Business and Arts on 2015 strategic plan; Ifa Lethu Foundation plans & performance 2005 to 2015
Arts and Culture
02 June 2015
Chairperson: Ms X Tom (ANC)
The Ifa Lethu Foundation briefed the Committee, noting that it was set up in 2005, with support from the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) as a developmental organisation, and it supported entrepreneurship, believing that the arts and culture sector could be a catalyst to economic development. Seed funding had come from the DAC and BHP Biliton. Its core business was repatriation of artworks that had been removed from South Africa during the apartheid era. Its business development plan was in line with the Millennium Development Goals, the National Development Plan, Mzansi Golden Economy as well as the Green Economy Plans. It had particularly looked to the needs of youth in rural communities and had a five-phase programme in partnership with University of Pretoria. Some of the case studies described included a fossil casting initiative in Tshwane, a project helping the community to recycle and sell on glass beads in Limpopo (which was now trading internationally), and development of "Africa's Picasso", artist Michael Selekane. Although the Foundation’s strategic plan had rapidly grown and funding was a challenge. The DAC had abruptly stopped funding without notice or explanation. If this did not improve, the Foundation would need to return artworks donated.
Members were curious to know what the exact funding relationship was between the Department and the Ifa Lethu Foundation, asked why it did not seek to fund-raise, and how beneficiaries were selected. The DAC, when asked to expand on the funding issues, explained that this entity was not alone, and the Department would have to re-think the whole funding model being used to sustain entities related to the DAC.
Business and Arts South Africa briefed the Committee on its 2015 Strategic Plans. It had been in existence for 18 years and operated in three main areas, in the public, private and arts sectors, and received funding from the DAC and business. It provided services such as research, lobbying and advocacy and bespoke services to business, and had developed education programmes to assist artists in starting up businesses or improving on existing plans. Within the arts BASA also provided supporting grants, mentorship programmes and supporting grants. It was able, for society as a whole, to provide value of arts campaigns to create more awareness. It had partnerships with other countries, and was the only institution of this kind in Africa, although there were similar organisations in Brazil and Canada.
Members asked BASA for clarity on its sphere of influence and what was defined as "the arts". Members questioned why there were no airline sponsors, asked for a full list of beneficiaries, and asked if it engaged with parastatals. The DAC clarified that it had a more vibrant relationship with BASA because it was a two way relationship.
Ifa Lethu Foundation plans & performance 2005 to 2015
Prior to the presentation, the Chairperson briefly noted that this Committee's role was to oversee the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC or the Department) because if departments succeeded, so did government, and hence society. She emphasised the importance of vision and remaining focused on aspirations. She explained to the presenters that Members would ask questions, which may go beyond what had been presented, and the issues should not be seen as personal.
Dr Narissa Ramdhani, Chief Executive Officer, Ifa Lethu Foundation (Ifa Lethu or the Foundation) noted that the Foundation had last appeared before the committee in 2011, since when it had grown phenomenally. She explained that it was not for profit company that had been in existence for ten years. She was very proud of the achievements that the Foundation had in those ten years. The Foundation was set up in 2005, with the intervention of the Department of Arts and Culture, as a development organisation. She noted that South Africa, according to the Global Entrepreneurial Report, was performing poorly in comparison to other emerging economies. There was a need for government to make a greater impact on poverty and unemployment. Ifa Lethu was therefore driven by the need to support individuals. and to support successful entrepreneurial activities.
Dr Ramdhani gave an overview of the South African cultural scene, which could be a catalyst for economic development. The Foundation faced several challenges such as the legacy of apartheid and the quality of cultural products. Dr Ramdhani said that there was a difficulty in relation to the quality of cultural products being produced. Most times, these products were not "export ready" but the artists were under the impression that the products were indeed so. The training glut was a challenge; much money was poured into training but thereafter there was a lack of an enabling environment. Youth could not gain access into economic opportunities; neither could they gain access to funding.
Dr Ramdhani explained that Ifa Lethu was first set up in 2005 as a repatriation initiative to repatriate South African “lost” heritage from the struggle times. The Foundation was therefore the largest heritage repatriation organisation in South Africa and had repatriated over 501 works from 16 countries. Most of the art was donated by Australian diplomats who had purchased the art from South African artists during the apartheid era. The artworks were an example of overcoming adversity, as the artists had managed to create artwork with limited resources. The heritage collection was used to educate children and youth and to achieve social healing and social cohesion. When the artworks were brought back into the country some of the artists were still alive, so this had been a very emotional moment for the artists and their families. In addition the collection was used to overcome adversity and was sampled at local and global exhibitions. Some of the artworks were exhibited during the World Cup, Olympic Games and during the Australian Prime Minister’s address.
Three years after the formation of the Foundation, it realised that it had to make arts and culture relevant to poverty alleviation and unemployment. The Foundation’s development path included creative entrepreneurship, holistic community intervention and filling niche areas. They Foundation embarked on business development that was in line with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as poverty alleviation. It also focused on business development in line with the National Development plan particularly innovation. In addition it was contributing to Mzansi’s Golden Economy through employment creation. The business development also included green economy plans that promoted environmental responsibility.
The Ifa Lethu Foundation conducted a needs analysis in the youth and in communities and these needs were being addressed through a five phase programme. The programme was developed in partnership with the School of Entrepreneurship at the University of Pretoria. The first phase involved product development which focused on trying to get products export ready. The second phase was business development and the third phase was the life skills phase. The fourth phase was the business incubator and mentorship through a platform called Creative Hands. The last phase was the marketing and distribution model. Dr Ramdhani therefore summarised that the process was a" total value process" that involved the transference of life skills.
Dr Ramdhani then presented some of the case studies.
- The Fossil Casting in Tshwane was carried out in conjunction with Professor Lee Burger from the University of Witwatersrand. Professor Berger discovered several new fossils which were now in demand worldwide. There were, however, no skills in South Africa to copy the fossils and the Ifa Lethu Foundation partnered with Professor Berger to train young people in fossil casting. The fossil casting workshop was funded by the Us Embassy. The fossil casting facilitated job creation, and created social entrepreneurs, as a shop was opened at the Cradle of Humankind.
- The Soweto Business Incubator had used all five training phases. One of the great successes was the creation of Moxy, a children’s book created by an artist named Mxolisi. The Foundation was helping him market his books.
- The Ngove Village in Limpopo was a project that ran from 2011-2013 and implemented the five phase programme from start to successful trading. The focus of the project was on recycling and the green economy. Women were taught traditional method of manufacturing glass beads and these beads were sold to other women in the community who created unique jewellery.
- The Clarens project in the Free State was one that provided artists with creative skills and business skills. Within this project there was also a transfer of indigenous knowledge.
Dr Ramdhani then gave the Foundation’s Youth Ambassador an opportunity to address the Committee, and introduced Michael Selekane, referred to as "Africa’s Picasso". He was discovered at a workshop in Mabopane in 2007.
Michael said that he was born in Mpumalanga in 1986 and was raised by his grandparents. He later joined his mother, a domestic worker, and his step-father in Pretoria. He passed matric and he started working as a tracing agent for a debt collection company. He then joined an arts school in Pretoria and that was when he fell in love with oil painting. He came across Ifa Lethu and was asked to join their development programme. Ifa Lethu assisted him to enrol in university and he obtained a B-Tech in Fine arts. The Foundation ran workshops and provided him with mentorship in the person of Michael Moodley. His work was promoted locally and internationally. Michael then got the opportunity to present his work at Lord Meyer’s house in London. He noted that from 2005 up until 2015 the Foundation managed to make a significant impact. 28 000 youth were employed, 800 young businesses were formed, 60 ambassadors were chosen, and 510 artworks were repatriated to South Africa among a host of other initiatives.
Dr Ramdhani then continued her presentation and moved on to the Department’s strategic plan. The Foundation’s strategic plan had evolved from one pillar, of repatriation, to its current six pillars of operation, adding also employment creation, financial investment, indigenous knowledge, advocacy and outreach and education. Ifa Lethu Foundation’s vision was to be a leader in the creative sector in South Africa and a development force for economic growth, financial investment, employment creation and youth and community development. She highlighted the Foundation’s governance structure and objectives, and noted that the current project funders were ABSA, US Aid, Australia Aid, the Gauteng Tourism authority and the National Treasury. She ended her presentation by explaining that there was no funding for their core business such as administration, operations and staff salaries.
The Chairperson said that she was impressed and appreciated the awesome story form Michael Selekane. The Chairperson liked Ifa Lethu's objectives as they made it easier for the Department to monitor and evaluate the Foundation. However, she then commented that the Committee had previously expressed the view that the DAC was not doing enough, nor was it working to the best of its ability. This presentation by the If Lethu allowed the Committee to test whether the Department was in fact doing what it should. She asked that the Department must also give an overview of Ifa Lethu, and understand how the Ifa Lethu would reach the goals it had set for 2018. The Committee was here to advise the Foundation, particularly since it was focusing on giving skills to young people. She asked if the Foundation had a sense of how much it needed to cover its operational costs.
Mr J Mahlangu (ANC) welcomed the presentation by the Ifa Lethu Foundation and the Youth Ambassador. He said that, as a section 21 company, the Foundation had to appreciate its role. The conclusion of the presentation contained some telling information, particularly when Dr Ramdhani noted that if there was insufficient funding; artworks would have to be returned to their donors. He also asked whether the Ifa Lethu had been considered as possibly becoming one of the DAC entities. Non profit entities were the last to be considered in difficult financial times, but they could only exist when extra funding was available. Mr Mahlangu was unable to pick up, from the presentation, what amount of funding it was getting from the Department. If it was planning to do other work in provinces and municipalities, he wondered where the funding would come from - and stressed that it was crucial for the Committee to know this before meeting with the National Lottery. Finally, he asked about the areas of operation, noting that there were also community art centres operated by the Department here, and asked how the Foundation functioned, whether it made use of the art centres, and how it envisaged working with those centres. He finally asked where, in Pretoria, it was located.
Mr G Grootboom (DA) stated that the Foundation had said it had a national footprint and he wanted to know its relationship and how it was situated vis a vis the DAC.
Ms V Mogotsi (ANC) asked with which other departments the Foundation was working. She commented that the Foundation had stated that it was helping to achieve the MDGs, and this suggested it might be able to work with the Department of Social Development, whilst work on green area might mean that it could get assistance from the Department of Energy. She asked whether it was developing the formal or informal youth sectors. She asked where the moral regeneration was being done, and whether women and the aged were also helped to transfer skills.
Ms N Bilankulu (ANC) targeted her questions at the training of rural youth. She wanted to know how many youths would be trained in that financial year, and from which provinces. She also wanted to know what the criterion for training was. She was also interested in where the Ngove project was located and whether it was still in operation.
Mr J Mahlangu (ANC) asked whether the original core business of repatriation was executed under any particular law, or if it was voluntary. He also wanted clarity on the projects in Limpopo.
Dr Ramdhani said that with regards to funding the Foundation had adopted an outsourcing model. Most of its services were outsourced. The funding required for operations was R3 million rand a year, and for projects around R7 million per year. A conversation had been started as to whether the Foundation might become one of the Departmental entities, but that had stalled, and last year it had been told it was not possible because it would be too complex. She remarked that there had been no interest from the DAC even though it had been providing the services, with the Foundation "on the fringes". When the Ifa Lethu Foundation began, there was seed funding from the DAC amounting to R3 million and a further R5 million was provided by BHP Billiton. The DAC then made a further commitment of R1.5 million over three years. In 2014, however, funding from the DAC abruptly stopped. In 2011, the Foundation had requested the last tranche of funding, for the previous three years, and its plans for sustainability included setting up a trust and setting up a trading company. No explanation was given for the funding being stopped, until the Chairman took it up, and was told that no further funding would be provided. The National Arts Council made R1 million available for projects and this funding would go towards the projects in Springbok and in Clarens. Projects were an investment, hoping to yield R23 million over the next six to eight years.
Dr Ramdhani spoke to how projects were chosen and funded. The funders usually expressed a preference for the rural areas which they were interested in assisting. The Foundation would present the funders with a list of community needs, mostly based on the relationships created with committee members, councillors and indunas. The Foundation targeted youths in the informal sector who could not gain access to tertiary education but had passed grade 12. In addition the Foundation engaged community leaders in the selection of the youth, in order to ensure sustainability and ensure that, with support from the leaders, they would stay in the Ifa Lethu programmes. When there were Community Arts centres run by the Department in an area, the Foundation would make use of their facilities, and it would also use tourist centres. All its initiatives involved partnerships.
The Foundation had not worked in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape because of limited funding and limited staff. It was located in Groenkloof Pretoria where it began as a start-up foundation, and this area was also chosen because of its proximity to foreign embassies, with whom the Foundation dealt on repatriation, also because rural areas around Pretoria had been neglected and many of the artists came from Pretoria. In Free State and KwaZulu Natal, it worked with provincial DACs.
Dr Ramdhani confirmed that Ifa Lethu collaborated with the Departments of Education and contributed to the art curriculum. It had a working relationship with the Departments of Social Development and Rural Development and Land Reform. The Department of Trade and Industry had not been helpful. Michael Selekane was working with Correctional Services programmes, and with terminally ill patients. Arts for healing and for therapy had been started with a School of Psychology in Mamelodi.
She responded to the question on moral regeneration by stating that there was a transfer of indigenous knowledge by older artists in Mamelodi. Moral regeneration also took place within the life skills phase of the give five-phase training programme. The Foundation had been created in alignment with the Cultural Properties Act. In addition it had also worked with UNESCO.
Mr Grootboom interjected and wanted clarity on whether the artworks in Foundation’s possession were to be returned.
Dr Ramdhani responded by saying that if the Foundation could not sustain itself for the next six months then there was the possibility that the artworks would have to be returned. The Foundation was holding the artworks until a Museum of African Arts was built. The donors had signed contracts of deposit with the Foundation, but if the contracts were not fulfilled, the art would have to be returned.
Dr Ramdhani explained the beneficiaries of the Foundation’s projects were identified in consultation with schools, indunas, mayors and councillors. The Foundation always emphasised to the youths that were selected that participating on the project was a privilege. The Foundation had managed to turn around selected youths from irresponsible youths hanging around the streets to respected members of their communities.
Department of Arts and Culture input
At the request of the Chairperson, the Department of Arts and Culture clarified some issues.
Ms Monica Newton, Deputy Director: Institutional Government, DAC, said that there was a conversation regarding the appropriate relationship between the Department and the Ifa Lethu Foundation. The Department was aware of the Foundation and there was somewhat constant engagement between the two institutions. Ifa Lethu was not singled out; there were a lot of organisations in the same predicament. The entire sustainability of NPOs relying on external structures was now under scrutiny, and there was a need to rethink the role of an NPO in the arts sector and perhaps allow the NPOs to generate profit within the legal threshold. The reality was that the Foundation could not continue on the basis of long term financing from the Department. The dance community suffered a similar crisis and could no longer be funded by the Arts Council. Whilst the Department did not seek to negate the good work that Ifa Lethu had done, it had to make way for others. In relation to the possibility of becoming an entity, she confirmed that there was a long list of other organisations claiming eligibility. The relationship had to grow and change. In the future, consideration would have to be given to cross-funding and revenue generating projects, as Ifa Lethu had pointed out.
Ms Newton also pointed out that it was difficult to quantify the national impact, and the Foundation would also have to make concerted efforts with other departments.
The Chairperson stated that it was important for the Department to have this constant conversation with the entities within the Department. However, the DAC should not have provided funding then abruptly withdraw it, without notice, and this very fact suggested that the Department was not in constant contact with entities, and this was unacceptable. She accepted that entities could not be dependent on the DAC forever, but it was important to map out how they could be weaned away. Working in silos did not produce results, and the Department must find out about the programmes. The Committee was appealing to the Department to bring such entities under one roof and to adopt an integrated approach where necessary. For instance, the Departments of Tourism and DAC could work together to make effective use of limited resources.
Ms V Mogotsi (ANC) stated that Ifa Lethu was a non profit organisation and therefore the issue of fundraising lay with the NPO itself. She suggested that it was up to the Foundation to fund-raise and knock on as many doors as it could, in order to raise funding. This was a two-way issue. The Foundation could do more to fund-raise. The Department could do more to assist the Foundation. The Department had its own operations to run.
The Chairperson said that it was important for the Department to offer money to this NPO, but it was also important for it to seek assistance from other departments. For example, the programme on art as healing could be funded by the Department of Health. The budget of all government departments was shrinking every year, so there was a need to look at other areas.
Dr Ramdhani acknowledged that as an NPO, the Foundation was expected to move towards sustainability and such a conversation had taken place 2011 with the Minister of Arts and Culture. Project funding was not a problem, but there was a problem in securing core funding. The Funding had already been working towards sustainability when its funding was stopped, and she attributed this to the fact that the DAC had no idea what the Foundation was doing and neglected to read the reports from the Foundation.
The Chairperson concluded that the Committee’s role was not just one of oversight but it was important to know and learn from each other. She commended the Foundation’s programmes, and wished it well.
Business and Arts South Africa: 2015 Strategic Plan
Mr Gumbi, Chairperson, Business and Arts South Africa, noted that Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) had presented to Parliament three years ago. It had achieved clean audits and that was its major strength.
Ms Michelle Constant, Chief Executive Officer, BASA, noted that BASA was a section 21 Non-Profit Organisation, with a public private partnership model, for it was funded by both the public and private sectors, and crossed the sectors fluidly, being "able to speak the language of business and the private sector". BASA aimed to show that the arts were intrinsic to society, rather than being part of the frills of society. It operated in the public, private and the arts sector. BASA had 140 business members which ranged from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, through banks to small to medium enterprises. She was glad to announce that the Reserve Bank had signed up the previous week. She also added that the SMEs had easier access to providing funding for the arts.
BASA provided various services for business, such as research. Within this research component there were initiatives such as Artstrack, which focuses on the arts landscape every two years. This research gave a sense of business and the arts, especially business' engagement with the arts. Standard Bank was leading the way in supporting the arts. BASA's second initiative was Baseline, which looked at who, in business, was funding the arts - including marketing departments and corporate social investment. Ideally such funding was supposed to come out of operations. The third initiative was the 0% in arts buying. The fourth was research into audience development. The audience development initiative was funded by the British Council. This research showed that children who are exposed to the arts were more likely to form part of the audience in the future.
BASA was also connected to business was through the Africa Engagement initiative. BASA acknowledged that it could not operate in a vacuum and that collaboration was possible on the Continent. BASA successfully engaged with Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia, and was currently working with the Ministry of Culture in Mozambique. There was a huge success in Botswana and BASA had managed to get an intern from Lusaka, Zambia. It also hosted the Africa Breakfast, which was supported by Standard Bank and was looking at making the borders more fluid.
Ms Constant said that BASA also engaged with business through supporting grants, and this was made possible through funding from the Department of Arts and Culture. This initiative incentivised business by stating that for every R10 that business gave, BASA would put in R2 to marketing their partnership. It had managed to leverage business on a ratio of one to twelve, so that business was assured that for every R1 million donated, a R12 million investment would result.
A further initiative was the Arts in Business Symposium. Some businesses had shut down their marketing departments due to the depressed economy and others had shifted funds from corporate social investment to marketing. It was therefore becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to give money to the arts. The point of the initiative was to get businesses to understand the value of the arts in order to give more to the arts. BASA had decided to explore how business used art in their organisations. An example was the Reserve Bank, which had a large collection of art - although BASA had something of a problem in getting the staff at the Reserve Bank to engage with the arts. Ms Constant then offered to organise an arts based initiative for the Members themselves.
Ms Constant then added that another area in which BASA worked for business was though lobbying and advocacy. BASA was involved in the publishing of opinion pieces and articles on behalf of business. A recent example was BASA’s engagement with the Rand Merchant Bank’s initiatives on section 18(a) of the Constitution. The aim was to try and get government to engage on s18(a), from which arts were excluded, thus implying, contrary to the view that BASA took, that the arts were not crucial to society. The Ford Foundation's research showed that children that were exposed to arts and sport were better developed than those who were not. She cited the example of a child’s painting that parents would display - the rationale was to show that the child was developing normally and happily. There was there a lot behind that, which people tended to overlook. BASA had also recently started focusing on the BBBEE code in order to engage with companies in relation to their BBBEE scorecards. If such companies donated a certain sum towards the arts, this could add points to their BBBEE scorecards. Although the sums of money that were donated were not huge, this initiative worked very well.
BASA also had some media partners nationwide. Ms Constant was alarmed by the fact there was less and less interest in the media, and newspapers were cutting out the Arts pages, reducing the Arts to something that was not considered as necessary engagement. BASA had, in response, engaged with Business Day TV, SAFM, ED Channel, Radio Today, Wanted Magazine and Classic Feel. BASA had opinion pieces and features on radio or TV. BASA was also aiming to show business that there was shared value for business in art, rather than money into a black hole.
BASA had managed to develop a business sponsorship toolkit geared at how businesses entered and exited sponsorship ventures. There was focus on ensuring that businesses entered respectfully and exited appropriately. Their current model was that business could enter into a three year funding model.
Ms Constant was also proud of the bespoke services that BASA offered to businesses, offering research services to Reserve Bank and for Absa. In addition, it worked with Distel, as it was concerned about the issue of liquor sponsorship.
Finally, she outlined the Young Professionals Programme, whereby BASA had decided to conduct an induction programme for professionals who had just entered the working world, to get them to engage with the arts and to make them understand why the arts are important.
BASA was working in conjunction with the arts sector. She said that BASA began an education programme for artists, teaching organisations and individual artists on the language of business, how to think as entrepreneurs and how to define their own industry. For example, the arts could not really be said to be about job creation, but more about job hours, and artists were being trained to shift mindset. There were three levels to the training - BASA Basics, BASA Dynamic and BASA Professionals. BASA Basics was carried out in all nine provinces and the focus was on young artistic entrepreneurs just entering the market. They would ideally have no business and no idea whether to start business as an NPO or as a private company, so BASA therefore presented them with the pros and cons of such initiatives. BASA Dynamics was the second stage, where the artists had a business plan and a business model, but needed assistance on strategy and financials. The third stage was BASA professionals, where the artist would get a business mentor and would be assisted to get the business ready. Generally, the BASA Professionals programme was supposed to ensure that the artists were mentored for a year. Some of the beneficiaries of these programmes managed to get onto artistic boards. There were around 335 people that had benefited from this initiative.
She also mentioned an arts toolkit created to assist in the sponsorship of artists, and briefly referred to Mentorship Programmes within the arts sector, for example the Iziko Museum was provided with a mentor.
Ms Constant then talked about a Board bank which was created by BASA to assist artistic organisations with board members. This initiative was birthed out of the fact most arts organisations were appointing, as their Board members, people within that artistic group, which was understandable but did not always yield positive results. Its "speed dating" events gave artistic organisations the chance to choose potential Board members. This initiative was so successful that the Acting Director General of Arts and Culture asked BASA to provide them with the criteria of people who could sit on the board. BASA was therefore working with the Institute of Directors to ensure that these criteria were developed. Under the Rand Merchant Bank internship programme, the Bank agreed to train interns in business. They got a lot of support from the Shanduka Group, in the form of the Shanduka Black Umbrellas, which were incubators for small businesses. BASA was also working with Pro-bono.org, allowing small businesses to approach the organisation for legal advice. In this arena, there were also supporting grants given to artists.
The next segment of Ms Constant’s presentation focused on BASA’s interaction with society. One of its most popular initiatives was the BASA awards, which were supported by Hollard. These awards were supposed to recognise and reward businesses for doing extra ordinary work within the arts. In addition she also referred to BASA’s asset based initiative. This was an alternative strategy where instead of targeting large corporates, BASA targeted tiny businesses that were able to give nominal amounts. Such businesses in turn got exposure. BASA also embarked on the "value of the arts" campaign. She stated that people were unaware of the value of the arts and therefore the BASA team came up with the hash tag #artsmoveme. She said that this was a value add campaign and once people interrogated what arts could do for them, this would become a fun campaign. Ms Constant cited examples of billboards that were set up and people could write down what arts meant to them. One very powerful caption was when somebody wrote that arts kept them out of prison.
The last area in which BASA interacted was the area of government. Ms Constant stated that BASA had set up training programmes. She also took the opportunity to express her gratitude to the Department and the Minister of Arts and Culture for attending the BASA events. She said that the private sector was willing to engage in these initiatives and that there were suggestions around marketing and engagement. BASA was the implementing agent for certain events which were supported by the Department. BASA was therefore acting as a platform for cultural diplomacy, particularly with other countries. It had received queries from Ghana and Cot d’Ivoire about partnering together. As a result BASA was also working with the Department of International Relations and Co-operation.
In conclusion, Ms Constant stated that BASA was trying to improve its visibility and in turn promote the Department of Arts and Culture. BASA also aimed to engage individuals with business and promote their voice and vision. She was happy that people were getting to know and understand them and was particularly pleased with the push-back it was receiving from the Northern Cape.
Dr P Mulder (FF) asked BASA to define the term "arts" as he was confused about how far reaching the term was.
Mr Mahlangu thanked BASA for the extensive presentation and appreciated the efforts to mobilise business within the arts. He did have a few issues to raise. He thought that the work that BASA was doing fitted in nicely with the National Development Plan. He also queried the fact that he had seen the list of BASA’s sponsors but was unclear as to who the beneficiaries were. In relation to the sponsors, he also wanted to know why the airlines were not present, and with whom the airlines were partnering.
Mr Mahlangu then asked BASA about what its objective was when interacting with international entities, besides the objective of fundraising. He was curious to know how BASA managed to partner with foreign governments to support a foreign organisation, when these governments could simply support their own organisations within their own respective countries. He furthermore asked about BASA’s relationship with the Department and asked whether it would not have been a good idea for BASA to partner with the Department of Human Settlements, because it was rolling out a number of houses with no artwork. He believed that having art around a person created an opportunity for that person to venture into spaces never been to.
Mr Grootboom wanted to know to what degree the BASA engaged with parastatals or whether this was left up to the Department.
The Chairperson also referred to the importance of working together and including in particular the DAC and Department of Basic Education. It was important to bring BASA into that space as well as to launch an awareness raising campaign. She said that paintings were often taken for granted, when in fact a lot of emotion had gone into creating the paintings. She urged artists, however, to take the responsibility of marketing their artworks and to bring arts back into the centre of conversation.
Ms Constant responded that the term "arts" is broad and expansive. BASA’s definition of arts included crafts, visual arts, dance and traditional dance but did not cover film. The decision not to cover film was a deliberate one, because of the National Film Agency. BASA was, however, very interested in the growing arena of digital art and there was increasing focus on how to use digital art to engage audiences.
With regard to the beneficiaries, Ms Constant explained that BASA’s beneficiaries were secondary beneficiaries. In certain instances they were working with businesses that were getting the benefits and in other instances there were direct beneficiaries in initiatives such as education and supporting grants. She could provide the names of the projects and the beneficiaries at a later stage. Most beneficiaries were informed, in their contracts, that they would be audited.
Ms Constant said BASA had approached the airlines a few times and they supported the supporting grants. The airlines however refused to come on board full time. She also indicated that she had approached the Airports Company of South Africa but it would not come on board, although she may make another approach.
BASA's membership fees were nominal; the bulk of the money was supposed to support the arts.
Ms Constant then referred to the issue of BASA’s interaction with other countries. She said that the Department had a strong vision for working with countries on the Continent, working in partnership. BASA was the only model of its kind in Africa, although there were peer agencies in Toronto, Brazil and various other countries. The aim was therefore to work in a co-creative and co-operative manner. She also gave an example of BASA’s presence in Mozambique, where Hollard had extensive operations. The partnership between BASA and Mozambique helped Hollard’s business, as Hollard was seen as trying to engage with the community.
In response to the suggestion on Human Settlements, Ms Constant believed that this kind of shift was crucial. She was aware that BASA should be eyeing more agencies such as the Department of Small Business Development. BASA was working with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. She was also elected to the South African Tourism Board, which recognised the value of cultural tourism, and that arts operated on so many levels. Previously, BASA had not worked with the Department of Basic Education as this was outside its mandate. Some of its sponsors, such Tsogo Sun and Rand Merchant Bank were doing education programmes. In relation to parastatals Ms Constant stated that Telkom was a member, and that Transnet used to be a member of BASA. She did admit that BASA did not engage enough with parastatals. She acknowledged that Telkom did have an extensive art collection. Previously the Post-Office was a member, and BASA would also love to work with Eskom.
Mr Gumbi added that he viewed the Department and the Portfolio Committee as stakeholders. He said that he would to see the situation where they engaged more honestly outside of Parliament. The Members could visit the projects and get a clearer picture of how BASA worked. He mentioned that there were certain areas of emphasis, which the new Minister had picked up on, particularly the issue of section 18. He was aware that this was a legislative policy decision and perhaps businesses could be incentivised by getting a rebate when they pumped money into the arts. This would give the sector a boost. He said that BASA had tried to engage with the National Treasury on the issue but the latter was only concerned about health and education. Whilst these were important sectors, he added that arts could be seen as "the soul of the nation".
Ms Newton added that the reason there was a vibrant working relationship with BASA was the fact that it was a two way relationship. There were a lot of threats to the current sponsorship - for example, the ban on liquor and tobacco advertising. She understood that there was a high level of substance abuse but these products formed crucial advertising revenue. It was necessary to provide a compensation mechanism for the National Lottery to come in. She then expressed that in general business had been a great supporter of the arts. The challenge was that areas such as marketing were shrinking. She also commented on programmes such as the BASA awards, which were important in acknowledging business. There needed to be a concerted effort therefore to ensure that businesses stayed a part of the BASA family. She then added that there was a cooperation agreement with the Department of Basic Education.
The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee was there to support the Department. She said the Committee had appreciated the presentations from the Ifa Lethu Foundation and from Business and Arts South Africa, which had given great insight to the Committee. She was pleased with the progress that the Ifa Lethu Foundation had made in its ten years of existence, but no so pleased with the way that the DAC was interacting with the DAC, and she chastised the DAC for abruptly pulling the funding without explanation. The BASA presentation had been insightful and positive. In this area, the Department and BASA were found to have a symbiotic relationship.
Ms Newton then informed the Members that they were invited to a World Economic Forum sideline event on Arts and Culture. The event would take place at 9am on 3 June at the One and Only in Cape Town. The Minister was joining a panel discussion on the benefits of arts and culture.
Mr Mahlangu took over as Acting Chair.
The Committee adopted minutes of meetings on 14, 16, 21 and 28 April, and 14 May 2015.
The meeting was adjourned.
Tom, Ms XS
Bilankulu, Ms NK
Grootboom, Mr GA
Mahlangu, Mr JL
Makondo, Mr T
Mogotsi, Ms VP
Mulder, Dr PW
Rabotapi, Mr MW
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.