Nelson Mandela Museum governance: status report; Department of Arts and Culture on its Quarter 3 performance

Arts and Culture

07 March 2017
Chairperson: Ms X Tom (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Two reports were presented to the Committee for adoption. Comments from the report concerning the Renovation Project addressed the issue of the Renovations Project being halted. The Committee requested clarity on why it had been stopped. A Member queried how the identity of the Wall Museum could be maintained whilst maintaining transformation, and recommended to the Department that clear funding guidelines to the Department’s entities be developed.

The Department of Arts and Culture provided a brief overview on the Nelson Mandela Museum. The Acting Director General discussed the status of the Council, human resource related matters, labour related issues, communication within the organisation, infrastructure related issues and financials. He identified key challenges in each area and presented the recommendations of the Department thereof.

The Nelson Mandela Museum presented the solutions on matters that had been raised during the Portfolio Committee’s visit to the Museum.

The Acting Director General also provided an overview presentation on the Department’s third quarter performance against their Annual Performance Plan. The Department had achieved 74% of their performance targets, which was an improvement from the first and second quarter. The programme that performed the best (96%) was Arts, Culture Promotion and Development with Heritage Preservation and Promotion performing the worst (55%). Key areas of achievement and non-achievement under each programme were highlighted and reasons presented as to why non-achievement occurred in certain areas, as well as the challenges that the Department faced.

The Committee felt that the Department needed to reconsider how they framed their targets and questioned why the Department had set such low targets. They further expressed the need for the Department to induct their entities on the function of the Committee and for the Department to address the gaps in funding methods to entities.

The Department’s Chief Financial Officer presented an overview of the adjusted appropriation and projected budget versus expenditure of each Departmental Programme. He explained discrepancies under institutional governance and clarified that the full budget allocated for compensation to employees had not been exhausted because of the vacant positions at the Department.

Councillor of the Nelson Mandela Museum was requested to provide a brief overview on the Museum. He highlighted key strategic areas, the new council members and explained the circumstances in which the Museum had received a qualification from the Auditor General.

The Committee questioned the wisdom of the management structure being placed on temporary contracts and questioned who would hold the institutional memory of the organisation. The Committee requested clarity on how the donation from Grant Thornton to the Museum would be disclosed and how utilisation of interest on the capital fund was authorised by the Museum.

The report of PACOFS 2 December 2016 was adopted.

The Report of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on the visit to the Nelson Mandela Museum, 14-15 September 2016 was not adopted.

Meeting report

Report of PACOFS 2 December 2016
The Chairperson said the last recommendation was problematic and felt it should be restated from a position of command to a position or recommendation.

Mr J Mahlangu (ANC) felt it was a fair recommendation. Stakeholder engagement was necessary but agreed to remove the term “involve” to be replaced with “consult”.

The Chairperson said recommendations of the report must be aligned to the findings.

The report was adopted without amendments.

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on the visit to the Nelson Mandela Museum, 14-15 September 2016
Dr Mulder (FF+) noted that there were no financials in the report and wanted to know how the identity of the Wall Museum could be maintained whilst maintaining transformation. The subsidies of staff members of the Wall Museum were half of that of other entities, he therefore suggested that the Department develop guidelines to ensure more equal funding allocations.

Mr Mahlangu stated that the Department ensured not only equal funding but also equitable funding to its entities.

The recommendations were considered and the report was not adopted.

Comments of the Portfolio Committee on the Reports
Mr G Grootboom (DA) said the Department needed to inform the entities about the discussions it has with the Office of the Auditor General (AG) and National Treasury.

The Chairperson supported Mr Grootboom’s point and requested that the Department inform the Portfolio Committee about the date and time of its next meeting with the AG, National Treasury and entities, and what the matters of discussion would be.

Presentation Overview on the Nelson Mandela Museum.
Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Acting Director General, Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), provided an overview of the Nelson Mandela Museum. He discussed the status of the Council, human resource related matters, labour related issues, communication within the organisation, infrastructure related issues and financials.

The new Council was appointed on 1 November 2016 and comprised of 14 members. These members were representatives from the Mandela family, Walter Sisulu University, Eastern Cape Department of Sports and Recreation, Arts and Culture, and the Eastern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA). The Council had five committees which comprised of Finance, Audit and Risk, Content, Institutional Development and Community Development and Fund Raising.

The Department faced some challenges with the organisational structure of the Nelson Mandela Museum. There were too many top-level managers (eleven) and only fourteen low level workers coupled with unfulfilled vacancies. To compound the challenges further, not all staff members had job descriptions and not all the performance agreements had been signed. The solutions the Department had proposed was to employ an expert to assist with the organisational structure. The Nelson Mandela Museum was to provide the extent of progress on this in their presentation. Other challenges included injury on duty and disciplinary charges against employees, with progress on these points to be provided in the presentation by the Nelson Mandela Museum.

On challenges faced concerning infrastructure and capital funds, he named the three sites of Bhunga, Qunu and Mvezo as areas of concern. The Department proposed that the Nelson Mandela Museum Council ensure that Mvezo remained a part of the Mandela Narrative. Another infrastructure related challenge was the development and upgrade of the Qunu Youth and Heritage Centre at the cost of R15 million. The Department proposed that the Nelson Mandela Museum was to develop a plan on how they envisaged the roll-out of the project. He specified the challenges around the use of interest accrued from the Capital Works Fund and recommended that proper accounting systems needed to be in place by the Nelson Mandela Museum. Tools of the trade such as old laptops and vehicles were required to be upgraded. He recommended that the upgrade of Qunu by the Department of Public Works (DPW) was to be addressed through engagement between the Nelson Mandela Museum and the DPW to establish a condition based maintenance plan.

On financial challenges that the Nelson Mandela Museum faced, the misstatements of the financials could be addressed through decentralisation of the finance functions from the CFO’s office to the finance team. He proposed that the CEO launch an investigation into the irregular and wasteful expenditure that occurred during the 2015-2016 period. The audit improvement plan could be improved upon through regular review of progress against the plan.

Lack of communication and low staff morale could be addressed through management hosting monthly meetings and schedules with the staff and the union. He further proposed that the Nelson Mandela Museum conduct a staff survey to develop a response action plan.

Presentation by Dr Mngomezulu, Nelson Mandela Museum
Dr Bheki Mngomezulu, Councillor: Nelson Mandela Museum, commenced his presentation with follow up issues raised in the previous meeting. On the matter of the leadership gap, the Museum had appointed a senior manager for Heritage and Conservation as well as a Chief Financial Officer. On the matter of improving the employee management relationship, he stated that:

  • the museum had conducted staff meetings and workshops,

  • the employee dispute had been settled,

  • the workman’s compensation for the employee in question had been filed with the Department of Labour and the issue was resolved,

  • they were working together with the employees of the museum on presentations so that all staff members owned the documents produced by the museum,

  • any issues arising within the Museum must be resolved internally before matters are taken elsewhere so that the Museum maintains its reputation,

  • expired contracts were renewed through the approval of the Council,

  • an employee on a temporary contract was employed permanently

  • the Museum was attending to the matter of an outstanding tour guide employee and

  • the renewal of contracts for employees that were affected by restructuring were approved

Dr Mngomezulu stated that on the matters of job description and performance management of employees:

  • the Museum had commissioned the assessment of a performance management system,

  • human resource workshops had been held with employees on the new performance management template and job descriptions

  • the human resource team had tailored individual programmes to assist with the preparation of job descriptions and performance management with a plan to complete these processes before the end of March 2017.

  • Attempt by museum management to ensure that all programmes at the Museum were discussed with the CEO and managers to ensure that each programme delivered on its mandate

On the structure of the organisation, Dr Mngomezulu stated that restructuring had occurred with the assistance of the Department of Arts and Culture and that verification of the employee qualifications was in progress. He iterated that a skills audit would be subsequently considered.

Mr Mahlangu interjected the presentation; this presentation was not part of the agenda and he was not able to follow all of the matters arising without a hardcopy.

The Chairperson responded that the matters raised by Mr Mngomezulu were important as they were follow up issues from the previous meeting so a document reflecting these points was important. She requested clarification from the Department on whether the Department gave guidance to the Museum on the importance of documentation.

Ms Mako (DAC) (unable to find first name) stated that the Department had informed the Museum and they had not followed protocol.

Dr Mngomezulu responded that he was informed that a soft copy had been circulated and was working under that assumption. He requested clarity on whether to continue with the presentation.

Mr Mahlangu said the Department needed to be more organised in doing its job. There could not be a situation where there were a number of presentations for one entity with some presentations not being circulated beforehand but discussed at the meeting. He suggested that the document be printed and circulated so that they could follow what was presented.

Mr T Makondo (ANC) stated that the issues discussed were important and needed to be followed closely. Without a document, it was not possible to follow the presentation, nor engage sufficiently with the matters raised. Furthermore, without a document it was not possible to assess whether the matters were implemented.

The Chairperson reiterated that the matters raised by Mr Mngomezulu were matters that the Portfolio Committee had identified and they were being addressed at the meeting. It was paramount that a document reflecting the matters addressed by the Museum be documented. She expressed that the Department had not guided its entities and could do better.

The Chairperson instructed the Acting Director General to allocate a person to have the documents printed. The Department was required to have all documents presented at Portfolio Committee meetings to be submitted at least 10 days before the meeting, and the Department had never followed this protocol. The Committee Members were fair.

Dr Mngomezulu strongly expressed that the Portfolio Committee withdraw calling the documents presented from the Department a mess.

Ms N Bilankulu (ANC) asked who was to withdraw the term and why the Portfolio Committee would do that?

The Chairperson said it was clear that the induction of members of the Council by the Department was not done appropriately. The Department was required to spell out to the entities what the functions of the Portfolio Committee were. The Portfolio Committee expressed the state of affairs as they were and were simply implementing their oversight function. She did not understand why the Committee was to withdraw the term mess as that is what it was.

Mr Makondo iterated that it appeared that the Council was not well inducted. He informed the Council that they could not come to the Portfolio Committee meeting unprepared and demanded an apology from Dr. Mngomezulu.

Ms Tema (unable to find) (Nelson Mandela Museum) apologised on behalf of the Council.

Mr Mahlangu requested that the Department submit the induction guideline used for entities. He accepted the apology.

The Acting Chair Director General thanked the Acting Chair? and noted the points that had been expressed.

Department of Arts and Culture on its Third Quarter Performance Report
Mr Ndima provided an overview of the Department’s third quarter performance against their Annual Performance Plan (APP). The Department had achieved 74% of their performance target, which was an improvement from the first and second quarter. The programme which performed the best (96%) was Arts, Culture Promotion and Development, with Heritage Preservation and Promotion performing the worst (55%).

On performance of administration, the Revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage (ACH) that had been submitted to Cabinet was not achieved because it still had to undergo a social impact analysis, which they were planning to complete in September 2017. The percentage of MPAT key result areas measures at level 3 and above were not achieved and that the Department felt it would not achieve its target because of internal departmental issues.

The target for clean audit outcomes for the previous financial year was not achieved, however progress had been made. The Department had improved on cutting down irregular expenditure and 97% of invoices had been paid within 30 working days.

On spending the entire budget allocation, DAC had not spent the entire budget due to the challenges on the infrastructure side of projects.

All the vacancies could not be filled because of budget constraints.

The Chairperson explained that due to time constraints, they could not go through each item of the presentation and requested that Mr Ndima identify key areas that he felt were important.

Mr Mahlangu requested that Mr Ndima clarify issues on infrastructure, and an explanation on what had gone well and what had not.

Mr Ndima said the Department was battling with matters of the Heritage Preservation and Promotion due to policy and legislation, but were aiming to achieve their targets in the coming year. The target for the provision of 90 000 library materials had been achieved. The target for the number of infrastructure projects implemented was not achieved due to certain constraints such as the absence of a 99-year long lease. As a result, an environmental impact assessment could not be executed. Many of the projects being addressed were projects that had outstanding unresolved matters.

Summary of the Adjusted Appropriation and Projected Budget versus Expenditure
Mr M Matlala, CFO: DAC, presented an overview of the adjusted appropriation and projected budget versus expenditure of each Departmental Programme.

Infrastructural issues were located under Institutional Governance and therefore explained the lack of budget expenditure for the reasons mentioned by Mr Ndima.

The full budget allocated for compensation to employees had not been exhausted because of the vacant positions at the Department.

Mr Grootboom requested an explanation on goods and services and the amount that was underspent, and sought further clarification on payments for financial assets.

Mr Makondo said the report was welcomed, and requested an explanation of library materials. The disclosure of achievement and non-achievement of targets needed to be consistent.

Mr Mahlangu requested clarification on why it was a challenge for the Department to establish a clean audit. If plans were presented and not executed then, the manner in which the plans were constructed were problematic. There was a lack of clarity in defining clear performance indicators. He requested clarity on what internal investigations entailed, and on why there were contract cancellations predominantly in one province.

Mr C Mulder (FF+) felt it was an honest report and this was displayed by the frankness in stating whether targets were achieved or not. It was good to observe that payments were being made in a timely manner as late payments were killing small businesses. He questioned how the Wall Museum in Bloemfontein could be funded to continue doing the good work they had done thus far.

Mr Grootboom requested clarification on how the commemoration of national days occurred. There were no targets on the number of artists who were provided with temporary work. He queried the number of libraries that were inoperative due to upgrades, and questioned whether the renovated libraries had been budgeted for, and under whose jurisdiction the libraries fell under. He also wanted to know whose responsibility it was, whether the Department’s or the province’s, to ensure that the upgrades were completed.

Ms Bilankulu queried whether December was a good time for the IJR forums because many officials went on leave at that time. Certain targets were set too low so overachieving in performance was unsurprising. She queried why the Department had set such low targets and whether this affected the finances of the Department. She further questioned whether the youth dialogues were held nationally. The manner of reporting indictors needed to be further clarified.

The Chairperson stressed the importance of understanding the impact of community dialogues and sought clarity on why the community engagement in Limpopo was cancelled at the last moment.

Mr Ndima responded that the matters raised by the Portfolio Committee were noted. Matters related to defining clear targets would be considered. He acknowledged the question regarding the Museum and funding. The Department was facing budget constraints and it was difficult to promise funding as unfulfilled promises resulted in a lack of public confidence in the Department. He further addressed the matters raised by Mr Grootboom and explained that the responsibility for implementing infrastructure development lay with the provinces. He clarified that the IJR forums were determined by the diaries of the MEC and the days of commemoration in a calendar year.

Ms Mako responded that the merger that occurred had created confusion in the number of entities, as before the merger there were 26 entities, which decreased to 24 after the merger. However, for reporting purposes they were required to report as 26 entities hence the discrepancy indicated in the presentation.

The Chairperson said the questions were around receptivity of the programmes during the December period and suggested that at the planning stage of community engagement the Department should keep the timing in mind.

Mr Ndima responded that contractors took up more work than they could manage, resulting in incomplete contracts, and this had been the case of the Mpumalanga.

The Chairperson suggested that the Department look into other areas outside of Mpumalanga that contribute to under expenditure as under expenditure was problematic for future budget allocations.

Follow up
Ms Bilankulu questioned how many dialogues were planned for one financial year.

The Chairperson suggested that it would be helpful to have data on the previous quarter so that comparisons could be made in order to determine progress for the third quarter.

Mr Ndima acknowledged the recommendations presented by the Portfolio Committee on how they presented their reports, the requested structure would be presented in future.

Ms Monica Newton, Deputy Director General: DAC. responded to the question raised about job creation. The figure was cumulative with the final figure being reported on in the fourth quarter. A challenge they faced was reporting the actual audited numbers, the final audited numbers concerning job creation would be presented in the fourth quarter.

The Chairperson stated that institutions benchmark the funding they receive off each other and the lack of clarity in funding models contributes to institutions feeling discriminated, therefore the issue of equity needs to be addressed.

Issues raised by the Committee Visit to the Nelson Mandela Museum
Dr Mngomezulu said vetting employees was due by the 20 March with the incoming CEO attending to the matter.

Audit findings raised by the Committee had resulted in Grant Thornton providing the Museum with free assistance regarding the management of Heritage Assets. He further clarified matters around the audit improvement plan stating that investigations had been conducted and subsequently letters had been issued to employees for irregular expenditure. He elucidated further on the R15 million of Capital works, the Council had approved the sourcing of a project management team with the Department of Arts and Culture providing technical and management expertise. The ICT tender had reached the adjudication stage while a request had been presented to use funds saved from GRAP 103 to bolster security.

Overview on Nelson Mandela Museum
Due to time constraints, Dr Mngomezulu was requested to provide a brief overview of the presentation.

Dr Mngomezulu stated that the new council had been appointed. The Museum received an exemption from the Minister for GRAP 103 covering the period of 2015/2016 however, and that the AG refused to consider the exemption, culminating into the Museum receiving a qualification. Matters raised around the restructuring of leadership had been addressed with the appointment of the CEO and CFO.

Dr Mngomezulu reiterated the strategic priorities of the Museum, which included strengthening the financial administration to ensure financial sustainability, to address the matter of Mvezo and to remain relevant to the audiences through dynamic and contextual programming.

Mr Grootboom queried whether the accruals on the funds had been used irregular.

Mr Makondo questioned the Museum on the challenges they had faced, and the wisdom of placing all management staff on temporary contracts as their departure from the institution could result in a loss of institutional memory. He further queried whether interest on the R15 million was used in Qunu.

Mr Mahlangu questioned what was submitted by the employees who underwent vetting and requested clarity on how the institution was handling the offer of free assistance from Grant Thornton, emphasising the point that in such a case, a treasurer had to be brought on board. He further sought clarity on who the IDC was referring to.

The Chairperson requested that the matter of communication that was highlighted in their previous visit to the museum be addressed, and suggested that the new council ensure that communication remained effective.

Mr Mulder proposed that digitisation of the Museum should be considered in the future.

Mr K Gontse (unable to find) responded to the vetting matter raised by Mr Mahlangu and stated that employees were submitting the z204 forms for screening by security. He further explained that the R15 million received would be utilised as it had been initially intended. He expounded on the matter of the DPW, they had not completed their contracts regarding maintenance despite being paid.

Dr Mngomezulu explained that a request had been presented to use the money accrued from the capital interest.

Mr Matlala stated that the donation from Grant Thornton amounted to over R100 000, therefore consultation regarding adoption of this donation would have to be probed into.

Mr Mahlangu suggested to the council that they consult with the AG and National Treasury and advised that it be declared to Auditor General.

Mr Matlala iterated that funds accrued from the interest generated on the capital amount could be utilised for intended purposes provided that their use had been approved by the Accounting Officer.

Mr Grootboom requested that the Museum provide information regarding the old structures of the entity, the new structures and the contract structures of management and to present a document to the Committee explaining how these structures affected remuneration.

The Chairperson thanked the Museum for their presentation and expressed her dissatisfaction that the aircons at the Museum were not working as this could harm the artefacts placed there. She encouraged the Council to engage with all the stakeholders especially the Museum staff.

The Chairperson thanked the Department and the Council for their presentations.

Adoption of minutes
Mr Mahlangu commented on the minutes of 28 February that he found it problematic that the administrative contracts regarding the Renovations Project were described at being at a standstill. As far as he was concerned, the project had stopped; he wanted to know what had happened and what the Department had done about it. The minutes needed to reflect that this project was no longer progressing therefore was not worth mentioning.

The Chairperson responded that while the project had come to standstill, it still was required to be mentioned as this matter was discussed in the report.

Committee minutes of 14 and 28 February were adopted.

The meeting was adjourned.

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