Department of Arts and Culture & William Humphrey Art Gallery on their Annual Performance Plans
Arts and Culture
09 May 2017
Chairperson: Ms X Tom (ANC)
The Committee met to receive a briefing by the William Humphreys Art Gallery (WHAG) and the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) on their 2017/18 annual performance plans (APPs) and strategic plans.
In its overview on the WHAG’s APP and strategic plan, the DAC reported that 89% of the targets were reported to have been achieved, with only 11% outstanding. The percentage of achieved targets had been steadily increasing since 2013/14. On the audit outcomes, the institution had been doing well up until the Generally Recognised Accounting Practice (GRAP) 103 had come into effect. It was submitted that certain parts of the standard were not within WHAG’s control, but it would still try to comply.
All of WHAG’s operations were geared to fulfil the founding principles of the gallery, and its objectives contributed to the national objectives of poverty eradication, job creation and national cohesion. The transformation of its exhibitions would follow automatically with the acquisition of works by black artists that had previously been ignored or neglected, as well as the acquisition of contemporary works by all South African artists. WHAG had tried to balance the representation of the collections, but it faced financial challenges since some of the artifacts were now either expensive or beyond the gallery’s reach. It also had an early childhood and youth development program called Keadumela, for children from the informal settlements which prepared disadvantaged children for their formal school careers through art-related activities.
The Committee commented that the Auditor General’s actions regarding GRAP 103 were not arbitrary, as most of the AG’s requirements were standard museum practices and required the WHAG only to make an effort to value their artifacts and where they had challenges, they should highlight them.
The Committee expressed concern to the DAC over some of the entities they had visited, where they had uncovered issues which the Department had not reported on. In the entities that had issues, most of the complaints related to board members having a financial interest or doing business with the same entity.
The DAC outlined its core priorities as nation building through social cohesion, the improvement of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), and ensuring that the Mzanzi Golden Economy (MGE) benefited previously disadvantaged artists..
The Committee sought clarification on the objective and rationale for the ‘young patriots’ programme, such as which particular youths were being targeted and the criteria employed in the selection process. Regarding the moral regeneration initiative, Members raised concerns regarding the viability and progress of the programme, considering the recent cases of xenophobia and hate crimes. They requested on more information on the DAC’s items of expenditure in order to assist the Committee in its oversight role. The Chairperson also requested the DAC conduct a quality check on their reports before submitting them to the Committee.
The Chairperson said the Committee was going to focus on entities because 80% of the budget would be transferred to entities until 2019. The Committee commended the people who worked in entities, especially the councils, since they volunteered at these entities to ensure that they delivered on their mandate. The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) should ensure that the Committee received the information and documents requested by the Committee, as this would help it to deliver on its mandate.
DAC Overview: William Humphreys Art Gallery’s Annual Performance Plan and Strategic Plan
Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Acting Director General: DAC, said that the purpose of the presentation was to see whether the institution had aligned its strategic objectives to the DAC’s goals and those of the government. These goals were to had a transformed and productive art, culture and heritage sector by improving the quality of collections and maintaining an optimum environment for collections. It would also improve compliance with government prescripts and try to create an integrated and inclusive society through the rotation of exhibitions and the use of outreach programmes, among other initiatives.
Regarding the performance overview of the third quarter, 89% of the targets had been achieved, with only 11% outstanding. The percentage of achieved targets had been steadily increasing since 2013/14. On the audit outcome, the institution had been doing well up until Generally Recognised Accounting Practice (GRAP) 103 had come into effect. The institution had highlighted its challenges as a broken air conditioner, high audit fees, and the expiry of the tenure of the council on 30 November 2017.
William Humphreys Art Gallery: Annual Performance Plan and Strategic Plan
Mr D Robbins, Council Chairperson, William Humphreys Art Gallery (WHAG) said that the DAC had looked into the gallery’s failure to achieve targets, but had not disclosed which aspects it had looked at. WHAG faced responsibility for the administration of money and the effective use of the available resources to deliver on its mandate.
Ms Ann Pretorius, Director: WHAG, said all their operations were geared to fulfil the founding principles of the gallery. All objectives contributed to the national objectives of poverty eradication, job creation and national cohesion, among others. The WHAG would continue to explore new ideas in order to remain meaningful in society and provide access to all people from all walks of life. It tried to dispel the perception that the art gallery was only for the social elite.
The gallery had had an excellent record financially up to the time GRAP 103 had come into effect. Certain parts of the standard were not within the WHAG’s control. However, the institution would continue to aspire to compliance. To this end, it had embarked on human resource development, despite its financial constraints.
The transformation of the exhibitions would follow automatically with the acquisition of works by black artists that had previously been ignored or neglected, as well as the acquisition of contemporary works by all South African artists. WHAG had tried to balance the representation of the collections, but it faced financial challenges since some of the artifacts were now either expensive or beyond the gallery’s reach. Regarding education, it had provided training for teachers and learners in the arts and culture curriculum. It had opened the gallery for site visits, film screenings and lectures.
WHAG also had an early childhood and youth development programme, called Keadumela, for children from the informal settlements which prepared disadvantaged children for their formal school careers through art-related activities. It empowered the teachers for the benefit of the learners. Since not many people got to come to the museum due to geographical distances, WHAG had out-reach programmes where they had exhibitions in schools.
The gallery looked for donors and sponsors, since they could not fund all their activities, and the management team in Kimberly was not empowered to make decisions on sponsorships and donations. It currently had a partnership with MTN, among other organisations. It had styled itself as a conference or seminar venue in order to generate funding, and also to encourage new visitors.
Regarding the annual performance plan (APP) for 2017/18, WHAG had recently received three qualifications from the Auditor-General (AG) in respect of the GRAP 103. This was because of the new requirement to have all assets valued, despite the fact that it had received some of the artifacts at nil value and had been unable to value them ever since due to adverse economic implications. GRAP 103, as an accounting standard, was an impractical and irrational standard considering the country’s economic priorities. The AG strongly threatened that unless an “emphasis of matter” paragraph be given in the audit report, WHAG would get a second qualification. It operated a food supply at the gallery, and any amount paid above R2 000 had been highlighted as irregular expenditure. It had achieved all the other audited strategic outcomes.
There had been an increased funding allocation to enable compliance with GRAP 103, but due to the small disbursements, it would take some time before it would be enough to cater for the compliance costs. WHAG’s employees’ compensation costs stood at about 54% of the budget, followed by art purchases at about 15%, and insurance at about 3%. Despite the fact that the institution was under financial constraints in its operational budget, compliance with the legislative prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the National Treasury regulations was under way. However, due to the technicalities of the accounting standard, specialists had had to be outsourced. The AG audit regulations were not ideal for small entities, as the cost of the audit in relation to the allocation remained unreasonable. In example, in 2015/16, the audit fee had been R451 940 against a total expenditure of R643 788. The gallery managed to pay R 75 739 of the total expenditure, as per the Public Audit Act, but the accrued balance remained unresolved in spite of a communication from the Minister of Finance that the Auditor General (AG) should perform the rest of the audit on a pro bono basis.
Regarding business development, there were artworks from new and younger artists from all races and gender groups so as not to create another imbalance. There would be 24 exhibitions throughout the year, including historic, contemporary loan exhibitions, rotating exhibitions from the permanent collection, and outreach exhibitions.
Apart from the Keadumela project, there was also the WHAG Ubuntu Arts and Crafts workshops for youth and women offenders, held in terms of the Criminal Procedures Act. There were also projects for mentally handicapped adults from Kimberley institutions and beyond. There was also the WHAG reference library, which was in partnership with the Sol Plaatje University, which included special viewing of specific artworks.
Mr Robbins said the council had administrative responsibilities for compliance, and many were impractical and ill-chosen, causing a compromising imbalance that only served a bureaucratic demand. The WHAG was seriously understaffed, and under-funded. A lot of money was spent on compliance with bureaucracy which should be spent on delivering the gallery’s objectives for arts and culture. The national budget allocated to books should ensure that it was allocated to the marginalised areas. Among over 25 000 schools, only 11 % had functional libraries. Among over 15 million households in South Africa, 50% did not have a single book in them. The significance of WAHG’s outreach programme was therefore important.
The Chairperson said that the issues raised were not new to the Committee. Every institution that appeared before it sought money. The Committee did not have much control when it came to the allocation of funds. Regarding GRAP 103, it was a problem to a lot of entities. Some had been getting unqualified audits, but were now getting qualified audits. The Committee should have a meeting with the Treasury, the AG and the DAC s to address the problem. It was still waiting for a report from the DAC on its first meeting so to see the way forward.
The WAHG was not the first institution to have a problem with the AG, which followed the law and the already outlined prescripts in their audits. The AG was obliged to qualify any item of expenditure beyond R 2 000, and it was therefore up to the WHAG to look at the specific prescripts that they used to qualify them. The WHAG’s library outreach programme was commendable, but they should liaise with the library division in the DAC for funding. The Committee welcomed its desire to extend its perceived mandate beyond the conventional distinctions relating to a museum and a library.
The WHAG should have a dialogue with the specialised unit in the DAC before it went out and outsourced, and should find out how and why the Department allocated money to them. The DAC needed to take into consideration the fact that the WHAG was the only art institution in its locality and therefore should find a way to support it.
Mr G Grootboom(DA) said that there was a disparity in the statistics and data that had been presented, and those that the Committee Members had. He asked about the entity’s insurance and security, and the relationship of WHAG with the DAC within the province, since books were not the WHAG’s core mandate, yet there was a library in the province.
Mr J Mahlangu (ANC) referred to the cafeteria issue, and said WHAG should approach the AG in advance, prior to the audit, and seek advice on how to overcome the compliance obstacle. This would give them a better rapport with the Auditor-General. The Committee shared the WHAG’s sentiments about GRAP 103, as it was unaffordable and added unnecessary red tape in oversight. GRAP 103 only answers the question of the net worth of South African artifacts, but it did not address the issue of how exactly the country would secure and pay for such security. This would inevitably invite theft of the valued artifacts that could not be adequately secured. Entities had taken the sole responsibility for litigating against the AG, yet it should not be their problem. The DAC should find a clear answer on what happens to the balance of the compliance costs after the entities had paid their statutory 1% contribution.
Dr P Mulder (FF+) inquired whether it was possible for WHAG to raise its income to cater for costs. He said that the AG did not work with discretion, so WHAG should try to work with them. He asked whether the distribution of books had been surpassed by technology, since despite many households not having books, they had access to mobile phones and computers.
Ms Pretorius said that even though GRAP affected both the state-owned institutions and entities, the states had not yet complied with GRAP 103 and was yet to insure its artifacts. Entities worked on an accrual system, while the state worked on a modified cash basis in transition to the accrual system. Once the state got to the accrual system and had to comply fully with GRAP 103, it would find out how impractical it was to insure all the assets in its possession. It also created an insurance problem when dealing with priceless items, as the cost of insurance would be unreasonable at best, or otherwise insurance companies would decline to insure since the risk was too great. Regarding security, all reasonable precautionary measures within WHAGs ability had been taken, from intruder protection alarms to armed security.
On the valuations under GRAP 103, there were two options -- using the historical value at first entry of the item, or the market value. WHAG used the historical value, but under GRAP 103 this had become a problem in regard to donations which had been given anonymously and without any consideration for them. Although their current market value could be ascertained, it would be expensive to pursue this compliance requirement. All other provisions of the GRAP 103 could and should be complied with, with the exception of the rand value provision, which was impractical.
The Chairpersonasked about the empowerment programme for the teachers, and whether there was any collaboration with the artists placed in the schools by the DAC, and how WHAG worked with them.
Ms Pretorius said WHAG trained the trainer by giving them ideas and programmes to follow, with demonstration workshops specifically for teachers. For example, they would be shown how to use different media or even recycled material within their reach, as opposed to trying to acquire expensive material. WHAG was aware that the DAC had been putting teachers and artists in schools, but it was not sure what exactly was being taught, as it was yet to attend their classes.
The Chairperson expressed her concern at the WHAG not being aware of what the DAC was doing with its programme with the artists and the teachers, and said that it was important that both institutions should liaise with each other for effective use of their resources.
Mr Ndima responded on the discussions with the AG and the National Treasury. The AG had insisted that they were not arbitrary, and that their expectations were achievable. Most of their requirements were standard museum practices, and so they expected compliance. They wanted every institution to make an effort to value their artifacts and where they had challenges, they should highlight them. The misconceived issues about GRAP 103 only needed a platform for dialogue in order to clear up any misunderstandings. The DAC had invited the National Treasury to present their understanding and position on GRAP 103, but there had not been agreement on everything.
Regarding the issue of conditional grants, this was a departmental issue, as it was the DAC which worked with the provinces on the issuance of the grants, based on the strategic business plans of the provinces. The DAC would engage the provinces and inquire whether they could look beyond school libraries and use institutions such as the WHAG in its programmes. This would benefit the WHAG by accessing some of these resources.
Mr Makoto Matlala, Chief Financial Officer (CFO): DAC, admitted that indeed there were minor changes in the presentation compared to the one presented to the Committee. There were errors that had been identified on two slides containing two tables. The changes had been made to correct those errors so as not to give a distorted view of the museum.
The Chairperson said that the DAC should have disclosed the changes made before the documents were presented to the Committee, since once they were presented before the Committee they became public documents and could not be retracted. It should not have waited for the Committee Members to point out the discrepancies.
Mr Matlala referred to the issue of audit fees, saying it continued to be problematic for small entities that could not afford the fees. There were still pending issues concerning the unpaid audit fees by the National Treasury. The DAC was still following up on these issues with the National Treasury in the CFO meeting tomorrow.
Mr Grootboom inquired whether the accrued audit fees were from 2014.
The Chairperson commented that the Committee was aware of an entity that was litigating on the issue of unpaid audit fees. It was concerned about entities that spent money on litigation, since they used taxpayers’ money. The DAC should intervene as soon as it could so that issues were settled without the need to go to court. The DAC could do better in the detection and intervention, since there was no money for compliance, hence there was no money for litigation. She inquired whether the DAC had ever raised the issue concerning audit fees at the CFOs’ meetings when planning for the budget of a financial year.
Mr Matlala said that in the CFO meetings, there were discussions on audit fee issues, consultation with the National Treasury about them, and they were given the outstanding amounts for settlement. However, due to various reasons, audits ended up being completed without these amounts being settled.
The Chairperson noted that entities should be funded on the basis of the impact of their work on the community. In September, the Committee would be inquiring from the DAC about the model they used for funding. The WHAG should write to the DAC and explain the significance of their work and persuade them regarding the importance of why they should be supported, and how they could work together. They should also go to the provinces and try to establish a collaboration.
DAC and its entities: 2017/18 APP and Strategic Plan
The Chairperson told the DAC that the Committee was displeased with some of the entities they had visited. The DAC’s mandate was to implement, and the Committee’s was only to oversee. The Committee asked questions for the benefit of the DAC, as it brought to their attention some of the issues they may not have heard before. The Committee Members were public representatives and as conveyed the public’s issues to the Department. When it came to entities, the DAC should be impartial on all issues and not compromise their independence. The Committee was displeased with the instances where they uncovered issues concerning entities, only for the DAC to side with the entities’ management and defend them. She asked what the DAC did after issuing funds to the entities. The entities that were litigating should litigate with money from their own pockets, but not with taxpayers’ money.
Ms N Bilankulu (ANC) said that in entities that had issues, most of the complaints related to board members. Some of the board members in the entities had a financial interest or were doing business with the same entity. They were using the workers against the entity. The DAC should investigate the relationship of the boards and their institutions.
Acting DG Nvima said the DAC had sent invitations to institutions in order to obtain various views from different stakeholders so as to get a comprehensive understanding of the reality on the ground. The mandate of the DAC was guided by the constitution, which included the freedom of expression, freedom of artistic creativity and freedom to impart information. The mandate of the DAC was to create an enabling environment in which arts and culture could thrive. This was achieved by language development and promotion, creating access to information, nation building and social cohesion, the promotion and preservation of heritage, and the development of arts and culture.
The DAC achieves this mandate through good governance, human capital development, good infrastructure, partnerships and funding. The mission of DAC’s national strategic plan was to make South Africans more conscious of their similarities, rather than their differences, and to encourage racial and gender equality. This had been extended to outcome 14, which aims at a society that did not have any racial differences, social class or ethnic identity. This would be achieved through the tackling of factors that sustained inequality of opportunity and outcomes, removing participation barriers and redressing historical imbalances. The Department had outlined its core priorities as nation building through social cohesion; the improvement of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB); and ensuring that the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) benefited previously disadvantaged artists, among others. Its strategic outcomes included a transformed and productive Arts, Culture and Heritage (ACH) sector, and an integrated and inclusive society.
In terms of key outputs and measures relating to mission objectives, the proposed deliverables would be based on a variety of key indicators, such as the number of flagship programmes supported financially. In sponsoring human language training (HLT), there were nine universities receiving grants as support. There were 26 new libraries to be developed throughout the country, according to the provincial needs. There were 40 existing libraries that would be renovated and upgraded.
Regarding the heritage infrastructure projects, three of the projects were at the conceptualization phase, six were at planning and design, and two were being constructed. The Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance (SBCR) was projected to be finished by the end of the year. There were still some projects, such as the Winnie Mandela house project and the JL Dube project, and the DAC was in discussions with the Independent Development Trust (IDT) to resolve their issues.
Regarding the strategic goal of creating an effective and efficient ARH sector, there would be a draft White paper on this sector tabled in the Cabinet in an effort to create a coherent policy and legislative environment for the sector. There was also the South African Public Library and Information Services Bill which was undergoing a socio-economic impact assessment in order for the DAC to receive a report on its potential impact.
Regarding human resource development in the sector, bursaries were being awarded for the development of qualified language practitioners, with 14 projects being incubated and financially supported, and 13 training and development projects being supported financially.
Regarding compliance-related measures, the DAC had initiated brand awareness and visibility of the Department in order to create awareness and sensitise the public to its work and the progress in achieving its mandate. As a policy measure, procurement tenders would be awarded only to BBBEE- compliant service providers, and the turnaround time for payment would be less than 30 days, among other initiatives.
Mr Matlala referred to the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) allocation 2017/18- 2019/20, and said the budget started at around R4.4 billion, increasing steadily to the outer years, with a wage ceiling of about R232 million, also increasing towards the outer years. 86% of the budget was allocated to be spent on delivering on the DAC mandate, while 14% was allocated to cater for administrative expenditure.
The Chairperson asked how the DAC monitored and evaluated compliance with the outlined Departmental values. How did they evaluate the work they were doing? Could they demonstrate that the planning for this financial year was based on the continuity of the work that had been done? How had they fared in the previous financial year? She asked how the DAC would transform the perception of dancing as only a form of entertainment, rather than a trade craft in business. Did the DAC’s entities have language policies? How far had the Department gone with its skills audit?
The Chairperson commented that there were institutions which were funded by entities which had been funded by the DAC. She inquired about the instances where the DAC gave money to entities to be reallocated to institutions.
Mr Grootboom sought clarification on how the deaf schools’ programme fitted in with the Department’s mandate, and whether the Department of Education was involved. He said that there were some councils which were not yet fully constituted, and advised that the DAC should target 100% constitution of these councils. He also commented that there was a budget allocation for higher education institutions, and inquired about the justification for the proposed funding, since they were already considered under the budget for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). He finally inquired whether the software budget provided for the renewal of future licences or for the purchase of other intangible assets.
Ms Mogotsi sought clarification on the meaning of the term ‘young patriots’ used under the DAC goal to create and implement a social cohesion programme, and what the objective and rationale for budgeting for it was. Was the DAC targeting a particular sector in the selection of the youths, or what were their criteria in the selection process? Regarding moral regeneration, the DAC was supporting only one programme, yet society was still dealing with xenophobia, among other issues. More xenophobic attacks had occurred in Johannesburg, and the Department needed to expand its programme and ensure that it delivered on this goal in order to build a more caring society.
Regarding the DAC grant, R1.4 billion had been allocated to the libraries through the municipal administrations. She asked how the DAC would monitor and evaluate the spending of the funds.
Mr Mahlangu said that the Committee had met the AG, who had raised a point about some of the documents that had been sent back to the Department for correction. He asked why the errors in the documents had not been corrected, considering the possibility that the AG would qualify the DAC. On the focus plan, there had been no targets for the audited outcome. Also, regarding the Mzansi Golden Economy, no targets had been specified, which made it difficult for the Committee to do oversight. He said that the term of the National Film and Publication Board had expired, and asked whether a new board was in place.
Regarding the languages that were under-developed at the national level and lacked prominence, he asked how the DAC would address this problem and bring about equitable language development. The DAC should be able to explain the historical evolution of the South African indigenous cultures and how colonialism had affected them. The current government had not done enough to rewrite South Africa’s indigenous history, and therefore risked history being forever told from the colonialists’ point of view.
He asked about the ownership status of the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct Project, and whether it was a public or private property. He commented that there were some institutions and programmes of the DAC that had a only local effect, yet the Department created the impression that they were nationwide. For example, the KwaZulu-Natal museum had resources that should be benefiting the country, yet it did not have a national impact, and he asked what the DAC was doing about this. He also noted that the appointment of the Director-General remained unresolved.
Mr Ndima responded on the issue of orchestras, saying there was a meeting being arranged on instructions from the Minister, with the DAC and orchestras to address various issues that affected orchestras and their funding. Regarding the issue of whether some institutions were national, he agreed that in order for entities to be considered as national, they should have a national impact, and not just local. On the Enyokeni issue, the DAC had clarified that the ownership status of the institution was a public resource. The Ingonyama Trust would be the institution that owned the land where the institution was located. Developments on the land were being processed by the DAC and the municipal councils.
The Chairperson cautioned the DAC to avoid a situation where it would have spent money on infrastructure which would be subject to a challenge due to unclear ownership of the land. The DAC would be creating a precedent by funding an institution that was not an entity of the DAC, and this may raise concerns by other entities of the DAC which were competing for the same financial resources.
Mr Ndima said that it was a difficult situation, since the government had already spent money to develop the land and it was therefore incumbent on it to finish the project.
The Chairperson asked about the whereabouts of the people who had initiated the development.
Mr Ndima said he would have to check with the DAC’s internal auditor in order to speak authoritatively on this issue.
He agreed that the indigenous cultures and the etymology of surnames should be documented for the benefit of the future generations of South Africa. On the vacancies in the councils, he confirmed that there were already replacements to fill them. Regarding the values and goals of the strategic objectives, these would be materialised through the outlined programmes of seminars and sensitisation of the public.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee had requested a calendar of events from the DAC for since taxpayers’ money was going to be spent on these programmes and it was part of their mandate of oversee the DAC’s expenditures. She cautioned the DAC to apply their minds in what they were doing today so as not to create a bad precedent.
Mr Grootboom agreed that it was important for the Committee to be aware of any events going on, to enable to plan in advance.
Mr Ndima said the funds to higher learning institutions went to bursaries for students who studied heritage and languages. Regarding the monitoring of values, there was not a specific mode of evaluating them, but they were expressions of desire to where the DAC would like to aspire. However, these values were manifested and expressed through the national anthem and other patriotic symbols. Regarding the transformation of the stereotyped perception of the arts and culture as a form of entertainment, to a sector that needed to be respected, there were on-going programmes generating impact reports on how art and culture affected the gross domestic product (GDP).
Regarding the issue about the young patriots, this was a programme that targets the youth in an effort to engage them in understanding national symbols, the work of the DAC, and issues relating to the heritage of the nation.
Ms Mogotsi commented that none of the 26 entities of the DAC had been tasked or mandated to assess this programme, nor was there a specified budget. She asked if the Department had done a feasibility and viability study on the programme before embarking on it.
Mr Ndimasaid that the patriots programme was a pilot venture being coordinated in collaboration with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
The Chairperson inquired whether the enlisted youths were representative of the provinces, or if there were specific criteria for selection
Ms V Magosti (ANC) inquired on what the department means by ‘young’ since legally a child was a person under the age of 18 years old. She also inquired on how the department plans to roll out the program nationwide.
Mr V Ndima asked that the DAC be given the opportunity to send the requisite documents relating to the programme, which would contain a comprehensive explanation that would specifically outline the issues being raised, and would help the Committee understand the programme better.
The Chairperson said that the Department needed to develop the idea to its completion so that the youth who underwent the training would have a sense of direction on what awaited them after completion, and would not be left stranded. Regarding the moral regeneration movement, there was a budget allocation of R3 million, and the DAC should provide details on the progress of the movement and account for the expenditure.
Ms Mogotsi said that if there was any progress at all to report on the moral regeneration programme, it would be that it was not working, as its effects were clearly not being felt as there were still cases of xenophobia and crime in the streets. Despite the programme’s noble intentions, its impact was yet to be felt despite the money that was being spent.
Mr Ndima responded that the issue of moral regeneration could not be the responsibility of one department, but needed a collective effort from all government agencies and stakeholders. The programme was a work in progress, with its flaws, but it was worthy of pursuit. Regarding the source of funds for the patriot’s programme, the Department had reprioritised some of its programmes and had reallocated funds which would have gone to the payment of tenders.
Mr Grootboom sought clarification on the conditional grant, as there appeared to have been a double budget allocation by the Department and the provinces.
Mr Ndima clarified that the conditional grant was to the provinces. There were no allocations to municipalities by the DAC. It was the provinces that reallocated the funds to the municipalities.
The Chairperson added that the budget allocation to libraries was not sufficient most of the time. As such, the municipalities tried to address the situation by subsidising them to help them remain as going concerns.
Mr Ndima referred to the issues with development projects identified through a forensic audit, and said the DAC had employed quantity surveyors to ensure there was no overcharging in the projects. The issues specifically dealt with a dispute relating to a disparity between the valued cost of the project and what had actually been charged. Discussions were still going on with representatives from both sides in order to reach an agreement. In the event of an impasse, there would be arbitration.
Ms Monica Newton, DDG: DAC, referring to the progress of the skills audit, said the DAC had partnered with the National School of Government to perform the audit. The audit report suggested that the Department needed a works skills plan so as to align its training programmes.
Regarding the national education program, the DAC worked closely with the Department of Basic Education on several initiatives and programmes. On the development of the human language technology programme, the DAC had been assisted by an expert panel to develop the programme further. For example, the programme had been ongoing for a while at North-West University. The DAC would be making a public call to universities to apply for the education bursaries for the students who took up arts, culture and heritage as their units.
Regarding the development of indigenous languages, the DAC concentrated on official languages only due to its narrow mandate. It was PanSALB that had a broader mandate for developing languages that were not necessarily considered as official languages. Regarding the parity and prominence of indigenous languages, the constitutional committee on language matters was compiling a report to be tabled at the National Assembly in order to add on to the number of official languages, and to incorporate other languages such as sign language.
The orchestras issue presented a policy question. After the 1996 unbundling of the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB), the orchestras and other institutions forming part of the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal (PACT) had become independent. However, by 2000, due to the financial difficulties of the orchestras, the ministry had agreed to fund three orchestras from 2002 to 2004. The orchestras had received funding from the Department’s own budget and subsequently through the National Arts Council (NAC). However, issues regarding the differential treatment of orchestras and why only three orchestras were being funded, remained questions under consideration to be addressed in the Department’s white paper.
The Chairperson inquired on whether the transfer of the funding affected only the orchestras, or if there was other funding done through institutions or entities to an institution other than the NAC.
Ms Newton said that at the moment, the DAC was in partnership with the Creative and Cultural Industry Federation (CIFSA) to provide funding to downtown studios. This had been occasioned by the failure of the institution to comply with the government’s funding regulations. The DAC was collaborating with CIFSA, through a tender process, to stabilise the downtown studios. It was also working with stakeholders in the music industry to develop a business plan for the downtown studios which would assist it to engage with the National Treasury with regard to getting a transfer on the title of the property. This was because the National Treasury had stated that it would transfer the title of the Fox Street property only if there was a clear and viable business plan.
The DAC was also in partnership with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) to run the Venture Capital Fund on a three-year contract, whereby the NEF would contribute its own money on a 1:2 ratio with the Department. The DAC had also a partnership with Business Arts South Africa to run the debut fund, to support through training, young artists doing something for the first time.
The Chairperson requested that the Committee be briefed on the particulars of the documents which had been sent back by the AG.
Mr Matlala said that on the audit of the performance outcomes, the AG had not indicated upon returning the sent documents, which particular outcomes it was not satisfied with.
Mr Ndima asked the Committee to allow the Department to follow up on that issue and provide a written response.
The Chairperson referred to the construction projects, and asked for an elaboration on the items of expenditure so that the Committee could be informed on what it needed to oversee. She said that the status of the management of the entities bore different designations, and were not uniform. Some entities had permanent directors, while others were on contract.
Mr Ndima agreed that on the issue of designation, there should be some form of standardisation. However, he said that there were different pieces of legislation that expressly allocated distinct designations, hence the disparity in some of the titles of the management. Regarding the permanence of the management, all CEOs should be in five-year renewable contracts.
The Chairperson inquired whether the DAC had a road map for legislative amendments to accommodate the standardisation.
Mr Ndima said that it would be ill advised to amend the existing legislation without first considering whether the existing policy worked. Any premature amendments could have the potential of leaving legislative gaps and necessitating further amendments.
The Chairperson suggested that the DAC could be identifying issues in the existing policy so that it would be time-saving when amending the legislation. She also inquired whether there was a CFO at the national museum.
Mr Ndima said that there was a meeting to address the challenges at the national museum. The CEO of the museum had unilaterally relieved the CFO of his position, without consulting with the members of the council.
Ms Newton confirmed that the former director had been reinstated, but the CFO position was still vacant. Other concerns about the institution were being addressed today.
The Chairperson inquired about the employment status of the director of the War Museum -- whether he was permanently employed, or if he was on contract.
Mr Ndima said that directors were normally employed on contract, and the council then had the discretion to extend the term of the contract.
Ms Newton said that there was an ongoing legislative transition, whereby some of the directors and top management would be phased out after the transition. She requested that the DAC be given opportunity to respond on the date of the appointment of the new management was effected, once the transition was complete.
The Chairperson noted that there still existed discrepancies regarding the indicated employment status of the managements, among other details.
Ms Newton requested that the DAC be allowed to withdraw the document, with apologies, in order to review the discrepancies and correct them and provide updated information.
The Chairperson expressed her displeasure with the quality of the document, and suggested that all documents sent to the Committee should be quality checked.
Mr Makondo asked how the documents presented had arrived at the Committee without being quality checked for discrepancies, inaccurate and outdated information.
The Chairperson asked for details regarding the dedicated budget expenditure of R35 million allocated for Africa Month. She also inquired what the DAC had meant when it stated that it would support the young patriots. The Department should elaborate on what form of ‘support’ it would give.
Mr Matlala said that most of the delayed invoices were brought by the Department of Public Works, which came with incorrect information. The delay was occasioned by the reconciliation procedures.
Mr Ndima responded on the issue of the expenditure on Africa Month. There were projects run by the Department and others run by civil society, where they had been given an open invitation to also suggest programmes in order make the whole programme worthwhile.
Ms Newton said the Africa Month programme entailed a creative programme which represented about 27 active projects, and would include fashion festivals, film festivals, and a colloquium programme run through panel presentations, among others. She requested that the DAC be allowed to send a more detailed report on the project, so that the Committee could be informed on the project’s particulars.
There being no other further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Tom, Ms XS
Bilankulu, Ms NK
Grootboom, Mr GA
Mahlangu, Mr JL
Makondo, Mr T
Mogotsi, Ms VP
Mulder, Dr PW
Rabotapi, Mr MW
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