The Committee met to receive a briefing by the Department of Arts and Culture on their 2018/19 Annual Performance Plan.
The Minister noted that the Department celebrated the month of April as it was the month of the birth or the passing of many liberation activists and artists, and icons who had shaped the culture and history of the country. The Department had launched a Trust Fund to promote the self-sufficiency of those icons who were still alive. The Department would be investing in the country’s film industry as the industry could contribute fundamentally to the economic growth of the country. The Minister assured the Committee that the Department had been engaging in extensive research and was better equipped to implement its plans for the year.
The Department of Arts and Culture presented the Annual Performance Plan and the budget. The Copyright Amendment Bill to protect artists would receive special attention. 80% of the R4.3 billion budget was transferred directly to projects and entities under the auspices of the Department. Almost half the budget would go to the programme of heritage promotion and preservation. A substantial amount of funding went to the building and equipping of libraries. The allocation for PanSALB was earmarked, as well as that of the National Film and Video Foundation. Funds were set aside to complete the restoration of the Winnie Mandela House in Brandfort. The Department emphasised that it had ensured that it did not commit to targets that it could not fulfil with the resources at its disposal.
In response to the Department’s presentation, the Committee essentially raised concerns of clarity with regards to how the Department would spend the allocated budget within respective areas. The Committee emphasized the significance of the Department engaging and being representatives of its stakeholders. The Committee asked how the Department would apply relevant and necessary mechanisms to avoid the misuse of funds.
The Committee met to receive a presentation from the Department on the Annual Performance Plan for 2018/19.
The Chairperson noted that she was conflicted about the fact that that was the last meeting the Committee was having with the Department on an APP. However, it was good to know that she would not be involved in discussing the same issues, repeatedly, with the Department. It had been a struggle to oversee the Department of Arts and Culture. She recalled that the Department had discussed the Winnie Mandela House in 2014 and now she had passed but the project on her house was not finalised. In 2018, they were talking about the same issue as in 2014. She was flogged, as the Chairperson, because the Department was nowhere to be seen.
The Chairperson compared her notes from previous years to date, and said it was sad that the Department had become repetitive. She appreciated instances where the Department had responded to the Committee. The Department needed to be held accountable for entities and projects which received 80% of the budget.
She welcomed the Minister of Arts and Culture.
Remarks by the Minister of Arts and Culture
Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture, requested an opportunity to remark on few matters of importance. That month was a significant one as it related to some icons who had had a fundamental influence on the landscape of Arts and Culture and Heritage in the country. Maya Angelo and Hugh Masekela were born in April, Solomon Mahlangu and Chris Hani were assassinated in the same month. The Minister had considered those facts, when he and other SADC regional Ministers had met and committed to raising awareness about the liberation struggle by popularizing the recorded account of the liberation movement, which was part of the resistance and heritage of the country.
On Monday 23 April, the Department had launched the Living Legends Legacy Trust Fund, which was intended to stimulate the self-sufficiency of South African artists, especially legends, and to honour those legends whilst they were still alive. R 20 million had been committed towards that cause. The Department was also hosting Usiba awards at the end of the month to celebrate the contributions of many to the Arts in the country.
The Department had approached the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) to conduct research into the film industry and how DAC could pick up on that industry. The film industry had a potential to be a catalyst for the country’s economic growth. Hollywood and Bollywood, for example, contributed significantly toward the economy in their respective countries.
Lastly, with regards to the Annual Performance Plan, there wasn’t a scientific way of coming up with targets and the Department had hosted a workshop with the theme of setting targets specifically and one of the things said in the workshop was that the Department should not take on more than it could manage or produce. The Department was currently at a better place to pursue and achieve its targets as there was more clarity on what had to be done, particularly on the issue of the targets.
The Chairperson thanked Minster Mthethwa and asked if any of the Members would like to engage with what has been said.
Ms V Mogotsi (ANC) asked what exactly the Department was doing to oversee the film industry. Was the Department only going to be involved financially with the film industry?
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) thanked the Minister and relayed her interest in the research done by SACO and asked whether the research was still in process or was it finished. Her interest was particularly motivated by a group of artists who had contacted her on how to start a film commission themselves as the Department was not moving. There should be one Department that dealt with the film industry, and that Department should be Arts and Culture. The film industry was currently fragmented and needed to be consolidated for any progress to be possible. Also, the Department should focus on and familiarize itself with the struggles of the artists as workers. The fifth Parliament should take that issue very seriously.
The Chairperson said that, essentially, the Committee was requesting that in areas where different departments were involved, the DAC should play its role fully. Secondly, what was the Department doing to ensure the protection of artists who were the stakeholders of the Department? The voices of the stakeholders had to be heard in the relevant issues. For instance, had the Department engaged with the stakeholders regarding the adoption of the Performers Protection Amendment Bill?
The Chairperson asked the Minister to respond to the questions raised.
Mr Mthethwa said that the film industry was a shared responsibility, one which could not be taken by only the DAC. The DAC should not be expected to address issues which were other people’s responsibilities. The Labour Law and suitable sanctions addressing the violation of workers’ rights were in place for those found guilty. There were people employed to guard and inspect such areas.
With regards to the SACO research, it was not entirely complete as it did not take into consideration the transformation aspect of the film industry. Issues of racism within the film industry were yet to be addressed. The Department had asked SACO to tackle that aspect before concluding the research. The victimization of workers was a systematic issue and indeed the DAC should do its best to assist.
The Chairperson emphasised that the Committee was saying nothing should be done without consulting the stakeholders and that the Department was in the best place to make sure that the voices of the stakeholders were heard. The Department of Trade and Industry was the lead player of the Performers Amendment Bill, but the DAC should be at the centre as it affected the stakeholders of the Department. That Bill should not be passed without taking into consideration the affected DAC Members.
Matters Arising from the previous meeting
The Chairperson said that PACOFS was facing major challenges at the time and when the Portfolio Committee had met with them the previous week, it had not been satisfied with the responses that it had received from PACOFS. The institution needed more intensive attention and the problems needed to be resolved as soon as possible. She requested that the secretary read the minutes of the council meetings of PACOFS.
Ms Ajabulile Mtiya, Committee Secretary, informed the Committee that the minutes had been received only that morning, just prior to the Committee meeting. Additionally, there was a warning from the secretary that the minutes were poorly captured and were not reflective of all the resolutions that had been passed.
Ms Tsoleli said that the situation at PACOFS was really bad. The human resource manager had been unfairly dismissed and had taken PACOFS to the CCMA. There was also the case of the leaked voice note which had exposed that the manager had, indeed, been dismissed unfairly, and all the charges had been mandated by the board. It was unclear whether the Department really was overseeing PACOFS because it was alarming that the conflict in PACOFS had not been anticipated. The tension was escalating in the community and there were risks of violence. The Department needed to act immediately. What was more disturbing was the council members who had misled the Committee in reporting the situation at PACOFS.
The Chairperson assured the Committee that the legal unit would be contacted concerning the council member who had misled the Committee. The behaviour of giving misleading information would not be accepted by the Committee.
Mr G Grootboom (DA) said that what had happened to the City Hall should be taken as an example of the Department not listening. The issue of PACOFS should not be taken lightly, especially the threat of violence. He asked what had happened with PACOFS since the previous week.
The Chairperson asked the Department to respond on that matter.
Mr Vusumzi Mkhize, Director-General said that that the issue of PACOFS has been a pre-occupation of the Department. A new board had been appointed to devise a strategy to remedy the situation at PACOFS. The Department had agreed to monitor the turn-around strategy. However, the Minister had attempted several times to meet with the Board, but certain members of the board were unavailable to meet. He had asked his colleague to brief the Committee on the meeting held with PACOFS the past weekend to evaluate the tone and the problem at the institution.
The DAC official shared insight in the meeting. The board was on the verge of dysfunctionality, with poor attendance of critical board members. The issue of the unfair dismissal was still primal. The space had not been conducive for a productive formal meeting.
Mr T Makondo (ANC) said that he had not grasped the exact problem at PACOFS and, in order for the Committee and the Department to intervene, they had to diagnose the problem at PACOFS correctly. That would make it easier to know where and how to assist with PACOFS, or the problem would persist.
The Chairperson asked if any of the Members wished to contribute.
Minister Mthethwa interjected, warning against the consequences of extensively elaborating at that moment and proposed that further discussion take place after he had met with the council.
Ms Kelebogile Sethibelo, DDG: Institutional Governance at the Department of Arts and Culture, responded that the issue of the conduct of the chairperson of the PACOFS council had been raised in the meeting.
Before Ms Sethibelo could continue, Minister Mthethwa informed the Committee that the meeting was being recorded and he was worried about the legal consequences of speaking further on the matter. He suggested that the Committee did not go into detail. He advised that the problem at PACOFS was being handled at a strategic level and needed to be left to that level. PACOFS also had issues at an operational level that were influenced by the political level of the leadership in PACOFS. He proposed that he be allowed to meet with the council first and report back to the Committee.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister and said that PACOF was a matter of concern to the Committee and the Department as well. The Director-General was asked to tell the Committee about the Annual Performance Plan (APP) that had been sent back.
Mr Mkhize explained that the APP document had been updated in such a manner that it spoke to the various programs of the APP. The new document had been strengthened and spoke more to the activities the Department planned to execute.
The Chairperson said that the issue of interviews for the board members of PanSALB was the function of the Committee. The interviews had to happen before the Committee left Parliament, but the Committee was waiting for the legal unit to complete its work. She asked if any reports had been received on the recommendations made by the Committee.
Ms Ajabulile informed the Committee that only two recommendations had been received.
The Chairperson asked if there was a policy that protected or safeguarded the safety of artists.
Minister Mthethwa said that safeguarding the artists would be a duplication as there were labour laws for such issues and they were the responsibility of the Department of Labour. Moreover, the White Paper dealt with such matters and was the basis for policy formulation.
The Chairperson replied that the abuse was real in the acting sector and actors were scared to talk, scared of being victimized. It was important for such stakeholders to be aware of the legal help that was available. The Department needed to raise awareness of the present laws to protect the actors.
Ms Mogotsi said that the basic Labour Law Acts were not sufficient to protect artists. The Department needed to be practical and hands-on with issues facing artists. The artists could approach the Department of Labour and complete the relevant documentation, but the DAC ought to be there all the way with the artist.
Minister Mthethwa said that he heard what the Members were saying. However, the Committee had to understand that their public lives were regulated. The DAC could conduct awareness programmes, but that would not be the solution. As the fundamental issue was not whether the actors knew about their rights or not. It was the fear of being side-lined and systematically victimized. There were systematic issues within the industry itself that needed to be dealt with.
The Chairperson asked when the issue of systematic victimization in the film industry would be addressed by the Department. The Minister kept referring to the White Paper, but that document had yet to be seen by the Committee. Even the Department has been referring to it since 2014. Everything the Committee asked the Department hinged on the White paper.
The Minister said that the Committee had to be commended for pushing the Department and assured Members that the White Paper was close to finality. It was not true that every issue that the Committee had raised with the Department related to the White Paper.
Presentation of the Annual Performance Plan 2018/19 by the Department of Arts and Culture
Mr Vusumzi Mkhize, Director-General, DAC, began by presenting the mandate of the DAC in terms of the Constitution. The NDP's highlighted five sets of long-term goals for South Africa which would encourage knowledge of the Constitution and fostering constitutional values. The goals included the equalling of opportunities, promoting inclusion and redress through community conversations on social cohesion and nation building, establishing of sourcing enterprise and the Art Bank of South Africa, the inclusion of African languages in official correspondence, depending on the top three dominant languages in each province.
The legislative framework looked to that which regulated the Department’s work; the Acts which bound the Department to carry out its mandate. The Department could not complete its mandate without certain enablers. No work could be done without the proper government structure, the development of human capital, infrastructure, partnerships and funding.
But the pillars at the centre of the work were the arts and culture promotion and development, heritage promotion and preservation, nation building and social cohesion, access to information, and language development and promotion, which would all create an enabling environment for arts and culture to thrive. The Generic UNESCO Cultural Development Cycle guided the Department’s work at every stage of the social development cycle.
The SWOT Analysis aimed to address some of the challenges the Committee had pointed out to previously that influenced the effectiveness of the APP. The challenges were presented, and the Department had proposed ways in which those challenges could be addressed. The Living Legends Trust Fund was also a plan of the Department to protect the rights of artists help them sustain themselves.
The Department also took seriously the Copyright Amendment Bill being developed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to help protect the rights of artists. The Department was engaging with the DTI.
The Department needed to strengthen all capacities and levels of organizational structures. The human resource capacity was in specific need of a lot of attention in the Department.
Mr Makola Matlala, CFO at DAC, spoke on the Department’s budget, first noting that as Mr Mkhize had stated, that the Department was serious about only committing to targets that it had the capability to achieve, while looking at the available resources.
DAC had originally received a budget of R4.4 billion to be shared between the various entities of the Department. Included in the amount, was the allocation for the Conditional Grant to provincial governments and the Departmental baseline. The budget had been reduced and the new allocation for the Department was R4.3 billion.
Only 20% of the budget allocation was spent within the DAC as 80% was spent on subsidies and transfers. 39% went to public entities, while the building of libraries took up 33%.
DAC produced a detailed allocation per programme. Programme 1 Administration received R 300.8 million. Programme 2, Institutional Governance received R 416 million. Programme 3 Economic Classifications had been allocated 895.5 million. Programme 4 had received R306 million while the heritage promotion and preservation programme took up almost half of the Department’s budget with R2.4 billion. In the public entities, there was an earmarked allocation for the National Film and Video Foundation which could only be used for film subsidies and development. The allocation for PanSALB was also earmarked.
The Chairperson invited Members to ask questions and make comments.
Ms Mogotsi referred to the infrastructure management and said that the Department had to be transparent about the organisational structure of the project. In terms of regular expenditure, what would happen when things went wrong with the appointed task team that the presenter had referred to? What was the current situation with the work study? When would the final product be available? As part of the Communication and Marketing strategy, did the Department make physical appearances in the communities?
Mr T Makondo (ANC) was concerned about the social cohesion project. He asked what sort of projects those were and what was being done. There needed to be a contextual development of what the social cohesion was about if the Committee was to support it. The programme of the libraries, especially, was a worthwhile cause, especially for disadvantaged communities such those in Limpopo. How did the APP relate to the panel that had been elected by the Department for legislation? The issue of the resistance and the liberation programme mentioned earlier by the Minister was not reflected in the APP and that signalled inconsistency. Lastly, with regards to the targets set by the Department, why were there 36 as opposed to 65?
The Chairperson asked for an expansion of the reduced targets. What targets had been taken away to reduce the number from 65 to 36 targets. There needed to be more clarity on the Indoni project as it was not clear whether it was a national or provincial programme. The document recorded a national allocation of R10 million, and also a provincial allocation of R10 million. What was the basis of the amounts allocated? Were they based on business plans presented?
Mr G Grootboom (DA) asked for an expansion on the library programmes. How come were there no library resources included in the budget? There was no allocation for the purchase of library material. Concerning the cultural art centres, how many art centres would be built?
The Chairperson was concerned about the money that had been allocated for the Winnie Mandela House, and asked the Department if they thought R2.8 million would suffice for the restoration and the building museum.
The Chairperson asked the Department to respond to the questions presented by the Members
Mr Mkhize responded on the organisational structure of the infrastructure management. The Department encouraged specialisation of labour. However, it would be a consolidated structure. The Department consistently monitored the integrity of the structure. On the risk management question raised, the Department agreed that that was an issue of importance and it had evaluated those risks.
The Chairperson interjected with a comment that the Department’s entities had deeper issues than what met the eye.
Mr Mkhize responded to the question on the liberation programme. The museum that was to be built was part of the liberation project. The projects could not yet to be located. The strategy that the Department had adopted was to work out the projects first before locating them. On the issue of libraries, as raised by Mr Grootboom, he stated that the amount reflected in the document for the building of libraries included both the building and the buying of materials for the library. With regards to the basis of funding, it was given on thorough monitoring and convincing business plans. On the Winnie Mandela house and the financial concerns raised by the Chairperson, he informed her that the Department believed that, for the size of the museum and costs in the industry, the amount was adequate. However, the Department could not be certain whether, as the construction developed, there would be evidence of under- budgeting.
Mr Makondo asked exactly what had been done in the house in Brandfort, and how the R1.8 million had been spent.
Mr V Mkhize stated that the money had been spent on the contractors for the foundation of the building which had cost R180 000. There was also an amount paid to the architect of about R476 000. The Committee would be briefed further, but some of the money could be accounted for, regardless of low levels of satisfaction.
Mr Makondo asked what the Department would do differently to avoid that behaviour of not spending money in an effective matter.
The Department said that it would be hands-on with regards to the project and the money involved. There was a Steering Committee that would deal specifically with the spending.
Ms Mogotsi asked what legal actions would be taken against IDC and the misspending of funds. Were they going to recover the misused money?
A member from the Department responded that there was currently a legal process dealing with the matter of misuse of funds.
Ms L Ndabankulu, Chief of Staff, DAC, said the Department had looked at the proposal in the White Paper but also to be pro-active, it had looked at the model of the Iziko Museum, and the Market Theatre in terms of Almaga Nation for reference. The Department was exploring the Almaga Nation of those entities. The Department had allocated R5 million for social cohesion building.
Mr T Makondo warned of the duplication of objectives which was a waste of resources of the Department.
The Department informed the Committee that the final document of the work study would be presented at the year of the financial year.
The Chairperson said that the questions that had not been responded to should be responded to in writing. She thanked the Department on behalf of the Committee and emphasized the importance of making the Department’s stakeholders feel important and protected.
The meeting was adjourned.
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