Department of Arts and Culture on its 2016 Annual Performance Plan

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture

11 May 2016
Chairperson: Ms L Zwane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was concerned with the recent acts of racism that have been making headlines this year. Racism goes against the Department’s mandate and it hinders its plans for transformation. The Department wants to play a role in the creation of a non-racial and multicultural South Africa and it will hosting about 20 imbizos across the country in working towards this. These will not only be opportunities for people to hold the Department accountable, but it will give the Department a picture of what the people are unhappy about and what the Department can do better.

The Department of Arts and Culture is also interested in creating access in various ways. The first one is by creating a conductive space for learning and exploring for people with disabilities. This came up after a Member asked about the lack for resources for those who use braille to read. The Department is also interested in creating access for previously disadvantaged artists to showcase their work on platforms that they could not reach in the past. The Department’s bursary programme is another way of creating access and developing arts and culture. The Department of Arts and Culture is invested in the development of African languages and it wants to do this further by creating an ICT system that does not only function in English. This will give people who are not first language English speakers the opportunity to be involved.

The Department offers continuous training to its staff because no one is above learning and learning is an ongoing process.

Meeting report

Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) 2016 Annual Performance Plan
The DAC Acting Director General, Mr Vusithemba Ndima, stated that the Department has a mandate to conduct itself according to the Constitution of South Africa. The Department promotes freedom of artistic creativity, access to information, choice to work in whatever language or culture that one desires and human dignity. The Department of Arts and Culture contributes to improving basic education and the opportunity to create jobs and inclusive economic growth.

Mr Ndima said that the Department’s contribution to enabling access in areas that are normally closed due to resource constraints is particularly important. The Department want to challenge the rise of racism in South Africa and focus on national and continental development and building. The Department of Arts and Culture has various developmental projects currently underway. These include the development of more community centres and libraries, ensuring that previously disadvantaged artists have opportunities and using artistic measures as a means of addressing injustices and integrating the nation. The Acting DG said that he would not be going through the 2016/17 budget as it is detailed clearly in the slides handed out. He would rather focus on its goals.

The Department of Arts and Culture is currently working towards a revised white paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage. This speaks to goal two of the Department which is Nation Building. The Department has a plan to achieve this goal of Nation Building through effective social cohesion. The Department is also concerned with promoting regional integration but in order for this to be done, more national transformative work has to be done such as promoting the Department’s mandate and the national identity.

Mr Ndima mentioned that the Department is invested in promoting new ways of teaching and learning. These can be done through investments in oral history teaching and the development of languages and linguistic ability. DAC does this through a bursary scheme offered atn various universities in study areas related to arts and culture.

DAC has allocated R3.5 million for the second phase of the upgrading of the National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS), R3.9 million for improving cooperative government, R2.4 million for skills audit and R11 million for bursaries.

DAC is also planning on having 20 Imbizos across the country by the end of the financial year. This is to connect with the needs of the people and ensure accountability and transparency. The DG closed his presentation by mentioning that there is continuous training offered within the DAC because ‘’no one can ever reach full perfection.’’

Ms L Dlamini (ANC) asked if the Khoisan monument is in the budget of Department of Arts and Culture. She said that if it is not, she would suggest that they prioritise that as an act of nation building. She asked about DAC's interaction with other departments such as the Department of Social Development and if DAC is working hand in hand with them to ensure that they do not duplicate the same activities and agendas. She pointed to the R4 million in the budget and asked what that amount is for. Ms Dlamini said that a lot of transformation has been done at the Anglo-Boer War Museum and that DAC should prioritise voicing out about these developments. On the different salaries paid at different museums, she asked why museums do not pay the same salary rate. She was impressed with DAC's clean audit.  She asked about the ICT system and what its use is for. She asked why name changes only happen on paper and policies but they do not physically manifest themselves. She asked about the schools in Mpumalanga that do not have the South African flag hanging there and she has been trying to get DAC to ensure that this is no longer the case. She asked about national events such as the Jazz Festival, saying that DAC should issue tickets to Select Committee members fairly and that members should get more than one ticket.

Ms T Mpambo-Sibhukwana (DA) asked why the braille language is not accommodated in most spaces as this hinders equality. She asked why the Anglo-Boer war monument has not been as well advertised as other museums and monuments. The history of that monument should be accessible to most people and not just those who stay in the Free State.

Mr D Stock (ANC) referred to Programme 3 and pointed that it has the second largest allocation. In previous years, there has not been a balance in the budget allocation to provinces.  He asked if there has been an improvement on that.

Ms L Zwane (ANC) said that the Select Committee has not always been invited fairly and respectfully to the events hosted or led by DAC. She asked for that to change in the future. She asked if all DAC entities are functioning well. She asked about the office allocation and why it has been raised by 41%. She pointed to the decrease in salary allocation and asked how this will be executed. She said it is undesirable for people to have to be fired from their jobs.

The Deputy General answered on invites to national events and said that he apologised and will ensure that tickets are facilitated better next time. On the Khoisan museum, he said that the museum is being dealt with by the provincial government and not national government. Thus, details about it will be known by the provincial government that is leading the project. DAC’s role is to support the provinces and that is what it has been doing. He agreed that the Anglo-Boar monument needs more marketing by DAC and that is what they are trying to do.

On equal salaries for museum staff, he replied that it depends on the funding that each museum or monument has and they decide on staff pay. He said that there is one ICT system in DAC and that is the one he was talking about. When he spoke about languages, he was referring to terminologies created for ICT purposes in African languages. This will promote multilingualism in the ICT system and develop African languages.

The DG said that name changes are usually led by the South African Geographical Committee but he will follow up to ensure that the changes are not only in documents but that they are realised physically. He will ensure that the flags for schools will be distributed widely on request.

He addressed disability and said that access for everyone is important for DAC. It will work towards ensuring that braille is given priority so that those who cannot see can have access to DAC’s work.

The DAC explained that it is planning to move to another building in Pretoria and the decision to move was from National Treasury. She said they have alerted National Treasury that the reduction in budget will affect DAC’s service delivery.

The Chairperson asked what DAC did to ensure that students are calm during university protests.

The DAC Deputy Director General noted that Ms Kelebogile Sethibelo as DDG: Institutional Governance had said that the DAC went to various universities to speak to students about the matters at hand. She said that she will provide a detailed written report to the Committee. DAC has been working with various departments in government to ensure that they do not duplicate projects. Moral regeneration received a great allocation in terms of budget because it is important for the country’s democracy. She said that DAC would not retrench people, rather it will scale down on the number of personal assistants, internships and vacancies that are not in demand right now.

The Chairperson said she is looking forward to the report about the university visits and asked who is responsible for paying artists that do work in schools and road trips on behalf of DAC.

The DG replied that the DAC is responsible for those costs.

The Chairperson said that people who are marginalised such as those in rural areas and townships must be given a chance to showcase their ability. She thanked all the attendees and closed the session.


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