The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture briefed the Select Committee on the Vision of the Department of Arts and Culture on the Annual Performance Plan.
She stated that in the 2018/19 financial year the majority of the Department of Arts and Culture’s programmes will be aligned with such important milestones as the centenary of Mr Nelson Mandela and Ms Albertina Sisulu’s birth, and the hosting of the BRICS Summit and the BRICS Film Festival by South Africa in July 2018. In the 2017/18 financial year, the Department had performed poorly in the Development and Review of Political Legislations as well as Gender Equity in the Workplace. The Department’s envisaged areas of improvement in 2018/19 would include the Departmental Mandate and Expenditure of the Budget.
The Acting Director General briefed the Committee on the Department’s 2018/19 Annual Performance Plan. Firstly, the Department had conducted a SWOT Analysis highlighting the challenges it faces as well as the interventions to overcome these challenges. One of the challenges highlighted was monitoring expenditure (under/over spending) and the intervention effected here was the establishment of a Budget Advisory Committee chaired by the Director General where Programme Managers will present their spending patterns and account on their Programme’s budget.
Secondly, the Minister has established a 10 Point Plan of priorities which include Nation building, Social Cohesion and dealing with the challenges of Racism, Xenophobia, Racial Intolerance, Hate Speech and others as one of the priorities.
Thirdly, the number of targets in the Department’s Annual Performance Plan was reduced from 65 in 2017/18 to 36 in 2018/19. One of the reasons provided for the reduction was that the Department removed the targets over which they have no control, those that were purely operational and the Medium Term Strategic Framework targets achieved.
Fourthly, in line with some of its strategic goals and objectives, the Department was set to support various flagship events, community library projects, social cohesion projects and capacity building Programmes.
The Chief Financial Officer briefed the Committee on the Department’s Budget and Expenditure Plan. The Department was allocated R4 491 651 for the 2018/19 financial year. Following several reductions to contribute to the Free Education Initiative, the Department was left with a final budget of R4 372 264. On the expenditure of the budget, 20% (R873 million) of the funds are spent within the Department, of which 9% (R387 million) was allocated to Goods and Services, 6% (R254 million) to Compensation of Employees, 5% (R218 million) to Heritage Assets, 0% (R8 million) to Machinery and Equipment, and 0% (R6 million) to Software. 80% (R3 449 billion) of the funds are transferred to the public entities and provinces and are therefore spent outside the Department. Of the 80% spent outside of the Department; 39% (R1 707 billion) was allocated to Department Agencies, 33% (R1 424 billion) to Provinces, 4% (R179 million) to Non-Profit Institutions, 4% (R156 million) to Public Corporations, 0% (R21 million) to Households, 0% (R7 million) to Higher Education, and 0% (R5 million) to Foreign Governance.
Committee Members were concerned about the issues which the Department has faced for the last four years and feared that the Department does not take the meeting as well as their advice seriously. They asked about the reduction of targets in the Department’s Annual Performance Plan and sought clarity on projects which are implemented but not found in the Annual Performance Plan. Is the Annual Performance Plan a living document? Does the Department consider what the Committee says? Members questioned the impartiality of the Department when allocating funds for the support of flagship events as well as libraries.
Members felt that the Department favours certain provinces over others and that they are also treated differently from the Members of the Portfolio Committee.
Members were also concerned about the exclusion of certain groups such as disadvantaged people and Black South Africans in the capacitation of public service institutions as well as in providing access to projects that offer monetary benefits respectively. Lastly, the Members emphasised that the Department needs to capacitate its Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation unit as most of its problems arise as a result of poor performance in this area.
The Chairperson welcomed all Members of the Select Committee; the Deputy Minister (DM), Ms Magdeline Makhotso Magdeline Sotyu; the Acting Director General (ADG), Mr Vusithemba Ndima; and all senior personnel from the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). She noted an apology from the Minister, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, who could not attend the meeting, as well as the letter of appointment for Mr Ndima as the Acting DG since the Department’s DG was chairing the Heritage Council Fund in Paris.
The purpose of the meeting was to review the DAC’s Annual Performance Plan (APP) for the 2018/19 financial year. The Department had set its targets based on the budget which it had been appropriated. The Department also had programmes which were set as part of its APP and were to tackle issues such as Nation Building, Social Cohesion, and Development Infrastructure including the National Heroes Acre Project which had been prioritised. Other prioritised issues were the use of indigenous languages which now seemed to not be given much attention, ensuring that the Mzansi Golden Economy benefits the previously disadvantaged, and the issue of the libraries in which the content of books tends to be in English and other languages but the language of the specific areas where they are based. The libraries were also noted to have very few computers and even less intensive offering of lessons in computer usage. There were also issues pertaining to artists in schools, the exploitation of South African artists, and the museum for Ms Winnie Madikizela Mandela which had not yet been completed at the time her passing. The Department would be asked to address these issues and communicate their vision with regard to the APP.
Deputy Minister Introduction: DAC’s Vision of APP: Overview
Deputy Minister Maggie Sotyu requested that the Department address all the issues raised by the Chairperson after the presentation. She also indicated that the Chief Director and acting Deputy Director General (DDG), Mr Mabaso, was not well and would be leaving the meeting early.
She stated that the year 2018 marks important events, celebrations and/or commemorations including the centenary of Mr Nelson Mandela and Ms Albertina Sisulu’s birth; the hosting of the BRICS Summit and the BRICS Film Festival by South Africa in July 2018; and Africa Month celebrations which are currently under way. The majority of the Department’s programmes will therefore be aligned with these important milestones in the 2018/19 financial year. She wished to provide the Members with a brief overview of the Department’s performance in the 2017/18 financial year, highlighting those areas in which the Department did not do well
Areas of Poor Performance in the 2017/18 Financial Year
- Development and Review of Political Legislations: The Department could not finalise the Review of the White Paper on Arts and Culture as envisaged. This is due to the prolonged consultative process on the socio-economic impact assessments which are now a prerequisite before any policy or legislation is passed. The Department has now passed this hurdle and is left with the tasks of presenting the Draft Revised White Paper for the clusters and tabling of the White Paper in the Cabinet.
- Gender Equity in the Workplace: The transformation agenda of government had envisaged a scenario whereby gender equity is present in the workplace. Government had thus set a target of 50% women representation at SMS (senior management) levels. The Department fell short of this target due to the resignations of two women at SMS levels. The Department will make every effort to fill the vacancies with women.
Envisaged Areas of Improvement in 2018/29 Financial Year
- Under-Expenditure of Budget: An under-expenditure of approximately R235 million, equivalent to 5% of the budget, was discovered in the 2017/18 financial year and mainly attributed to infrastructural projects which tend to be stalled by implementation agents, service providers and/or a lack of capacity. As a result, infrastructure initiatives and targets such as the development of the User Asset Management Plan, and the transfer of funds for the refurbishment of community art centres were negatively affected.
- Improvement of Departmental Mandate: The Department will pursue Ministerial identified priorities in the 2018/19 financial year to ensure that they improve on their mandate. Such priorities include Nation Building, Social Cohesion, addressing Racism, Xenophobia, Racial Intolerance and Hate Speech.
Department officials would further elaborate on the 10-point Plan which entails priorities by the Minister that are referred to as “umkhomba ndlela”. The Ministry had recently attended a workshop where the Minister had invited all the Department’s entities to report on their performance for the past financial year. During the workshop, the Deputy Minister had also raised the points which Members have expressed concern towards and so she would give the Department officials the opportunity to answer to these concerns as they had in the workshop.
The Chairperson handed over to the Acting DG to conduct his presentation and explain why the Department has cut its targets by half. The Chairperson also restricted the DG to a time limit of one hour.
Director General Briefing on the 2018/19 DAC Annual Performance Plan: Overview
The Acting Director General, Mr Vusithemba Ndima, briefed the Committee.
Mandate of the DAC:
The mandate of the DAC is to create an enabling environment for Arts and Culture to thrive. To achieve this mandate, the Department makes use of Five Pillars including the following:
- Language Development and Promotion.
- Heritage Promotion and Preservation.
- Arts and Culture Promotion and Development.
The Department has also set 5 Enablers to allow the abovementioned pillars to be strong. These include Human Capital Development, Infrastructure, and Funding.
Generic Value Chain (Generic UNESCO Cultural Development Cycle):
Within the sector, there is a value chain which includes Creation, Production, Dissemination; Exhibition, Reception, Transmission; and Consumption.
Each stage of the value chain should have various factors inclusive of appropriate governance systems; proper investment/ funding; and collaborations partnerships.
The DAC has conducted a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) Analysis which highlights the challenges it faces as well as the interventions it has employed to overcome these challenges.
- Challenge 1: Infrastructure Management and Backlog on Legacy Projects
Intervention: Establishment of a Project Management Office (PMO) to deal with implementation of infrastructure programmes.
- Challenge 2: Monitoring Expenditure (under/over spending)
Intervention: Establishment of a Budget Advisory Committee chaired by the DG where Programme Managers will present their spending patterns and account on their Programme’s budget. The Committee will sit on a quarterly basis.
Minister’s Priorities (10-Point Plan):
The Minister has established a 10 Point Plan of priorities which include the following.
- Nation building, Social Cohesion and dealing with the challenges of Racism, Xenophobia, Racial Intolerance, Hate Speech and others.
- Promotion of all languages and improving the functioning of the PanSALB.
- The Community Libraries Development Programme.
New Initiatives and Changes to Targets
- Programme: Institutional Governance
Initiative: Feasibility and due-diligence study on amalgamation of entities to begin in July 2018.
- Programme: Arts and Culture Promotion and Development
Initiative: Targeted support for professional artists.
Reduction of Targets in the 2018/19 APP:
The number of targets in the Department was reduced from 65 in 2017/18 to 36 in 2018/19.
Number of Targets per Programme: Administration: 13 in 2017/18, and 8 in 2018/19. Institutional Governance: 17 in 2017/18, and 8 in 2018/19.
Reasons for Reductions:
- The reduction is attributed to the removal of targets over which the Department has no control, those that were purely operational and the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) targets achieved.
- Some targets that were moved to the operational plan will be incorporated in the APP once programmes/ projects are ready for implementation. The Mr Archie Gumede statue where the choice of land for its placement has not been finalised is an example of such projects.
- Targets such as those dealing with compliance have been consolidated.
The Acting DG explained that sometimes the Department may place on the APP targets which have not yet reached an ideal maturity level. For example, on infrastructure, the Department put the Mr Gumede statue target on the APP when the issues of land surrounding it had not yet been resolved. The Department has since decided to not include such targets in the APP but rather to move them to the Operational Plan until all technical issues have been resolved.
2018/19 Outputs per Strategic Goal and Objectives
Key Outputs and Measures of APP
Goal 1: A Transformed and Productive ACH Sector
- Strategic Objective 1: To Develop, Protect and Promote a Cultural and Creative Sector.
- Performance Indicator: Number of flagship events supported financially.
- 2018/19 Target: 20
- Strategic Objective 2: To Provide Access to Information.
- Performance Indicator: Number of newly built or modular libraries supported financially.
- 2018/19 Target: 29
Details of Flagship Events to be Supported:
- Indoni Cultural Events: Budget: R10 000 000; Province: National
- Ebubeleni Music Festival: Budget: R1 500 000; Province: Eastern Cape
- National Arts Festival: Budget: R5 000 000.00; Province: Eastern Cape
- Kalahari Desert Festival: Budget: R1 500 000.0; Province: Northern Cape
Details of the Conditional Library Grant:
- Grant Name: Community Library Service Grant
- Performance Indicator: Number of new libraries built.
- Audited Performance (2014/15; 15/16; 16/17): 17; 44; 20
- Main Appropriation (2017/18): 26
- MTEF (2018/19; 19/20; 20/21): 29; 32; 35
- Purpose of the Grant: To transform urban and rural community library infrastructure, facilities and services (primarily targeting previously disadvantaged communities) through a recapitalised programme at provincial level in support of local government and national initiatives. This fund is intended to address backlogs and disparities in the ongoing provision and maintenance of community library services across provinces and to enable national departments to provide strategic alignment with national priorities.
Details of 2018/19 Community Library Projects:
- Port Shepstone Library, KwaZulu-Natal Project Value: R72 million,
target date: 31 March 2019 status: 47%, progressing well
- Alice Library, Eastern Cape: project value: R29 million
Target Date: 31 March 2019, status: 0%; Contractor appointed
Goal 2: An Integrated and Inclusive ACH Sector
- Strategic Objective 1: To Lead, Coordinate and Implement Social Cohesion Programmes
-Performance Indicator: Number of Social Cohesion Projects implemented.
-2018/19 Targets: 12
Details of Social Cohesion Projects Planned:
- Social Cohesion Advocates Programme
Social Cohesion Advocacy Platforms, Budget: R5 million
20 Advocacy platforms created and/ or supported in all 9 provinces.
Quarter: 5 Social cohesion advocacy platforms per quarter.
- Social Cohesion Dialogue Programme
Public Engagement Platforms, Budget: R2.5 million
-Province: 4 Provinces (four public engagement platforms on social cohesion to be created).
-Quarter: 1 Major public engagement platform on social cohesion per quarter.
Goal 3: An Effective and Efficient ACH Sector
- Strategic Objective 1: To Drive an Integrated Outcomes-based Research, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Across the Sector
-Performance Indicator: Number of departmental and entities’ performance information reports or documents approved.
- 2018/19 Targets: 15
Details of Departmental Performance Information Reports or Documents to be Generated:
- Report: 4X Outcome 14 Reports
-Purpose: To measure the progress in the implementation of Outcome 14.
- Report: 1X Annual Performance Plan
-Frequency: Annual (February 2018)
-Purpose: To prioritise the programmes for implementation in the 2019-20 APP.
Goal 4: A Professional and Capacitated Sector
- Strategic Objective 1: To Build Human Resource Capacity and Promote Excellence
-Performance Indicators: Number of capacity building programmes supported.
- 2018/19 Targets: 23
Details of Capacity Building Programmes to be Supported:
- Project: 14X Incubator Projects: Budget: R17 100 000
-Province: Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Western Cape, KZN, Frees State, Limpopo.
- Project: 2X Crafts Projects: Budget: R2 950 000
-Province: North West with a national scope.
- The Mzansi’s Golden Economy (MGE) open call process will support various projects including 30 Cultural and Creative Sector, 150 Community Arts and 6 Professional Artist projects.
- 300 Bursaries for the development of qualified language practitioners will be awarded in the third quarter.
- The South African Information and Library Information Bill will be submitted to Cabinet in the 2017-18 financial year.
- The Department will develop Undercover Cultural Heritage Policy period under review.
Compliance Related Measures:
- Strategic Outcome-Oriented Goal 1: A Transformed and Productive ACH Sector (a sector that actively develops, preserves, protects and promotes diverse ACH.
-Strategic Objective: To provide access to information.
-Performance Indicators: Number of services modernised (processes automated)
-2018/19 Targets: 3
- Strategic Outcome-Oriented Goal 2: An Integrated and Inclusive Society (an effective/ impactful nation building and social cohesion programme)
-Strategic Objective: To lead, coordinate and implement social cohesion programmes.
-Performance Indicators: Number of Imbizo held.
-2018/19 Targets: 20
Details of Izimbizo Planned:
- Province: Gauteng: Budget: TBC
-Quarter: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Quarter.
- Province: KZN: Budget: TBC
-Quarter: 2nd and 3rd Quarter.
Links with the MTSF and Responses to AGSA Findings
Links to MTSF and Outcome 14, Including Responses to AGSA Findings
Alignment with the MTSF:
- Sub-Outcome 01: Fostering Constitutional Values
- Key Performance Indicator: Number of schools saying the preamble of the Constitution at school assemblies. (In collaboration with the Department of Basic Education) (DBE)
- Target: Preamble of the Constitution said in school assemblies of 24 000 schools by 2018/19.
- AGSA Finding: Not in the APP
- DAC Response: DBE takes a lead in the implementation; the DAC supports through provision of national symbols.
- Sub-Outcome 02: Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and Redress
- Key Performance Indicator: Number of Community Art Centres built.
- Target: 15 Community Art Centres built.
- AGSA Finding: Not in the APP for 2018/19 and target not been achieved.
- DAC Response: 400 Community Arts programmes have been supported from 2015/16 to date and the Department is planning to support 150 programmes in the 2018/19 financial year and this is included in the APP.
Chief Financial Officer on the Budget and Expenditure Plan (2018 MTEF Allocations): Overview
The Chief Financial Officer, Mr Makoto Matlala, addressed the items titled the MTEF Process 2018/19- 201/21, the MTEF Allocations 2018/19- 2020/21, the Budget Summary Totals per Programme and Economic Classification, and the Detailed Budget per Programme.
Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Process:
- The 2018 MTEF baseline includes amounts reallocated away from, as well as relocated towards the Arts and Culture vote budget. The net change to the vote baseline amounts to zero.
- There was no additional budget in the 2018 ENE as per the allocation letter
2018 MTEF Allocations (R’000):
In terms of the Original Allocation, the DAC was allocated R4 491 651 for the 2018/19 financial year. This money is divided into two sections
- Department Baseline which consisted of R2 993 036.
- Conditional Grant to Provincial Government which consisted of R1 498 615.
Before the budget was finalised there were budget reductions which were effected in order to provide additional funds to the Free Education Initiative. These reductions amounted to R44 457 000 and came from various Administration Programmes including the following:
- Goods and Services: R5 827
- Freedom Park (Pretoria): R2 159
- Programme 3 (ACPD): R 800
As a result of these reductions, the Department has now ended up with a budget of R4 372 264.
2018 ENE Earmarked / Ring-Fenced Funds (R’000):
Included in the final budget are earmarked funds which cannot be used for any other purpose but that for which they have been voted. These funds which amount to R2 515 745 included the following
- Community Library Services Grant: R1 423 684
- Capital Works (Infrastructure at Public Entities): R 504 192
- Bursaries for Heritage Professionals: R 5 836
Compensation for Employees ceiling for the 2018/19 financial year was R253 530 000.
Budget Summary per Programme and Economic Classification (R’000):
Programmes amounting to R4 372 264
- Heritage Promotion and Preservation: R2 470 980
- Institutional Governance: R 416 027
Economic Classification amounting to R4 372 264 (R’000):
- Heritage Assets (Legacy Projects): R 218 478
- Departmental Agencies and Accounts: R1 707 089
Funds spent within and outside the DAC
- 20% (R873 million) of the funds are spent within the DAC.
- Of the 20% spent within the Department; 9% (R387 million) has been allocated to Goods and Services, 6% (R254 million) to the Compensation of Employees, 5% (R218 million) to Heritage Assets, 0% (R8 million) to Machinery and Equipment, and 0% (R6 million) to Software.
- 80% (R3 449 billion) of the funds are transferred to the public entities and provinces and are therefore spent outside of the DAC.
- Of the 80% spent outside of the Department; 39% (R1 707 billion) has been allocated to Department Agencies, 33% (R1 424 billion) to Provinces, 4% (R179 million) to Non-Profit Institutions, 4% (R156 million) to Public Corporations, 0% (R21 million) to Households, 0% (R7 million) to Higher Education, and 0% (R5 million) to Foreign Governance.
Detailed Budget (Per Programme and Economic Classification) R’000:
- Programme 1: Administration
- 36% (R109 million) has been allocated to Office Accommodation.
- 36% (R107 million) to Compensation of Employees.
- 25% (R77 million) to Goods and Services.
- 3% (R8 million) to Payments for Capital.
- Programme 4: Heritage Promotion and Preservation
- 58% (R1 424 billion) has been allocated to Conditional Grants.
- 37% (R921 million) to Department Agencies and Accounts.
- 2% (R54 million) to Compensation.
- 2% (R50 million) to Goods and Services.
- 1% (R14 million) to Non-Profit Organisations.
- 0% (R6 million) to Households.
- 0% (R2 million) to Foreign Government.
Budget Summary of Conditional Grant (per Province) R’000:
Allocation to Provinces and Municipalities amounting to R1 423 684
- Western Cape: R176 624
- Northern Cape: R159 554
- Limpopo: R125 643
Allocation to Public Entities R’000:
- Arts Institutions
- Artscape Subsidy and Capital Transfer: R60 912 and R4 625.
- Performing Arts of Free State Subsidy and Capital Transfer: R45 322 and R7 738.
- Heritage Institutions
- Freedom Park Trust Subsidy and Capital Transfer: R84 551 and -.
- Afrikaanse Taalmuseum Subsidy and Capital Transfer: R9 419 and R1 608.
- Heritage/ Libraries and Constitutional Institutions
- Ditsong Museum Subsidy and Capital Transfer: R87 212 and R21 000.
- South African Library for the Blind Subsidy and Capital Transfer: R22 323 and R12 307.
- Pan South Africa Language Board (PanSALB): R113 587.
The Chairperson thanked the Deputy Minister, Acting DG and CFO for the presentation as well as the explanations brought forward. She was still concerned about the Department’s targets which were discovered to not be part of its APP by the Auditor General. She felt that it looks as though the Department draws up APPs but moves on implementing projects and programmes that are outside of the APP. Having reduced its targets for the 2018/19 financial year, will the Department not find itself in a space where it is implementing targets outside of the APP? The Department has already reduced its APP targets but implemented many projects and programmes outside of the APP which should have been included. The Department has explained this decision by stating that it cannot include in its APP targets that are outside of its jurisdiction and control. Yet, in the previous financial year it implemented a number of projects and programmes in its Plan which were outside of the jurisdiction. How does the Department explain this?
The Deputy Minister asked to address some of the concerns raised by the Chairperson before the other Members began engaging with the presentation to avoid having the questions asked repetitively.
On the issue of the Ms Winnie Madikizela Mandela Museum, from 2011 until the present year, there has been no issue with the role of the National Department regarding the establishment of the museum. The Minister of Arts and Culture did conduct a forensic investigation and cleared the National Department as no issues were found. The major issue which has been highlighted by the media pertains to the fact that the project is said to have been started in 2005. From the period of 2005 to 2008, the Department has no information with regards to any funds that were transferred for the project nor any institutions that were involved. The Department is, however, aware that in 2007, the Provincial Department set aside R3 million for the project and, of this amount, R2.7 million was given to the Wesley Church in preparation for the centenary of the African National Congress (ANC) in 2012. The Department also has invoices which suggest that the remainder of this R3 million was used for the drawing of the plans and other activities. Any other information on funds which were transferred and used before this period, the Department still does not have and is waiting for somebody to explain what these funds were for and between whom and whom the transactions occurred.
Also, during the time when the Department was investigating the issues stalling the establishment of the museum, it was found that there were issues pertaining to the ownership of the land where Ms Madikizela Mandela’s Brandfort house is. The Members must remember that the house was not Ms Madikizela Mandela’s, but another family’s and merely one in which she was exiled. When the original owners of Ms Madikizela Mandela’s house were removed from it, they were given a site elsewhere. Unfortunately, it was later found that the site of Ms Madikizela Mandela’s house was still under the ownership of the previous family. Nonetheless, the matter has now been resolved by the municipality and the Department. Presently, a project manager has been appointed and so there is work which is being done on the site.
On the issue of the Mzansi Golden Economy funding, in her Budget Speech to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), she had mentioned something regarding access to MGE through the use of application forms online. However, as much as she is not a technologically advanced person, when she later went online she found that she was unable to access those forms. The Chief Director (CD), Mr Mabaso, was supposed to provide an explanation with regard to this issue but he had to leave the meeting early as he was not well. Nonetheless, the other departmental officials present could still provide an explanation and answer as to why the Committee Members were unable to access the application forms and apply for the funding. As has been said before, the funding is an intervention by the Department to assist with the red tape that is existing within the Department and in other entities.
On the exploitation of South African artists, during the previous week the Minister and DM had signed a submission to the President that he must appoint a Commission of Enquiry as the Minister does not have such authority. This Commission of Enquiry would investigate and address issues pertaining to royalties as it has been observed that these artists are performing and releasing music but still do not have money. The Commission would try and delve deep into the matter to try and find a way for the law makers to better assist the artists.
On the issue of libraries and the infrastructure thereof, the Department is performing very poorly. In this case it has been discovered that the unit performance which is lacking is Monitoring. The Department transfers funds to the provinces and states that it is for libraries. However, it fails to follow up and monitor whether the funds are actually being used for libraries. For example, at the Zwelethemba Library in Worcester, Western Caper, all the books are in English and Afrikaans and yet there are no English or Afrikaans speaking individuals in that area. The residents of the area speak isiXhosa but the shelves in the Xhosa section are empty. The Department is therefore agreeing with the Committee that this is an issue and they are even in the process of addressing it by getting their own staff, which is currently office bound, to go to these areas where funds are being transferred and monitor whether the money is being used correctly. If this is not done then for the next five to ten years the Department will still face the same issue where it is transferring money to institutions and there is underperformance due to lack of monitoring. During this monitoring process, the Department also wants to ensure that public libraries are being built near schools, especially in rural areas where many schools have no libraries.
On the building of the community art centres, the DM had also observed that the Department does not properly train its staff on the management of funds that are put aside for the building of community arts centres. Money that is put aside for these projects is not only for the building of their infrastructure but also for their resourcing. One cannot merely build these centres and leave them to be white elephants, they need to be furnished and resourced with the things which they need. Since the DM had started working for the DAC, she had visited about four community arts centres within the Western Cape and found that they had nothing inside. When she had held a meeting with the DDG, they had found that the funds allocated for the building of the arts centres are not being used following the completion of the infrastructure, they are actually meant to be used for their resourcing. Now that the Department knows what the issues are, they have started to identify all those individual arts centres and will move forward to planning how they will be revamped.
About a week ago, the DM had also discovered that there are certain members of communities such as women and children who are based in shacks and making craft objects such as beads and frames. She had then questioned herself as to what would happen to these groups if they were involved in such projects under the circumstances described. How will they market their work? There are community arts centres that are sitting vacant as White Elephants. Why can they not build additional rooms within those arts centres and have these individuals come in and work on their projects there? What is the purpose of these art centres if such women and children cannot be brought into them to do their work? She then asked the Chairperson if they can perhaps have a later meeting and discuss as she had proposed to these artists that the Department can host flea markets on a set day of the week and bring them to these to showcase and sell their work. Perhaps the Members could also visit these markets and purchase something so that the artists can also benefit from the work that is being done by the Department. These are also the types of projects which the Department can get involved with in order to avoid such huge underspending in the future.
Mr D Stock (ANC) welcomed the presentation and appreciated that it was detailed. He drew attention to the 10 Point Plan of the Minister and the earlier issue regarding MGE which the DM had attempted to explain earlier. Since the beginning of the 5th term and 24 years into democracy, the allocation of the MGE funding has tended to go to the same provinces which are the provinces dominated by urban areas. Mr Stock was not getting the sense that the Department comes to a point where it decides that the provinces which have been getting the funds have now benefited adequately and that it is now time to consider giving the funds to others. At some point, the then DG of the Department, Mr Jack, came to the Committee to conduct a presentation and having presented a pie chart which showed the allocation of MGE funds to the various provinces, the Members asked him to try and check on those provinces which were not getting funding. Responding to this and referring particularly to such provinces as KZN, Northern Cape and Limpopo where there are extremely poor rural areas; the Department had stated that the issue which is found in these communities is that when adverts or public hearings on MGE are made, the residents tend to be unable to get access to these adverts and actually apply. However, now there are forums such as MinMECs where the different MECs are able to represent their provinces at a national level and this has the potential to work better as these MECs know their areas better and can identify where the most interest in MGEs lies. It is important for the Department to attempt and redirect these funds to the areas in need. The change may not be drastic or happen overnight as the Department will face a lot of resistance but there is a need to be inclusive.
Secondly, on another of the Minister’s priorities labelled the DAC Schools Programme, the Department has indicated that it wants to allocate approximately 1000 South African flags to the schools. How far is the Department with this target? How many flags have been allocated to schools and where are those schools located?
Thirdly, during the Report-Back Session in Parliament, Mr Stock had noticed that there is a “state of the art” library in Ntabankulu with no books inside. Could the Department follow up on this and ensure that the library is resourced?
Lastly, on the Cape Town Jazz Festival, the Members had complained last year that the Select Committee and the Portfolio Committee do not get the same treatment when it comes to government-sponsored events where Parliamentary Committees get invited. The Portfolio Committee always gets preference over the Select Committee. When the Members raised this, the Department had said it would look into it and figure out a way of addressing it. Indeed, the matter was to some extent addressed this year and the Select Committee Members did receive invitations. The Members were asked to complete a questionnaire and fill in the details of their partners whom they would be taking and they were told that they would receive their accreditation at the venue. However, when some of the Members got to the event they found that they did not have any accreditation. Instead, they were asked whether they had filled in the questionnaire and upon confirming that they had, they were sent from pillar to post and struggled to get their accreditation. Eventually, they were told to sort out their own entrance into the festival and that their issues would be later resolved inside. Mr Stock had managed to get himself into the venue and went into the DAC Suite to observe whether the people sitting there were in fact the people who were supposed to be there. Having gone there, Mr Stock is convinced that the individuals who attend these events with invitations are not supposed to be there and that the real people who are supposed to attend remain on the outside. The Department needs to take this issue seriously and he was raising it for the last time as this is the last term before recess and the Select Committee may well not come back. Nonetheless, for the benefit of those who will be coming back, the Department should consider these issues.
Mr M Khawula (IFP) stated that Mr Stock was speaking on behalf of all the Members when referring to the Cape Town Jazz Festival event. All Members who attended had suffered the same fate, Mr Stock was just lucky that he had connections and could eventually enter the venue. The Committee Secretary knew the details of this day as the Members kept calling her and asking for assistance. Also, there was a person called Jimena whom Mr Khawula suspects must have given the tickets to her friends as she ended up not picking up the calls from both the Members and the Secretary. Jimena needs to account for this event.
On the issue of the copyrights of artists, Mr Khawula commented that it would be a good idea for the Department to set up the Commission which had been discussed. This topic reminded Mr Khawula of the picture of Hector Pieterson and the story circulating that the photographer who had taken the picture which is now circulated worldwide was only paid R100. In 2010, there was also an issue or debate pertaining to the origination of the Vuvuzela. For a long time, there has also been ongoing debate and conflict surrounding the origins of Imbube. Therefore, the Commission has quite a lot of work to cover and the Department is thanked for proposing its establishment.
The amalgamation of entities is a good move and will help with reducing the wastage of money. When one of these entities visited the Committee, he had asked Professor Mancotywa why there were two agencies performing more or less the same work and the response that he received was not respectable.
On the Flagship Events supported by the DAC, Mr Khawula said he would have to shout at the Acting DG yet again. In 2017, he had spoken to the Minister as well as the Acting DG and told them that the UGU Jazz Festival in KZN was the first jazz festival in the province and yet each year, including 2018, it does not get allocated a budget.
On Modular Libraries, he asked why the modular libraries are being placed in the areas that have been chosen. Particularly in KZN, it seems that the Department is planning to place modular libraries mainly in rural areas and his concern with this decision was that it is because these areas are rural that they are getting these type of libraries as they would not do the same thing in Cape Town. Why not place the modular libraries in Cape Town and the advanced libraries in rural areas?
On the provincialisation of libraries, a project which was started by national government in response to issues of unfunded mandates pertaining local government; how far is the Department with that? It cannot keep doing it forever. Have all the libraries now been provincialised and is national government funding their building and funding?
On the Compensation on Employees, he noticed that this factor is taking less money than Office Accommodation. Unless the latter is combined with another factor, why is it consuming more money than the former? On the Heritage Institutions that the Department is funding, there were two figures put in the presentation, Subsidy and Capital Transfer. Can the Department explain these figures? Also, can they explain fluctuation in the Capital Transfer figures?
Lastly, the Committee had visited a theatre in the Northern Cape where there had been issues pertaining to funding but it was not mentioned in the presentation. Is it now receiving funding for its running? If not, why is it not catered for?
Mr C Hattingh (DA), noted that there is a considerable amount of funding going into the different arts festivals around the country. Some of these festivals such as the Indoni Cultural Events seem to be supported as both national and provincial events at R10 million respectively. Does this mean that R20 million goes into such events? He also had found that the biggest cultural festival in the country in terms of attendance, the KK&K, has for years not been receiving funding from the Department. The KK&K had not applied for funding in 2017 and in fact had a change of management due to a lack of funding. In previous years however, the funding applications by this festival had been rejected. As the biggest cultural festival in the country, why is not receiving support? The Art Talk National Arts Festival also applied for funding from the North West provincial government repeatedly and was in one year awarded with a R300 000 grant which at the end was not paid. Is there a balance when looking at all the different language groups’ arts festivals or is there a bias? For instance, in the North West, there was a large amount of funding which went to relatively small arts and jazz festivals with limited attendance and the biggest cultural festival in the country was blatantly pushed aside.
Ms M Moshodi (ANC) also welcomed the presentation by the DM, DG and CFO. On the DAC Schools Programme which is to provide flags to schools, the DM had said that the Department would ensure that it delivers as many flags as possible to schools around the country. What monitoring tool does the Department have to ensure that these flags reach the schools in rural areas? Coming from the small rural areas of the Free State herself, Ms Moshodi had met with school children the previous week who had asked her when the flags would be arriving. The next Monday before coming to the Cape, she had gone again to check on the schools and found that there is no flag. The area she is from has only two secondary and one primary school.
Secondly, the DG had indicated in the presentation that the Department has advertised 19 critical posts as well as the recruitment of 24 interns for the 2018/19 financial year. When were these critical posts advertised and when will the Department fill them?
Lastly, when the DG had introduced himself at the beginning of the meeting he had stated that he was the Acting DG. Could the DM explain how long Mr Ndima has been Acting DG and when the Department intends on filling that post?
Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana (DA) said she was happy that the DM had mentioned that the library in Worcester is short of isiXhosa books. She herself had been complaining about the absence of sign language and braille books, as well as the capacitation of the officials working in that library. The Department needs to capacitate the workers to ensure that when deaf people visit that library, they are helped and not laughed at. One of the things that she had observed about the national libraries upon her visit to the library in Ward 14, Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, was that while the library is a “state of the art” library, the braille language is not catered for. The government is failing its people because people with disabilities visit public spaces such as libraries and police stations and get laughed at. She had also been fighting with the police as well as PanSALB to get the matter resolved and she was hopeful that with the Department things would be different. She is passionate about this issue and had spoken about it a lot because Worcester is known as “the suburb for the disabled” yet the libraries still do not cater to these disabled people. Can the Minister please see to it that the libraries in all the provinces cater to people with disabilities? Not even one of the officials in the library she visited could be helpful to the people and she emphasised that this is an insult to people with disabilities.
Secondly, what criteria is used for the allocation of library funds per province? She had seen the funds allocated and wanted to know how the Department allocates funds in Limpopo, Free State, Western Cape and Johannesburg. Does the Department allocate according to how many libraries and other institutions there are in a province?
Thirdly, PanSALB has for a long time had a complaint that its officials are not permanent. She was not sure what the reason is that even after a period of 2 to 3 years the employees remain temporary. Can the Deputy Minister look into this? Surely there is something that is holding the Department back from making these officials permanent.
On the bursaries awarded to language practitioners, she was happy to hear that the Department has taken this initiative to give back to the community and capacitate language practitioners. She wished to know which people get awarded these bursaries and what criteria the Department uses per province to allocate them. Do people with disabilities get access to these bursaries?
Ms P Samka-Mququ (ANC) wished to follow up on Ms Moshodi’s question regarding the flags provided to schools and asked whether the Department can provide the Committee with a list of schools that do have flags so that when they conduct oversight they can know how far they are from the target.
On the land ownership issues regarding the house in which Ms Madikizela Mandela lived, if only the information regarding this issue had been brought forward and shared on time; perhaps the public would not be speaking about the Museum issue as they are today because the Committee would have been able to answer questions long ago. She was nonetheless happy that the DM had shared this information as the issue was now starting to be blamed on her as the representative of the people.
On the issue of book libraries, she noted that there is problem with regard to MinMECs. In this instance, the role of the Committee is to assist the national Department in following up and performing oversight to check whether the funds transferred to provinces are being used for the purposes for which they were meant. Perhaps it could be useful for the Department to then make the MECs understand that when a library has been established in a specific province this does not mean that it belongs to the MEC in that province. Libraries are the government’s attempt to assist communities in accessing books and so it should not be the case that when Committee Members want to perform oversight the MECs become overprotective and refuse to allow them in. Perhaps it is because the MECs are authorities in their own right that they do not allow authorities to do their work without having informed them. This has particularly been an issue in her own province and she now hoped that things would change. She also asked the DM to at some point explain the role of municipalities with regard to libraries and what the relationship between these two institutions is as she had found that even though Intra-governmental relations seem fairly straightforward in theory, they tend to be much more complicated in practice where each role-player is doing his own thing and there is no sense of a mutual understanding. It is therefore still not clear to the Committee what the role of and the relationship between national, provincial and local government is with regards to libraries.
Ms L Dlamini (ANC) was happy to have the DM present in the meeting and in the Department as she knew her as a person who always took action in her previous portfolio. This gave her hope that he concerns raised would be addressed. The question that Mr Stock had posed on how the Department allocates the MGE funding across the various provinces is one that he had asked in the first meeting between the Committee and the Department and one she had followed up on. This realisation made her question the understanding of the Department when they come to the Committee and how they deal with the issues that the Members raise. What process does the Department partake in when leaving its meetings with the Committee? It must be remembered that the Members are not merely part of the Select Committee but also nominated individuals who represent their provinces and communicate the grievances thereof. For instance, as a representative of Mpumalanga, Ms Dlamini said she has a responsibility to raise issues on behalf of Mpumalanga and she expects answers to those questions. Her fear was that the same concerns which had been raised in the 2014/15 financial year have still not been addressed in this current year and the Department’s planning has clearly not changed. So, what is the understanding of the Department when coming to Committee meetings? Do they expect the members to repeatedly raise the same questions, promise to respond to them and the move along with life as usual? Does what is said by the Committee not matter? It seems the Department does not take the Committee seriously and that the meetings are merely a waste of time as the changes suggested by the Committee do not get implemented. She would reiterate the issues she had raised in 2014 as this is the Committee’s final year of planning with the Department. Nonetheless, she did not know whether any change would result from this.
Firstly, during the introduction by the DM, she had heard that the individual responsible for Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Entities is at a Chief Directory Level. She then warned the DM that until the Department began to take Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation seriously, it would never be able to solve its problems. The Committee had been with Mr Mabaso when visiting some of the areas that they had been to yet she did not even know that he is responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. If Planning Monitoring and Evaluation is at a level lower than the other positions, it will never be taken seriously by the other colleagues. Higher officials are very conscious about their positions and will never allow a Chief Director to perform his duties in Planning Monitoring and Evaluation as they regard him as a junior. Therefore, if the Department wants Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation to be effective and taken seriously, then they need to consider the level of authority at which its office is placed. The Department is currently involved in so many projects that it does not realise how effective a Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation office could be. In fact, perhaps if this office was properly established, resourced and doing work correctly; a number of unemployed people who did not get the opportunity to go to school could be benefiting greatly from it as such an office does not look at qualifications but rather the talents of the individual when hiring.
Returning to issues which had been raised before, Ms Dlamini said she was starting to feel like a broken record now as she had spoken about this next issue many times before but she felt it necessary to reemphasise it as it regarded her province. She asked about the Samora Machel Monument which had been discussed in previous meetings but seems to no longer be in the Department’s plan. The monument is very small and considering the event that had occurred in that space, something needs to be done about it. The Lion of the East, a festival in Mpumalanga was another issue which she had raised multiple times, stating that even the project itself was a very good project which she had watched many times but seemed to hear nothing of lately. She raised the Gert Sibande Monument in Stilbaai, Western Cape, stating that there is a very painful story connected to that monument whereby citizens were moved there but are now not allowed on that site. The people are hidden behind the mountain but still take pride in their monument and have requested that it be developed so that they have something which represents their history.
On the issue of flags, she did not know how to deal with this issue anymore as the Members had been given the contact numbers of the person responsible for the project and although she had requested flags for all the schools in her area, still none of them have flags. She had even gone to see the administrator in the offices and was promised that the flags would be delivered, that never happened.
On the matter of the Miss Madikizela Mandela Museum, Ms Dlamini reminded the Members that there had been a meeting which was dedicated specifically to this issue and chaired by herself. The national, district as well as municipality officials had been present in this meeting. Also, most of the issues were already sorted out at the time of this meeting and the concerns were mainly about how the National Department spends money. Nonetheless, the Committee had been ready to move and begin with the building of the monument. Perhaps if the building had started at that time, the passing of Miss Madikizela Mandela would have found the project at an advanced stage. Another issue which she found with regards to such meetings is that the Department does not send officials who will attend and report back directly. Nonetheless there was a meeting held and perhaps the officials could inform the Department on the discussion that was held. Also, when the Department comes to report towards the end of the year, they must also report on the progress of the monument. Still on this issue, Ms Dlamini said that she was lucky to have been deployed at Alfred Nzo to eMbhongweni, the village where Miss Madikizela Mandela came from in Bizana. In that village, nothing has been done in memory of Miss Madikizela Mandela. The Committee had raised this issue upon receiving news of her illness and asked the Department officials in that area to go to her and ask what she would like to have done in her memory but nothing has been done yet. She did not know whether the officials had gone and asked the DDG to find out. The idea behind this had been for the Department to not just do anything they felt would please Ms Madikizela Mandela, but rather ask her as she was still alive at the time. In Alexandra, Johannesburg, there was also a library project which was to be established to honour the memory of Miss Madikizela Mandela. The Committee had also asked the Department to follow up on this.
On Infrastructure Management, she reiterated that Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation are important tasks. She did not know whether she agreed with the Department’s decision to move projects from Infrastructure to Operational because they were still at the planning level. She did not think that it is the right way of doing it. In the APP, the Department is supposed to put indicators of the projects that they will be working on in that particular year. If the project or activity will be “Planning”, “Feasibility Studies”, or “Getting Signed to Build” then that is what must be put in the APP. Activities must not be hidden in the APP. The Members know that the process of infrastructure does not begin with building. Once the Department establishes its Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation unit it will be able to deal with these issues.
On the Promotion of Official Languages, Ms Dlamini was not sure whether the Department realises that in the key things they are responsible for such as the promotion of indigenous languages and social cohesion, they are in fact regressing and that this says a lot about the Department. She also felt that such initiatives as holding meetings with communities, which the Department is looking to implement to achieve Social Cohesion, will not take the country forward. Social Cohesion is not merely something which can be built through talks alone. Instead, there must be dedicated activities that also build towards Social Cohesion. Also, it is important to remember that we are now in a modern and technological world where people rarely physically attend meetings because they can catch up on the discussions through social media. Therefore, the Department needs to be creative and come up with options that people will be interested in. Although she does not particularly favour the talk of “generational mix”, she did see the value of it as having young people in work spaces can mean having access to ideas and knowledge on what young people on the outside like. The government is working for future generations and so it makes sense to bring young people into the work space and use their opinions. If the Department outsources, it could also get people who can come up with ideas that will be bought by the youth. Meetings no longer work even for political parties and this is not because people do not like them but rather because people are now more involved in the digital world.
On her seventh point, Ms Dlamini said that she was just like Mr Stock because when she had looked at the work that is being done in other provinces versus her own, she noted that the standard of the work in Mpumalanga is still the same as it was in the first meeting where she complained and so she failed to understand why she was even in the meeting. The Department must go back to Mpumalanga and check what is happening there as it is an embarrassment.
On the events that the Department supports, there is the Innibos Festival in Mpumalanga which had been noted as a racist event catering only to White people. Other racial groups do not get turned away when they try to go to this event but the artists and everyone else participating in it are White people. The province had made a decision that funding cannot be invested into the event if other racial groups are not involved. Can the Department check that the event accommodates all racial groups before investing the R2 000 000 into it? On the events such as the Indoni Cultural Events and the Ebubeleni Music Festival which seem to be budgeted for twice, can the Department provide clarity?
On the libraries, Ms Dlamini said she had raised the issue of the Mbombela Library which had been created for a very small Nelspruit at the time. Mbombela has grown considerably since then and so not only is the size of the library a problem, but also its resources are limited and they are using old furniture. In fact, all the libraries in Mpumalanga did not have a digital system at the time of her visit and she did not know who had changed the system. People simply came in and took books without even signing for them which means that they could easily be stolen.
Lastly, on the involvement of the DAC internationally, Ms Dlamini noted that the Department is interacting with a number of African countries. What is the impact of the country’s participation with these countries? What is SA learning and bringing back to the country? These African countries are very strong in cultural activities. What value is this interaction adding to South Africa and how is it benefiting South Africans?
Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana wished to add to what Mr Stock had said about the Jazz Festival. Having also attended the festival, she agreed with Mr Stock that they were sent from pillar to post when trying to gain entry into the venue. However, she maintained that when she met with Refoea Mudau she was treated with the dignity that she deserves. She also mentioned that other Members were asked to provide their IDs and certification which she felt was wrong. The Members do not need that after they have sworn that they are Honourable Members. The Select Committee Members need the same respect that is afforded to Portfolio Committee Members.
Mr Hattingh followed up on his question regarding the funding of Flagship Events. He felt that it would be helpful if the Members were to get the criteria for the funding of these events as he noted that one of them which is supposed to be an event seems to be a religious musical group by the name Spirit of Praise. This group which has a series of DVDs on the market, is made up of eight people who are supported with R4 million or R500 000 each. He wanted to know how it works out that this musical group receives this much funding and yet a 10-day arts festival which goes into all the communities does not get a single cent. He agreed with Ms Dlamini that if an arts festival in the country excludes any group then he has his doubts. He did not know how inclusive the Indoni Cultural Events is but he did know of festivals in the North West which are very exclusive but still receive support. The Committee needs to investigate the inclusivity of all the cultural festivals and not only withdraw support from one exclusive event.
The Chairperson told the DM and DDG that she did not know whether the APP is in fact a living document or cast in stone. If it is so, perhaps the Department should look at some of the issues which have not only been raised in the present meeting but repeatedly over the years but still have not been addressed. The DM will have to relook at these issues and decide which she prioritises over others. The Members are correct in saying that some of these issues were first raised four years ago and so it is not right that the Committee is now at the end of its term and these issues will be pushed into the legacy document without having been addressed. The Department must start addressing them or at least draw up plans to do so because if there are plans then the Members will have hope.
On the funding allocation for diplomacy and engagement, when the DAC engages diplomatically with other African states, relatively little funding is allocated. Yet when they engage with states outside of Africa the allocation doubles or triples. What is the reason behind this?
On the Allocation for Compensation of Employees, she noted that the amount allocated was slightly higher and above the norm at 6% of the budget. She applauded the Department on this amount and asked how it had been established. She also admitted that she could be thinking the amount is quite higher than normal due to a lack of detailed knowledge on the Department’s numbers. She said that it was a pity that the official responsible for the MGE was not in the meeting as she wanted to pose the question that if the Department has forms online that people cannot retrieve ordinarily, how are they expected to apply for funding? Why are the forms online and not in libraries all over the country for people to access? Sometimes an overuse of technology can mean that some people get excluded. This is the same with the advertisement of posts that arise within the Department. If they are posted online only then other people who also have the skills and qualifications get excluded because not all South Africans are at the same level of technological savviness.
On the issue of Enyokeni Precinct, what is happening there? This issue was raised in 2017 and during the State of the Province Address (SOPA).
The Committee Members had felt very embarrassed as representatives of KZN and so it is important for the Department to attend to this matter and complete the project because demolishing it would mean the loss of a huge amount of money.
The Chairperson reminded the DM that she had spoken about artists doing craftwork around Cape Town. This had reminded her of the Curio Shop on Robben Island which is very busy but benefiting artists and entrepreneurs of other nationalities and not Black South Africans who had suffered at Robben Island. Could the Department look into this? Perhaps the DM could devise a quota of all supplies which are to be supplied by Black South Africans. The Chairperson said that she is not being racist but rather fair as it is Black South Africans who were incarcerated there. Robben Island is a world heritage site where all South Africa’s nationalities benefit except for Black people who do not have suppliers there. This is grossly unfair.
When will the National Orchestra be fully established? How is it going to compose and in which province will it be? How will it be accessed? KZN has a very beautiful theatre which could be an option.
On the seventh point, could the Department explain the difference between Community Theatres and Community Arts Centres?
On the Artists in Schools, which schools are they in? What stipend do they draw? Is this a collaborative effort between the DAC and DBE?
The Chairperson appreciated the DM’s effort of sending senior officials to the Departmental entities. This move will be helpful in the tracking and monitoring whether funding sent to these entities is used appropriately and whether the APPs are being followed correctly. She appreciated the fact that SA is the only country on the African continent to have a library for the blind, stating that the Members do not only scrutinise the poor performing areas of the Department, they also observe and appreciate the good work being done. For instance, there is a big library in Port-Shepstone which has almost reached completion. Therefore, the good work is appreciated.
She also appreciated that the Department had written to the Chairperson on the issue of artists and copyrights. As a mother of an artist herself, she has a keen interest in arts and the work of artists. The President will also discover at the end of the Commission’s work that artists are heavily exploited through piracy.
Ms Dlamini noted that a lot had been said in the public about Ms Madikizela Mandela’s Statue and she felt that the meeting was the right platform to formally discuss it. She had not seen anything about the statue in the report and wanted to find out about its planning.
The Deputy Minister stated that she had laughed when the Chairperson had asked in which schools the artists have been placed because she had requested the same information from the Department as she felt responsible for the schools and their safety. She had asked for the list of artists, the schools they are in as well as the stipend they are receiving. She had not received any answers and had therefore partially hoped that the Members would not ask on this.
On the concerns that had been raised by the Members since 2014 until the present year with no real response, she explained that the unfortunate part in taking over a new portfolio in the Ministry is that there is no hand-over process. One has to investigate for oneself what is happening in the Department. As some of the Members will know, in that past 20 years that she has been in Parliament, she has dealt with no other portfolio but the Police. When she arrived in a new environment, she had been excited about the opportunity to learn new things and also for the challenges that lay ahead. The only painful thing that she had realised was that there is no training college that she could attend to prepare for this new role and there was no process of handing over that she could go through. She had to depend on the officials who gave her brief updates on their roles as well as the overall work of the Department. Therefore, she was excited when the Members re-asked the questions from 4 years ago as this would give her an opportunity to come back with responses. The Department cannot keep promising the Portfolio and Select Committees that they will address concerns and yet when they return they do so with new topics. Most of the concerns which were raised in the meeting were new to her. But she was attending with the top management of the Department and was therefore certain that they would go back, engage with the issues and write a detailed report back to the Committee.
On the issue of the Cape Town Jazz Festival, the DM stated that this had been the first year at the festival where she had entered the Arts and Culture Suite. The main problem which she noted at this event is that Members within and outside of Parliament will get their tickets for these types of festivals but never attend. Instead, the Members send their children who go there to get drunk and show no respect. The asking of a form of identification at the venue was a pilot project to try and avoid this particular issue. The Department had noted the complaints that it receives after the festival pertaining to the behaviour in the Arts and Culture Suite which even got labelled as Soweto whereas the other suites were referred to as Sandton. Unfortunately, the pilot project was evidently unsuccessful. Nonetheless, the Department has since made a decision that Parliamentary Members as well as officials form the Ministry will receive their tickets directly from the Ministry. All those who wish to attend will put their names, ID numbers as well those of their partners on a list which will be sent to the Ministry. Members must note, however, that it is not possible that every year the same number of people can attend because the tickets are shared with the provincial officials. The way that Members were treated in the last event was definitely incorrect and mostly a result of the people responsible being under pressure. The Department apologises and promises to avoid the same situation in the next year. The DM was also not aware that the Members felt as though they are treated differently from those of the Portfolio Committee. She apologised and ensured that they would now all be treated the equally.
On the other issues raised by the Members, she was happy that the Members had noted the same issues that she had observed earlier. For instance, on the issue of the MGE funding, she had held a meeting with the Chief Director and expressed similar concerns about the access to the MGE. At the time, she had not even been aware that funding is being provided in certain provinces and not in others. The main issue that she had noted was the inaccessibility of the MGE funding applications in rural communities and in response to this she had suggested various options such as the use of Community Radios and Parliamentary Offices by the Department to improve and extend access to all communities. The CD had accepted these suggestions and agreed to test them out.
On the issue regarding the photograph of Hector Pieterson, the DM that she was set to attend the funeral of the photographer, Mr Sam Nzima, soon as the Minister was unavailable. She had requested the officials in the Department to investigate the matter of the photograph as she felt that the Department needs to do something to honour the memory of this icon and also answer to any questions that may arise.
On the issue of sign language capacitation, the DM said she had recently been part of an Archives Awareness Campaign in the Free State Province. This campaign had also included individuals from the Blind Society as well as the Signed Language Sector and they raised these issues regarding sign language. These individuals had reported that they struggle with communicating with officials in Police Stations, Hospitals and other public service institutions as there are none who are capacitated in terms of the sign language. Upon hearing this, the DM had then stated that this is not a departmental problem but rather a governmental problem which needs to be addressed. Nonetheless, she felt that the Department should lead in addressing this issue and initiate the inclusion of all societies as the country is leading up to 30 years in a democracy. She noted some projects which had been started by the then Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities but said that it seems there were issues which led to them not being seen through.
On the issue of libraries, this had been on the agenda at the last MinMEC Meeting that was held a month ago in Cape Town. It had been agreed that the Department is facing a problem whereby it transfers funding to provinces for the building of libraries but does not get the expected product. The MECs are now aware of this problem and are working on it. Another issue which had come up and amused the DM during the MinMEC Meeting was a complaint by MECs that they build the libraries and when the building has been completed Premiers are called in to open them.
Lastly, on the issue of the Miss Madikizela Mandela monument, there is a steering Committee which was established and is being chaired by the DAC’s DG, and where the DDG is also participating as it falls under his branch. In this Committee, the DAC is the lead and other participating departments include Sports and Recreation, Tourism, Small Business Development, and Human Settlements. When the Committee was established, Ms Madikizela Mandela had written to it and given over her authority to Dr Zinhle Dlamini Mandela to represent the family in the decision-making process as she was already not well at the time. She had told the Committee that Ms Dlamini Mandela knew exactly what she would like to have happen in her memory. The process of making a decision has not been an easy one though as the family is big and each member has his/her own item in the house that they want to claim. For instance, there were difficulties when the issue of the estate was being discussed as it was not clear who exactly has the property rights to the Beatle that Ms Madikizela Mandela had been using in Brandfort and which the DAC had been asked to secure during the building of the museum. The DAC had decided not to secure these property rights as a disagreement with the rightful owner could lead to a huge loss of state funds. Nonetheless, the Department has this project under control and can be expected to finish by March of the 2019/2020 financial year.
The DM also indicated that she was aware that the Chairperson had taken note of the issue of the crafters. She had decided not to speak about Robben Island though and would ask to discuss it with the Chairperson outside of the meeting. She agreed with the Chairperson that it is unfair that Black South Africans are not benefiting from Robben Island. She would also visit Ntabankulu and check what the situation is there.
The Chairperson sought the guidance of the Members on how to continue with the meeting as it was already after 1pm. After a short discussion it was agreed that the Department officials would be given 2 minutes each to provide the Members with very brief answers.
Ms Dlamini advised the Department that the questions of the Committee demanded more action than words. She also indicated that there is an outstanding museum in Mpumalanga which was been built by the former Premier who is now the Deputy President but had collapsed. Perhaps the Department could liaise with the province and see to its completion.
The DM asked that most of the questions regarding Indoni Cultural Events, the KK&K and others which concern the unit that the CD is in charge of be answered at a later stage and in written form by the Department.
The Acting DG began by addressing the issue of Modular libraries and explained that these are not only built in rural areas and that they are merely temporary projects which are set up while the Department is still planning to build bigger and more appropriate structures. On the provincialisation of libraries, this process is still ongoing as the Department still has a conditional grant. A question and issue which he noted as arising here, however, is what will happen once the conditional grants are discontinued. He said the provinces are still tackling this issue and trying to figure out what it will take for them to overtake the responsibility for the full functioning of libraries. Still on the topic of libraries, he also explained that the funding that is allocated to provinces for libraries is for the infrastructure, ICT as well as the employment of staff. All the concerns that were raised by Members regarding the funding of libraries will be discussed together with the TIC in order to come up with a strategy for action.
On the issue of flags in schools, the Department will provide the information regarding the number of schools with flags but ultimately, they would like to extend the duty of installing these flags to the DBE.
The DDG, Ms Kelebogile Sethibelo answered the question regarding Planning and explained that the Department is currently capacitating the unit and that they will be appointing a Director soon. On Monitoring and Evaluation, it is critical that the Department follow up on the funding that they put out and assess the effect of their programmes through monitoring and evaluation studies. The unit will be capacitated when the funds become available to get more people on board.
On International Relations, the huge amounts of money which the Department has been noted to be spending on IR are mainly due to the Department hosting the BRICS events this year. The R70 million put aside, for instance, will be used for the hosting of the BRICS Film Festival which is an international festival taking place in Durban. The Department is now beginning to do more work on the Continent as compared to the past whereby it worked with other countries outside of the continent such as France and the UK. On the Issue of PanSALB, the temporary employees are those that are appointed to do specific projects and then move on when the projects are finished.
The DDG in the Corporate Sector, Ms Matilda Mogotsi, addressed the issue of Mr Ndima as the acting DG and said that Mr Ndima has been appointed as acting DG for only a week and a new permanent DG, Mr Mkhize has already been appointed. The CD, Mr Mabaso has been the acting DDG for approximately 2 months as no suitable candidate has yet been found for the job. On the critical posts which were advertised, the applications were opened and closed in April and the Department received over 3 000 applications for positions excluding the internships which were also advertised. Only a few applicants have been shortlisted so far and these names have been forwarded to the branches which will conduct interviews. The Department is hoping to conclude the process by the end of June and have the people start working in July. The Human Resources unit is currently working overtime to ensure that the applications are processed promptly.
On the question regarding the Compensation Budget, she explained that the R253 million budget is comprised of salaries, acting allowances, role salaries, as well as increases that must be factored in.
The Chief Director, Sakiwo Tyiso, stated that Ms Dlamini had broken his heart and made him realise that there is flaw in the planning process of the government whereby they engage the Parliamentary Committees only at the end of the planning process which then leads to key issues being missed. The Department needs to go back to the first arrangements whereby they invite the committees in the initial planning stages so that all the issues are laid out and all the conflicting priorities are collectively resolved.
The Chief Financial Officer first addressed the issue of the Accommodation Budget and explained that this budget also covers the rentals that the Departments pays for its public entities. This is why the money budgeted is such a huge amount. On the question regarding the Subsidy and Capital Transfer to entities, he stated that the former amount is for the annual operational expenditure and the latter is allocated per project plan. This therefore explains why the Capital Transfer fluctuates because the amount allocated may change as the planning process unravels.
On the allocation of funding for libraries, he explained that the amount of money allocated to each province is determined by the level of progression in the projects within those provinces. When provinces seem to be working faster and more effectively, they get allocated more funds.
In terms of the allocation for the Flagship Events, he stated that at the beginning of every financial year each province is allocated R4 million which they then use to sponsor Flagship Events. With this money, other provinces prefer that the Department transfer it directly to them so that they may host the events themselves instead of distributing the funding to different event hosts. So, this is why it may seem that other provinces do not get funding but all provinces are given the same amount.
The Chairperson felt this last point explained by the CFO was an important one to clarify as one would have just assumed that the National Department does not allocate some provinces with funding at all. Perhaps the Department could also provide the Committee with a record of which provinces have had the funding transferred directly to them and which have further distributed the funding so that the Members can follow up.
She thanked the Members and the Department officials for the fruitful engagement. She asked the DM and the Department to continue with their good work and also effect the suggested changes to address- within the limitations of their budget- the issues which have been discussed. While the Members admired the desire of the Ministry to meet outside of the Committee meeting and deliberate on issues discussed, the DM must please convey their sincerest apologies to the Minister that this could not happen as there is no time. The Committee would nonetheless welcome the opportunity for further engagement at another time as there are many useful ideas which can be shared in a timeframe that goes beyond the constraints of Committee meeting times. This is the last APP which the Department and Committee will engage with and they hope for the best. The Department might or might not see this same Committee again for the purposes of planning as Parliamentary appointments can be unpredictable.
The meeting was adjourned.
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