenditure. The Treasury had issued a revised departmental financial reporting framework which outlined the differences between unauthorised and irregular expenditure.  He reassured Members that the DAC was not only reporting irregular expenditure but was conducting investigations and taking disciplinary action to prevent it from occurring in the future.

Mr Conrad Greve, Chief Director: Human Resource Management, DAC, replied on the performance of the DAC staff employees. A monitoring process was in place with a system of marking performances. The DAC was working on a performance management and development system. There were policy and legislative requirements. All employees were required to enter into performance agreements within the first quarter of the financial year and were required to complete personal development plans outlining outputs, indicators and targets. This was then reviewed within the Human Resources department, which made sure that if employees did not achieve their targets, disciplinary action would be taken. Human resources also checked with staff what the required skills were and provided training.

At the beginning of the current financial year, in April, the DAC had started implementing its structure. This structure had been submitted to the Portfolio Committee in September 2012, but there had difficulties in setting up a date to present it to the committee. The document had been tabled and if the Committee was willing to have a presentation, the DAC would be glad to do so. Since March 2013, the DAC had advertised 40 positions and had appointed 33 people, making progress in building capacity.

The Chairperson asked why out of 80 names that the committee had proposed for geographical name changes, only eight had been approved. This was crucial in terms of the transformation agenda. Why were the rest rejected?  Were the names not appropriate?

She asked why the Dulcie September Memorial Lecture had not taken place.

She asked the DAC to clarify what had happened with the Windybrow. Was it because the Presidency had not given a date, like the previous time?

The Chairperson said that in 2012, the DAC had hosted the social cohesion event, but it seemed that since then nothing had taken place. Was it because provinces had not implemented it?

Ms Moss expressed concern over some AG qualified reports. The AG raised issues of entities, including the problems of supply. Some entities that had previously received unqualified reports, were now receiving qualified reports. She expressed doubts that receiving a qualified report had been due to the absence of a caretaker CEO in 2011/2012, because this year these entities had also received a qualified report when a caretaker CEO was in place. There needed to be more constant monitoring of activities and budget.

Dr Van Schalkwyk asked for clarification on the introduction/upgrade of two archival systems that hade not been implemented. She expressed concern that page 145 of the Annual Report read ‘reasons unknown’. Was this acceptable?

Ms Nwamitwa-Shilubana asked about the National Language Service (Programme 3) and National Archive Service (Programme 6). While the DAC had achieved progress with Programme 3, there remained issues with Programme 6. Were the targets set too high? Were there problems with procurement? What were the DAC strategies to implement Programme 6?

Mr Ndima replied on the geographic name changes. Eighty had been submitted for consideration and only eight approved. This was a normal process. When names were submitted to the South African Geographical Names Council, the names had to satisfy the criteria of representation with relevant communities. If the council was not happy with the evidence at their disposal, it could recommend that the names were not approved. This was because it needed to ensure that the process was fair.

On the Dulcie September Memorial Lecture, Mr Ndima said that the University of Western Cape wanted to ensure that there was academic independence and that there was no influence from the family or the Department. On the Dulcie September bursaries there was some disagreement between the family and the university, as the family wanted to sit in committees that took those decisions.

Mr Ndima said that the Matola Raid memorial could be opened next year on the occasion of the anniversary, which would take place on 21 January. A documentary was also being prepared and the DAC was undertaking interviews which included the President of Mozambique.

On the issues of funding that had been requested by the William Humphrey’s Art Gallery, he said that all DAC institutions were experiencing problems with a lack of funding, especially considering the current economic climate and global crisis. The DAC had encouraged the entities to use all the resources at their disposal and to continue requesting more funding.

Mr Sakiwo Tyiso, Chief Director: Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation, DAC, replied to the question about Windybrow.   Windybrow was not in a stable situation and that there were challenges within the council, with council members fighting. The DAC was trying to resolve these issues.

The Chairperson said that there was the risk of closing it down.

On the issues of the AG’s findings for some of the institutions, Mr Tyiso said that the institutions had improved. The DAC had not hade any disclaimers during the reporting period, which should be acknowledged. However, he also recognised that some institutions had regressed. The DAC needed to put into place measures to address this.

Mr Tyiso replied to the question relating to funding that was raised in the AG report. He said that this related to the capitalisation assets, including DVDs. To produce a DVD, the cost was R80. How could the DAC capitalise something whose cost was R80? The DAC had asked the AG to provide the DAC with a threshold to capitalise.

He agreed that when producing quarterly reports, the DAC should also include a progress report on how the institutions were progressing and improving, and addressing issues raised by the AG.

Ms Moss said that this was exactly what she had proposed. The DAC needed to include those institutions in their reports.

A DAC spokesperson said that and that actually the reasons why the two archive projects were not implemented were known and not unknown as reported on page 145 -- there had been a mistake in the Annual Report  There was an archive system for paper-based records and one for audio-visual records. Before these could be incorporated into the automated archival system, the DAC needed to train archivists on how the system worked. Only two archivists had received training in the Netherlands and had had to undergo further training. The reason for not implementing it so far was that the archivists needed training.

Ms Monica Newton, Deputy Director General, Arts and Culture Promotion and Development, DAC, said that the PanSALB was ‘not in great shape’. The organisation had an interim CEO and CFO, and the DAC was in the process of appointing a board to restabilise the organisation and its governance structure. The DAC was also looking into appointing a new CEO.

Mr S Ngcobo, Chief Director: Social Cohesion, DAC, replied on questions of social cohesion. This topic was under debate and was gaining importance. In June 2013, Minister Mashatile had addressed the matter in a speech. The Ahmad Kathrada Foundation had also promoted initiatives through seminars on the topic. The DAC had a task team for coordinating the implementation of the government programme around social cohesion. The DAC programmes also had advocates for social cohesion, appointed by the Minister. At the moment the DAC had 32 advocates who used their own time to promote activities falling in this category. Some of these advocates had prominent positions in society, including Mr Kathrada himself.

On the issue of community conversations, Mr Ngcobo said that the DAC had just submitted a report on a summit of community conversations, which included feedback from the communities themselves. More community conversations would be undertaken. Community conversations remained an important part of the social cohesion programme.

Mr Ngacobo admitted that provincial summits still constituted a challenge. Provinces complained that they had not budgeted for that. For this reason the Minister had written the provinces a letter to encourage them to hold summits that were supposed to have taken place in July 2013. The North West province had held one, and it was successful.

The DAC was planning to strengthen and expand existing awards to recognise individuals who were agents of social cohesion.  Social cohesion remained an exciting programme. Perhaps the progress was slow, but it was heading in the right direction.

Mr Ndima replied on the issue of the libraries, and the purchasing of library material. The DAC was working very closely with provinces to support them and to help them build more capacity.

The Chairperson expressed concern about the division in the councils. What steps were being taken? The implementation was being done by management, and not by the council. Was this really a council problem? If monitoring did not take place, things were not going to improve. The DAC had moved from level 4 to level 3 in terms of performance of governance. Was this an issue of wasted money, or management issues? Instead of improving, the department was underperforming.

In terms of the irregular expenditure, she said that planning and budgeting was perhaps not adequate.

Mr Xaba replied that the Windybrow problem was beyond a mere council problem.  It simply had not met its targets, as it was upgrading its infrastructure. There were also problems between managers and the council, who were in disagreement on a number of issues. This had led to the suspension of the CEO and CFO. There was also a problem with the council itself. There was an active manager responsible for finalising the infrastructure problems, and once the infrastructure was completed, Windybrow could operate again.

On the management performance, the DAC had found where and what the problem was. The day before, the DAC had finalised the next report on the system and he was sure that Members would be satisfied with the changes.

Minister Mashatile confirmed that he had visited Windybrow and unfortunately there were numerous issues between members of the council and the chairperson.  Some of the members may have even resigned. He reassured the Committee that the DAC would keep the Members informed of future developments.

Ms Moss complained that the Portfolio Committee had received the report very late, and this was unacceptable.

Mr Xaba apologised. He said that normally this was done seven days before the meeting but it had been his responsibility, as he had been away from the office for DAC meetings.

The Chairperson said that this was not acceptable. She concluded the meeting, saying that the Committee was not impressed with the Annual Report and its evaluation.

The meeting was adjourned.


  • We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: