One of the main challenges faced by the District Six Museum was to ensure that redevelopment of the area happened with attention to, and preservation of, memory. This process had stalled because of weaknesses in the South African heritage resources agencies, and for political reasons. District Six, in fact, had not yet been declared a national heritage site. The decision had been made by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) in 2006. As result of this, development had taken place in District Six, but it was at odds with the heritage significance of the area.
The museum received grants from the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and other spheres of government. However, the Museum was an independent organisation that needed to find ways to remain independent while benefiting from the resources of the state, as part of the heritage of the nation. One solution for this would be to include District Six in legacy projects, along with other sites of forced removal and trauma in South Africa.
The museum had been established as a trust in 1994. It was generously funded in the early days but then the general funding declined and the museum had been forced to start charging visitors an entrance fee in 2004. The Mott and Ford foundations stopped their operational grants in 2011, and since then the museum had functioned without operational funding and survived on project grants and revenue generation. The museum did not aim to live on funding only, but was ready to find new ways of sustaining itself, for instance, by increasing the number of paying visitors. Also crucial to increasing the income-generation was to diversify the offer. This meant looking at District Six as a tourist site also. While it was established as a land restitution and education project, the museum could now benefit from the tourist sector. This was, in fact, an area of increasing intervention through the creation of small packages for tourists, the development of the Visitors’ Centre, and marketing platforms such as audio-guides.
Members of the Committee were disappointed by the absence of the SAHRA delegation, as they could have explained the reasons for not declaring District Six a national heritage site. Such recognition was crucial for the museum to continue its activities in preserving the site and its legacy. Members asked the delegation from the museum to clarify the issue of funding, and to explain the reasons why it was not consistent. Aware of the fact that District Six had an invaluable heritage significance for South Africa, they supported the development of tourism programmes to attract visitors, and expressed their support for the work and activities of the museum.
The DAC presented its 2nd Quarter Expenditure and Performance Review Report. The DAC had achieved 67% of its goals, with 86 targets met against 128 planned. In terms of expenditure, it had spent 46% of its financial year budget. The slight under-expenditure was due to some vacancies that were yet to be filled and delays in receiving invoices from the Department of Public Works (DPW). On the conditional grants to libraries, the DAC had transferred 51% of the budget to provinces according to their business plan, but the provinces had spent only 39,9%. The Eastern Cape was spending well, as they were finishing off several projects. Limpopo, however, remained a challenge for the Department, as it had spent only 23.5% of its budget.
Members expressed serious concerns over Limpopo and its under-expenditure. They commented that the DPW seemed to represent an ongoing challenge for the DAC and other departments too. Some members cast doubts on the provinces’ expenditure, wondering if spending their budget corresponded to the delivery and provision of services. They expressed satisfaction with the report and the progress that the DAC was making.
The Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report, and the Committee minutes of 9 October, 15 October, 16 October, were adopted.
Briefing by District Six Museum on its operations and business continuity plans
Dr Ciraj Rassool, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, District Six Museum, presented the origins of the District Six Museum and the challenges that it faced as part of the arts, culture and heritage of South Africa. The District Six Museum was one of the key cultural institutions of the new South African nation and needed to overcome difficulties to continue contributing to the nation and its memory.
The District Six Museum origins and formation began along with the struggle over the land in District Six. The first removals in the area occurred in 1901, with African workers removed after being infected with the bubonic plague brought by rats coming from the British army ships. The final removal occurred in 1983. The District Six Museum was created by former residents. There was substantial evidence to indicate that former residents and founders of the District Six Museum turned their homes into proto-museums as the bulldozers were coming to demolish them.
The Museum was an institution of great complexity. It focused on the conservation of collections on the history of Cape Town and South Africa, and was housed mainly in the old Central Methodist Mission church building at the corner of Albertus Street and Buitenkant Street. There were exhibitions on the history of Cape Town and District Six showing the cultural, intellectual and political lives of the area. The museum also had important sections and objects, such as the map painting on the floor, the hanging narrative banners, the street signs, the portrait gallery and the memory cloth that captured the history and memories of District Six’s former residents.
The Museum moved from its original theme of ‘Hands off District Six’, to the ‘Hand on District Six’. While at the beginning the institution rejected any development of the area without a democratic participation, the District Six Museum was now supporting the redevelopment of the area, alongside the land restitution process in conjunction with the celebration of its culture and memory. It was important to recognise that land restitution was a question of memory.
Dr Rassool said that one of the main challenges that the Museum faced was to ensure that redevelopment of the area happened with attention to, and preservation of, memory. This process had stalled because of weaknesses in the South African heritage resources agencies, and for political reasons. District Six, in fact, had not yet been declared a national heritage site. The decision had been made by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) in 2006. As result of this, development had taken place in District Six, but it was at odds with the heritage significance of the area.
The District Six Museum had a positive and productive relationship with the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). The museum received grants from the DAC and other spheres of government. However, the Museum was an independent organisation that needed to find ways to remain independent while benefitting from the resources of the state, as part of the heritage of the nation. One solution for this would be to include District Six in legacy projects, along with other sites of forced removal and trauma in South Africa.
Ms Bonita Bennett, Director, District Six Museum, discussed the financial aspects of the museum and presented the challenges that it faced in terms of sustainability. The museum had been established as a trust in 1994. It was generously funded in the early days but then the general funding declined and the museum had been forced to start charging visitors an entrance fee in 2004. The ratio of funding to revenue generation in the early days was 70:30 but as funding declined the ratio was reversed. The Mott and Ford foundations stopped their operational grants in 2011, and since then the museum had functioned without operational funding and survived on project grants and revenue generation. Past funders include international organisations such as the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the British Council, the Rockefeller Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies. Locally, the museum had been funded by the National Lottery, National Arts Council, National Heritage Council, Department of Arts and Culture, Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town. In the past financial year, the museum had received a grant from the City of Cape Town, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the National Heritage Council and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport of the Western Cape Government.
The museum’s expertise had been confirmed, as it had received various awards, including the Museum of the Year awarded by the Department of Arts and Culture in 2010. Internationally, the museum had also developed expertise by being one of the founding members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience in 1999. Moreover, it was part of a team of experts advising UNESCO on promotion and protection of museum collections, and was part of a consultant team for the African Union Memorial development.
The District Six Museum was an interesting organisation that did not only include the development of a tourist site, but involved the former residents, as it was part of the District Six community. In this regard, the museum had several development projects that included the elderly and the youth.
The museum was not only about the restitution of the land to those who had been removed, but also about cultural restitution.
The strategic goals of the institution included:
• To retain the museum at the centre of the cultural reconstruction of District Six and Cape Town through working with the memories and experiences of displaced people;
• To play an advocacy role in terms of heritage and museum policy development;
• To consolidate the museum’s place as a centre of knowledge-making, for creativity and innovation; and
• To develop a new funding and governance model based on diversified funding streams and new forms of income-generation.
In particular, the fourth strategic goal showed that the museum did not aim to live on funding only, but was ready to find new ways of sustaining itself, for instance, by increasing the number of paying visitors. Only former residents and pensioners did not pay for entrance, and the museum was planning to keep it that way. Also crucial to increasing the income-generation was to diversify the offer. This meant looking at District Six as a tourist site also. While it was established as a land restitution and education project, the museum could now benefit from the tourist sector. This was, in fact, an area of increasing intervention through the creation of small packages for tourists, the development of the Visitors’ Centre, and marketing platforms such as audio-guides.
There were significant financial achievements. The museum had managed to survive and proved it could succeed financially. However, this did not mean that the museum did not need funding. There were a number of challenges that the institution faced. All the resources had been directed towards generating income and reducing expenditure. But cutting costs meant also reducing the human resources capacity and staff. The previous year, the District Six Museum had had 20 staff members, but this year it had only 12. Funding was needed to hire staff, and was essential for the development of the museum and new projects, such as funding education and memory programmes that had little or no potential to recoup funds.
Another serious challenge was the ongoing lack of recognition of District Six’s heritage value, as the area had yet to be declared a national heritage site. This needed to be discussed again, as the lack of this recognition exposed the vulnerability of the site. It was difficult to balance the preservation of the heritage and memory with the commercialisation aspects. The museum was a key institution that contributed to the national discussion on memory and displacement, but to keep on doing so it needed more support.
The Chairperson was disappointed to notice that, despite being invited, the South African Heritage Resources Agency had not come to the meeting. It was supposed to discuss with the District Six Museum delegation the reasons why it had yet to declare District Six as a national heritage site. However, she said that District Six could also be a legacy project for the DAC.
She asked what the vacant site shown in the presentation was. Had that site been acquired? In this eventuality, what was the purpose?
Speaking on founders and sponsors, she asked if all the sponsors listed by Ms Bennett had stopped funding the museum, and if they were not funding anymore.
In terms of generating income and the entrance fees, the Chairperson asked the delegation to clarify the tourist development aspects of District Six. She was aware that revenues could increase with tourism, but also highlighted that District Six had firstly a political and cultural significance and was part of the history of South Africa.
Mr N van den Berg (DA) said that the District Six Museum was an important part of history and memory for everyone, including the Afrikaners. It was one of the most important places in South Africa and it needed to be developed further to show how much had been destroyed by apartheid. In terms of tourism, he said that the museum had the potential to become one of the top visiting sites in South Africa, just like Robben Island and Table Mountain.
District Six needed to be declared a national heritage site so that the museum could carry on with its work in a better position. While the Portfolio Committee would support them, it was a shame that SAHRA had not taken part in the meeting, as the District Six Museum was waiting for an answer.
Mr S Ntapane (UDM) asked if there had been any negotiations with SAHRA for the declaration of District Six as a national heritage site and asked them to explain what the problems were. In what way was the District Six Museum ‘vulnerable’? In the strategic goals, the delegation had talked about finding new ways to fund the museum. He asked if they had started to develop new areas of income generation, and if this was already working.
Ms T Nwamitwa-Shilubana (ANC) asked how much the entrance fee was. She also asked for clarification on the Mott and Ford foundations’ grants. On the past founders, she asked why those foundations and the institutions mentioned were no longer funding.
Ms L Moss (ANC) pointed out that in District Six, not only Coloureds but also Africans had been removed as well. She asked when the province of the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town had last assisted the museum with funding. She also wondered if besides funding, the District Six Museum was receiving any emotional or other support from the provincial and local governments because of the historical significance of the site. She recalled that President Mandela had himself visited the site to make sure that District Six could remain as part of the history of South Africa.
Ms Moss also wondered what the role of the state in the preservation of the history of forced removal was. The state maintained apartheid monuments, so how could it not support the District Six Museum? The state should preserve history in every province and not focus only on Gauteng, because everyone everywhere was affected by apartheid.
Mr Van den Berg said he felt offended by Ms Moss’s considerations, as she seemed to be leveling accusations at the province of the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town because they were governed by the DA.
Ms Moss and the Chairperson denied such allegations. Ms Moss did not intend to accuse the DA but wanted to point out that provincial and local governments had a fundamental role in supporting the District Six Museum, regardless of their political affiliation.
Dr Rassool replied on the question of the vacant site picture. The site was Horstley Street in District Six, and the picture showed the place where the first and last forced removals had occurred in District Six. The District Six Museum and the District Six Beneficiary and Redevelopment Trust planned to turn that vacant site into a memorial park. Therefore, alongside the development of new houses, a park would be a reminder of the forced removal from District Six in the past.
Dr Rassool said he was a member of the council of SAHRA, which in September 2006 had had to decide if Districts Six could be declared national heritage site. That decision had been made after SAHRA had worked together with the District Six Museum to develop a conservation management plan which was formally presented to the council in August 2006. SAHRA had not gone ahead with the declaration because of the problem that SAHRA had with sites of history. SAHRA was an organisation that was excellent in architecture and archeology, but the only historical sites it was able to declare as national heritage sites were graves. He also noticed that SAHRA tended to grant national heritage status to some monuments only when it was suggested by the Minister of Arts and Culture. In 2006, SAHRA had claimed that there was a problem in understanding where the boundaries of District Six were. The land of District Six was important for memory and heritage, and any re-development needed to be thought through carefully, but the declaration of the national heritage value of District Six would support the future development of the area, which would be done in respect of its memory and history.
Ms Bennett addressed the question of funding. The District Six Museum was part of a nostalgia and memory project, but it was also a tourist site. The museum was developing this aspect, creating tourist packages to reflect the past lives and experience of District Six. This project had not brought a significant income, but there were opportunities to further develop this new area of income-generation.
In terms of provincial and local governments, she said that the museum was not a city competence, even though the City of Cape Town provided a grant to develop tourist projects. The provincial government was not able to fund an independent museum constantly. It had provided only some funding, and for this reason the District Six Museum was starting considering the option of becoming a provincial museum. She recognised that the museum was a difficult institute to fund. The Department of Tourism had provided some funding for the period of the World Cup, but the District Six Museum needed more consistent support.
Ms Bennett also replied on the funding provided by the Mott and Ford foundations. She said that these institutions had changed their priorities. The Mott Foundation was now funding social movements and community grant makers and by definition the museum did not fall into any of those categories. The Ford Foundation had reduced its arts and culture expenditure in South Africa, and the museum no longer received funding.
On the racial aspects of District Six, she said that area was the original home of everyone, and was not only part of the Coloured history. It was not a “Coloured” museum, but a museum of Cape Town that dealt with the complexity of race.
On the entrance fees, Ms Bennett replied that the entrance fee was R30, with an additional R15 for a guided tour with a former resident. Children paid R5.
The Chairperson said that the Portfolio Committee would do whatever was in their power to support the District Six Museum, and she would ask SAHRA to clarify its position.
Briefing by DAC on its 2nd quarter expenditure report
Mr S Xaba, Director-General, Department of Arts and Culture, thanked the Committee for the work the Members had done in terms of passing the South African Language Practitioners’ Council Bill.
He then presented the DAC’s 2nd Quarter Expenditure and Performance Review Report. The DAC had achieved 67% of its goals, with 86 targets met against 128 planned. In the second quarter of the year, the DAC had achieved more than in the first quarter, when the Department had achieved 77% of its targets. The DAC had spent 46% of its financial year budget, with the administration programme spending at 57%, the performing arts at 44%, the National Language Services at 61%, cultural development at 52%, heritage promotion at 39%, and the National Archives and Library Services at 50%. Within this expenditure and according to economic classification, the DAC had spent 47% of its budget on compensation. The DAC was spending less than it should have done, and this was due to some vacancies that were yet to be filled. The DAC had spent 41% of the budget on goods and services, 51% in conditional grant, 52% on departmental agencies and accounts, 26% on capital works, 50% on non-profit organisations, 89% on households and 16% on capital assets.
Over the last couple of years, the DAC had reduced its expenditure on external payments. In particular, it had reduced expenditure on entities, conditional grants, capital works and households. The DAC aimed to use most of its budget for the delivery of services.
Compensation of employees constituted 47% of the expenditure as at 30 September. Since March 2013, 34 posts had been advertised and 23 of them had been filled. The Department was now in the process of filling the remaining vacant positions. The under-expenditure in goods and services (41%) was due to the wrong allocation of Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) funds under the goods and services category, when it was supposed to have been in the households. The DAC was waiting for approval of the virement from the Treasury. Another reason for the under-expenditure was the delay in receiving invoices from the Department of Public Works (DPW).
On the conditional grants to libraries, the DAC had transferred 51% of the budget to provinces according to their business plan. While the DAC had transferred 51,3%, provinces had spent only 39,9%. The Eastern Cape was spending well, as they were finishing off several projects. The Free State, Gaunteng, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Western Cape, North West and KwaZulu-Natal were doing well. Limpopo remained a challenge for the Department, as it had spent only 23.5% of its budget. The DAC was assisting the province.
The transfer to DAC institutions had been 52%, which included an advance payment to the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), an institution that needed assistance. On capital works, the DAC was experiencing some challenges, as the DPW submitted claims late and this had caused under-expenditure. The DAC had appointed a project support team to speed up the completion of ongoing projects.
The Department had spent 50% on non-profit organisations and this was exactly in line with the guideline percentage. Households reflected an over-expenditure, but he assured the Committee that once the DAC received the virement from Treasury, the money would be transferred from goods and services to households. The DAC did not anticipate any over or under expenditure in the coming months. On capital assets, the DAC had a bit of under-expenditure (16%) as the Department would be paying in October for services purchased early on. By the end of the third quarter, the DAC would have spent 80% on capital assets.
He said that 160 practitioners had been placed in schools, against a target of 160 for the whole financial year. The DAC had signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with six provinces, but not with the Northern Cape, because the province had yet to present taxation documentation. As soon as the DAC got the documentation, the MoA would also be signed with them. The target of four public art programmes for the second quarter had not been implemented yet. Some of those programmes would start in October. The DAC aimed to create 1 150 jobs by March 2014 and 550 had already been created. In terms of language bursaries, the DAC had planned to award 280 bursaries, but it had achieved 336 because of the low registration fees of UNISA.
The DAC had planned to provide 900 flags and poles to schools by the end of the second quarter and 1 000 flags had been installed. It had distributed 45 458 hand flags against a second quarter target of 20 000. This was due to a higher demand for hand flags within DAC public institutions, such as Freedom Park and the provinces. The DAC was supposed to have had two heritage projects for the whole financial year, but this had been delayed. The DAC was still appointing a contractor for the OR Tambo Interpretative Centre and it was waiting for a permit from SAHRA and the approval of the design. The Centenary of the Union Building, with the Mandela statue, was done and the project almost completed.
The number of heritage bursaries was 61, against a target of 106 for the whole financial year. The DAC had created 2 300 jobs for the heritage sector against a target of 2 082 for the second quarter, and a target of 9 382 for the whole financial year. Two libraries had been upgraded against a target of five for the second quarter and 40 for the whole financial year. The provinces of Limpopo and North West were still problematic and the DAC hoped to assist them in the upgrading of libraries. The DAC did not plan to build new community libraries in the second quarter.
In terms of jobs created to support Arts and Culture events, the DAC had created 4 195 short term jobs against a target of 9 832 for the full year. It planned to have five touring ventures by the end of the year. He said that submissions were on their way and the DAC was waiting for approval. The Department had hosted 13 cultural events against a quarter target of 13 and a full-year target of 39.
The DAC had paid all its service providers within 30 days and it had gained an unqualified audit report. It had 224 training interventions against a target of 150. The Department had reached its target of 1.8% in terms of people with disability employed. It had wanted to limit the vacancy rate to 13% in the second quarter, but it had performed better, with an 8.3% level by 30 September. The capital expenditure on public works had been only 25%, against a target of 50%, because of invoices coming late, but the DAC was expediting the process now.
The DAC had supported two enrichment programmes for target groups. It had organised the Field Band Foundation Championship that took place on the 28 September and the Soulbent programme that had started in August.
The Department achieved its targets with regard to the number of terminologies adopted within the programme of the National Language Services.
On cultural development, the National Book Week took place between 2 and 7 September and had been successful. The DAC was discussing institutional arrangements for a National Art Bank (NAB), and this was an ongoing process. The DAC had participated in two continental events and supported four cultural programmes, meeting expectations. This testified to the internationalisation of South African arts and culture.
As for the heritage programme, the number of policies/legislative instruments developed had not entirely been achieved. The service provider to conduct a cost analysis had not yet been appointed, and this would be finalised by the end of December 2013. The national Living Heritage policy had been submitted to the Cabinet and was in the process of being approved. The national policy on Underwater Cultural Heritage had been submitted and awaited approval from the Cabinet. The national Digitisation of Heritage Resources policy and the National Heritage Human Resources Development strategy had been submitted to the Minister for approval. The Department had decided not to proceed with the submission of the Cultural Laws Third Amendment Bill and to wait until the White Paper had been finalised. It had hosted and celebrated the Mandela Day on 18 July 2013 in Qunu (Eastern Cape) and the Heritage Day on 24 September 2013 in Mdantsane.
The archives and records projects had been particularly successful. The DAC had conducted two oral history projects against a target of one, inventoried 1 979 audio-visual records against a target of 100, presented three outreach programmes against a target of one, and purchased 56 120 library materials against a target of 40 000.
The Chairperson asked the DAC to clarify the signature of MoAs with provinces and to explain the reasons why some had not yet been signed. She said that the number of provinces the DAC had mentioned was not correct. If the DAC had signed MoAs with six provinces, what were the provinces beside the Northern Cape with which the DAC had not signed MoAs? She also expressed concern about the expenditure of Limpopo, with only 23,5% of its budget used. She said the DPW seemed to represent an issue for every department, not only for the Department of Arts and Cultures.
Mr Ntapane cast doubts on provinces’ expenditure and said that it was not enough to say that provinces were spending satisfactorily. Outcomes needed to be considered too, to understand if the expenditure reflected the delivery of services. He asked what the DAC was doing about Limpopo, which had spent only 23.5% of its budget. On support for the public art programme, he asked the DAC to explain how the target could be four and no target had been achieved. Every time the DAC came to present, there was always a question about the flags. He wondered why the DAC had not yet appointed a service provider to install the flags. Waiting for the approval of SAHRA to appoint contractors for the legacy projects reflected badly on the DAC’s performance, and he wondered what the problem with SAHRA could be.
Mr Ntapane asked why the DAC still had vacancies. He also asked what criteria were used to choose artists and performers for international and continental events.
Dr H van Schalkwyk (DA) asked what percentage of the total budget had been used for compensation of employees.
Mr Van den Berg (DA) was concerned about the under-expenditure. It took a long time to spend 46% of the budget. December and January were not busy months and he was worried that by the end of the financial year, the DAC would not have spent its entire budget. He also expressed doubts that the budget was being spent on the delivery of services.
Mr Xaba replied that the DAC was also disappointed with the DPW. However, in the past year the delivery of the DPW had improved. The main problem remained with the invoicing process. If the DPW did not invoice the DAC in time, this reflected as an under-performance for the Department. In order to solve the matter and take away pressure from the DPW, the DAC was now taking projects outside the DPW.
He assured the Committee that the provincial expenditure was translating into service delivery. Many libraries had been completed and equipped with computers and publications. Communities that had never had libraries could now access these facilities. He recognised, however, that there was scope for improvement. In order to speed up the process of library construction, the DAC had agreed to have only two or three designs. This would cut costs and time for the delivery of libraries and services. The DAC was also going to appoint a national service provider that would assist provinces and municipalities. Provinces that were struggling often complained about Public Works. The DAC was planning to have a default service provider so that if provinces were experiencing problems with Public Works, they could use the nationally-appointed entity.
Mr Xaba addressed the question about choosing performers for events outside the country. There were different ways to choose. For the event organised with France, for instance, this decision was made by the joint organising committee representing South Africa and France. There were also two Commissioner Generals who were responsible for the artistic programme that had to have a South African and French component, with a South African artist and a French one. In general, however, there was usually a curator or an artistic director who made that decision. Therefore, the decision on who performed was generally not made by the DAC.
Mr Xaba said that the percentage of compensation for employees, compared to the total budget, was 6.7%.
He addressed the question on the time left to spend the budget and said that he was confident that the DAC had enough time to spend it, even considering that December and January were ‘slow’ months.
Mr Moleleki Ledimo, Director of Arts, Social Development and Youth, DAC, replied on the issue of provinces with whom the DAC had not yet signed MoAs. There were agreements with two provinces and seven provinces had been outstanding. MoAs had then been signed with six out of the seven outstanding provinces, and the only one left out had been was the Northern Cape, due to the lack of a tax exemption certificate. Until a tax exemption certificate was produced, the DAC could not sign the MoA.
He addressed the question on the public art programme. Beneficiaries had been found and MoAs signed. But in this case, the DAC was also still waiting for a tax exemption certificate. There had also been another delay due to the virement on the MGE money that had yet to be approved by the Treasury and was still classified as goods and services. Once the virement was approved, the public art programmes would be implemented.
Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Deputy Director General, Heritage Promotion and Preservation, DAC, addressed the question on SAHRA. SAHRA was a regulatory body that aimed to protect heritage and ensure that the heritage maintained originality, authenticity and integrity. Whenever an historic institution, such as OR Tambo’s house, needed an upgrade, SAHRA intervened to ensure that minimal modification took place to preserve the authenticity of the institution. The DAC ensured that it took SAHRA’s advice and there was an ongoing negotiation between the DAC and SAHRA.
On the issue of the flags, Mr Ndima said that the second quarter report showed progress compared to the previous financial year in terms of the number of flags. The DAC was increasing the number of flags in each province. In this regard, it was cooperating more with the Department of Basic Education.
Mr Conrad Greve, Chief Director of Human Resource Management, DAC, replied on the questions of vacancies. The DAC each year set a rate of 10%. Usually a figure of between 5% to 10% was a ‘natural attrition’ which in HR language indicated employees that voluntarily resigned, employees who retired or passed away. In a stable and healthy organisation that figure was between 5% and 10%. The target for the current year was 10% and the target for the quarter under consideration was 13%. This was due to the positions that had been vacant from the beginning of the year. Currently the DAC had a vacancy ratio of 8.3% which was already below the annual target and which could even reach 5% by the end of the year if the two vacancies that the DAC had from the beginning of the year were to be filled.
Ms Moss raised concerns about the spending of provinces. She was worried that some libraries could overspend their money, which was not a good sign. Were libraries spending money that they did not have? She was also concerned that provinces may get funding for certain projects and spend it on other projects. Was this possible?
Mr Xaba replied that KwaZulu-Natal had not overspent and said he may have used the wrong term during the presentation. The province had just spent it very quickly. However, the province had also delivered completed projects. In the Eastern Cape, the province had changed its business plan but had obtained approval from the DAC. This was the procedure for changing the business plan. Generally, however, the DAC did not change business plans easily. The Eastern Cape was simply moving money from upgrading facilities to the building of new ones.
The Chairperson was happy about the presentation and said that the DAC seemed to listen to the comments and suggestions of the Committee.
Mr Mavunda expressed concern about the delays in expenditure caused by the DPW. This impacted on departments, and not only the Department of Arts and Cultures. This issue had to be resolved soon.
The Chairperson asked Mr Mavunda if he needed a reply, or if it was just a comment.
Mr Mavunda said it was only a comment.
Adoption of the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report
The Chairperson asked if there was any issues regarding the Report and decided to go page by page. The committee adopted the report with minor amendments.
Adoption of Committee minutes
The minutes of 9 October, 15 October (with amendments through the addition of the issue on the Mandela statue) and 16 October were adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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