The Department presented its fourth Quarter Expenditure Report. The performance overview for the 4th quarter was that 22% of targets were not achieved, whilst 78% of targets were achieved. The under-spending of the Department was accounted for and regarding the Compensation of Employees, the R11 million un-spent was caused due to the vacancies within the Department. Additionally, because the Department received budget cuts in the outer years of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), if the relevant positions were filled the Department would not have been able to remunerate those officials in the subsequent years. As result there was a decision not to fill those positions, because it would result in over-expenditure, should the officials be permanently employed in the subsequent years. The under- expenditure of R12.3 million on Goods and Services was caused by the invoices on accommodation received late from the Department of Public Works (DPW), as well as delays in the Condition Assessment of infrastructure, for DAC and its institution buildings, and the User Immovable Asset Management Plan (UAMP) that was only appointed late in the financial year.
Upon review of expenses on the departmental agencies there was an under-spending of R4.3 million, due to funds meant for the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA). SAHRA was unable to produce the final report with audited financial statements on the Delville Wood project and only after SAHRA met the compliance requirement would the transfer of funds occur. There was an under-spending of R40 million on the Non Profit Institutions that related mainly to the capital works project on the Northern Cape Theatre, upgrading of the community arts centres, and the development and installation of statues. 100% of the funds allocated for the Public Corporations and Private Enterprises were transferred, thus there was none variance. However, the Foreign Government and International Organizations incurred a variance of R440 000, due to the exchange rate that was lower than the estimated budget, which was approved for the Commonwealth Foundation transfer. The Software and other Intangible Assets was under-spent by R4 million, due to the Information Management System for Infrastructure, which was put on hold; the Khoi and San Heritage site that was a geographical location website, and the service provider only commenced work in the fourth quarter of the financial quarter.
Members questioned what the excess Community Conversations entailed, because would it mean that the footprint of DAC was larger than envisaged? What was the catalyst of the problem that resulted in the Winnie House Museum project to be where it currently was? Was the Department achieving its Strategy Objectives by means of the Imbizos, more specifically was any impact evident from the Imbizos? They wanted to know why was the awarding of bursaries done through the universities and not allocated directly from the Department, since it was funded by DAC. What was the output expected with the national flag distribution and how was the impact of the output measured? What mechanism was used to allocate the building of new libraries, because could value-for-money be guaranteed by building libraries in prospective ghost towns?
Members wanted to know why the Compensation of Employees (CoE) was under-spent by R12 million and did the under-expenditure pertain to vacancies. Why were Goods and Services under-spent by R12 million and why did over-spending occur on outsourcing, especially on Business and Advisory Services under Programme 3 for the NGE project, as overspending occurred without thorough evidence of human capital indicative of development. Why was overspending done on advertising and did DAC witness return on investment for the expenditure on advertisements, such as footprint in newspapers and other forms of media? Why was the self-imposed target set for people with disabilities not reached, particularly since some agencies of the Department were for people with disabilities, such as BlindSA, and also how many people with disabilities were working directly for the Department and what were their challenges encountered? Was the Department aware of how delicate the issue of Khoi San was, as the lack of achievement insinuated lack of focus, which was an unacceptable approach to the Khoi San, and why was a service provider not appointed yet regarding the Liberation Heritage Route?
Members also wanted to know why the House of Winnie Mandela Museum was neglected to reach the point that rape cases were being reported having taken place within its premises. Furthermore, this served as an embarrassment, due to the extensive coverage publicised in the media. Members empathised that if any woman deserved an international profile of acclaim, it should be Mrs Winnie Mandela; thus incidents that could jeopardise credibility of esteem due to the association by means of location were not to be tolerated. Members also expressed disapproval of an official expressing displeasure for a seemingly stereotypical comment made on the radio by a Caucasian caller because the official initially did not take issue with the content of the comment made, but focused on who spoke it.
The Chairperson said that there were a number of issues that the Department together with the Committee needed to consider. The issue of non-achievement of target was a paramount concern, particularly since the Department itself devised the targets set. It was essential that the officials applied their minds when planning Annual Performance Plans and its performance indicators divided into quarter targets. The Committee was of the conviction that the funds that the Department was given were to be spent entirely. Complete expenditure on departmental programmes ensured that excellent quality of social services took place, which was essential for civil society. Thus, the Committee was of the view that under-expenditure was a crime, because civil society needed the services of the Department and not just desired it. In 2014, the Minister of Arts and Culture cited that “during this term DAC will expand the arts and cultural activity and promote inter- cultural exchanges to assist our diverse citizenship to respect each other’s cultures, customs and traditions. We must expand heritage in terms of new museums, language development and cultural activities”. It was currently half-way into the term, and the Committee desired to pause and evaluate if the statement of 2014 was adequately achieved.
The Chairperson said that there were issues previously highlighted by the Department which were resolved, due to hard work. Regarding the issue of integration, the matter of DAC working in a silo, whilst there were departments that could be collaborated with, was concerning. For instance, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was passing a Bill, of which the Committee would have wanted to be informed of the view of DAC on it, yet public hearings on the passing of the Bill would commence next week. It was therefore important that the Department worked closely regarding areas of interest with other departments. The Committee was appealing to DAC to look beyond its domain, because ultimately it was about service delivery to the civilians.
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) highlighted that the Mrs Winnie Mandela House Museum in Brandfort was a concern, because it was reported as a “sex and drug den” within the media. Could the Department explain what was happening on location within its premises, and account for a full report containing every detail? Who initiated the project then left it as prey for such ill use? Why was the project not fully underway, as it was first proposed in 2005? How much was spent on the project, as the media reported that millions went to waste concerning it? Of the financial allocations on it, how much of it were unused funds? What was the way forward regarding the Winnie Mandela House Museum, because currently it was a serious embarrassment?
The Chairperson also added that the National Heritage Monument required better accountability as well.
Mr J Mahlangu (ANC) noted that the Committee would be visiting the National Heritage Monument and the Winnie Mandela House Museum on an oversight visit.
Briefing by Department of Arts and Culture
Mr Vusuthembisa Ndima, Acting Director General, Department of Arts and Culture, noted that the performance overview for the fourth quarter was that 22% of targets were not achieved, whilst 78% of targets were achieved. The fourth quarter programme specific performance was Programme 1 (Administration) achieved 67% of its targets; Programme 2 (Institutional Governance) achieved 87.5% of its targets; Programme 3 (Arts & Culture Promotion and Development) achieved 86% of its targets, and Programme 4 (Heritage Preservation and Promotion) achieved 72% of its targets.
Specifically, the performance indicators not achieved per programme were outlined and
Programme 1 had seven performance indicators not achieved; Programme 2 had two performance indicators not achieved. Programme 3 had three performance indicators not achieved. Programme 4 had seven performance indicators not achieved.
Mr Makoto Matlala, Chief Financial Officer, Department of Arts and Culture, said that R3.9 billion was spent of the Department’s budget, which was an under-spending of R105 million equating 97% of the total budget spent and 2.6% underspent. He said that the Economic Classification of the items, in terms of Compensation of Employees, had an under-spending of R11 million. Goods and Services were under-spent by R12.3 million. The whole amount of the Library Grant was transferred to the provinces. In terms of departmental agencies, 99.7% of their allocated budget was transferred. In terms of the SPO, 79% was transferred, and Household expenditure was under-spent by R4.2 million. Public Corporation and Service Enterprises transferred R129 million. Regarding ‘Interest on land’ R91 000 was spent. Foreign governments and international organisations spent R40 million. The Department spent R6 million for Higher Education Institutions (HEI). There was an under-spending of R5.7 million on Machinery and Equipment. Building and Other Structures incurred an under-spending of R21 million. Software and other intangibles incurred spending of R4 million.
He said that the under-spending of the Department was accounted for and regarding the Compensation of Employees, the R11 million un-spent was caused due to the vacancies within the Department. Additionally, because DAC received budget cuts in the outer years of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), if the relevant positions were filled, the Department would not be able to remunerate those officials in the subsequent years. As a result, there was a decision not to fill those positions; because it would result in over- expenditure should the officials be permanently employed in the subsequent years. The under-expenditure of R12.3 million on Goods and Services was caused by the invoices on accommodation received late from the Department of Public Works (DPW), as well as delays in the Condition Assessment of infrastructure, for DAC and its institution buildings, and the User Immovable Asset Management Plan (UAMP) that was only appointed late in the financial year. Slide 54 outlined the exact transfer for library build in every Province.
He said that upon review of expenses on the departmental agencies, there was an under-spending of R4.3 million, due to funds meant for the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA). SAHRA was unable to produce the final report with audited financial statements on the Delville Wood project, only after SAHRA met the compliance requirement would the transfer of funds occur. There was an under-spending of R40 million on the Non Profit Institutions that related mainly to the capital works project on the Northern Cape Theatre, upgrading of the community arts centres, and the development and installation of statues.
He said that the variance or under-spending of R4 million on households was due to project funding related to Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE), heritage professionals and bursaries or financial assistance. 100% of the funds allocated for the Public Corporations and Private Enterprises were transferred, thus there was no variance. However, the Foreign Government and International Organizations incurred a variance of R440 000, due to the exchange rate that was lower than the estimated budget, which was approved for the Commonwealth Foundation transfer. Merely, a R9 000 variance incurred on HEI. However, the Payments for Capital Assets i.e. machinery and equipment incurred a R5.7 million under-spending due to the delay of procuring service providers, subsequently delivery of its services as well as the receipt of the equipment, as it required import.
He said that the Building and other Fixed Structures had a variance of R21.4 million, due to a few factors. Namely,
(i) HVAC project under-spent by R5.1 million, due to contractual challenges between DAC and DPW;
(ii) National Archives- Old Library under-spent by R3.2 million, due to the invoices not received from DPW, which were only received after year end;
(iii) Isibhubhu Cultural Arena was under-spent by R6.1 million as the contract was discontinued with the initial implementing agent and a new agent was appointed;
(iv) Samora Machel was under-spent by R3 million since DAC awaited final completion from DPW;
(v) Matola Raid was under-spent by R3 million since the expenditure was journalised to Goods and Services and it was for the maintenance of the building, and
(vi) Sarah Baartman was under-spent by R235 000 respectively due to invoices awaited from DPW.
He said that the Software and other Intangible Assets was under-spent R4 million, due to the Information Management System for Infrastructure, which was put on hold, the Khoi and San Heritage site that was a geographical location website, and the service provider only commenced work in the fourth quarter of the financial quarter. Lastly, there was no variance for the Payment for Financial Assets encountered.
The Chairperson asked what financial implications were incurred when the target of two conversations was surpassed by having 20 conversations instead. Even so, the Department under-spent its annual budget. Under-expenditure was an error done, despite that funds were excessively spent in areas that were beyond its initial budget allocation; this compels that mindful planning with adequate foresight should be exercised. Additionally, what did the excess Community Conversations entail? Would such mean that the footprint of DAC was larger than envisaged? The Chairperson expressed interest to personally attend a Community Conversation to engage it by hearing the exact particulars and revising if it indeed assisted the purpose it was intended for. The desire hereof stemmed from the fact the Portfolio Committee of Arts and Culture did not feel the impact of the Community Conversations.
Ms Tsoleli expressed disappointment that the Acting Director General did not give sufficient details on the Winnie Mandela House, particularly since it was currently negatively spotlighted in the public. What was the catalyst of the problem that resulted in the project to be where it currently was? Citation about issues with ITC somewhat explained the dilemma of the museum, but ultimately it did not account for the source of the problems which surfaced. Hence, how could resolve be made if weighty concerns, such as reported cases of rape, were approached in an insubstantial manner? It was imperative that Committee Members were informed about the source of the problems to enact intervention. It was disheartening that the House of Winnie Mandela, which was such an important project, was neglected to have become that which the media was propagating it as. It would be personally visited over the weekend, as the cases reported from it could not be overlooked. The many cases reported were about the abuse of women, namely rape cases. Moreover, when those particular cases were reported it was always done with the citation, “in Mrs Winnie Mandela House + Museum”, which was a detrimental and ironic headline that negated the legacy that Winnie Mandela stood and fought for. Therefore, could the Department substantiate details regarding this issue, as it was not an insignificant matter to be swept under the mat? Even ETV rehearsed the dilemma quite frequently, and the Committee was currently not equipped to account for happenings on location or refute the allegations of affiliation.
Secondly, was the Department achieving its Strategy Objectives by means of the Imbizos? Was any impact evident from the Imbizos? This query stemmed from the fact that at face value the problems within the Arts and Culture appeared unaffected by the Imbizos and its supposed impact, because one would assume that the Imbizos addressed those issues and subsequently negated the source of or minimised the concerns. However, from a distance seemingly no address to the issues was made. Therefore, what were the issues, particularly recurring concerns, made during the Imbizos?
Thirdly, why was the awarding of bursaries done through the universities and not allocated directly from the Department, since it was funded by DAC? Could the awarding of the bursaries be further clarified, as the under-spending was not understood?
Fourthly, notwithstanding that the South African flag distribution was a good initiative, for every input with a project an output should result. What was the output expected with the national flag distribution? How was the impact of the output measured? Since the Department could not continue to distribute flags for years without it yielding results. How were the remedial actions assessed, and was value-for-money evident with its distribution amongst scholars? This concern stemmed from personal conviction that the flag distribution yielded no impact; for example there were 22 schools within the Constituency of Bloemfontein that were visited from time to time and when the high school pupils were asked simple questions, such as the amount of colours within the South African flag, they faltered to answer correctly, if at all, even when probed with a monetary prize. It could be a matter that the DAC should collaborate with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) regarding the relevant education or training around the flag distribution, because national identity was ultimately a learning process. Given that the scholars were to be aware of their identity as well as identify as a South African citizen, the innate patriotic conviction and sense of national pride were essentially taught during pupillage years. The expected patriotism that should have evoked as a result of the flag distribution by now was lacking. This then posed the question; will the Department procure and continue to distribute flags throughout the next 20 years, even though the distribution faltered to manifest any impact? Continued procurement seemed nonsensical for the next 20 years based on eyewitness accounts of the lack of expected patriotism and/or basic understanding of the flag with its symbolic interpretation. However, there were some instances of primary school learners whom were better informed about the flag and the connotations of the colours, but such information was supposed to be standardised and not specific to a school. It was troubling that flag distribution continued whilst yielding none thorough understanding of its meaning nationally.
Then, the locations of the newly erected statues seemed to nullify the very point of it, if the statures were not strategically placed. The Apartheid statues were strategically centred within public spaces that received influxes of citizens passing by, irrespective of the impression that the citizens might have concerning it. For instance, the statue of Paul Kruger was notably situated right in the middle of Pretoria CBD, because the significance it bore to those who erected it was deemed worthy to celebrate it openly enough that it would be unmissed by anyone. Similarly, how could the average citizen know of the existence and accompanying significance of the anti-Apartheid activist Archie Gumede statue, if it was not positioned within the hub of the CBD? The purpose of erecting anti-Apartheid heroes’ statues was done for the purpose of teaching people, both local and foreign, about the history and the suffering incurred to have liberated the country; it was, therefore, not erected just for the sake of having statues. If the statues would not be strategically placed on spots that were worth the attention and effort, it might as well not be erected at all. Thus, “I was an immediate family member of Gumede, I would have told Government to keep the statue, while we keep the memory of him, because I do not agree with having the statue at the periphery.” Wrong positioning adversely served as an insult, as opposed to celebration.
Lastly, DAC had a serious problem with its issue of libraries. What mechanism was used to allocate the building of new libraries? This was seemingly a matter of contention, because DAC would spend R9 million on renovation of a library, whilst it simultaneously would spend R9 million on the build of a new library elsewhere. Thus, what were the norms and standards regarding new libraries; were there set expenditures, and if so, why did it fluctuate? The simple understanding was that if a new library cost approximately R10 million to build, it should cost such across the board. Thus, variable expenditure among the provinces was unacceptable, because fluctuations of expenditure compounded inequality amongst the provinces, as opposed to ensuring a competent national standard throughout the country. It was paramount that a standardised national programme for building libraries was devised.
She said that additionally, upon review of the listings of prospective locations for the building of new libraries, it was noticed that locations were not viable, such as Verkeerdrvlei in Free State, because it were on the verge of being ghost towns, but were included in the list and would prove wasteful expenditure. There were ‘dorpies’ in remote areas of the country that were on the verge of closing, as merely elderly folk that no longer procreated remained behind, since their offspring and the youth sought employment and relocated elsewhere. Yet among the listing on pages 38-42, titled Annexure: Progress on Libraries Built, there was a town with a minority population that was on the verge of becoming a ghost town enlisted as well, which was unnecessary, because a town with such a small population could have benefited from a mobile library instead. Therefore, did the Department conduct a feasibility report when the provinces requested libraries, to verify if it was profitable to have one built or not? It was assumed that if plans existed to build a library, proper research was done to ascertain the numbers of people that would access the library as means of quantifying service delivery. Could value-for-money be guaranteed by building libraries in prospective ghost towns?
She said that due to previous farming activity in the Province of the Free State there was a tendency, demographically, for smaller towns to be located in close proximity to it. However, since the farming activity subsided the population decreased considerably in search for economic sustenance in urban areas. Surely this was not an exclusive phenomenon to the Province of the Free State, thus the Department should not allocate funds on services that might not be utilised by its intended users, because the neglect of proper planning that entailed research would inevitably result in wasteful expenditure on such projects. It was imperative that the context of the intended recipients was understood, because many public schools were being closed in the Free State and boarding schools became the viable alternative with enrolments of a collective intake of 120 pupils from Grade 1 throughout to Grade 12. Hence, whom were the libraries intended for in such remote areas with dwindling populations? The Department should investigate the target market so that funds spent on social services would, indeed, reach those it was intended for. Otherwise, the building of libraries could prove a project doomed for failure and waste of financial resources. In fact going forward, without restriction to libraries, DAC should verify if the requested cultural activities would serve its purpose for the intended audiences, and in so doing funds would no longer be wasted on projects that would mid-way be laid to waste.
Ms V Mogotsi (ANC) asked what the weakest indicator within Programme 1 was. Did the inability to achieve all of the targets set for Administration, which was fundamental for the overall functioning of the Department, stem from Human Resource, such as constraints of capacity or was financial management in error? Specifically, regarding the fourth quarter target of having ‘50% MPAT key results areas measured at level 3 or above (2016 MPAT)’, was the Minister aware that the target was unachieved, as progress on it was only at level 2.4?
Secondly, the fourth quarter target of ‘Institutionalisation Plan’ was not achieved, but cited with the corrective action that ‘the socio-economic impact assessment will be conducted and submitted to DPME by the end of the 2nd quarter’. Thus, what were the particulars of the diagnosis made within the socio- economic assessment? Additionally, it was wished that the Minister of Arts and Culture was present today, particularly to account for not achieving the performance target of submitting the Revised White Paper to Cabinet for approval. What were the challenges incurred that motivated the deferral of the deadline to October 2017? On page 8 it reflected that the Department anticipated a prospective Clean Audit with its confirmation pending decision by the Auditor General, if so “well-done”. However, could the CFO verify after receipt of the outcome by the Auditor General that the Clean Audit would not involve any Management Letter Points?
Next, the performance indicator of having a percentage of total value of procurement awarded to BB-BEE compliant service providers was cited as not achieved, yet a comprehensive database of BB-BEE compliant service providers existed. The reason for deviation cited was that ‘continuous follow ups were made with the suppliers to submit valid BB-BEE certificates with quotation/bids’, which insinuated that the database entailing all of the required information might not have been checked beforehand as it should have. Another concern highlighted by the Acting Director General was that ‘payments were delayed because bank details were still not verified on the safety web as per CSD Report’, which referred to the central database. When one logged into the central database, it required every piece of information possible as a sense of credibility, thus how could the aspect of banking details not yet be verified? Clarity was required because the central database would even check if a criminal record existed for the user; therefore, the omission of the banking details seems nonsensical. With regard to the finances, why was the Compensation of Employees (CoE) under-spent by R12 million reflected on page 48? Did the under-expenditure pertain to vacancies? Also, why were Goods and Services under-spent by R12 million too? Next, why did over-spending occur on outsourcing, especially on Business and Advisory Services under Programme 3 for the NGE project? Overspending occurred without thorough evidence of human capital indicative of development, could an explanation be given for it?
Also, why was overspending done on advertising? Did DAC witness return on investment for the expenditure on advertisements, such as footprint in newspapers and other forms of media? Since it was cited that the non-achievement for ICT was due to delay of Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes, could the specific process of SCM be accounted for? Did the delayed SCM process relate to advertising, reporting, adjudication committee or something else, because SCM was quite broad? What did the ICT policy inform, because it was worrisome that ICT was compared to SCM?
Regarding the equity ratios related to the Employment Equity Act, it was commendable that 50% of Senior Management Service (SMS) employees were female. However, why was the target set for people with disabilities not reached, particularly since some of agencies of the Department were for people with disabilities, such as BlindSA? How many people with disabilities were working directly for the Department and what were their challenges encountered? Lastly, how many vacancies were at SMS level? Although the DAC adhered to the 10% vacancy rate policy, which was also commendable, where were the vacancies located?
Mr Mahlangu welcomed the presentation, and queried what DPME noted in the socio economic impact assessment submitted by the end of the 2nd quarter. Secondly, where were the public art centres located across the country? A list was requested from the Department for the purpose of oversight visits, of which merely one Parliamentarian and the Committee Secretary had access too, but it was currently not on hand. Even so, that list did not contain all of the public arts centres within provinces. Therefore, the Portfolio Committee would be conducting oversight on public arts centres that were not identified by the DAC. This posed the question, how could the list be devised and submitted to the Committee Secretary in confidence when it encompassed deliberate omissions? This question also spoke to the issue of Open Call. At some point in the past the Committee asked that when the Department would make the Open Call requests, the Committee should be made aware of it too, because such information could be circulated among the constituencies as means of extending the Open Call. Committee Members did not know offhand when and where those Open Calls were taking place, and if it was advertised, on which platform this was being done, i.e. paper flyers, newspapers or electronically on the internet? Additionally, it was noticed that when Open Calls took place only urban residents would attend, such as residents of Johannesburg CBD, Capetonians and residents of Durban. Urbanites had the tendency to respond due to their access of information, whilst those residing in remote areas were excluded from information due to their circumstance. For instance, if a monument was erected in a CBD, those residing in the rural areas would never hear about its erection in their lifetime, because no papers were sufficiently circulated nor was the Internet easily accessible to their locations. Therefore, the awareness of the Open Call was not adequately nationally inclusive. Hence, to reiterate, when the Department made the next Open Call, its particulars should be forwarded to the Committee Secretary. It shall then be circulated amongst the networks of the Members of the Committee.
Thirdly, which film was under review? Also, it was unclear why the ‘Number of joint programmes implemented with inter-governmental stakeholders’ indicated no progress on the Design Awareness Campaign 4th quarter target, but noted overall achievement for the performance indicator on slide 16 under Programme 3: Arts and Culture Promotion and Development. Another concern was the conflict of interest regarding ownership and/or administration of community art centres, because there was community art centres that DAC built and there were community art centres that other departments built, for instance the Department of Social Development (DSD).
He said that the issue of the inability to procure books in the Western Cape libraries had to be clarified, because the prices of ‘books were higher than expected’ as cited on page 26 under Programme 4. Did this denote that the libraries in the Western Cape would not receive any books as a result of its steep prices? What was the remedial action that would be taken by the Department such couriering books from elsewhere, changing the suppliers or altering the types of books that would be offered? Regarding the ‘Liberation Heritage Route online map application created and updated annually’ performance indicator on slide 27, did the Scope of Work project occur preceding the signing of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) or was it developed thereafter?
He said that in terms of the building of libraries, if it was true that many towns were becoming ghost towns and would be uninhabited within a few decades due to the dwindling populations, it was alarming that those particular towns were earmarked for the receipt of new libraries, because it would be wasteful expenditure. The performance of libraries was a concern on the whole. The 3rd quarter report reflected terrible performances in three provinces, for example Mpumalanga, yet all of the funds associated with its build were transferred. Yet, the 4th quarter report and with its overall Annual Performance displayed a “hunky-dory” picture. If the intention hereof stemmed from the need to appear financially sound so that National Treasury (NT) would not cut from the Department’s budget, it was an unethical approach. Reshuffling of funds before the closing of the financial year once DAC realised that it might have under-spent for the year was unacceptable and should cease to continue. If NT wanted to cut a particular percentage after noting under-expenditure, it should be allowed to do so. In fact, under- expenditure or over- paying consultants were equally imprudent exercise of funds. Furthermore, the reshuffling of funds, such as impromptu financial decisions, would prove troublesome in the long run. For instance, if NT decided to cut funds would that be responded to by not filling vacancies, because if so, the most cost-saving position, such as the Director General position, may be vacant for longer than necessary, which might result with an audit report that had a qualification? Neither could employees be made redundant during the outer years, because their services or expertise no longer served relevance in the Department beyond a specific season or project as means of cutting costs, which entailed that caution should be exercised regarding recruiting in the arts sector, all of which had financial implications.
He said that due to the excessive “fat in DAC that needs cutting”, the current financial approach taken by DAC was wrong, as it was responsible for utilising funds erroneously from the onset then resolved to ‘quick- fixes’. An example of this was that the delegation brought to Parliament was always a large one, even though everyone did not do input, which meant that spending could be saved by sending key officials. Notwithstanding this “fat in DAC”, the Department always under-spent, which meant that it did not learn to improve its financial allocations of budget.
Lastly, regarding the National Heritage Monument, the Department should have monitored the situation more closely. Since for the current democratic Government erecting a new monument was of utmost importance, the problems that it posed somewhat undermined the weight of the symbolic democracy. The amount of statues targeted were 80, but 72 resulted, because having one figurine seated on an animal equated to three or four figurines on its own. Did DAC monitor the situation, whilst the National Heritage Monument created the statues, there would have been no need for a forensic investigation to decipher why the amount of statues erected were less than anticipated, yet the same amount of mould was used and funds spent. Dissension over this could have been avoided if it was not left entirely in the care of a consultant, but the Department took onus of the project instead. The view of the Committee was that if that project was concluded, it could rival the Eiffel Towers regarding tourist attractions, as this type of project was unprecedented globally. Therefore, the lack of a hands-on approach by the Department was a concern for the Committee, as such would be setting it up for failure, which was intolerable for the arts and culture sector to allow.
Dr G Grootboom (DA) agreed with the concern regarding investigation and verification of locations for the proposed libraries across the country, particularly in scarcely populated areas. It was worrisome that seemingly the Department lacked clear vision, which was a concern in itself that such a statement could be made about DAC. Upon review of the Appropriations of 2016/17 and 2017/18, specific search for Enyokeni Cultural Precinct was made, but it did not explicitly appear in any of those Appropriations. However, a minor reference was made close to the end of the 2017/18 Appropriation as a last resort of its acknowledgement. Having said that, were these projects well planned and were the plans being carried through to completion, because the funds intended for the JL Dube House Museum were presumably unused due to slow delivery, especially since the project last reflected in the 2015/16 Appropriation, but since disappeared.
He said that when the forensic reports on the Enyonkeni Trust were discussed in the past, there was no clarity evident in terms of its ownership. Thus, would DAC take ownership thereof and procure the projects going forward? Also previously, there were no Terms of Reference given nor was the Service Level Agreements verified, yet the funds were transferred. Once again, it seemed that the end of the project was not clearly “ironed-out”. All questions pertaining to its virements and appropriations of funds already given to the Enyokeni project highlighted the concern that money was given to these projects, but there was no clear indication that the projects would ultimately be completed. These happenstances were indicative that DAC funded projects, but was uncertain regarding its overall cost until completion, if ever completed. This created a problem, because either under or over spending would occur, neither of which was preferred, because such insinuated a lack of proper planning. The Department needed to adopt explicit clarity regarding major projects going forward; otherwise great disparity would exist between the quotation at the onset of projects and its actual expenditure upon completion. The fluctuation of prevalence indicated that the projects were not thoroughly thought through.
He said that DAC previously mentioned in its last forensic report that all projects with other departments, for instance the Department of Sports and Recreation, were cancelled. In such event, did the DAC singlehandedly have the internal capacity to monitor and evaluate, as well as suffice services and functions that other departments previously provided? Alternatively, was reliance on consultants then compounded? Hence, the collective concern that probable ghost towns were demarcated for the building of new libraries. This posed the concern that if South Africa was truly to be developed, services should reach those it was supposed to.
The Chairperson asked the Department how it would regularise the irregularities, and what steps were taken to do so? This pertained to irregular activities. A concern posed was that the Department was building on property that evoked dissension, because it either belonged to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) or was privately-owned property. It should be reminded that DAC could not take the liberty to build on land that did not belong to it. Another concern was that even though many performance indicators were enlisted as achieved, problems persisted within the quarterly targets and/or the performance indicator itself, especially at Provincial Government Level. If problems persisted within the provinces, the relevant MEC or Select Committee or NCOP could be communicated with.
Also, more information was required on the Key Result Areas Assessment Improvement Plan reflected on page 16 since the performance indicator was noted as achieved, but the intergovernmental stakeholder relations were in progress for corrective action. Since 40 touring ventures were financially supported, as opposed to the targeted 10, what did those touring ventures entail and what took place at those ventures, as cited on slide 19? What were the 20 public art projects financially supported about reflected on slide 20? Could the 12 incubator programmes financially supported be explained, as reflected on slide 21? A matter to highlight was the non-achievement set out for the Khoi San project. Was the Department aware of how delicate the issue of the Khoi San was? The lack of achievement insinuated lack of focus, which was an unacceptable approach to the Khoi San. Regarding the archives, what was the area of focus? What came out of the seminar? Regarding the libraries, were the provinces informed on relevant competencies required, such as the correct manner to deal with the current concerns, which was the proper identification of new library locations? Lastly, why was a service provider not appointed yet regarding the Liberation Heritage Route?
Mr Ndima replied that the Department would be more meticulous regarding the identification of new libraries going forward to prohibit the concern raised of wasting funds on a library that might never be used, due to the population being much too small with merely elderly folk remaining. This meant that the Business Plan would not only be more meticulous, but that the capacity of Monitoring and Evaluation would be increased too, particularly to review provinces. Admittedly, there were personnel that specifically dealt with provinces, which was one employee for every three provinces, but it proved insufficient. Notably, when capacity was referenced, usually the assumption was the quantity of personnel bodies, but the quality of capacity, such as the intelligence and expertise of those appointed should be revised going forward. If the quality of personnel were explicitly cited within the Business Plan of DAC, it would alter the behaviour and approach of the Department.
He said that the Winnie Mandela Museum was a project that was negatively in the media space currently. However, it should not, on account of current negativity, fall through. It began in 2011/12, when the province approached DAC. Due to the tripartite agreement, the province remained the owner of the project, whilst the Department merely extended support for it, but was not in charge of its management. Thus far, the Winnie Mandela House proved a challenging walk to date of which the Department was prepared to provide a full briefing on the project if required by the Committee. There were even concerns of the performance of the contractors on site, and then in 2014 the contractors left the site. These back-and-forth problems coincided with the realisation that all of the projects were actually problematic. Having the need for so many forensic investigations, the Department acknowledged that irregularities within DAC were eminent, which meant that Purchase Surveys became necessary to further investigate if value-for-money was evident. Subsequently, there were projects that were analysed as no value-for-money.
Dr Grootboom interrupted by noting that a Quantitative Survey involved the hire of external personnel or consultants to do a job that could in some instances be interpreted at face value had officials of the Department physically visited the actual locations themselves.
Mr Ndima clarified that if officials from DAC were to have physically visited sites, they would be incapable of analysing the site as someone who was relevantly schooled to do so. There was always a need for people with the technical know-how. For instance, at face value a particular demarcation of ground seemed fine to the untrained eye and could be deduced as inexpensive, but an expert might conclude that the Earthworks on its own was costly. Therefore, it would prove viable if the Department would build internal capacity to review technicalities, as opposed to contracting consultants, should the expected projects of DAC continue to take place, since this would enable personnel to analyse and report scientifically. When the irregularities occurred, the Department paused itself, because it could no longer proceed on a limp. Admittedly, one of the strategies that should have been adopted was to work closely with the provinces. However, in the interim, the Department took the decision to secure the site of the Winnie Mandela House Museum, whilst the other problems around it were being addressed in the background.
Ms Tsoleli asked how much funds were spent specifically on the Winnie Mandela House Museum thus far.
Mr Ndima answered that R1.8 million was spent on the project to date, however, this total stood for correction, because the documentation that outlined its particulars was currently not on hand. The point that was made about the National Heritage Monument was noted. However, the Department was working quite hard to ensure that resolve on the matter of statues would occur, as engagement around it was on-going.
The Chairperson interrupted noting that due to the constraints of time, Members should ask follow-up questions, whilst the Acting Director General explained himself. In terms of the Department, it was essential that DAC “apply its mind in all of the projects”. As an Accounting Officer it was imperative that thorough application was done across the board with no bias to any project, and in so doing all of it would be completed adequately as opposed to one project completed excellently at the expense of another failing to reach progress even mid-way. A selective approach was setting the Department up for failure.
Mr Mahlangu empathized that Mrs Winnie Mandela would possibly be the only woman with a profile of her own that belonged to the world and was not restricted to South Africans. Before the Budget Vote Speech discussion took place highlighting that it was crucial of DAC to identify provincial projects that were to be uplifted to national level. If statues of anti-Apartheid heroes could be escalated to national level, why was the Winnie Mandela House project still left in the stead of provincial government? Mrs Winnie Mandela was a woman of valour that fought the Apartheid system of oppression almost single-handedly and done so upfront, thus she should have been amongst those embodied as statues and rightly so in the centre of them all. Not doing so was actually indicative that Mrs Winnie Mandela was not receiving the full extent of honour and recognition that was due to her.
Mr Ndima replied that the sentiments regarding Mrs Winnie Mandela’s international profile and owing recognition was noted. On other matters, such as the national flag distribution, discussion was underway with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) about successfully integrating it within the school system. It was beyond the scope of DAC to educate scholars about the significance of the South African flag and symbolism of its colours. It was, therefore, not the duty of DAC to alter the minds of the pupils and schools. The Department was of the view that DBE and the role of teachers were paramount to supply the education necessary to accompany the national flag distribution.
Regarding the Gumede statue erection, it was a “dicey” situation, because the Department proposed its location in the International Convention Centre (ICC) due to feet of foreign nationals, as means of international exposure, but the family declined such proposal by preferring that its erection should be at the Pretoria City Hall area, as means of accessible exposure for locals. The issue of the allocation of libraries was based on the Business Plan that provinces submitted and the queries highlighted earlier was noted. However, the Library Bill was beginning to consider norms and standards to prohibit such concerns in future, because standardised infrastructure would be provided for. Regarding particulars that challenged MPAT, it could be outlined as access to information, issues of Human Resource strategy and planning, art practices and administration, management of diversity, management of performance, implementation of Performance Management Development (PMD), employer relations and disciplinary cases, because it had the tendency to consume much time and were not matters that were dealt with quickly.
He said that Strategic Management was highlighted as an area that the Department required improvement on. The African World Heritage Fund was established in 2006, which was intended for all of the world heritage sites across the continent and was developed due to the recommendation of noting that Africa had very few sites enlisted in the World Heritage Fund. Once a site was enlisted, further discussion took place around its conservation. If a site was enlisted, it was done due to a specific criterion or outstanding universal values. Sites enlisted carried the responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the site was always preserved. These were not restricted to sites found within South Africa; however, South Africa not only hosted the event in 2005, but the decision was also taken that South Africa should take the lead regarding the fund. It was, subsequently, held in the Development Bank of Southern Africa in Midrand that served the entire continent.
He said that regarding the concern of Enyokeni Cultural Precinct, it was one of those issues that kept most of the delegation awake at night, because the surfaced problem originated from the fact that it was not done properly from its onset. The completion of the facility was a grappling issue, because DAC was uncertain if it were to be left in its uncompleted state, completion of that which was constructed to continue, or should the Department walk away from the project altogether?
Dr Grootboom noted that efficiency mandated that the simplest route be always sought for. The Enyokeni Cultural Precinct was not the primary responsibility, viz. “baby”, of DAC in the first place, therefore both the most feasible and viable option were to walk away from the situation. Rightly so, R32 million of the Department’s funds were wasted on the facility, but ultimately it was not the concern of DAC to begin with. There were no justifications at this point in time to still allocate money on the project; DAC should “walk away” from the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project.
Mr Ndima appreciated the advice regarding the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct. Given the close proximity to the Royal Family, it might not have been ideal to use the ground for public usage.
The Chairperson noted that this particular project required full mental application, especially regarding possible unintended consequences. For instance, civilians could demand construction of facilities since this project began and was at a standstill, which insinuated that the Department had money to waste or in excess to do whatever whoever wished. The Chairperson asked if the Department felt that it was, indeed, on top of the Programme of Arts and Culture Promotion in the country.
Ms Kelebogile Sethubelo, DDG: IG, DAC, answered the query of the platforms of advertisements. On an annual basis, DAC planned communal conversations, which was separate to dialogs held. Since it was Youth month a Youth Day Dialogue would be held. Last year, about four Youth Dialogues were held alone. Usually, the evening preceding a national holiday the Minister of Arts and Culture would go live on radio before a panel with members of social cohesion advocates and deliberate on a topic under review. Currently, the topic under discussion was economic transformation and the role of young people within it. Callers were welcomed to phone into the live discussion and raise issues. There was also the Social Cohesion Platform that DAC created and also welcomed public input. Last year, DAC held the Rastafarian Community Dialogue, as means of including the community at whole. Sector consultation was also held with young people, women, the media, the Department of Labour (DoL), Traditional Healers, and civil society organizations. Thus, regarding labour, it could be asked what was being done around issues of social cohesion, in other words were issues of identity and racism dealt with in the workplace? Once the community conversations and the various dialogues were completed, a report was done encompassing of the issues highlighted by civilians. Issues highlighted by the communities indicated concerns over race, language, safety and security, gender, family values and economy. As a result, DAC held a workshop inviting other departments that also aimed for social cohesion. For example, regarding safety, SAPS was invited, and the Department of Home Affairs was invited for the sake of security, due to the porous border posts. Even National Treasury was among the attendees for the sake of economic concerns.
She said that DAC requested the departments to devise a report showcasing whether it budgeted for aspects raised, or if those aspects would be incorporated with their adjusted budget. The workshops with the invited departments were held last month. The main issue that surfaced was the lack of access to services, of which some were quite basic services. Issues of unemployment, poverty and social economic justice seemed much too prevalent within civil society. On a regular basis, DAC received a report of the state of social cohesion in the country with reference to Outcome 14 and verification of achievement of the National Development Plan (NDP). It questioned whether people were coming together, and if not, why were they not. As the Department of Arts of Culture it was dutiful to raise the communicated concerns originating from the dialogues to the other departments of Government. The Department was quite disturbed last year, because a caller to the radio from North West Province claimed that African people remained poor, because African women kept birthing children beyond domestic affordability. The CFO was present within that radio dialogue, and it was a White caller. It was disheartening that even after all of the initiatives by the Department taking place, there were people with such mentality. Therefore, it was imperative that continued discussion around concerns and issues were done.
The Chairperson asked if DAC deemed that the other departments would take its recommendations seriously. Many government officials had the attitude that since other departments were on the same level as themselves, no department could superiorly demand an instruction from them. No governmental department appreciated that a fellow governmental department would instruct it. Therefore, was there evidence that the other departments were taking the initiatives of community dialogues and the request for reports seriously, as well as made the relevant accommodations in their departments?
Ms Sethubelo answered that it was a challenge and proved difficult. Even the attendance by the various departments, after which their reports were produced, the attendees rarely derived from the level of Director General, but were of the subordinate governmental officials instead. Yet these concerns according to the DAC fell into purview of Director Generals, but it was challenge having them attend. However, the execution of the recommendations made by DAC to other departments required the officials to do them anyhow, thus improvement took place and slowly but surely the initiatives by DAC was beginning to be taken seriously.
She said that regarding the issue of the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM), a meeting took place that even called upon the office of the Deputy President to note the institutional arrangement because DAC in its capacity of a governmental department could not demand other departments to bring about change, but could merely influence it. The Office of the Deputy President was asked to consider the restructure of MRM and employ a new board to revitalise the discussions that were underway, because officials always felt tension concerning it. DAC advised the change of the board for the sake of new energy. As it was known, when people were set in their ways, they tended to be unsettled when new ideas were introduced. However, since the Department funded MRM with R3.5 million, it was essential that value for money was received in exchange.
Mr Mathale asked if DAC took issue with the content or the caller.
Ms Sethubelo answered that the caller was the issue.
Mr Mathale asked, “and what if he was Black?” Would the same comment derived from a person of colour have provoked the same offence and therefore pose an issue?
Ms Sethubelo replied that it was the content, such as the view of the caller, despite the colour or racial classification of the caller.
Mr Matlala answered the financial questions by noting that the synopsis of the Clean Audit was a work in progress, and only after the AGSA gave the final outcome could it be confirmed. Despite that, the Department was foreseeing a Clean Audit Outcome; ultimately the reality thereof relied on what AGSA would deduce. The Management Action Plan implemented within the fourth quarter was adequate enough to have supported the Clean Audit outcome for the fourth quarter. The details to better understand changes to Goods and Services was that currently DAC was paying for the rental accommodation of the Head Office and for most of its public entities. This included costs of levies, water and electricity. Normally, the Department requested the relevant invoices of 31st March preceding the end of the month, to ensure that it would be both tallied and paid for within the financial year. Unfortunately, this time around, the invoices were received in April. Therefore, it reflected as under-spending, which was R10.1 million for the accommodation, and the balance pertained to the South African Cultural Observatory. Also, the saving on Compensation of Employees (CoE) incurred, because DAC had 63 vacancies at the point of review, which contributed to the overall saving of salaries. In terms of the ITC spending, the Department embarked on a process of procuring the IT server, which began in November 2016. Most of the equipment that must be used on the server was procured abroad as well, of which its delay subsequently deferred usage of its related items.
Mr Mbulelo Jokweni, CD: NLS, DAC, answered the query about the bursaries, because the target was reported as overtly-achieved, but an explanation of deviation was cited as well. The deviation did not acutely account for over-achieving the target set for bursary beneficiaries. More students were awarded bursaries at no additional costs. Reliance on universities to award the bursaries talked to a number of factors, such as the identification of deserving students based on merit and identification of the needy students that included outline of the needs of those students. The needs of students at tertiary level varied among the pool of students that applied. This meant that universities managed to fund more students at no additional cost from the Department.
Ms Tsoleli asked that if more students were awarded more bursaries at no additional costs, who then carried the cost for the surpass allocations?
Mr Jokweni replied that since the students had different needs, such as some students that did not need book bursaries, whilst others just needed registration bursaries and others required full tuition, the lump sum could effectively be divided amongst them to suffice their needs. Therefore, even though the target was set, it was actually a positive that more students were awarded bursaries, due to the fact that amount allocation amongst them varied, because the cost of study was different for each of them and their needs differed.
The Chairperson asked if feedback was received from those students to confirm the assertion. There were instances of students that were not awarded full bursaries and might not qualify for additional sponsorship or student loans. As a result for the sake of livelihood, such as food and daily expenditure, they would “go out and do unimaginable things, sometimes extreme, to sustain themselves”. How did the Department know for sure that the funds given to the students were a benefit? Did DAC have sessions with the students to decipher if the bursary allocation was indeed sufficient as now proposed?
Mr Jokweni answered that on campus visits took place in the past as means of engaging with students. This year the visit was intended for the University of North West Province, but did not take place. Last year the visit took place at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Next year, DAC was to visit the University of the Western Cape.
Mr Charles Mabaso, CD, DAC, answered the query on Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE), although the topic required full day presentation. MGE was making a huge difference in society and was divided into 10 work streams. A critical work stream was Cultural Events that developed the incubator programme and touring ventures. Last year, the Department went to all of the provinces from April 2016 to March 2017, as means of MGE consultation with the provincial governments. Admittedly, MGE was quite urban-based, but consideration for rural development and its inclusion was made, of which over 2 000 sector organizations were attracted as a result. MGE was identified. It was for local art practitioners as means of a grant. Thus, if local talent was invited to perform abroad, they might not be to request funds immediately from the National Arts Council; thus, MGE could respond sooner and cover costs, such as flights. The intention hereof was to ensure that local art practitioners were showcased around the world and MGE would serve as advantageous due to the deadlines that it might meet. Incubator Programmes was a long-term capacity building programme that started two years ago. Performance art institutions had the tendency to run capacity build programmes over a long period of time with the intention to develop local content, which posed the question ‘what was local content in the first place?’ Therefore, currently, 90 productions were done over a year, after which it would be showcased at the market theatre. Cultural events had over 2 300 applications from last year September to date, as this encompassed theatre, visual arts and music. However, the funds demarcated for cultural events were not a full sponsorship, but served as capital. Through this initiative, DAC was able to support people performing in arts centres, community platforms and beyond, which proved challenging, because the demand of applications surpassed the money available for cultural events. The film was ‘Mandela’s Gun’, which was a political thriller.
The Chairperson concluded that if full bursaries were not allocated to students they would be left vulnerable to lack in other areas required for sustenance and might be compelled to do things out of character as means of sustaining themselves at Higher Education Institutions (HEI).
The meeting was adjourned.
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