The Minister of Arts and Culture, accompanied by senior managers of his Department, met with the Committee to deliver a presentation on his vision for the Department and the activities, programmes and initiatives of its four branches.
He said the first branch was the Department’s administration, and referred to the change in the arts and culture environment that had prompted it to ask for a review process by Parliament on the 1996 White Paper, which the Committee would soon deal with. There had also been the launch of the national flag campaign aimed at educating South Africans about the flag and its symbolism. It was important for every school and public office to fly the flag, so an audit would be undertaken to ensure this happened.
The second branch was institutional governance, which housed the nation building and social cohesion initiatives. The Department had a threefold strategy to combat racism. Firstly South Africans had to engage racists, secondly the Department would mobilise society to reject racism at all times, and lastly, working with the Justice Department, the Arts and Culture Department (DAC) would regulate and criminalise racism. Under this branch, there was also the Moral Regeneration Movement, which had the function of reconstructing the moral fibre of society. More attention would be paid to increasing the cross pollination of arts and culture amongst BRICS countries, specifically India.
The third branch involved the arts, culture, development and promotion, which had projects such as community conversations, where the DAC went to communities and talked to them. There was also the Mzantsi Golden Economy which sought to fund and support South African artists, but due to funding challenges was not functioning the way it was envisioned. The Department had conducted research on the film industry to see how feasible the industry would be in South Africa (SallyWood), and the Minister said that he would forward the outcomes of the research to the Committee as soon as they were available.
The last branch was heritage promotion, where the Department was working on the National Heritage Monument. The “Rhodes Must Fall” movement had questioned the heritage landscape, so a report had been compiled detailing that only those who promoted the spirit of the constitution should occupy public spaces, to ensure transformation of the heritage landscape. The Minister emphasised this point by saying that Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape had been renamed after Makhanda Ka Nxele.
The Members of the Committee expressed concern that there was no document prepared by the Minister on his presentation, and agreed with the Minister on the need for the flag campaign, and for communities to be educated about albinism. The Committee had also felt that it was necessary for the Africa Month idea to be followed through, as Heritage Day had turned into “Braai Day,” so there was a need to retrace their history. The Committee was concerned about the neglect of rural areas for projects such as community conversations, and criticised the “assault on African languages” promoted on radio. Members asked when the Winnie Mandela Museum would be finished, and whether young artists were aware of the funding provided under Mzantsi Golden Economy. It was also suggested that there should be greater investment in moral regeneration to reduce the incidence of crime, rather than in building more prisons.
Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture, said this engagement was the first of its kind where he and his team could discuss deeply with the Committee areas where in the past they did not have enough time. The Department had four branches – Administration; Institutional Governance (IG); Arts, Culture, Development and Promotion (ACDP); and heritage promotion and development.
Since adopting the 1996 White Paper, the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) had started in 2015 to review its processes in Parliament as so much had happened since then in the arts and culture space. This was a very important space, as it was at the heart of their work, which was the people and the artists. They had got to do things that would improve the lives of artists, so that was happening, and the Committee would be dealing with the revised White Paper soon.
The Department had launched the flag with the hashtag, “The Flag Campaign.” When it had started with the flag campaign, he had gone through some of the reports which journalists had made after his appointment. They had asked about his vision for the DAC and he had responded that he firstly was concerned with identity. If people had no clue of who they were, then there were no people to talk about and there was no nation to talk about. What was important, secondly, was the integration of South Africans with Africans. This was an important space, as it was a catalyst for economic growth. Artists were not just entertainers -- they were in the arts firstly for arts sake, as they were passionate about what they did, but secondly they had to live, and art or the creative economy was contributing so much elsewhere in the world than here in South Africa.
The flag had been launched in August at the first match of the PSL at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. The issue of the flag was important in order to understand where society was at. The first symbol of identity was the flag -- it distinguished one as belonging to a particular nation. If South Africans did not understand the value of their flag and had not bought into the idea and message of the flag, then there was a problem. There had been incidents where people had been creating their own flags, so the Department had felt the campaign was something they should do. There were 25 000 schools in South Africa and the last time he checked, they had covered 23 000 of them with flags, and he urged the Committee, as leaders and public representatives, to take note around their area as to whether the flags were flying at the schools. The Department had started at the schools, as it was not just about the flag, but also about teaching learners about the importance of the flag, how to handle a flag and what, for instance, it meant to have the flag flying at half mast as had happened the previous week with the passing of the Minister, Edna Molewa.
The Department had done studies and found that Americans had an excuse to show their flag as they understood the soft power that came from flags. Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, had the tallest flagpole in the world at 171 meters high.
The Department would give a blueprint of the flag and its campaign. It had engaged the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) in the transport industry, which was where Department had first activated the flag campaign. It had engaged soccer and the cricket and rugby sports fraternity, as well as the media and other important structures in society like the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). It had engaged the corporate sector, and said that all departments in the public sector should have a flag -- and it would be conducting an audit on that.
The DAC could not talk about the flag -- it also had to talk about its artist. Esther Mahlangu, for instance, was known worldwide for her passion for her own culture. The Department’s new office, which was a year old, had her mural, and they were aiming to have a big flag. Countries like Mexico and Brazil had big flags which were 100 meters in height, as they understood the importance of the aspect of identity.
Institutional governance (IG)
The IG branch houses the nation building and social cohesion programme, which was an overall programme for the entire portfolio, but this was where it was actually driven in a programmatic way. This was the area where the Department had social cohesion advocacy, which highlighted the importance of getting everybody together, because the Department was clear that its mandate was not anti-racism or anti-xenophobia. In 1952/53, Prof Z Mathews had championed a course that focused on what one would like to see, rather than what they did not like, just as the Freedom Charter focused not on what it was against but what it was for.
South Africa today was a country of racism without racists. In 1994, when the government inherited the state they did not inherit a nation. Ethnic separations by colonial rulers ensured that they inherited a state and not a nation. Regarding race, nobody wanted to admit they supported apartheid. Everyone was talking about democracy, but it was a lie as some among us did not understand that this was a pernicious ideology which would come out. The Minister made a reference to racially malicious people, including those who were putting up the old flag.
The Department’s strategy on racism was a threefold one. Firstly, it believed nobody was born a racist, like Madiba would have said. Thus, should South Africans see racist tendencies, their first protocol was to engage those people because one should not assume they understood what they were saying or doing. The second was mobilisation of society -- at all times, people must reject racism and be intolerant of it, as once society tolerated it, it was doomed as it would be run by people who did not have good intentions for that society. Thirdly, the Department was working with the justice department to regulate and criminalise racism, as there were those who were incorrigible in society no matter how much one engaged with them.
The Department had put this approach into practice, as it had engaged Unilever which had had a racist advert, along with H&M. It had condemned them, but its duty was beyond condemnation. The Minister said that he had decided to call the CEO of Unilever and had sat him down and explained how painful racism was, and the head of Unilever was now going to be joining them in the project of social cohesion. The Minister had told the head of Unilever that they had resources and must redeem themselves by channelling those resources into a project of social cohesion. The first had been during Youth Month in June this year, so they were in partnership for the build-up programme. The Department had had a live broadcast where it had explained the build-up programme, and had realised they would want those resources again in future for other programmes. This had proved that one should not immediately say a person was racist and thus could not do anything.
In this branch, the Department housed the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) under Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa. This was not a Christian body -- they helped government and civil society with the reconstruction of the moral fibre in society, the “RDP of the soul.” as Madiba called it. There were things happening in SA society, including the example from this weekend when a grandchild had called the President “Cyril.” Ubuntu never allowed people to harm a woman, but now old women living alone were victims of accusations of witchcraft.
People with albinism were victims, so the Department had come up with campaigns around these issues. The United Nations (UN) had declared 13 June as Albinism Day, and the DAC, together with the Department of Social Development (DSD), had worked on this campaign to say to people albinos were our children and people should not be called derogatory names, as any living human being could bear a child with albinism.
This branch also deals with the cross pollination of arts and culture to other countries. This was a good programme, as it allowed for artists to get exposure in counties like France and the UK, but now it must also follow up and use the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) programmes. The Department had covered all of the BRICS member countries, except India. The African continent and Africans in general must benefit from this programme. The Department had covered some of the countries on the African continent, including Algeria, Angola and Kenya, as well as Western Sahara, the last remaining colony.
This was the branch where African regeneration was housed. Africa Day had been declared by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, but the DAC felt it needed to ensure that in fighting Afro-phobia and xenophobia, people had to understand their continent better as it would deepen the African consciousness of our society in this project in such a way that the Department did not only target 21 May only, but the whole month with cultural activities and programmes and colloquiums, as they still needed to expand the literal world. A lot of people did not know about South African literacy giants, so they needed to engage them in discussions and conversations to improve their intellectual capacity. Ngugi had been invited last year and this year Franz Fanon’s daughter had been invited. They go to different universities, but Ngugi had said that the problem with South Africans was that they think the answer for South African problems would come from elsewhere. The South African influence had made him write his work in his language. South Africa did not appreciate its heroes. The programme had been going on, and they were happy with the developments, but there was room for improvement to have Africans understanding each other much better.
Arts, Culture, Development and Promotion (ACPD)
Arts, Culture, Development and Promotion (ACPD) was involved in the community through a project called community conversations, where they go to communities and discuss a variety of issues. As they deal with identity issues, economic justice matters come up as people were unemployed and so on. Problems arose when people compared what the Department does with what others in government do, as the Department touches intangible values, unlike issues like the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses, where one can actually touch the structures -- but how do you touch the RDP of the soul? People would then conclude that the DAC had been wasting resources, when it was fundamental for society. The European Union was big on culture, as they understand it. Culture gets them close to people.
With ACDP, they go through a process of interacting with people at a spiritual, intangible level, as art forms induce an untouchable response in people. Fine arts, paintings, dance or performing arts, when well packaged, take society to higher levels. Cultural activists had approached the Department and said it used them and knew their importance when fighting apartheid, but after that the value was in impacting people with their performances. Sometimes one could not relate with artists, as they have visions. A lot of people think they are artists, and flood the Department with proposals. At a conference in 2009, former President Zuma said it would be hard to deal with artists if they were not organised. In 2015 he had invited them again and said they must elect and appoint their leaders, and they had come together and formed a federation called the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of SA (CCIFSA). The Department had been dealing with them, but there were always differences.
The sector was called a golden economy, as the backbone of South Africa had always been gold, but gold was depleting so the Department had been looking for areas that were nodal points for the South African economy, and that was it. Thus when the Department created the Mzantsi Golden Economy (MGE) in the ACDP branch, they had in mind a mine, so the ACDP had a fund for artists. This should be a strategic fund which had a national footprint and fund those things which were almost immediately impactful nationally so that the smaller artists in provinces could be funded through grants given to provincial and local government. The Department had in mind flagship programmes when using the fund, like the Cape Town Jazz Festival which was an event useful for social cohesion, as it was shared by different people, but secondly for impacting other sectors of the economy, like tourism for example. The MGE fund therefore looks at the things that have an impact nationally.
The MGE fund structure had changed as not anyone from anywhere could be assisted in their municipalities, as there was a shortage of funds for their assistance in their respective local and provincial governments. The Department had ended up funding everything, so the MGE fund no longer operated like it was intended to, and was clogged now. The Department had had to send people to their provinces which could not help. This was a structural issue, and was not just about the DAC. It was the least funded Department, and the Minister had not said this to complain. More than 80% of its budget went to the 25 entities of arts and culture, and the rest went to the conditional grants they gave to the provinces. The remainder was what it was left with, hence the MGE was clogged. The Department had touring ventures, where young South Africans came to it when invited internationally to showcase their talents, as they represented South Africa and its flag.
A segment of the MGE was the South African Cultural Observatory, which was the research arm of arts and culture. Another segment was the Art Bank -- a place where artists craft with their hands, and if people wanted to borrow that piece of art, they paid and then the artist benefited. The other area was the debut fund, where anyone who was releasing their first piece of art work or recording was funded. The target for this was the youth, with the DAC helping artists by boosting them.
The MGE had a segment called the capital venture fund, which builds entrepreneurs who need a boost but cannot approach commercial banks as they cannot afford the interest. The Department in this regard was making a contribution to building black industrialists, which was an initiative pushed by government. The Department was looking for partners, so it had been coupled with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) through which the programme was working. The Minister had attended the premiere of a movie made by a young man from the Eastern Cape which was being funded by the “nurture capital” fund, and despite the movie being in its production phase, it had been recognised for an Oscar internationally. It was the first African movie produced by a South African receiving international attention of this calibre. The Department had tasked itself with unearthing and unlocking potential, but lack of resources made unable it to do so at times, but where it could it tried its best.
The Minister also commented that most South African schools did not teach art, so the Department had meshed 300 artists with schools. This had been important for them, but 300 artists for 25 000 schools was not enough, although it was at least a start. One of the things that identified the age group of the community when growing up was sporting activities and music, community choral music and such. If this programme could be embraced and funded it could be big. The Department had been working with their colleagues in the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and had told them they needed arts and culture in the school curriculum. Emphasis had to be placed on who South Africans were in their continent, or there would be a problem. Identity issues were important, as people interpret this differently. Research on the creative economy had just been finished, and Minister would forward a report to Members of the Committee as it was interesting and about the film industry.
BRICS member countries were clear about their national interests, so in the relationship they seek the betterment of their people and communities. Different departments were grappling with understanding what South Africa’s national interest was, as it should contribute to job creation and economic growth. The DAC had identified its national interest as the film industry, and the research backed this direction. The issue of film was big in any economy. In the United States, Hollywood was their gold and platinum, and the creative economy contributed 1% of employed people. The Indian economy was better since the advent of Bollywood, and it was growing fast. The difference between Hollywood and Bollywood was that the former was “five star” with big screens, while the latter was two or one stars, but reaching out to a lot of people. In South Africa, one had five star big screens with the monopoly of Ster-Kinekor and Numetro being the best, but Nigeria’s Nollywood was huge -- they had even overtaken South Africa as the biggest economy in Africa. One of the factors that had aided Nigeria in overtaking South Africa was its film industry. The Rwandan film industry was also fast growing. South Africa could have Sallywood, which was the intention of the research looking into how feasible that was.
Three areas were a challenge in film industry. The first was that people wanted to see themselves in the movies. Not so long ago, “The Bold and the Beautiful” had been the major thing, but South Africans had taken this series and made it into “Generations.” It had grown big, but with the creation of Mzantsi magic, people had turned to “Isibaya” and other such shows. South Africans wanted to identify with characters that were familiar to them.
The second aspect was accessibility, as people had to travel far to get to the cinemas from the townships.
The third challenge was the cost that involved transportation and also having to pay for a movie ticket when people had basic needs.
The Minister asked for feedback from Members of the Committee on the research, as the Department had been planning a big summit next month where they would have producers, film makers and screen writers, and everyone would be under one roof. The reason the Department had been persistent about the film industry was because South Africa was part of BRICS, so they could access the markets of the member countries, and that would alleviate South African suffering. At the BRICS summit in Gauteng in July, there was also a film festival where each country came with five of its best movies to showcase, and the Minister had been able to observe that people wanted to see South African movies. The Department wanted to make a movie about Mama Esther Mahlangu, as it felt she had not benefited enough for all the work she had done. The Department’s legal unit was looking into why she was not already financially self-sufficient. She had produced a lot of young girls who worked under her, so she was an institution which had to be preserved while she was with us.
When the DAC started its plans for heritage, it had identified that it wanted to have a national heritage monument. When leaders pass away, they want to be buried in the villages, but because they were national heroes, everyone wants them to be in a central place where everyone could have access to him/her. Thus, monuments in a central place could be a form of commemoration that the entire nation could access. The national heritage monument was a monument with 400 life-sized statues who would be walking towards the heroes’ acre. This place was opposite Voortrekker Monument. These were the leaders from the pre-colonial era who had resisted Jan van Riebeeck, and people from inside and outside of South Africa who had fought apartheid. A council resolution was needed to allow them to continue with the “heroes’ acre.”
The SA flag had been taken to the public, and people had contributed towards what was now known as the official South African flag. The Minister therefore wanted people to come with ideas and contribute even now to heroes’ acre. This area of heritage had been vast. In 2011, at its general conference, UNESCO had done something unheard of. Africans had complained that people wrote about them without them, so UNESCO had made a decision to ask African leaders to write about their road to independence. They called it the “resistance and heritage road.” It happened after the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2004 took a resolution that they should all write about the struggle and liberation. Tanzania was given the task of convening this, putting together different works from intellectuals in the SADC region. The Department had commented that it had to find a way to avail this work to South Africans. This initiative had led the Department to have resistance and heritage route national chapters. In South Africa, within the nine provinces, each province would produce and write a story about centres where battles happened. There had to be three per province, which the Department would fund, and for the first time they had got fellow ministers to look into this project and work with them. What was the liberation heritage route? It was those places and sites which linked all, Mbuzeni being one of those sites which linked South Africa to Mozambique. The Department would promote these sites.
The “Rhodes Must Fall” movement had talked about a heritage landscape, which had led to the appointment of people to lead the process of responding to the push by the youth. They had come up with a report which said who should occupy public spaces and who should not, and efforts for reconciliation did not mean that people should have proponents of apartheid in these spaces. The guideline should be people who represented the spirit and the values of the constitution. Verwoerd was an antithesis to these values, so he could not occupy public spaces. The Department had been continuing with ensuring its heritage landscape had been transformed. Since 1998, the province of Limpopo had been number one in transforming its heritage landscape, with Polokwane and Mpumalanga being runners-up. The Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal had not done much, but in 2013 Kwazulu-Natal had done the standardising of names.
Grahamstown was a place that needed change. The town was named after the most vicious and brutal of men. He was a military man who attacked people and got them to submit and then butchered them. However, there were individuals who were heroes in that area who were not recognised, like Makhanda ka Nxele, who was amongst the first leaders to be taken to Robben Island. He died in 1820 trying to escape Robben Island and when he had left his people, he had told them to not cry as he was coming back. He never did, hence the African proverb that “you were waiting for the return of Nxele,” which meant basically that you were awaiting something that would never return. The Department now was declaring his return, as 2 October was the day that Grahamstown was renamed after him.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister for the presentation and its wealth of information which the Committee was going to use and digest to see how best it could be used to change the situation, such as telling South African stories regarding its history, which was what had begun to be done. South Africans must use their own heritage and language to promote themselves and their flag, and to explain the importance of the flag and what the colours stand for.
Ms P Samka (ANC, Eastern Cape) commented that though the presentation was informative, there should have been a document prepared that covered what the Minister had delivered verbally so that the Committee could interact and fully engage with it to make valuable inputs. She added that South Africans did not understand the meaning and value of the flag, as when the national anthem was sang some were chatting, some had their caps on which showed the lack of respect they had towards the national anthem. She added that even when a hero of the struggle died and the flag was flown at half-mast, a lot of people did not understand that.
It was important for South Africans to understand their history and where they came from. When Members were in Parliament debating, they would quote Nongqawuse without really knowing the full history behind her, only the summarized version of it. Her grave site was unknown to this day and people would point one to different locations, hence the Department had to go back and retrace the history with the assistance of Father Mkhatshwa through the moral regeneration branch. If South Africans could sit down and discuss their history, then maybe the nation would not have as many political parties due to an understanding of where they came from, just like the picture the Minister had painted in his presentation.
Under the heritage route, the focus when retracing peoples’ roots went nowhere, as most of them were resting in Tanzania. The tracing of a South African identity must go all the way to the roots of Oliver Tambo. South Africans were a people scared of talk about themselves, as on heritage day people were braaing instead of talking in their languages. The perception was that when one spoke English one was regarded as better, but as democracy became instilled in them, things would change.
“Buzani Kubawo” should have been a film a while ago, as it showed the wars that were happening at the time. She said the flag campaign should be taken to the people so that they could understand the importance of the flag and the national anthem, and the things they should and should not do when it was sung.
Mr C Hattingh (DA, North West) commented that when the Minister spoke of the flag, he was reminded of an era when plastic materials came about where the was a move from non-biodegradable to biodegradable materials, and there were special programmes launched at the school level where they were telling learners that pollution it bad. Efforts to launch the flag and patriotism were welcomed and must be at the foundation phases in schools, as that was where it belonged and would be vested in the fibre of generations to come.
He commented on the Minister’s point on social cohesion and nation building, remarking that the Minister had said the right words, but that was where it ended. He should not have taken the narrative to the case involving Penny Sparrow, which had been a situation where someone prompted or directly involved with her utterances had called for the hacking and killing of all whites. If there were talks on cohesion and nation building, there should not be continuous reference to incidents in isolation, as Sparrow had been fined R50 000, lost her business and been ostracized from her community. Velaphi Khumalo, who posted racial slurs against white people on Facebook, on the other hand, had been fined R30 000 and kept his job as a government official while silence was maintained on that case. If cohesion was wanted, and for people to live in the spirit of the constitution, then the good and the bad should be harnessed into one and say this was where we come from, this was our history. One would have these 400 statues and across the road there would be the Voortrekker Monument, with their history and remembering the heroes of the past. This was where South Africans wanted to go to as a nation.
Ms M Moshodi (ANC, Free State) said that the Minister had made the Committee proud, but a challenge had been placed on them with regard to the launch of the flag, as none of the schools in her area had the flag, so she would not mind collecting them from the Minister.
She commented on the campaign on albinism, and how her own grandchild had been afraid when encountering an albino. This had brought her shame, as sometimes as a leader they did not do enough, so she had gone to the councillor in the area and asked when they could hold mass meeting as she would like to talk to the leaders get them to teach people about albinism, as it was important in the rural areas.
She asked the Minister if one of the 300 artists based in schools was in the Free State, and where, so that when they were doing their oversight they could go and see their progress.
Lastly she mentioned how the Minister had said on TV that they were going to finish the museum of Winnie Mandela, as she had gone there and observed that they had already started. She would appreciate a progress report as to when they were going to finish.
Mr M Khawula (IFP, KwaZulu-Natal) commented on how the presentation was one of the most powerful that the Minister had ever delivered, as it was emotional. The Minister used the old way of educating the youth, as African education in the old days was oral, so when his brother died -- who was the King in their area -- they had called in the younger children in the family to educate them on the process of choosing a new monarch. as their time was passing.
However, he did does not agree with everything that the Minister had said with regard to the flag. Officials should all have the flag in their offices, including their constituencies, Parliament, councils and any government entity.
Social cohesion activities and events by the Department and the government at large had been turned into political rallies, and this had to be corrected and used for their intended purpose. Former President Mbeki had been disciplined, as under him no government function would be turned into a political rally, so why did the government allow this? They should correct it when it occurred. On moral regeneration, not enough was being done, as it was not visible. Where was it happening, as it was an important issue?
The heritage segment was very biased, as the description of fighting for liberation was limited to the PAC and the ANC, and this was wrong. It had to go beyond that description so that the Minister could see that there were others besides the ANC and PAC who fought for liberation. The government loved towns to the total neglect of rural areas, as all these programmes and projects on social cohesion and community conversations would be at city halls in the urban areas, and when they were done there they would then remember the rural areas. All the things the Minister had touched on were important, as they were the gold of our country.
Ms T Mpambo-Sibhukwana (DA, Western Cape) shared the same sentiments as Ms Samka on getting a document on the presentation so that they could also engage with it. She remarked on the compassionate delivery of the presentation, and on how the Minister was leading the DAC well.
Flags in public schools were rare, whereas Model C schools had a lot, so the Minister had to ensure that his Department delivered flags to schools, as they were few in the Western Cape. Artists were not looked after by South Africa, and when they passed away there had to be donations to bury them. This was embarrassing, as their dignity was ruined and people asked what the Committee Members discussed in Parliament. She also commented on piracy and how it was a concern for the Committee, and urged the Minister to look into this issue.
Ringo the artist had paved the way for artists such as Simphiwe Dana to sing in their African languages, which had promoted multilingualism. In nightclubs they play such songs now, whatever race or ethnicity they were, and the Department supported this.
Heritage Day had now turned into “Braai Day,” and she used it to bring together her family -- both the coloured side and the black side. Due to apartheid, they claimed to be coloured as living conditions for coloureds was better, so now she wanted to bring these two sides to her family together, as one day she would pass away and she wanted everyone to know each other while she was still around.
Lastly, she was aware of cultural beliefs concerning albinos and how the community treated them, so this campaign was very necessary as there was a need to educate on how albinism occurred in order to dispel these beliefs.
Mr Khawula commented on the assault on African languages, and said radio stations promoted it along with the Minister’s artist. Poets mixed languages, and he could not even tell what language it was anymore -- and then they were called great poets.
Ms T Mampuru (ANC, Limpopo) said her interpretation on arts and culture was one of love, forgiveness, care and support in any way one could think of, as one could not say one was a person if one did not have these qualities, as one would always undermine. In 2014, the ANC had sent her to a meeting and on the way she had been called by a disabled person who had described the challenges which came with living with disabilities. They had wanted answers from her which she gave, so they were happy and she had adopted them. When her son was getting married this year, she had invited them despite her being an able bodied person, and people did not understand why she had invited them. She remarked on her being a prophet, and was proud of it. It was not intentional as it came naturally, just like artists when singing or dancing. She said that the Committee must love, forgive, embrace and support so that they could be authentic African people. In some offices, one could see the flag and maybe it was in relation to the positions they held, but the Committee did not have them.
The Chairperson commented that the country was running out of prisons, so the government must invest more money on moral regeneration and the building of character and awareness of crime and its consequences, so that there would be no need to build more prisons. There was arrogance and rudeness in Parliament, which was a reflection of the moral degradation of our society.
An animation of African stories was important, as children should grow up watching them, but this required millions to do, so the Department should assist these artists. The Creative and Cultural Industry Federation (CIFSA) had said they were running out of funding, so the Minister must help. She asked to what extent the youth knew that there were funding avenues available to them. Was the Mzantsi Golden Economy fund supporting those that had always been supported at the expense of those who had never been supported?
She added that It was the responsibility of every parent to teach their children what to do and not to do in aiding with the moral regeneration of South African society. She had mentioned that artists in schools were few, and she was not sure that the number could be increased. Also, the BRICS partnership would enhance the South African economy greatly. On heritage sites, if the was gold on a heritage site, which one took precedence?
The Minister thanked Members for their contributions and promised to send the presentation to the Committee. Senior management of the DAC who were present had been taking note of the contributions. He also remarked on the importance of public education. On moral regeneration and the issue of language, the DAC felt it was only financially supporting it, and the Minister agreed with earlier sentiments by Members that it was not enough. He stated that there were media ‘darling’ issues, and MRM was not a priority to the media. Regarding heritage, the Minister said he would look into it and explain the local activities occurring.
The Department was giving bursaries for languages, including sign language.
In relation to the question on “Buzani Kubawo,” the Department had recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of ityala lama wele, so it would also follow up on “Buzani Kubawo.” The Department also had an initiative where it popularised and reproduced classic books in African languages.
They would find a way to continue discussion, and this had been the most lively discussion he had ever had in Parliament.
The meeting was adjourned.
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