The Portfolio Committee Chairperson expressed, at the outset, the Committee's concern with the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and some of the entities, who seemed to be obstructive and disrespectful to the Committee when it was trying to carry out its mandated functions of oversight on performance and financial issues. She stressed that this did not make the work of this Committee any easier, and the Committee was constantly having to deal with the same issues. The Committee was particularly critical of the fact that funding models and structures, instead of allowing discretion to officials, should have already been in place and discussion around this issue had become tedious and tiresome.
The first matter addressed was the ongoing dispute with the SA Roadies Association (SARA). The DAC indicated that it had provided answers to the Public Protector and had referred the matter back for further consideration around the dispute about funding; whilst some issues had been resolved, the renovation project was an ongoing issue on which there was still no clarity. The DAC confirmed that, apart from this issue, it was implementing other terms of the settlement agreement. It was determined not to use the Independent Development Trust or third parties to do the renovations. The DAC described that a panel consisting of internal and external officials sat to consider which organisations received funding. The Committee expressed dismay and stated that it appeared that the Department was outsourcing its job. They were very critical of the fact that no firm timelines were presented, and wanted to know exactly what progress there had been. They also wanted more detail on operational costs, what exactly the Public Protector was yet to consider, and stressed that the DAC was not supposed to fund operational costs, particularly not of organisations that were not entities of the Department, although SARA told the Public Protector that this was in fact what was being done. The DAC proceeded to cite examples where funding had been given, and explained what the contracts said. DAC confirmed that the lesson learned was that lack of a clear funding model had been a major stumbling block to an accountable and transparent process. It was stressed that the White Paper Review process would be fundamental to establishing a vision and mission that could guide resources for funding models and frameworks going forward, and the Committee asked how far it was. Members were critical that whilst the problems were described the DAC did not seem to be coming up with solutions, and several were very critical of and concerned about the risks being posed by the discretion given to officials. They questioned what was used in the absence of clear policy, and heard about the guidelines used for other programmes. Members asked for more details on who sat on the panel, its mandate, who was being funded, and against what criteria, and how the bodies were achieving transformation. They also asked how successful the DAC's communication with artists and beneficiaries was.
The DAC then addressed the Committee on the irregular expenditure, to the value of R593 583, that had been uncovered at the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) after questions raised by the Parliamentary Committee's content advisor had sparked an investigation of the funding manager. That individual had resigned, the NFVF had withheld his pension pending a full investigation and he had been charged with fraud and corruption. The matter was in the hands of the SAPS and the DAC was following up. Members asked if this was the only case of irregular expenditure, asked who had conducted the forensic investigation, and the cost, and were insistent that the DAC would have to follow up regularly and strongly on the matter, to avoid this going the route of an investigation at the National Heritage Council, which was eventually abandoned because of the lapse of time. Members were critical of the DAC official who was unable to give clear answers, or to say what legal basis there was for withholding pension money. DAC was asked to submit a full written report. The Committee was insistent that it would not let the matter fall off the table.
The Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) had been invited to address the Committee, after three members of this Portfolio Committee had attended a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry during which CCIFSA had commented on a Bill being introduced, on behalf of artists that it represented. The Bill had not been brought to this Committee, and it was finally decided that the two committees should engage further jointly. CCIFSA outlined its mandate, which was broadly to promote the role of artists in contributing to social cohesion and nation building. An interim committee, chaired by Yvonne Chaka Chaka, had been set up to facilitate formal registration of a legal entity and a three year funding agreement was made with the DAC. The CCIFSA was mandated to create cross-sectoral opportunities for growth and investment, facilitate platforms, encourage partnerships with social partners and education and training providers, negotiate with financial institutions for dedicated products and provide support for audience testing and business models. CCIFSA said that there were still many frustrations, not least the apartheid legacy that had resulted in marginalisation of many artists, the fact that many artists were from poor backgrounds and were struggling to find means of production and obtain funding. Major transformation and reduction of inequality in the industry was needed. CCIFSA felt that one of the main ways it could contribute would be to help register entities, help with access and establish a database. It was established in six provinces already, and eight priority sectors, and needed to do research. It was explained that the Music Industry Task Team (MITT) had presented recommendations to the Minister on the music industry. The main problems included inadequate and outdated copyright legislation, inadequate arrangements for local content and lack of funding, and MITT had suggested that amendments were needed on the Bill. However, the Bill sought to collapse all collecting societies into one, which would affect CCIFSA and artists, and it wanted to press for more engagement with industry players. Members agreed that there were complex issues. They asked how the DAC was funding CCIFSA, whether the problems were being addressed, asked for an explanation on the 90/10 announcements by the SABC, and on artists in schools, and unemployed artists. They asked how other jurisdictions dealt with artists, but some Members indicated that they needed far more time to engage with the documents. One Member suggested that CCIFSA seemed to be non-inclusive and thought that it might be trying to establish its own monopoly and another pointed out that the problem was not racial, because it was shared by artists all over the world and CCIFSA needed to work on trying to unify artists. Members asked to what extent the DAC had been trying to address the challenges identified, how CCIFSA found artists, and recommended that the Portfolio Committees on Trade and Industry and Arts and Culture should meet to discuss the issues.
Chairperson's opening remarks
The Chairperson said that she was discouraged every day whilst trying to work with the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC or the Department) and although the Committee dearly wished to advise and support the Department, the Committee seemed to be continuously repeating the same things, tried very hard to go the extra mile but still did not know what was actually happening in that Department.
The Portfolio Committee had taken a decision to focus on the entities in this five-year term, and this was something that it had told the Department, because the entities were receiving 80% of the budget. The Department had appeared to be working with the entities, but it was discouraging for the Committee to see that, despite its own efforts, the institutions were not performing as expected by the Committee, who had a constitutional mandate to oversee the Department and entities. The oversight function had many aspects: political, administrative, financial, ethical, legal and strategic elements. Oversight was intended to:
- detect and prevent and abuse, arbitrary behaviour or illegal and unconstitutional conduct on the part of the government and public agencies while protecting the rights and liberties of citizens
- hold government accountable for taxpayers' money by detecting waste within the machinery of government and public agencies, and to improve the efficiency, economy and effectiveness of government operations
- ensure that policies announced by government and authorised by Parliament are actually delivered. This function included monitoring the achievement of goals set by legislation and the government’s own programme
- improve the transparency of government operations and enhance public trust in the government, which is itself a condition of effective policy delivery.
The Portfolio Committee was simply attempting to do this as mandated. She asked if the Department would, when speaking of the Committee to the entities and agencies, stress that the Committee was doing exactly what was expected of it; if not, then this must be clearly explained. Some entities behaved as if they thought the Committee was interfering in their business. She stressed that it was the business of government that the entities were conducting and that it was up to this Committee to oversee government business. The Committee would not tolerate disrespectful behaviour. She hoped that the DAC would make this quite clear and would emphasise that the Committee, so far from interfering in entity business, had a mandate to observe what they were doing.
She cited that if an entity had employed someone who had been dismissed from another organisation because of allegations of wrongdoing, it was quite within the oversight function to look into that issue. Even if the DAC did not do so, the Committee would, to ensure that the Department did its work. All the work of this Committee was geared towards doing their best for the people.
SA Roadies Association (SARA): Department of Arts and Culture status report
The Chairperson noted that the Portfolio Committee had been addressing this matter for some time and there was a lot of coverage on it in social media. The Office of the Speaker had received numerous complaints about the manner in which this issue had been handled. The Members had finally now been provided with a legal opinion from the Parliamentary Legal Unit, which would be discussed later by Members, but she asked that the DAC must now brief the Committee, setting out what progress had been made.
Ms Monica Newton, Deputy Director General, Department of Arts and Culture, noted that the Department of Arts and Culture had recognised at the end of last year that it was really not getting any further in resolving the issues with SARA, and had referred the matter back to the Public Protector for further mediation and involvement in December 2016, after a series of questions and queries had been exchanged and responded to. The DAC was now clarifying certain aspects of the report to the Public Protector. The existing contracts were continuing to be administered, although the renovation project, which was the main sticking point and the one on which the Department had really requested the Public Protector to intervene, continued. A rather unpleasant environment had been created through social media and the Department of Arts and Culture sought the advice of a State Attorney on how to deal with it.
The feasibility study on the establishment of a Technical Services Academy had been awarded to a service provider, and some preliminary work was now under way in conducting research, after which a report would be submitted to DAC. The Live Events and Technical Production Services Conference was awarded on a three-year contract, now moving into its second year. It would now be administered on a standard basis, with the first tranche of payments being made in the first quarter of the new financial year. The International Interactions Programme had come to an end in March and DAC was waiting on final reports to facilitate payments.
At an administrative level, things continued as planned, except for the renovation project which remained a major obstacle, on which the DAC nonetheless was hoping that the Public Protector would assist.
She said that the DAC would be interested, in due course, in hearing the views of the Parliamentary legal advisors, in order to get advice on a clear legal framework.
Ms Newton noted that the forensic report on the Inugeni Project, which the Portfolio Committee was aware of, raised some valuable insights as to why the Independent Development Trust (IDT) should not be used as a vehicle of delivery, and DAC remained firm in its stance that it would not use the IDT or a third party to do the renovations, despite SARS insistence.
The Chairperson reminded the DAC that descriptions of something as “ongoing” were not acceptable to the Committee, which needed to hear specific time frames, specifying what would happen, for how long, and by whom. The Committee needed these details in order to monitor the work, and to avoid it dragging on.
Mr T Makondo (ANC) asked the Department whether progress had been achieved; he had heard the explanation offered by the Department but required further clarification on what it meant.
Ms Newton stated that the DAC’s point of view had been set out in its reports to the Portfolio Committee and the Public Protector. DAC was fulfilling its obligations in terms of the implementation of the settlement agreement. The fact that R21 million worth of grants was held by the South African Roadies Association since the implementation agreement of April 2013 was testament to the fact that the settlement agreement did facilitate funding arrangements between the Department of Arts and Culture and the Roadies Association - and the fact that these contracts were ongoing suggested that there had been progress. Again, she highlighted that the major sticking point was the renovation project, where there had not been substantive progress. DAC was still awaiting feedback from the Public Protector to take the matter forward. DAC had set out its case in great detail to the new Public Protector. The terms of the settlement agreement, apart from the renovation project still under consideration, were being implemented. She apologised that some specifics were lacking in relation to the feasibility study and said that she would give written notes on deadlines.
The Chairperson asked the Department about operational costs.
Ms Newton responded that the South African Roadies Association submitted an application to the Department for operational funding, which was refused in 2013. SARA again raised the issue through the Public Protector. The DAC maintained that operational funding is largely in the purview of cultural institutions, which the SARA is not. DAC did support operations to a limited degree, within its framework of project funding, because it made provision for a 10% administration fee for standard contracts through the international interactions programme and the livelihood and technical production services. That explanation had also been repeated to the Public Protector. The settlement agreement did not stipulate that the DAC should provide operational funding, but only that the DAC should consider proposals for three-year funding and award this where funds and frameworks allowed. She believed that the DAC had fulfilled its obligations in the settlement agreement.
The Chairperson stressed that the issue of operational costs was one of the key issues at the meeting with the Public Protector. She agreed that the Department was not supposed to fund operational costs of organisations that were not entities of the Department. The Roadies Association told the Deputy Public Protector that the Department was, however, funding certain organisations’ operations costs.
Ms Newton responded that the report that the Department provided to the Public Protector had clarified that issue. South African Roadies Association was funded by the National Arts Council, ,and the Public Protector received documentation which noted that the orchestras did receive funding from the National Arts Council on an annual basis. The contracts were structured so that 15% could be used utilised for administration for the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra, from the National Arts Council. The remaining 85% could be used for programme costs.
Another example cited was Ifalethu, which was an organisation funded by the Department directly for a range of programmes and projects delivered against contracts. All the relevant documents were provided which proved that certain aspects of operations were specifically covered in the contracts; it was incorrect that the funding was for operations alone. After Ifalethu had discussed the matter with the Portfolio Committee, the DAC had looked again into all the contracts and established that there was a project base for those public contracts, not merely funding administration and operations.
By way of contrast, the proposal that was received from the South African Roadies Association in 2013 was purely for administration costs, including staffing and overheads. The only programmatic element was the international interactions programme which was then funded by the Department of Arts and Culture to the value of about R2.9 million over the three years.
She reiterated that this was a complex issue and the response of the Public Protector was a very detailed and evidence-based document. The process of the Public Protector would be to go through all the evidence in relation to the SARA complaint. A feedback meeting should be held when the DAC would give its views.
The Chairperson acknowledged that there was a policy in place on funding and requested what the DAC had learned from this.
Ms Newton responded that the lack of the clear funding model was a stumbling block in creating a transparent, consistent and accountable process. DAC derived its mandate for supporting organisations from the Cultural Promotions Act of 1993, which was a wide ranging document that lacked a clear framework aligned to policy, leaving room for interpretation and some discretion. The White Paper Review process would be fundamental to establishing a vision and mission that could guide resources for funding models and frameworks going forward, and the Committee had already requested further meetings to discuss the funding model.
DAC had created a policy to guide the infrastructure programme, both internally, as to how the DAC deals with its entities, and externally in how it would deal with ad hoc requests. Through the White Paper process, the DAC would create a clearer funding model for the future. This was work in progress and ongoing learning. It also raised questions on the extent to which organisations may become dependent on grant funding and what sustainable basis there might be to support arts in the country. She emphasised that the White Paper was a powerful tool for the Department, to instil proper systems and processes for better articulation and sustainability between all the spheres and departments of government.
The Chairperson asked how the Department had fared with the White Paper, which had been under discussion for some time.
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) said the Department had consistently raised and recognised the problem around the lack of a clear funding model, but also had consistently not been able to provide solutions. She asked if the Department would simply continue to say that the funding model was problematic, or when it would come up with solutions to change and address the gaps identified? She observed that the DAC was seeing no progress and asked if it was able to deal with the issues.
Mr Vusi Ndima, Acting Director General, Department of Arts and Culture, said that the funding model was integral to the policy that the Department was working on.
Ms Tsoleli asked how the Department's funds were allocated; whether this was done arbitrarily without looking at the problems of each institution, given that there was no funding framework available. She further sought clarification on the basis of funding for external organisations at present.
The Chairperson agreed that this had been the concern of the current Committee since taking office.
Mr D Makondo (ANC) fully agreed and made the point that the lack of clear policies within the Department resulted in government officials using their discretion, which was very dangerous. He asked what then informed the distribution of funds, and how the distribution took place. If the DAC could not answer that immediately, he would like a written answer later that specified also who had been funded, and against what criteria.
Mr J Mahlangu (ANC) agreed with Mr Matondo that a comprehensive report was needed on funding. The recommendations on arts, culture and heritage in fact brought into question whether funding should be available from the Department, as there were other funding institutions in place, such as the National Heritage Council, National Arts Council and the National Film and Video Council. He asserted that if the funding was done through these institutions, all of whom had systems in place, then the issues may not arise, and that was something the Portfolio Committee would be looking into in the finalisation of the White Paper. Parliament was looking at the First Draft before the policy could be subjected to social economic impact analysis. It was estimated that the policy might reach Cabinet around September.
The Chairperson asked what was used, in the absence of a policy and a funding model.
Ms Newton gave an example of the publicly available guidelines for the Mzansi Golden Economy Programme, the Cultural Events and the Public Art Programmes. A panel assessed the applications and made recommendations to the Department. In these examples, there was a structured funding arrangement. For Community Arts, guidelines were also available for both infrastructure and programming. The Panel reviewed programme and infrastructure proposals, with funding being allocated on the recommendations of that panel. Within the framework of the creative industry’s funding, the Department had been working on placing sector-based strategies that would begin to act as a framework for the organisation of resources of the DAC. For Live Events and Technical Production Services, the skills audit was under way, incorporating the feasibility study into the academy. The DAC's work with organisations such as the Musicians Associations were also guided by a broader strategic intention that was defined in the document. The DAC thus did have a policy on funding and transfers, and there were frameworks and guidelines, albeit quite generic because it was required to accommodate both cultural, heritage and language matters.
Ms Newton reiterated that this was a complex environment in which there was some discretion, and agreed there were risks if not guided by policy. The delays in finalising the White Paper had indicated to the Department the need to strengthen the funding allocation environment.
Ms V Mogotsi (ANC) expressed her frustration with the Department. She asked for more details on who sat on the panel, and its mandate. She voiced her concern with the manner in which the Department was governing itself, saying that it was not making the Committee able to do oversight properly.
Ms Tsoleli wanted to get substantial details in the report that the Department would present to the Portfolio Committee on organisations that they were funding. She stated that when funding MaSechaba programmes, the DAC should provide details on the numbers of organisations that were being funded and explain the extent to which these organisations were achieving transformation and social cohesion in line with their mandate.
The Chairperson asked the Department about its communication strategies with the beneficiaries. She questioned whether beneficiaries understood the processes for applying and where to go to apply for funding.
Ms Newton noted all points made. She emphasised that the White Paper of 1996 was the guiding force of the Department and remained relevant and was enforced in many respects. The panels comprised of officials and external members. She stated that there had been improvements in communication.
Ms Tsoleli said she was unclear on the panel, and its processes of the panel were and requested that this be expanded.
The Chairperson asked that the DAC, in its report, must specify how many panel members there were from the Department and how many were external.
Ms Newton confirmed that DAC would submit details of the panel. She then responded to the question around the communication strategy, noting that there had been an increase in the attendance at the roadshows and workshops. The Department was still unsure as to its extent of outreach, but probably had not gone far enough. The White Paper processes would be discussed later. There had been progress on consultations and that members of the Portfolio Committee had joined the Department at the second summit on policy matters.
Ms Mogotsi wanted to know exactly how many panels there were, whether the panel members were external, to whom were they accountable and how they were held accountable. She stressed that this information must be provided in the report particularly since there were apparently no funding models. She asked if the Minister knew the risks that this panel posed. She thought the DAC was essentially shifting its responsibility to the panel, and she, whilst working as a national treasurer at an institution, had never heard of such panels. She asked what the Human Resources' function was in this regard. She still did not understand if it was intended to be an adjudication or tender panel.
The Chairperson asked that in the meeting next week, the DAC must provide a list of all those on the panel, and their functions.
National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) irregular expenditure: DAC briefing
Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Acting Director General, DAC, said his presentation would address the progress in dealing with the irregular expenditure in the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF). By way of background, he reminded the Committee that the Content Advisor had requested clarity on a bursary granted to Mr Halick Moosa in 2015, and when the training manager of the NFVF was asked to deal with that question, the Foundation had conducted an internal investigation on this specific matter, but also looking into all bursaries. That revealed discrepancies and potential flouting of NFVF systems and processes by the training manager, who, after having been placed on a precautionary suspension pending a full investigation and disciplinary process, had resigned on 29 October 2015. In December 2015, forensic investigators were hired to investigate the financial irregularities around international bursaries and training, concluding that there were irregularities to the value of R593 583.
The NFVF reported the matter to the police, who had opened a fraud and corruption case. NFVF was now awaiting feedback from the SA Police Services (SAPS), and was following up regularly. The pension of the implicated employee had been withheld and the Foundation was currently exploring other recovery options in line with a legal opinion obtained.
Mr G Grootboom (DA) asked whether that was the only case of irregular expenditure within the Department. He further enquired current status, noting that it was almost a year since this case had been presented.
Mr Mahlangu asked who had conducted the forensic examination, and what was the cost.
Mr Ndima said he did not have all the information to hand. This was the only case presented to the Department, and the matter was currently in the hands of SAPS; the DAC was constrained from pushing matters that were with other bodies.
Mr Grootboom felt that such a vague response was equivalent to a non-response. He referred to another case against another official which had spent so long “being reviewed” that it was eventually withdrawn due to changes in the department, and he urged that someone must be allocated to follow up regularly on the case.
Ms N Bilankulu (ANC) asked if Mr Moosa was the only one who was awarded a bursary.
The Chairperson asked if it was legally correct to withhold the pension.
Mr Ndima said that the irregular expenditure had been found and the individual had resigned, so that DAC considered that it would be prudent to withhold the funding, although he was unsure what exactly the legal opinion had said.
Mr Grootboom again complained that the question had not been answered, and again cited a National Heritage Council report in which it was noted that a case had fallen away due to lapse of time, with no punitive measures being taken.
The Chairperson noted that answers were still needed on who was conducting the forensic audit, costs and time-frames and the legal opinion.
Mr Ndima asked that the DAC be given time to research and respond on these issues. Bursaries had been given to numerous people who applied for them. He acknowledged that when it came to disciplinary processes it was difficult to hold people accountable after five years.
The Chairperson said that the questions around the bursary were asked to find if this was the only instance of fraud detected. Whether or not anyone was new to the Department, it must be dealt with since everything must be properly done within the correct legal parameters. The DAC was making the work of the Committee very difficult
Ms T Mabo, Department of Arts and Culture, noted that this was the sole instance of fraud,
Ms Bilankulu was surprised to hear this; she thought that since the issue had not yet been resolved, the DAC must not have done things correctly.
The Chairperson stressed that the DAC must ensure that its officials working with the entities knew what was happening with the entities who were spending taxpayer money. She asked Mr Ndima why the National Heritage Council matter was withdrawn.
Mr Ndima said that he could not give details; the DAC had thought that the matter was now closed because the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) indicated that it was not prosecuting and he said he was not in a position to give any further information now.
Mr Makondo said that he would like to continue with this matter until it was confirmed.
Mr Grootboom referred to the last sentence of the report on the NHC, that said that the Special Investigating Unit could not pursue the matter any further against the employees involved due to the passage of time. That was exactly why he was urging that the current matter with the NFVF must be expedited to determine what other recourse there might be.
Ms Mogotsi agreed, and asked why the DAC was still awaiting advice, instead of pursuing the matter.
Mr Mahlangu said that the Committee was guided by legislation, including the Constitution. The Committee believed that this should still be work in progress to be finalised. Parliament was unlikely just to let the matter go, and he was not satisfied with what had been presented to the Committee from the NPA as there were no attachments. He wanted the Committee still to look into the matter. All forensic and investigative matters must be prioritised, given the serious priority in this Committee to tackle corruption and crime, and he would be most reluctant to let any such matter fall away.
The Chairperson said that the items were on the agenda in order to reach conclusions and allow the Committee to move on to other matters. The Committee, whilst it could not repeat the same things over and over, had agreed that any relevant matters must be addressed to ensure that nothing fell into the cracks. She asked that the DAC must conclude the matters at the next meeting. Members of this Committee wished to leave their term with their integrity intact and needed to know the reasons for any matters being abandoned, so that they would be able to respond to questions on them.
Establishment of Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA): DAC briefing
The Chairperson noted that although the programme for this term did not include discussions with the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA), she, Mr Grootboom and Mr Rabotapi had, on behalf of the Portfolio Committee, attended a meeting with the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) where a Bill that affected artists was being discussed. They had raised a number of questions. They made it clear that the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture was insistent that anything affecting a group of people should be discussed with them and were concerned that insufficient consultation had occurred on that Bill. Reports had been given at that meeting stating that artists were not organised. She felt it important that the Bill be raised and discussed now with CCIFSA and the DAC, before the Bill went further.
Mr Ndima noted that CCIFSA was established through consultative processes between government and artists, from 2009, that aimed to discuss the role of artists in contributing to social cohesion and nation building. CCIFSA is a non-profit company that promoted and developed the social and economic interests of the cultural and creative industries. Up to the time of the establishment of CCIFSA, artists were not formerly organised under any structure, and that presented difficulties when trying to engage with sector as a whole. Lack of cohesive strategies in this sector resulted in fragmentation, and it was hoped to address this by enhanced governance and accountability.
An interim committee was set up, chaired by Yvonne Chaka Chaka. This committee was mandated to facilitate the registration of the legal entity and to organise a national conference for the election of CCIFSA leadership. Government would facilitate this process and create a conducive environment through which artists could organise themselves. The DAC concluded a three-year agreement, allocating funding of R15 784 000, in order to facilitate the establishment of the CCIFSA, including sectoral and provincial consultations and the inaugural conference.
The broad objectives of CCIFSA were:
- To create cross sectoral opportunities for growth and investment
- To encourage and facilitate platforms, networks and clusters between all public and private stakeholders
- To encourage structured partnerships with social partners and all types of education and training providers
- To improve the investor readiness of financial institutions and the investment readiness of CCI and devise dedicated financial instruments
- To provide support for exploring and testing new audience development strategies and business models which were relevant to the digital environment
In March 2015 the board members of CCIFSA were elected: Mr Tony Kgoroge as President, Mr Kobane Gezani as Deputy President, Mr Phemelo Sediti as the General Secretary, Mr Dodo Monamodi as the National Treasurer and Ms Andrea Dondolo as the National Coordinator. The Minister of Arts and Culture provided guidance to the incoming leadership on the expectations of CCIFSA, and noted the challenges experienced during the elective conference and complaints that were raised by the sector at various platforms. The process of establishing CCIFSA had been complex, but provincial structures were now being established.
Mr Tony Kgoroge, Chairperson, CCIFSA, was encouraged to experience engagement at this level, but said that there still remained many answered questions in the arts and culture industries. The frustrations were far more intense on the ground than what had been observed at the meeting referred to by the Chairperson. CCIFSA was driven by the 1996 White Paper, which stated that one of the primary purposes of the consultative process was “to shift away from serving the needs of the minority and to explore the forgotten arts, culture and heritage of the majority”. The revised White Paper of 2008 was not accepted by the industry. The revised White Paper correctly reflected that the general social and class differences between black and white South Africans had largely resulted in white dominance and monopoly of the cultural and creative industry value chain of activities. This is turn resulted in the majority of the institutions operating within the arts and culture value chain being white dominated in ownership, management and at operational levels. CCIFSA was driven by the need to transform the arts and culture industry.
Through a firm commitment from government, and strong support from legislature and policy, CCIFSA was positioned favourably to positively impact the creative industries in South Africa. The main challenges facing the creative industries were poor educational outcomes, divided communities, lack of art spaces and art centres, artists dying poor, few means of production, corruption, poor funding models and monody of the sector. The main stumbling blocks in achieving transformation remained as the effects of the apartheid government in distorting opportunities. That was one area that CCIFSA had to look into in terms of spaces and division of communities. In order to address the stumbling blocks, CCIFSA needed to transform the industry, reduce inequality, create opportunities, raise the living standards, regulate the industry and be acknowledged through an act of Parliament.
CCIFSA, in its engagement with the DAC and it own mapping had discovered that cultural industries in South Africa tended to be small, and many were unregistered. The primary challenge reported by organisations was a lack of funding and support from private and public services. Accessing technology was also a key challenge for small companies. The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and CCIFSA had identified this a one area through which they could support organisations, and help to register the previously unregistered companies. Various organisations had intellectual property as their main asset, yet did not have access to an advisory centre that could provide them with advice and support. It was intended that CCIFSA would set up a centre to advise these sectors.
Mr Kgoroge stated that CCFISAA was now established in Free State, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, and would be extending, in March, to Western Cape, Northern Cape and North East province.
CCIFSA had developed a model that would cover all the sectors, regionally and provincially, through building sectors in provinces, decentralising the Department of Arts and Culture’s national programmes, accelerating prioritised targeted development, building synergies between CCIFSA, municipalities and provincial Arts and Culture departments,. It would give better access to artists, and build a database of artists.
CCIFSA's eight priority sectors were Culture and Heritage, Performance and Celebration, Arts and Crafts, Language and Publishing, Audio, Visual and Interactive Media, Design and Technical Support Services, Art Education, and Indigenous Wisdom. The sector of “Arts Education” must yet be defined as CCIFSA was still collecting the required information from all the provinces.
CCIFSA did not yet know what the average annual household income or the educational profile of artists were, nor how many were attending schools, or were unemployed. All these variables needed to be researched to let CCIFSA know if artists were “living a life, or living a lie”.
Mr Dodo Monamodi, Treasurer, CCIFSA, provided a background to the Music Industry Task Team (MITT) that had dedicated two days to public hearings with individuals and industry organisations, and another three to deliberations. The MITT presented recommendations to the Minister to address the problems that faced the South African music industry, along with its report covering its key areas of investigation. This commented on the adequacy of the legislative framework governing the industry, contracts, human resource development, piracy, distribution marketing, wholesale and retail with a focus of ownership, local content, music publishing, work permits, royalty collection, historical injustices, recognition of the musical legacy, allegations of racism and recordings around access to facilities and infrastructure.
The music industry was growing fast and was a powerful means of enhancing the country’s identity and distinctiveness while creating employment, developing human skills and generating social capital and cohesion. However, the music industry was also infused with the political economy of the apartheid legacy through the suppression and distortion of indigenous culture. The apartheid legacy left local music lagging behind while international music is thriving in South Africa.
The major challenges the MITT identified within the music industry included inadequate and outdated copyright legislation, piracy and copyright infringement, ineffectiveness and transparency of the IBA’s local content monitoring system, unfair contracts, legacy of disempowerment, imbalances in power relations in the industry, the isolation of aspirant musicians living outside of Gauteng and inadequate funding for music development.
Mr Monamodi then presented an overview on the Cultural and Creative Industries. CCIFSA enabled international agencies, who have contributed to the dysfunctionality and monopoly of the music industry, to bring solutions to the table. Investigations which took oral and written submissions identified various problematic areas and possible solutions. These included the adequacy of the legislative framework governing the industry, the need for developing contracts benchmarked against international best practice, human resource development through coordination of existing efforts, identifying solutions to piracy, distribution and marketing through building the profile of South African music, concentration of ownership on wholesaling and retailing, establishing quota levels and monitoring of local content and establishing access, control and copyright of the music publishing.
Mr Monamodi further elaborated on the copyright matters. Under the current legislation, performers enjoyed no copyright protection as this was confined only to composers and authors. Needletime legislation was one of the key obstacles to the development of local music and the music industry. Therefore, the MITT report recommended, to the Portfolio Committee dealing with the Bill, that amendments were needed urgently on the needletime provisions. MITT agreed that no further public consultations were required.
However, that had been problematic to CCIFSA. The Bill sought to collapse all collecting societies into one. This would transgress the radical economic transformation agenda of government. The Bill would further curtail freedom of association and force every artist to belong to one Collecting Society. This Bill would further enable giants in the industry to collude and easily swallow historically disadvantaged new players.
He summarised that CCIFSA took the view that the Bill was being dealt with too hastily, and would reverse the gains of transformation. He suggested that that more engagement from the industry was needed, under the auspices of CCFISA, because the few preferred individuals who are perpetuating the monopoly and enjoying the royalties of minority groups were benefitting at the moment.
The Chairperson said that this was a complicated matter. She enquired how DAC had allocated a budget to CCIFSA, and against what criteria. She asked how dti saw the Bill, and whether the issues raised by CCIFSA were being addressed by the dti or by the DAC.
Mr Makondo reiterated that one of the results of a lack of any clear policy on funding resulted now in individuals using their discretion in allocating funding, which led to CCIFSA being underfunded and not able to ensure that artists were organised. He asked what role the DAC played in this Bill that was being driven by the dti, whether it had considered taking CCIFSA on board.
Mr Makondo asked CCIFSA to explain the 90/10 announcement made by the SABC, and asked it how aware it was about artists in schools, and what was being done to establish provincial CCIFSA structures.
Mr Mahlangu requested the opportunity to hold more thorough engagement with CCIFSA and proposed that a one-day workshop session be arranged, where some tough questions could be addressed. He asked if there were discussions with CCIFSA when Cabinet had introduced the Bill and whether CCIFSA had a substantive proposal to strengthen their case. Although CCIFSA had presented on the challenges in the creative industries, he noted that it had not spoken to educational outcomes. He asked how other jurisdictions had dealt with artists.
Mr Grootboom stated that he had not engaged with the document that been presented by CCIFSA. He gained the impression that CCIFSA was seeking black hegemony to establish its own monopoly. He questioned the inclusiveness of CCIFSA. He questioned whether government would pass a Bill that was not in favour of the artists. He further queried the extent to which CCIFSA served the efforts of the provincial departments of Arts and Culture. He said he could not make an informed decision on the document (which had only just been handed out) and it would be unfair to try to ask questions without further engagement on the document. However, he would prefer to engage on the Bill sooner rather than later.
The Chairperson wanted to stress that there was nothing personal about the questions which were directed to getting a better understanding.
Mr P Mulder (FF+) also pointed out that he had only seen the document for the first time that day. He understood the long struggle of artists in South Africa, but the same struggle could be observed amongst artists all over the world. He would like CCIFSA to speak to young Afrikaaner artists, who faced similar challenges to black artists in getting their music out. He stressed that the challenges of the industry were not necessarily racial. Some of the problems lay with provincial departments themselves. SABC was in a powerful situation to solve many problems that had been identified by CCIFSA. He hoped that all artists could be unified in the struggle to strengthen the case for all artists and reiterated that this was something seen internationally. Local artists could be successful in their own language, as seen from examples on SABC.
Ms Newton stated that the amount allocated to CCIFSA was decided upon in conjunction with the interim committee and the then-Minister, based also on the budget available at the time. A three-year funding cycle was established to create stability.
The Chairperson requested further clarification on the criteria for allocating funding.
Ms Newton said that the Performance Protection Act was under discussion in Parliamentary structures and the DAC had contributed to those discussions. The Copyright Amendment Bill had a longer trajectory, starting with MITT1 and MITT2, and a Copyright Review Commission was run by the dti. This had been akin to a review process to get input from all the sector stakeholders. The current amendments moving through the system emanated from engagements relating to copyright. Copyright did not just pertain to artists, though they were major stakeholders. The Copyright Review Report was a detailed report that involved a large consultation process and considered recommendations around local content, restructuring of copyright, collection societies and other issues. The DAC had been involved in a task team established by dti, to look at implementation of the recommendations of the Review Commission. Although the DAC was not directly consulted about the Performance Protection Amendment Bill the Department did have an opportunity to contribute. Funding was for national structures, and not provincial structures, therefore the DAC had not provided any direct funding for provincial structures.
The Chairperson stated that she was surprised about how a Bill could come to this stage without the Department engaging with artists. She then requested CCIFSA to answer the questions. She particularly asked if CIFFSA knew about the 90/10 and how it was benefitting artists. She also wanted to know about artists in schools.
Ms Newton said that the DAC did not know the answers to those questions; CCIFSA might be in a better position to respond.
The Chairperson expressed her surprise, pointing out that DAC established CCIFSA and should have surely known about artists in schools, and where CCIFSA got the artists.
Mr Grootboom noted that the presentation had referred to unemployed artists, but those artists that were employed in schools could be the first pool of artists that CCIFSA and the Department could utilise.
Ms Bilankulu enquired whether the Department faced the same challenges that had been indicated in CCIFSA's presentation, and asked if the DAC knew of CCIFSA's challenges.
Ms Newton responded that the challenges presented were broadly accepted across multiple sectors and that there was consensus on them. Some programmes addressed some of the challenges mentioned, although CCIFSA may not be aware of all of the programmes.
Ms Bilankulu (ANC) questioned whether the Department attempted to provide solutions to the challenges or had manufactured the challenges.
Ms Newton responded that a variety of efforts had been made, some dating back years. The 1996 White Paper was implemented to tackle issues of monopoly in the sector that eventually resulted in the establishment of new funding agencies which were set up to support a variety of artist and genres, arts spaces and investment in community arts. The revised White Paper was the first time that all of the issues raised had merged into a single framework that enabled the Department to respond to them across sectors; currently the matters were addressed under the arts, culture and heritage sector as a whole.
Mr Kgoroge responded that the artists at schools were discovered through CCIFSA’s engagements with provinces. CCIFSA realised that not all the provinces had these programmes and identified the need for capacity building. The challenges in the arts education sector were that the art teachers were not accredited and therefore not taken on as teachers. In other cases the artists that had failed to become prominent individually moved to schools to teach, and this also caused some concern as questions were asked whether they were capable of teaching the correct material. Sometimes artists who were getting too old to perform would enter these programmes. In Eastern Cape, there was another challenge with a three month programme that trained normal teachers, who were not artists, as art teachers. Art education at school is not properly formalised and implemented, although a proper syllabus was required for art education at these schools. There was ongoing engagement around art education from the primary to the tertiary sector.
CCIFSA had complained and sent recommendations to the Department, although the DAC had interpreted those recommendations differently to what was intended. He highlighted that racialisation of the industry was a significant problem that been brought to the attention of the DAC. Many white counterparts held back from engaging with CCIFSA and this had become problematic and it should be investigated further.
Mr Monamodi said that CCIFSA had first been invited to Parliament some three years after inception, which suggested gaps in the consultation between government and industry players. CCIFSA had to deal with a very disgruntled industry. The 90/10 was an announcement by the SABC that afforded the musicians of this country an opportunity to play their music on more platforms, but did not address the matter of the musicians not owning the material they produced.
The Chairperson stated that the Portfolio Committee required more time to understand the matters. This Committee would need to engage with the Bill and other presentation. She recommended that a meeting between Chairpersons of both Committees, and another with the full committees, should be arranged to resolve these issues. This Committee needed to determine whether the Draft White Paper aligned with the Bill. She was surprised that propositions in the White Paper did not reflect what was proposed by the artists. A concept paper would have to be presented to the Committee that investigated the Bill, the draft White Paper and the presentations. Areas that the Department could interrogate further would include issues of inclusivity.
The meeting was adjourned.
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