The Portfolio Committee was briefed by the Independent Development Trust (IDT) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) on their working relationship with the Department of Arts and Culture’s infrastructure unit, following recent concerns over the implementation of several
legacy projects. The Department also provided a summary of the court proceedings resulting from the dissolution of the PanSouth African Language Board (PanSALB),
The Minister presented a brief vision regarding the future of the arts and culture sector in South Africa, hinting that the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) was interested in the establishment of a “Sollywood” in South Africa that would be the media equivalent of Hollywood in the USA. This idea had been particularly inspired by the success of Nollywood in Nigeria, which had done so by means of South African enablers, such as the mobile network MTN.
The DAC’s legal department said that the review application by the former members of the PanSALB board had been dismissed, with costs. The Entities Management (EM) unit of the Department had commenced with the process of inviting new appointees to the board.
The IDT said that initially its relationship with the DAC had been cordial. However challenges experienced in the implementation of some projects had led to the current strained relations. The DAC had eventually cancelled all memorandums of agreement (MOAs) with the IDT in November 2016. The IDT was in the process of handing over the projects, but outstanding payments were delaying the finalisation of cession agreements and the preparation of closeout documentation. The value of the projects was estimated at R300 million.
The DPW explained that when custodianship of assets was handed over to the Department, it had a mandate to provide and manage them on behalf of various national government departments. Its DAC portfolio was comprised of 15 leases and 31 infrastructure projects with a value of R200 million. Three were legacy projects, and nine projects were for maintenance. Regular meetings were held with the DAC, and monthly progress reports were provided on a per project basis.
The main issues raised during discussion was the responsibilities of the various entities. Who was responsible for planning? Who was responsible for budgeting? Who was responsible for maintenance, monitoring, or amendments to plans? Who should take responsibility for the costs of litigation which had ensued for several of the projects?
A major concern for Members was the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project, which focused exclusively on the heritage of the Zulu nation, and had been implemented without proper planning, with additional phases being added without proper consideration or approval. If the additional phases were completed, the final cost would be close to R1 billion. The DAC was warned of the precedent this would set when others demanded similar recognition of their heritage, and was advised to abandon the project immediately. Further discussions would be held the following week, as well as a site visit.
Minister’s Opening Remarks
Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture, said that since September was the month of Heritage, targets for the term had been aligned accordingly. Admittedly, all of the targets might not be achieved as fully as anticipated. One of the aspects that could be improved in South Africa was culture. For instance, if one was to review what Hollywood was doing not only for the USA, but also for the world, one would understand why the entertainment industry had grown by leaps and bounds. Similarly, everyone knows what Bollywood does for the Indian population. Additionally, our African neighbours had not only grown their entertainment industries, but had done so by means of South African enablers, such as the mobile network MTN. Nollywood had therefore become what it currently was, along with its contributions to the Nigerian economy. Thus if Hollywood, Nollywood and Bollywood had proved exponentially successful, why should a “Sollywood” not exist in South Africa? There was no reason for its prohibition.
The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) had been working on this possibility and would brief on it appropriately. The waters were being tested by means of BRICS. BRICS was a political and economic counter-measure of the status quo. Therefore, just as the Oscars existed, BRICS was of the view that there should be a counter-measure. Similarly, the global financial institutions, such as IMF and the World Bank, were of of interest for replication by means of BRICS as well.
In the sphere of culture and arts, South Africans were currently achieving great heights within the film industry internationally. During 2018, it would be South Africa’s turn to chair BRICS, and one area of distinction could be the film industry. Sollywood would be realised in time. No country in the world had a situation where its foreign visitors could not explore the landscape without paying respect to its locals, whether it was a developed or developing country. Thus, it was an aspiration to achieve the same virtue of respect for South Africa by means of broadcasting with film. This was also indicated during budget allocation talks with the Province of Gauteng and the City of Tshwane last year. Those talks were indicative of the tale that the Department had wanted to tell about South Africa. This tale preceded the known colonial era, since whenever the 1600s were spoken of, reference to Jan van Riebeeck was made by default.
The DAC was of the view that the evolution of South Africa as a nation had endured multiple phases, such as the warrior kings that had resisted colonialism and the political activism that had later resisted apartheid. Even more so, there were also non-South Africans who had endured sacrifices for its liberation. Therefore, the DAC had considered the possibility of erecting 400 statues of prominent citizens and non-citizens that would go up as far as the mountain slopes in their honour, as a collective monument.
Another area of interest was the programme of recollecting past struggles, along with the rest of Africa. In 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) had given the assignment, followed with the same urge by the African Union (AU), that African countries should tell their story. Other African countries called their liberation struggles the ‘Road to Independence’. South Africa referred to the same notion as the ‘Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route’. Yet Africa needed to inform the global community of their efforts of resistance, particularly from the perspective of their respective countries. This would also mandate that the programme of Africa would dismantle the misnomer of justice, since these were first world ideas aimed at the integration of the continent that might impact on its political, social and cultural aspects.
Fourthly, the DAC had wanted the government to establish its own publishing house. Many civilians had written books, but could not publish them due to the lack of means. Accessible publishing might improve the readability of the nation, because the most recent statistics reflected that merely 5% of South Africans had the tendency to read. There was thus much ground to cover insofar as reading was concerned, which was why Cass books had been reintroduced.
Lastly, the recognition of artists was a pursuit. Artists across the board would be recognised. Another matter of concern was that the dissolution of the Board of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) had been a decision not made recklessly. It had been communicated to the previous Board, as well as the current one, that there would be a problem if PanSALB failed to promote indigenous languages as it had been mandated to do.
Dr P Mulder (FF+) said he greatly supported the Minister’s suggestion that South Africa should have its own “Sollywood.” The manner in which it would be funded was uncertain, as it would require subsidies, grant funding or private funds support it. He said the National Monument was also supported, as it was essential for all countries to have a national expression of that sort. Language was dignity, so if any South African language was deemed inferior to another, the dignity of the speaker was at stake. English was surely significant for academia and inclusive understanding, but avocation of it should not be done at the expense of the other languages. No-one should feel inferior speaking his or her home language.
Lastly, the fight against colonialism was still a matter of contention. The fundamental question was, how does one perceive colonialism? Who were the colonialists and who were fighting them? Museums in South Africa seemed to be lopsided in the expression of the Anglo-Boer War, for instance. The museum would refer to the South African War upon entry, but within the museum much emphasis was placed on apartheid. For the sake of the future of South Africa, the history of the country needed to be properly contextualised.
DAC Annual Report delayed
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) welcomed the presence of the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi.
The Chairperson commented that upon review of the operations of the Department, it had been highlighted that the annual strategies of its entities were not aligned with the strategies of the Department. Although much time would not be wasted on discussing how progress was reliant on the administration of the Department, it should be noted that DAC faltered in doing simple things such as acknowledging the receipt of emails, which was disappointing.
Mr Vusi Mkhize, Director General: DAC, said that the final draft of the annual report was complete, but it would be presented once the Auditor-General (AG) had confirmed its particulars.
The Chairperson instructed the DAC to outline the dates of submission and the receipt of its engagements with the Auditor General. Did the DAC have those dates at hand?
Mr Mkhize replied that the annual report did not need to be tabled to the Audit Committee. Instead, once the audit was concluded and before final printing occurred, it required certification from the AG.
The Chairperson requested submission of a written report about the annual report, and an update on the court outcomes in respect of PanSALB.
Mr Given Mditshwa, Director: Legal Services, DAC, said that the first applicant, Prof Mbulungeni Madiba and other Board members, had been appointed by the Minister of Arts and Culture as members of the Board of PanSALB during April 2014. Due to ongoing challenges at PanSALB, the Minister on 12 January 2016 had given notice of dissolution of the Board to Prof Madiba, as the Chairperson of Board. The Court had dealt with two preliminary issues:
- Authority of the first applicant to depose to the main affidavit on behalf of the co- applicants (Second Applicant to Tenth Applicant);
- Whether allowing Mr Feni to represent the First Applicant would not result in a failure of justice and the approach to be adopted in that regard.
Regarding the first preliminary issue, the Court held that the first applicant was affected by the Minister’s decision, and as such he was entitled to bring the review application and have the Minister’s
decision subjected to judicial scrutiny.
Regarding the second preliminary issue, the Court was concerned that the first applicant would be represented by Mr Feni, who had prior employment relationship with the Board and against whom the Minister had made many factual allegations critical of Mr Feni. Mr Feni also had numerous litigation matters against the Board, some of which were still pending and this potentially raised a conflict of interest. Ultimately, Mr Feni had withdrawn as counsel for the applicants and the matter was handled by another counsel, whereafter it had proceeded in the normal way.
In summary, the Court found in respect of the three charges that the Minister had brought
against the Board of PanSALB that:
- PanSALB had not advanced in its performance under the present Board and the Board failed to provide adequate leadership despite continuous interaction between the Board and the Department, as well as the adoption of the agreed turnaround strategy;
- The Board of PanSALB had failed to provide the Minister with certain information for which he had asked, thereby placing the budget vote of the Department in jeopardy; and
- The Board of PanSALB had taken an unlawful and unjustified decision to dismiss staff members appointed during the tenure of Mxolisi Zwane (former PanSALB chief executive), even though it knew that Zwane’s appointment had been held to be valid by the Pretoria High Court, thereby entitling Zwane to hire staff.
The Court’s judgment, dated 15 August 2017, dismissed the review application by Prof Madiba and others and held that Prof Madiba must pay the costs of the Minister, including the costs occasioned by the employment of two counsels. It further directed the State Attorney, Pretoria, had to provide the Pretoria Society of Advocates and the Law Society of the Northern Provinces with hard copies of the judgment, to enable those bodies to consider such disciplinary action against Adv Feni and Makhafola & Verster Inc. attorneys respectively, as they deemed fit.
The DAC understood that the Entities Management (EM) unit of the Department had commenced with the process of inviting appointees to the Board of PanSALB
The Chairperson indicated that soon the Minister and his Deputy were to exit for a meeting with Cabinet.
Independent Development Trust (IDT)
Mr Coceko Pakade, Chief Executive Officer: IDT, described the working relations with the Department of Arts and Culture’s infrastructure unit regarding its legacy projects, memorial projects, heritage
programme and the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct.
He said that initially the relationship between the IDT and the DAC had been cordial. However, challenges experienced in the implementation of some projects had led to the current strained relationship. Numerous meetings had taken place between senior officials of both entities in an attempt to resolve disputes. Unfortunately the engagements had not yielded any positive outcomes. The DAC had eventually cancelled all Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) with the IDT in November 2016.The IDT was in the process of handing over the projects, but outstanding payments were delaying the finalisation of cession agreements and the preparation of closeout documentation for all projects. Subsequently, a task team had been setup between the IDT and DAC to deal with litigation matters, outstanding payments to service providers, incomplete projects and the reconciliation of all finances.
The portfolio’s financials at the termination of the projects were estimated at R300.2 million. The expenditure as at 5 September 2017 was R223.8 million, so the balance to completion was R76.4 million. However, these estimations were contingent to budget allocations by the DAC, as the finances had not derived from IDT itself. The estimated budget appropriations per project were:
- O.R Tambo Legacy Projects & Khananda Memorial Project -- R 26.4m;
- J.L Dube Legacy project -- R 41.2m;
- Ingquza Hill Memorial -- R 41.2m;
- Muyexe Community Library & Arts Centre -- R 30.8m;
- Enyokeni Cultural Precinct -- R 148.5m;
- Dr Moroka House Restoration -- R 5.4m;
- Wesleyan Church Museum -- R 3.3m;
- Winnie Mandela House -- R 3.5m.
Department of Public Works (DPW)
Mr Siphamandla Ngcobo, Director: User Demand Management, DPW, presented on the working relations with the DAC infrastructure unit regarding its legacy projects. The DPW was the implementing agent for the infrastructure projects of the DAC and its entities. Upon completion, the buildings were handed over to the client.
The handing over of projects entailed that the relevant payments were made by the client, such as municipal payments etc. When custodianship was handed over, the responsibility for maintenance of the assets would fall within the ambit of the custodian/client. Since the DPW was the custodian of a significant portfolio of the national government’s immovable assets, it had a mandate to provide and manage accommodation on behalf of various national government departments.
Regarding the DAC’s portfolio composition, there were 15 leases and 31 infrastructure projects. 26 projects, of which three were legacy projects, involved capital expenditure, while nine projects were for maintenance. Regular meetings were held with DAC officials, and monthly progress reports were provided on a per project basis.
The DPW’s portfolio for infrastructure for the DAC as at 31 July 2017 amounted to R200.2m. However, the total expenditure on infrastructure as at 31 July was R27.3m, which was only 14%. The legacy projects of the DAC that were managed by the DPW were:
- Maputo -- construction of monument and related works to commemorate the Matola Raid (located in Mozambique);
- Mbuzini: Samora Machel -- construction of monument and museum, restoration and upgrading (located on the border of Mozambique and Mpumalanga);
- Hankey: Sarah Bartmann -- construction of museum and landscaping (located in the Eastern Cape).
The scope of each project and their progress were as follows:
- Maputo: The scope of the DPW was the construction of the monument and related works to commemorate the Matola Raid, which was completed. The expected final total value amounted to R55.6m -- R 46.8m for the contractor and R 8.8m for the consultant.
- Mbuzini: Samora Machel. The scope of the DPW was the construction of a monument and museum. The project was completed. The expected final value was R2.1m -- R1.7m for the contractor and R0.4m for the consultant.
- Mbuzini: Samora Machel. The scope of the DPW was restoration and upgrading. The project had been completed and final payments were to be made. The expected final value was R3.5m, but the original total value was R8.7m.
- Hankey: Sarah Bartmann. The scope of the DPW was the construction of a museum and landscaping. The project was approximately three months behind schedule, due to various strikes by the local employees from Hankey and the performance of the contractor. The labour action had occurred because the workers wanted a higher payment than that prescribed for the specific disciplines. Additionally, the contractor had brought his own labour from Gauteng. The date of commencement had been 4 April 2014 and the anticipated date of completion was 3 October 2017. The expected final value was R203.8m -- R181.2m (inclusive of the escalation) and R22.6m for the consultants.
The Chairperson asked how the IDT functioned, particularly regarding tasks given with the specification of an anticipated time of completion. Could any governmental department unload a project on to the IDT and expect its completion, irrespective of clashes with other projects that it might be inundated with, or were there policies that governmental departments first needed to follow?
Ms V Mogotsi (ANC) said the presentations had indicated that the IDT was an implementing agency in terms of the social infrastructure, so what was the function of DPW in this regard? Since the IDT had cited community riots and violence in the surrounding area as a challenge that had caused a delay in the OR Tambo legacy project, when had the riots taken place, how long had they endured, and what was the magnitude of the riots that they could impede upon the project? The construction of the OR Tambo garden of remembrance was said to be at 5% completion -- what did the 5% comprise, since it was assumed that due to the riots whatever work achieved would have been burned? Had this been a technical issue with contractors, or other internal dynamics? If the IDT was encountering problems regarding its completion, what then had been the role of the DPW in all of this? If it was the case that the funds were derived from DPW -- which they were -- why was effective oversight or management not enforced with these projects? Projects being delayed on the basis of poor internal communication, was an unacceptable excuse. The fact that projects were on hold or contractors were withholding keys meant that thorough communication was lacking from the outset. This element indicated that both the IDT and DPW lacked adequate project management, mutual understanding or respect, since negligence had delayed the projects to a fault. Another example of this was the Khananda Memorial project, because the IDT had said that the centre was 80% complete -- what had the remaining 20% entailed? Clarity was sought for the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct, as it was stated that merely phase 1 was complete, with total expenditure at more than R122 million, yet the document not only describes the project as complete in its totality, which was a discrepancy, but should the project be completed, it would be a few millions short of a billion rand. If so, what kind of a project was this? The magnitude of the cost for the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project was daunting. It was unconvincing that one project could amount to almost R1 billion on its own. Was it the IDT, the DPW, or both that should take responsibility for the litigation that had ensued for the relevant projects?
Dr Mulder likened the legacy project challenges to those of children who leave the control of parents and grow older, and yet still need financial assistance despite the loss of parental control. It appeared as though that might be the same problem within the legacy projects. Since the DAC had the ideas, the DPW funded them, but it was expected of the IDT to implement them, and as the ideas developed the sense of control was lost. Who was in control on site? Was the DAC expected to oversee the reality of the vision of the project on site? If one was to compare the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project with the other projects, it seemed six times larger in cost than the other projects. Would the end result be six times larger than the others? Also, why had the project initially been cited as complete, when it had subsequently been stated that phase 2 had begun? Had the initial master plan included a differentiation of phases, which were merely being cited now, or was the demarcation of phases unprecedented and been created as building was done? Had a Phase 2 been devised when the money ran out? It was difficult to accept that the planning of the amphitheatre had been done without a roof from the beginning, so the new plans to add a roof, which may cost an additional R500 million, was a concern. This posed the question: could the building stop now?
He asked what the R11.2 million cited for a DAC Project Management Office (PMO) entailed, according to the IDT’s documentation. The assumption was that it could pertain to administrative controls -- could clarity be given? What were the financial implications of the litigation related to the projects? Even though these matters were still in court and details could not be disclosed, could the spending of more money be considered a calculated risk, or would the outcomes be resolved soon? The longer the litigation continued, the greater the costs that would eventually be incurred.
The IDT had stated that “the DAC eventually cancelled all MOAs with the IDT in November 2016.”
Had this implied that work between the DAC and the IDT had been cancelled entirely? If so, what were the implications regarding prospective projects in the future between the two? Could the DAC attest if work would be done directly with the DPW, or would the projects be completed by the DAC on its own, as having had all MOAs cancelled was quite serious?
He said that inasmuch as the erection of new and beautiful buildings was an accomplishment, he wanted an assurance that the DAC would be designating officials to be responsible for their maintenance. It would be unpleasant should a situation arise that five years later the structures were eroding due to a lack of proper planning for maintenance.
Dr G Grootboom (DA) also highlighted the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project as a concern. Following thorough research of all of the documentation, there was no initial indication that the completion of the project would be conducted in phases. However, it had been established that the project was complete, and this had been confirmed by the IDT. The regulations of National Treasury had been revised as well, as during 2012/13 and 2013/14, R132 million had been allocated for the project. However, National Treasury did not have a budget allocation for the project during the financial years thereafter, which meant that according to Treasury the project was in essence complete. This raised the concern, that if the money paid on the project last year had been not derived from deferred payment, it was therefore wasteful expenditure or unauthorised expenditure, as the project was not captured in Treasury’s regulations as a legacy project for the DAC. Additionally, if one was to review the progress made on the project thus far, could one deduce whether any value for money was evident? For instance, if one were to spotlight the 16 maiden sleeping pods, how many people would be sleeping in a single maiden pod? If R500 million was required for the completion of the maiden pods, it would mean that a single maiden pod would cost approximately R30 million. This meant that Government was building a mansion worth R30 million per maiden pod. Yet the location was not situated within a central business district (CBD), which was usually more expensive than building in rural or arid areas, but each pod would cost an ostentatious R30 million. The funds to build were not incentivised, but were derived from budget allocations of the government. Surely, continuing with the project was devoid of logic. Something was evidently not right concerning it. Therefore, as other Members of the Committee had alluded, the DAC should cut its losses regarding the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project and stop further building on it. Its completion would cost the Government over R1 billion to complete.
The other aspect that added insult to injury was the problem around the issue of cultural land, which had not been clarified yet. If the designated location was indeed cultural land, building on it was wrong, because it had not belonged to Government in the first place, allowing it to take the liberty to erect structures on it. Additionally, the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project was a sole ethnic project. It was not a South African culture heritage project, such as the heritage monument in the Province of Gauteng that was a national project, and which encapsulated the national heritage. The Enyokeni project was culturally restricted to Zulu maidens only. Moreover the cultural practice it was built for occurred just once a year. It was not a tourist attraction and the public was not allowed access to the premises. Therefore the implications of the project were rather momentous, and it begged the question: Was someone holding a gun to the head of the then Acting Director General to demand its completion? Even the media had noted that the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project could possibly induce the same kind of crisis for the government as Nkandla had. Yet, in view of such a probability, neither the IDT nor the DPW could cite a total that it envisaged as the final cost incurred for the project.
Finally, the IDT had correctly cut funds for the National Monument in terms of financial impropriety, due to the forensic reports that had been submitted on it. However, the DG had proceeded to fund it even thereafter. What had been the motivation for it? Proven financial impropriety within financial reports had not stopped the continued allocation of funds, as it should have. The National Heritage Museum did not have any proven financial impropriety, but its funding had been severed.
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) said that since an oversight visit would take place at the premises of the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project, it was advisable that both the IDT and DPW make a presentation focused solely on it and display every rand and cent spent on it thus far. At face value, the structures already erected, such as the amphitheatre, did not appear to offer value for money. Spending R30 million per maiden pod was seemingly absurd. The Committee required a detailed report of every cent spent on the project. An example of expenditure was the newly built road, yet upon review of the photographs it was merely a gravel road that was inexpensive. If the road was indeed apart of the phase that required R500 million, should not its inclusion be reflected within a detailed presentation?
The Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project had occurred as a result of dumping unused funds from the year preceding. In other words, it was “fiscal dumping.” Thus, the project was originally unforeseen. The IDT had indicated the progress of the project as complete, yet later a “phase 2” had been cited. If the situation was that phase 1 was complete and phase 2 was to begin, such specifications should be duly stipulated, because omissions of such details were causing confusing and resulted in the lack of transparency. It should be remembered that once documentation was presented to the Portfolio Committee it became public information and was accessible on Parliamentary websites, thus scrutiny of its accuracy was at the public’s disposal. This detailed report should be made available before the oversight visit.
She asked what the rand value was of the 5% progress achieved on the Winnie Mandela House in Brandfort, Free State, and what the 5% progress had entailed. Members should be made aware that abuse and molestation of women had been reported. The current structure of the museum appeared as though no work had been done on it, or within the surrounding area. Even the signage outside of the museum had eroded. What was the total expenditure envisaged for the museum, and how much of it was supposed to have been spent to date? It was understood that working relations with the first contractors had gone sour. Contrary to the Enyokeni project, she expected an answer for the Winnie Mandela House now.
Returning to the Enyokeni project, she wanted to know how was it possible that the IDT had consented to taking on the task when the project had not even had a business plan at the beginning. The officials of IDT should have been sufficiently educated to know better. The principles of project management dictated that before any project was conducted, a business plan was required. How had the specifications been done without planning? Were guns held to the heads of the officials, as it was impractical that individuals held such senior positions yet disregarded fundamental aspects of project management?
The Chairperson said that the fundamental problem of the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project was the manner in which it had been presented to the IDT by the DAC. Had the DAC provided specifications, including anticipated dates of completion or timelines to which it expected adherence? What had the discussions between the IDT and the DAC entailed? Was there accompanying documentation, as any discussion amongst officials of Government should be able to be substantiated on paper and disclosed if necessary? How had the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project been devised by the DAC, because the more it was explained the less sense it made? How was it possible that building of the project had taken place even before it was granted approval by the Portfolio Committee? Also, although the DAC had an implementing agent for the Ingquza Hill museum project, it had proceeded to pay funds on it unbeknown to the IDT. At one stage, the DAC had paid the contractor R4.3 million directly. What was the motivation for such behaviour? The issue of ‘terms of reference’ had been raised several times during the deliberations. Was there a qualified team in the Department that could devise the terms of reference as needed? Were the IDT or DPW, or both, dealing with the Imbozeni project, because it had had serious structural problems, and the Committee would require accounting for the structural erosion of the facility?
Mr Vusuthembisa Ndima, Director General, DAC, said that the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project had originated from a discussion with His Zulu Majesty for accommodation.
The Chairperson interrupted, saying that the Portfolio Committee preferred substantiation by means of documentation that reflected the particulars discussed in conversations and decisions made, as opposed to verbal citation of happenstances, since they could not be justified. The more the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project was explained, the less its story seemed believable.
Mr Ndima replied that he could not give the exact dates of the interaction off the top of his head, and asked if the DAC could provide the information in writing after the meeting. The point that was important was that the Enyokeni project had been mainly about accommodation. However, it seemed that the root of problem stemmed from assuming responsibility for the project, because in so doing the project had changed its character. Subsequently, an amphitheatre and royal square had been added, despite it not being in the original planning. Then there had been the plan to build the maiden pods. The report received indicated that the type of soil had been investigated first for purposes of construction, and the outcome was that it was inappropriate to build on it. Therefore, the soil had been unearthed and other soil had been brought in from elsewhere, as this would affect the structural integrity. It was then realised that the project would take a long time complete, because additions became applicable, such as the VIP arena and so forth. The royal square had been built with the intention to inscribe the various Zulu kings throughout history. The amphitheatre had had a VIP section added thereafter. The DAC was uncertain if the amphitheatre was originally intended to be enclosed with a roof or not. However, the urge for this had come at a later stage, followed by a need for a kitchen, changing rooms and other facilities. The DAC had therefore resorted to outlining phases, which had initially been omitted. The amphitheatre currently looked better, due to the tent surrounding it.
Dr Grootboom suggested that the hiring of the tent could cost between R35 000 and R50 000 per month, so it could not be described as though it were a permanent structure.
The Acting Chairperson asked if the tent was permanently used, or used only on the day that the pictures were taken.
Mr Ndima answered that the tent was used temporarily, such as for the purpose of a rain dance.
The Acting Chairperson asked that if so, the tent had been installed at the expense othe f DAC, which meant it should be explained to the Portfolio Committee, as a rain dance would take place over the weekend.
Dr Mulder said that there was an impression that the Enyokeni project was a ‘chicken and egg situation’. Normally there was a master plan that was reviewed before any construction took place and budgeting was based on it. Even homeowners should have access to a master plan of their houses, so if renovations were needed it could be consulted first. Therefore, if funds ran dry before the renovations were completed, it was indicative that the planning was initially poor. Planning should be first, budgeting next and then building started, as opposed to the other away around.
Ms Mogotsi commented that usually before any construction took place, architects were consulted with master plans, and these were reviewed whenever changes were done. At what point had the original master plan of the project been lost? Where had the directive stemmed from to have two kitchens, and then add another kitchen thereafter? Even so, the IDT had extended its project management services as a means of facilitating the project to its reality, which meant that it should have had a copy of the master plan as well. Surely within the meetings that the IDT had had with the DAC there had been discussions on phase 1, followed by the next phase onwards, as it should not have been unplanned that the division of phases had occurred in the first place. Therefore, if the amphitheatre was done, there should have been mutual understanding that it was complete, as opposed to the addition of a roof unilaterally decided upon after its supposed completion. If additions were later made because it was an essential aspect, but initially omitted -- for instance, the order of seating -- such would denote that the original master plan and planning were faulty.
The Acting Chairperson asked the DAC, that when additions were decided upon, who was responsible for them? Had decision for additions been derived from the client, the implementing agency or the Department itself? Specific facts about the development of decisions made should be collated for the Portfolio Committee. This information should include the master plans and plans with specifications of additions by either the IDT or DPW.
It was imperative that the Committee was accurately informed about the particulars of accountability, so that responsibility would not be shifted when called into account for serious matters, such as the inflation of expenditure for instance. Maiden pods, if they were expensive, usually cost R300 each. Thus, what kind of maiden pods were these that would cost approximately R30 million each? The details outlining the expenditure and accounting for the colossal price should be submitted to the Committee.
Mr Ndima said that all of the elements cited as additions had not originally been planned for. Admittedly, the DAC adjudicated a responsibility for itself that it was not supposed to. The master plan had so many components, which the DAC could attest had not beenoriginally requested. Examples of these additions were the practice fields, the amphitheatre for public viewing, various arenas, the formalised arrival point, the royal palace, a new private road, the proposed area for multifunctional and multicultural buildings to accommodate VIP guests, VIP reception offices, the VIP amphitheatre, luxury residence and galleries, boulevard, centre of gravity, Royal Square, threshold to 16 maidens sleeping zones and support facilities, maiden sleeping zones, semi-public parking and services with paving in the front, the existing power station, public parking, a street boulevard with widened side walks, area for the public library and multi-functional hall, the HIV/Aids centre, academic facilities with specialised learning and student accommodation, the existing school to be linked, as well as private lodges and game reserves, to name some of the additions. All of these were not listed between the original planning and requests. Thus, the issue of consequence management might be a concern in all of this, as the officials responsible for consenting to these additions were facing court action.
The DAC was at a crossroads to decide what further must be done regarding the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project, as it was at a point that was beyond the original planning. However, the others questions had to be answered next. Had a gun been held to ADG head for the sake of consenting to the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct? No, no-one had held a gun to the head of the ADG or anyone else involved in the project from the outset, or for the sake of adding utility value to it. The Portfolio Committee could be assured that the DAC could walk away from the project, as advised by some Committee Members. However, should the project be abandoned at this stage, it would result in wasteful and fruitless expenditure, because the facility would be left without any use. The officials of the DAC did not have any personal investment in the project. However, if a clear directive was given that the DAC should walk away from the, it would be followed.
The Acting Chairperson interrupted, saying that the directive for the halting of the project should derive from those who had appropriated the budget, as government officials, including the executive, did not have the authority to do so. Parliamentarians were authorised to decide the halting of a project, as Parliament was the ultimate authority that appropriated budgets. Thus, should the Members of the Committee issue a directive to walk away from the project, the DAC must adhere to it, as funds could not continue to be allocated for it. It was pleasing that the matter had been taken to the courts as a means of remedial action. However, the fundamental concern, as raised by fellow Members, was that the DAC had kept on planning further for a project that was a disaster since its beginning, and the greater the confusion that had ensued, the more planning had taken place.
The Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project required a whole day for deliberation, as the pieces of information received on it thus far did not serve the purpose of clarity at all. Nevertheless, the honourable option regarding it would be for the DAC to walk away from it, as opposed to
accounting for matters that it had clearly failed to do effectively, otherwise expenditure would amount to R1 billion. The Committee was interested in the value for money that should have been obtained from the funds that were already spent. The DAC should also be forewarned that should the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project continue, there would be an expectation that the same should be done within the Eastern Cape for the isiXhosa clan. In fairness, Limpopo would require the same cultural esteem. North West Province was waiting too.
Dr Mulder added that the Afrikaners were waiting for such cultural upliftment as well.
Dr Grootboom added that fairness would equate to cultural comprehension and esteem for Capetonians also.
The Acting Chairperson continued that every South African culture was awaiting such esteem, and if R1 billion could be spent solely on Zulu expression, surely the DAC should have considered the probability of repercussions due to the lack of fair cultural celebration. Officials would be burdened with the inevitable task of acquiring R1 billion per culture and/or identity within South Africa, particularly for those with historical precedence. Before such a national debacle happened, thought should be given to end the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project now. The officials of the DAC should consider cultural equity and evaluate the project with tact in relation to the diversity of South Africa. Even more so, as the additions, extravagant in nature, were originally unplanned for, and its budget appropriations were pending approval by the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture. Construction could not get under way without permission from Parliament.
Mr Ndima said he appreciated the commentary on the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project.
He clarified the situation at the National Heritage Monument. The DAC had sought multiple resolutions simultaneously, of which the portion allocated for the National Heritage Monument had been set aside so that it would not be caught flatfooted. Thus, the DAC was attempting to follow due processes, and it should be highlighted that there was no subjectivity among the allocations.
Mr Makoto Matlala, Chief Financial Officer, DAC, said that the MOAs with the IDT had been terminated by the DAC, fully aware that some projects were incomplete. As the handover processes were done, the IDT had submitted all of the procurement documentation that reflected outstanding service providers. The DAC had reviewed the documentation as means of determining if the relevant supply chain processes had been duly satisfied. Even the construction company that had been appointed had had its compliance verified, as the Accounting Officer at the time had to ensure payment only once the due processes were confirmed with compliance. This would apply to other projects for handover going forward as well -- compliance preceded payment.
The Acting Chairperson handed over to the Chairperson.
The Chairperson said that regarding the Enyokeni project, the DG was in a position to acquaint himself with the happenings of the Department. The Portfolio Committee had noted many times before that decisions made today might haunt tomorrow. Therefore, if a project was exclusive to the needs of one cultural group, the same extent of project-bias was expected for everyone else. In the past, the DAC had been taken to the Public Protector for its lack of fairness in project execution, such as the elevation of one cultural identity/representation at the expense of another identity. It was therefore essential that officials of the DAC applied their minds regarding the diversity of South Africans and ensuring cultural equity, since civil society was scrutinising the actions of government under a microscope.
Mr Pakade said cognisance had been taken that the Members of the Committee wanted a detailed report of the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct project including its master plan, an outline of the expenditure and accounting for the available or prospective funds. He admitted that the slide that indicated the project as complete, was partially incorrect -- it was Phase 1 that was complete, as opposed to the project in its entirety.
The role of the IDT, once legacy projects were taken by the DAC, was one of responsibility for execution. Thus, as challenges arose, abdication was not opted for. Instead, the approach had been to devise solutions to ensure that ultimately the project was completed. As an implementing agent, the IDT had a particular service model and a clear approach in terms of implementing projects -- the planning, the execution and completion. First and foremost, an approach plan was done with the client, followed by a proper assessment and feasibility studies indicating the likelihood of costs. Procurement processes followed these once approval was given. Due to the interactive approach of supply chain and procurement, the IDT should take some responsibility for issues that had surfaced, creating doubt or confusion among the Committee Members, such as the finalisation of budget allocations.
Regarding the reports submitted to the IDT, snippets of details were merely shared, so the omissions should be sought by the DG of the DAC going forward. Subsequently, the CEO and the Board of the IDT would be privy to details, as enablement for advancement. Additionally, consequence management would be implemented accordingly. However, some elements of the project were historical, which meant that some officials might no longer be available for accountability.
Regarding the Winnie Mandela House, payments had been made for technical work within the planning, so the difference could not be seen with the physical eyes.
Mr Stephen Ntsandeni, General Manager, IDT, suggested that a detailed expenditure report on the Winnie Mandela House should be given in writing to the Portfolio Committee. Written details were better comprehended, as opposed to a verbal summary, because critical details might be lost. It could be assured that extensive master plans detailing all costs since the Enyokeni project’s inception to current expenditure were available.
The Chairperson asked where the master plan derived from?
Mr Pakade answered that the architects had developed the master plan, based on the brief that was provided by the client.
The Chairperson asked if the client was the Department? If so, it was right that all of the information should be submitted, including His Zulu Majesty’s letter that had initially requested the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct. The Portfolio Committee required the complete breakdown for clarity, preceding the oversight visit on 14 September. Additional deliberation on the project would take place on 12 September. The written information that had been requested was to be submitted before 12pm on 14 September.
Mr Pakade commented that once the “elephant in the room” was dealt with, it would be easier to answer the balance of the questions. However, a number of the issues highlighted were historical. Thus, much effort had been made with the DPW to align the work with both the national and provincial departments. This was as a result of the working protocol agreement that the IDT had. Direct engagements took place with the client, which was the DAC. This would answer the query about the proposed alignment, if any, of work conducted by the IDT and DPW.
The Khananda Memorial Project might be an instance in which the specification was initially approved but altered during early construction, as changes usually occurred when climate conditions were later taken into consideration. The general principle was that an evaluation process was followed. Once both of the steering committees that were managing the projects took the recommendations, it would exercise caution not to implement the changes automatically without following the channels of due process.
Regarding the strikes and riots that had hindered project delivery, the details could not currently be cited. However, it was known that serious politics was involved. There was immense tension between the communities with the local council.
Most of the questions around the Enyokeni project should be addressed by means of a written report. The report would also explain the breakdown of professional fees, where there was the concern of the R11 million spent on the PMO.
It had been asked if the IDT was in trouble due to the litigation. Any form of litigation was troublesome in itself, but the remedy would be sought with the DG going forward. The professional assessment of the work done had noted that the IDT had disagreed with the consultants’ fees. Following the litigation, a certain rate would be settled, as the Court determined. The work had been completed and the quality was not disputed, but the ultimate total that had been billed was a matter of contention. Admittedly, a challenge might stem from the contractor himself. Should the contractor clearly indicate the material used and costs involved, the outstanding balances would be settled.
The Chairperson said that the Committee needed clarity on what the litigation dispute was about. How much had been budgeted for the legalities of the dispute, and how much was foreseen for the construction company?
Mr Pakade clarified that if it was 2012/13, there might have been a budget at the time that allocated funds for a particular project, but the allocations had since been reprioritized due to funds that were not utilised. Unused funds of the current year, in addition to funds spent, were based on an estimation of the prior financial year. The current unused funds based on the estimations were with the Department.
The Chairperson asked if the DAC had the unused money?
Mr Pakade answered that IDT had access to funds only as they were being spent.
The Chairperson asked the CFO of the DAC if the unused money of the estimations were within his office?
Mr Ntsandeni explained the breakdown of funds spent on the Winnie Mandela House Museum. To date, R383 000 had been spent on the architect, which was for the completion of the architectural design. R36 000 had been spent on a surveyor; R56 000 for the services of a civil engineer. The contractor had been paid only R117 000 for the foundations at the time of termination. However, 10% of the contractor services were withheld.
The Chairperson commented that this was wasteful and fruitless expenditure.
Dr Mulder said that the broader picture should be taken cognisance of, which was that work was ideally being done for 55 million South Africans. However, the Winnie Mandela House project was merely R3 million, while the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct had already had R138 million spent on it. The women of Bloemfontein had been asking for R2 to R3 million for a cultural project, but they were perpetually declined on the basis of no funds. How could denial for their cultural expression be contextualised in the inequity that hundreds of millions had been partially allocated to one cultural group?
Mr Butcher Matutle, Deputy Director General, DPW, said it had been found that the structural integrity
of the project was suspect, and this had required consideration of new measures.
The Chairperson asked if it had been shared that a structural problem existed?
Mr Ngcobo answered that currently the information on the structural problems were unknown. The User Demand Department of the DPW was merely presenting the situation, indicating expenditure less the 10%. Thus, before the final payment was made, inspection took place to verify its completion.
Dr Grootboom expressed amazement, as the impression given on site was one of transparency.
Ms Tseloli said that the problems currently cited had arisen beforehand, such as the problem of the structures. Yet the report by the DPW indicated that maintenance of structures was done by itself and not by the clients. If maintenance had actually been done by the DPW, within a few hours it could be seen at face value that the maintenance had been lacking and was long overdue. Even though the Members of the Committee were not qualified engineers the maintenance required was easily visible during on site visits. This was simply unacceptable.
The Chairperson asked the DAC if it was aware of any structural problem within the project.
Mr Ndima replied that DAC was aware of structural problems in the project. The National Department of Public Works was awaiting the plans from the Provincial Department of Public Works, as that particular structure was done by the Provincial DPW. During the collaboration, it had been discovered that the available amphitheatre could no longer be used, since the structure was no longer solid. The plans had subsequently been revisited. Whenever intervention was required the plans of the provincial department were resorted too. As it currently stood, the project could not be deemed as complete, because much work was yet required on it.
The Chairperson noted that if the DAC was saying that the structure belonged to the province, how much had it given for the structure to be built, if any funds had been given?
Mr Ndima answered that DAC had, indeed, given funds for the structure, of which were not currently on hand. However, it was a Provincial Department initiative, which was supported by DAC.
The Chairperson commented that DAC had the tendency to act first and then consider thinking afterwards, which was a serious problem. Another critical problem was the lack of communication within the Department, because officials were working in silos. For instance, if an issue of heritage arose, those working in libraries would be unhelpful, giving the excuse that heritage was not “their space and had nothing to do with them”, yet heritage could be preserved and promoted through libraries.
The Chairperson concluded that the new management should not fail to correct the problems in the next two months. The Department of Public Works had to provide a list of all of the projects that it was doing with the Department of Arts and Culture.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Independent Development Trust presentation
- DAC & IDT Engagement an the Legacy Projects Presentation
- DAC: Enyokeni Cultural Precinct Presentation
- DAC: PanSALB Judgment : M. Madiba & Others // Minister of Arts and Culture and Others Presentation
- Department of Public Works presentation
- South African Roadies Association SARA: Department of Arts and Culture presentation
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.