Key outstanding issues: committee staff briefing; First Term Committee Programme
Arts and Culture
26 January 2016
Chairperson: Ms X Tom (ANC)
The Committee agreed that it had to re-evaluate the work that it had already done in order to identify what it still needed to do in 2016. The intention was to make the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) accountable to the Committee. There were issues that remained outstanding from the DAC’s side that the Committee had expected the DAC to have addressed. One such matter was that of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB). The Committee had done its utmost to ensure that the PanSALB delivered on its mandate. The Committee had done an oversight visit to the PanSALB. It had undertaken an investigation and had made recommendations. It was therefore disheartening for members to hear that the PanSALB Board had been disbanded. It meant that much of the work that the Committee had done had been in vain and everything was back to square one. The Committee would have to start afresh in addressing the PanSALB issue. Members agreed that the Committee needed to be briefed on the reasons behind the disbandment of the PanSALB Board. The DAC also needed to brief the Committee on other issues which were outstanding and submit outstanding reports.
The First Term Draft Committee Programme was also adopted as amended. The Committee agreed to postpone the consideration and adoption of the Committee Oversight Report on the Limpopo Province in order for members to have sufficient time to peruse it and make changes where needed. Outstanding Committee Minutes was adopted as amended.
The Committee staff provided an outline of certain issues which remained unresolved from 2015. The Committee needed to find ways of assessing the DAC on how it had for example responded to issues like racism that had reared its head on social media. What was the DAC doing to strengthen nation building? In 2015 two major issues were monument structure challenges and the “must fall movements” that were all over the media. It was hence necessary for the DAC to reposition its programmes to address issues. The DAC and its entities should move away from being reactive and rather be proactive. Some of the key issues highlighted in the presentation were delays in the completion of the review of the White Paper, the filling of gaps in policy and legislation, the re-examination of the DAC funding formula, the appointment of councils and boards on time and the plight of South African musicians not getting what they were entitled to.
The Committee agreed that the Programme of the Committee should reflect the issues covered in the presentation made. On the issue of SA’s musicians being short-changed it was agreed that everyone in the industry should meet so that the matter could be resolved. The Committee also felt that the DAC should keep members informed about the imminent expiration of boards of its entities so that proactive steps could be taken on the appointment of new boards. What was the current funding model for DAC’s entities? Members pointed out that the DAC did fund projects in provinces. Did the funds go directly to projects or was the funds dispersed through the DAC’s provincial offices or municipalities?
The Committee had on previous occasions raised concerns about the DAC’s funding formula. The DAC had not come forth with proposals on alternatives. The Committee would revisit the issue and other issues with the DAC. Even the provision of libraries was complicated. Libraries were a competency of provinces yet municipalities were involved in their construction. The Committee also needed to draft its own Annual Performance Plan and its Strategic Plan.
The Chairperson at the outset said that the Committee needed to reflect on the work that it had already done in order to identify what it still needed to do in 2016. The intention was to make the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) accountable to the Committee. There were issues that remained outstanding from the Department’s side that the Committee had expected it to have addressed. One such matter was that of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB). The Committee did its utmost to ensure that the PanSALB delivered on its mandate. The Committee had done an oversight visit to the PanSALB. It had undertaken an investigation and had made recommendations. It was therefore disheartening for members to hear that the PanSALB Board had been disbanded. It meant that much of the work that the Committee had done had been in vain and everything was back to square one. The Committee would have to start afresh in addressing the PanSALB issue.
Dr P Mulder (FF+) responded that the Committee was entitled to an explanation on why the PanSALB Board had been disbanded. The Committee needed to discuss the issue.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee would in its next meeting with the DAC ask for an explanation on why the PanSALB Board had been disbanded. She asked what some of the issues were that were outstanding from the DAC owing to the Committee.
Ms Ajabulile Mtiya, Committee Secretary, said that the Committee’s request for reports from the DAC’s entities had not been fulfilled. There were also issues which the DAC should have updated the Committee on.
The Chairperson said that the DAC needed to provide the Committee with outstanding reports and had to address unresolved issues.
The Chairperson placed Committee Minutes dated the 27 October 2015 before the Committee for consideration. Members effected grammatical changes to the Committee Minutes and it was adopted as amended.
First Term Draft Committee Programme
The Chairperson stated that the Draft Programme was not cast in stone and could be changed as members wished.
Dr Mulder referred to the Draft Programme and pointed out that the PanSALB was due to appear before the Committee only on 8 March 2016. He suggested that the PanSALB could brief the Committee on an earlier date perhaps on 2 February 2016 over the matter of its Board’s disbandment.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would in its first meeting with the DAC request an explanation on why the PanSALB Board had been disbanded.
Dr Mulder alternatively suggested that the PanSALB could brief the Committee on 9 February 2016 over the matter of its Board’s disbandment. He asked whether the PanSALB would be able to brief the Committee on its quarterly report by 8 March 2016 as was reflected by the Draft Programme.
Mr G Grootboom (DA) asked whether the meeting on the Voortrekker Monument was being shifted to 9 February 2016.
The Chairperson answered that the meeting on the Voortrekker Monument was not being shifted to 9 February 2016. On 9 February 2016, the Committee needed to be briefed on why the PanSALB Board had been disbanded. The Committee needed an explanation since it was directly involved in the shortlisting and interviewing of the PanSALB Board members.
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) believed that the PanSALB Board had not been functioning as it should. She asked what legislation stated about the process regarding the PanSALB Board.
The Chairperson noted that the PanSALB Board issue had been referred to the Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD). PanSALB was a constitutional body. Sometimes there were certain pieces of legislation that did not speak to one another. The Committee would request the Parliamentary Law Adviser’s Office to explain how pieces of legislation were linked. PanSALB felt that it was not accountable to the DAC. However, PanSALB was still funded by the DAC. The Parliamentary Law Adviser’s Office would be assisting the Committee to make clear decisions.
Mr Grootboom said that PanSALB as a Chapter One institution seemed to be accountable to no one. He felt that perhaps the entity should be dissolved and its staff integrated into other language boards. PanSALB could either become a Chapter Nine institution or could form part of other cultural and linguistic bodies.
The Chairperson noted that on 9 February 2016 the Committee would wholistically deal with the PanSALB issue. She asked the Committee Secretary to make the necessary changes to the Draft Programme as members had requested.
Ms Mtiya noted this request.
Committee Oversight Report on the Limpopo Province
The Chairperson pointed out that members had only received the Report at the commencement of the meeting and needed sufficient time to peruse its contents. She suggested that members read through the Report and said that it would be considered and adopted in the Committee’s next meeting.
Committee Content Adviser and Committee Researcher Presentation
The Committee was presented with a presentation compiled by Mr Mxolisi Dlamuka, Committee Content Adviser, and Ms Fiona Clayton, Committee Researcher. The presentation was done by Mr Dlamuka.
He provided the Committee with an outline of issues that remained unresolved from 2015. The work of the DAC was therefore being scrutinised. He said the Committee needed to find ways of assessing the DAC on how it had for example responded to issues like racism that had reared its head on social media. What was the DAC doing to strengthen nation building? In 2015, two major issues were monument structure challenges and the “must fall movements” that were all over the media. It was hence necessary for the DAC to reposition its programmes to address issues. The DAC and its entities should move away from being reactive and rather be proactive. He continued with the actual presentation by highlighting key issues:
White Paper and Legislative Review - the review of the White Paper had been going on for the past five years which meant that there was a great deal of uncertainties.
Policy gaps and limitations - he referred to the National Museum Policy, the repatriation of human remains and the maintenance of graveyards and said that policies of this nature were important for the preservation of heritage. The Committee needed to perform robust oversight over these types of policies.
Governance and management of Robben Island Museum -The Museum had been plagued with problems. Since the departure of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in October 2015 a Board Member had been appointed as Acting CEO. The Museum’s Council was coming to an end in March 2016. The employment contracts of senior managers were also coming to an end. There needed to be a proper handover from the old Council to the new Council or else there could be a crisis.
Windybrow Theatre, Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) -The crisis remained and there was no clear indication when it was to be resolved. The Committee needed to intensify its oversight.
Funding compliance with GRAP 103 - he explained that the Minister of Finance was to postpone the compliance by entities with GRAP 103 to 2018 as was requested by the Minister of Arts and Culture.
Re-examination of the DAC funding formula - he pointed out that the funding formula was often linked to the White Paper. Whilst the White Paper was being redrafted there were institutions that suffered. The problem was that some entities did not get proper funding. The DAC had a tendency to select institutions that it wished to fund in an unfair manner. There was not a fair distribution of resources. He felt that there was no need to wait for the redrafted White Paper in order to re-examine the funding formula. He strongly felt that the DAC needed to develop a funding formula that would address the imbalances that had been established pre 1994.
Entities management and the enforcement of the King III Code with respect to the constitutions of audit committees - the problem was that audit committees comprised of council members. There was therefore a lack of impartiality.
Appointment of councils and boards on time - he said that there were many problems when the PanSALB Board was appointed. The Committee needed to do robust oversight on appointments. There was a shortage of skills and the remuneration for council members etc was not that much. A board should comprise of people with sufficient skills. Critical skills were lacking.
Plight of South African musicians and royalties - he stressed that it was a controversial issue. He felt that something needed to be done to change SA’s music policy. The music policy should benefit local artists. The music in SA needed to be more Afro-centric.
Legacy Projects - thorough oversight was required by the Committee. Legacy projects should be balanced. Certain provinces were neglected and there were delays on some legacy projects.
Expenditure of Community Library Conditional Grants by provinces - the Limpopo Province and other provinces had experienced problems with spending the Grant. Apparently provinces like the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng were doing well on spending the Grant. He however explained that the three provinces looked as if they were spending the Grant because the Grant funds were transferred to municipalities who did the spending. The question could therefore be asked as to whether the three provinces were actually spending the Grant. He felt that the Committee needed to look into the issue.
Funding of arts institutions - the issue was about the future of arts, culture and heritage funding in SA. He stated that funds from the Lotteries Board mostly found its way to Johannesburg. He felt it was unfair as other provinces besides Gauteng needed to benefit. In 2002 the DAC had issued a request for a proposal for a transformation budget. The same was done in 2003. The funds had gone towards supporting institutions for the transformation of exhibitions. It was done for 2 years. Thereafter the funds were transferred to the National Heritage Council. With this change came the change that DAC entities were no longer funded. The intention had been for the National Heritage Council to fund heritage. As it stood museums did not benefit from the funding because museums received funds from National Treasury. The National Lottery also did not fund institutions that were funded by National Treasury. The National Heritage Council mostly funded Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). He felt that if this was to continue traditional institutions would no longer be able to survive. It was a complex issue which the Committee needed to look at.
Revitalisation of the National Archives of SA - he was glad that a National Archivist had been appointed. There were still many vacant posts which needed to be filled and other problems also persisted. The DAC in its Annual Report only spoke about the National Archives in a single paragraph.
Links with the National Development Plan (NDP) and other broader goals of the state – He noted that there needed to be a wholistic link between the NDP and the programmes of the DAC. Annual Performance Plans had to be in line with the goals of the NDP and oversight by the Committee would ensure this.
The Chairperson said that the Committee’s Programme should be drafted according to the key issues highlighted by Mr Dlamuka in his presentation. She said that a meeting was needed with everyone involved in the music industry to address the dire state that musicians found themselves in. The issue of royalties would also be looked at. South African musicians should not be short changed. She also said that the DAC needed to provide the Committee with information on the boards of its entities that were about to expire. The Committee could red flag them and prepare. There could thus be enough time for a handover. With 80% of the DAC’s funds going towards its entities the Committee’s focus should be on them.
Mr Grootboom asked what the DAC’s current funding model for its entities was. He referred to the CEO of the Windybrow Theatre and said that the forensic report was still not made available to the Committee. A report on the state of renovations at the Windybrow Theatre was also still outstanding. He pointed out that the DAC did fund projects in provinces. Did the funds go directly to projects or was the funds dispersed through the DAC’s provincial offices or municipalities?
Mr Dlamuka felt it appropriate that the DAC should respond to the issues identified. He said that the DAC through the National Arts Council would call for projects and fund them directly. Some projects were however funded by provinces and municipalities.
Dr Mulder agreed that when boards of entities expired valuable time was lost. How could the DAC resolve the issue?
Ms Tsoleli appreciated the insight which the presentation had provided.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee had previously raised concerns about the DAC’s funding formula. The DAC had not come forth with proposals on alternatives. The Committee would revisit the issue and other issues with the DAC. Even the provision of libraries was complicated. Libraries were a competency of provinces yet municipalities were involved in their construction. The Committee also needed to draft its own Annual Performance Plan and its Strategic Plan. She reminded members to read through the Committee’s Limpopo Province Oversight Report. It would be adopted in the Committee’s next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
Tom, Ms XS
Bilankulu, Ms NK
Grootboom, Mr GA
Makondo, Mr T
Matshobeni, Ms A
Mogotsi, Ms VP
Mulder, Dr PW
Rabotapi, Mr MW
Tsoleli, Ms SP
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