Department of Arts and Culture & Department of Sports and Recreation 2018/19 Annual Reports; Minister present

Sports, Arts and Culture

09 October 2019
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Annual Reports 2018/2019

The Committee was briefed on the 2018/19 Annual Reports of the Department of Sports and Recreation (DSR) and Department of Arts and Culture (DAC)

The Department of Sports began with a performance overview for the financial year under review. During the period under review, the Department had 35 targets of which 32 were achieved. This translates to an achievement of 91.4% of the targets. The Department obtained the sixth consecutive Clean Audit Opinion on both performance and financial information. The presentation then looked at the audit findings, reasons for under expenditure and performance per programme. Challenges sited included inadequate legislation and financial constraints and uneven distribution of resources. Financial performance was also presented.

Members questioned the sick leave of the Department, accredited sporting teachers, training of athletes, conditional grants, international tournaments, doping and black listing of companies. Some Members were concerned by the human error in the Department and the number of unqualified staff. Further questions centered on the bilateral exchange programme, monitoring and evaluation, merging of the Departments and legislation. 

The DAC’s presentation covered a strategic overview, performance overview, areas where targets were achieved and areas where the Department underperformed. Members were also informed of the Auditor-General findings, explanation of the audit outcomes, budget vs. expenditure and highlights for the financial year. In the period under review, the Department planned to achieve a total of 39 performance targets. However, eight targets could not be achieved and this translates to 79% achievement. The Department obtained an unqualified audit.

The Committee questions allegations against DAC officials, the status of the Winnie Brandfront theatre, blacklisting companies, a programme of having flags in schools and hospitals. Members also wanted to know about insufficient funding for certain projects, the allocation of higher education institutions and TV licences and legislation.

Meeting report

2018-2019 Annual Report of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA)

The Acting Director General of Sports and Reacreation, Ms Sumayya Khan, took the Committee through the presentation

The Acting DG explained the nature of leadership that existed in the Department in the past financial year and the current leadership indicating the Department was led politically by Minister Tokozile Xasa and her deputy, Mr Gert Oosthuizen during 2018/19 and is currently being led by Minister Nathi Mthethwa, deputised by Ms Nocawe Mafu. Mr Alec Moemi, who is the former administrative head of the Department (DG) left SRSA at end of July 2019. His deputy, Ms Sumayya Khan, is now the Acting DG. She will hand over to the DG of the merged Department of Sports, Arts and Culture with effect from 1 April 2020. While two of the four vacant Chief Directors’ posts were filled in May 2019, one Chief Director (CFO) left SRSA at the end of 2018/19. Since September 2019, the three vacant Chief Director posts (including that of CFO), were filled in an acting capacity.

Performance Overview

The Acting DG explained that during the period under review, out of the 35 targets of the Department, 32 were achieved giving an achievement rate of 91.4%. Programmes one, two and five failed to achieve one target each. Programmes three and four achieved 100% of their targets. The Department obtained the sixth consecutive clean audit opinion on both performance and financial information. The achievement was reached through 148 staff members working as functional units and in task teams. R1 076 billion of the allocated R1 090.8 billion was spent – this translates to expenditure of 98.6%.

The Auditor-General of SA (AGSA) found:

  • financial statements presented fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Department as at 31 March 2019 and its financial performance and cash flows for the year
  • no material findings on the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information for the selected programmes were raised
  • no material findings on compliance with the specific matters in key legislation set out in the general notice issued in terms of the PAA were raised
  • no significant deficiencies in internal control were identified.

Ms Khan then looked at the financial resources supporting performance where the main under-spenders was in administration, mainly due to unfilled vacancies, and sport infrastructure support, where under spending was due to the delay in signing Memoranda of Understanding with the various municipalities which were identified for the delivery of outdoor gym facilities and vacant posts that were not filled.

The presentation touched on performance information of the programmes of the Department in terms of percentage of achievement per programme against programme targets, targets not achieved per programme, reasons for deviation and corrective actions. The programmes of the Department consist of:

-administration (83.3% of targets achieved)

-active nation (91.7% of targets achieved)

-winning nation (100% of targets achieved)

-sport support services (100% of targets achieved)

-sport infrastructure support (50% of targets achieved)

 

The presentation outlined the comparison of performance of 2017/18 vs. 2018/19 per programme.

Challenges experienced included inadequate legislation and financial constraints and uneven distribution of resources. Legislation does not fully support the strategy of the Department. Efforts to amend/introduce the legislation such as THE NSRA, Combat Sport Act and SAIDS Act, as well as related regulations, are moving at a slow pace because of other national legislative priorities. Financial constraints and uneven distribution of resources across the sporting codes remain a major challenge as a significant number of federations still do not have proper administration resources such as human and other office infrastructure resources and this impedes the effective governance of sport in general.

Another challenge is inadequate funding towards adequately implementing the National Sports and Recreation Plan (NSRP). The sport delivery system continued to be impacted by budget constraints and the absence of adequate equitable share to implement the NSRP adopted by the sports movement and approved by Cabinet. SRSA continues to explore alternative funding models to ensure strategic goals are not compromised i.e. optimising citizens’ access to sport and recreation; transformation of the sector and supporting athletes to achieve international success. Mechanisms include partnerships with other national government departments, provincial and local spheres of government.

Following baseline reductions in December 2017, the Department was compelled to review targets planned over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), as well as reconsider the project delivery modalities envisaged. As the largest baseline reduction was taken from the Mass Participation and Sport Development Grant (R31 million), it would be expected that this is where the largest impact on the targets would also be experienced. The large target of 1 000 000 people actively participating in organised sport and active recreation events was reduced to 600 000 people for 2018/19. The work to strengthen the organisational environment of the Department and make it optimally responsive to the challenges played out by the NSRP is ongoing and being intensified.

Ms Khan then looked at the employment and vacancies per programme as at 31 March 2019 after moving onto present performance information of achievements per programme.

The presentation then outlined the governance performance of the Department in terms of risk management and the audit committee report. The presentation then moved on to human resource management looking at employment and vacancies per programme and salary band, Senior Management Service posts, annual turnover rates by salary band, sick leave and annual leave taken.

The Acting Chief Financial Officer for Sports and Recreation, Ms Sibongile Mondile, presented the Department’s annual financial statements for the financial year under review. The departmental financial performance as at 31 March 2019 is as follows:

-The overall spending is at R1.076 billion which represent 98.6% of the total budget allocation out of a total budget of R1.091 billion

-Spending on compensation of employees is at 89.9% totalling R99.8 million out of a budget of R110.9 million. Under spending is due to high vacancy rate in the Department. The Department is in the process of filling priority posts

-Expenditure on goods and services is at 97.9% totalling R166.4 million out of a budget of R169.9 million. Under spending is due to Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) earmarked funding which was not fully utilised due to non signing of MOU’s by the identified municipalities

-Transfer payments’ spending is at 100.0% totalling R807.3 million out of a budget of R807.4 million

-Payment for capital assets expenditure is at 99.9% totalling R2.4 million out of a budget of R2.5 million

 

The presentation looked at the financial statements per programme. 

Discussion

Mr W Faber (DA) asked the DG to explain why out of the 63% sick leave, 39% were highly skilled employees taking leave for 233 days. Is the Department looking into the reasons for sick leave and why it increased among the highly skilled? The difference in the percentage of sick leave among the highly skilled and other categories is very high. He also wanted to know how many teachers the Department had given accredited training to in sport codes, what is the quality of the athletes, how these teachers were trained and the statistics of these teachers because the main responsibility of Sports and Recreation is to develop sporting policies and skills in people and schools.

On the scientific sport, he asked how many athletes were trained since the Acting DG said the Department exceeded the targeted number by 120. How many athletes were associated with the Common Wealth Games programme? On programme five, infrastructure support, he called the attention of the Acting DG to the fact that the international sports centre has been standing bare, neglected and in bad condition for so many years and the community cannot use it. What is happening with regards to that? Does the centre get support from the Department for maintenance and recovery of the damaged parts of the infrastructure?

Ms Khan responded that people are allowed to go on sick leave and it is very difficult to deny them that because there is legislation and policies around this. The legislation states that if someone is away for a given number of days, that person should submit a sick note. There are also policies on ill health. However, if there is a pattern of sick leave, the Department would need to provide some service and engage the wellness unit perhaps if services such as counselling are required. It is a very delicate matter to start asking employees the details of their illnesses. After the employee has been away from two days and still does not feel well, the employee is expected to take all their medical papers to the medical practitioner to have them filled in for the employee to apply for more sick leave - this is the regulatory framework around sick leave. It has also been found that some employees took sick leave as they were exhausted by illness.  These employees took longer periods of sick leave and this added to the rates of sick leave displayed in the presentation.

Mrs V van Dyk (DA) asked for clarity on some items and figures in the presentation – under goods and services, she found the amounts spent on these meetings increased greatly compared to previous years and she asked why this was the case. She questioned a number of large amounts of expenditure, what they were for and why the expenditure was that large. Why was there decreased expenditure on training and development? On the matter of conditional grants, why did the Free State receive three times the amount that the Northern Cape received? The Free State only spent 3% of this grant – what happens to the funds not used? How much funding was received by the Free State in previous years? Why did it get funding when it did not spend its entire grant? Why was the Northern Cape neglected? The province always received very little money for development despite the fact that it contributed a lot to the revenue of SA through mining activities. Why was the amount not spent by the Free State channelled to the Western Cape?

She then asked about the support given to potential Commonwealth athletes. She stated there should be a training for athletes and room given for them to compete because it is unfair when athletes have the skills but are not allowed, or do not have the chance to compete in international tournaments. On the drug-free agencies that are being supported and the South African anti-doping laboratory, how does the Department intend to control that aspect of its work? It is the Department’s obligation to get the laboratory accredited because it is a flagship for South Africa and the only laboratory of its kind in the world – the Department speaks about it but does nothing. What is going to be done about this? Page 32 speaks to the 64 athletes targeted for the ministerial programmes but it seemed the Northern Cape was also neglected in this regard.

She asked if the Department tried to find out why sick leave increased on a constant basis for a certain category of workers – were these workers under pressure because of vacancies? If the vacancies are filled, would these workers be more productive as the pressure reduces? Are those on leave being paid to get rest?

On the conditional grants and why the Northern Cape does not get as much funding as the Free State, Ms Khan responded that ideally, the Department is supposed to divide the grants equitably according to the provinces but this is not reflected due to the size of the provinces. With the mass participation grant, the Department used a different formula to give every province the same amount the first time. However even with the equitable share from the conditional grant and the mass participation grant, it was seen the Northern Cape was getting very little. The Department has taken R5 million (R2 million from KZN and R3 million from Gauteng) and given it to Northern Cape giving a total of R32 million – this is how the Northern Cape was augmented. The Free State gets more funding because there is a national training centre being built there.  Money not spent in the Free State was due to delays in implementation and the Department is dealing with that.

The laboratory in the Free State is the only laboratory for anti-doping tests in Africa. It had lost its accreditation but has now been reaccredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The equipment utilised in the laboratory was very expensive and due to the fact that athletes are getting smarter in terms of hiding doping activities and as such, the laboratory must ensure it is technologically up to date and prepared for this challenge. As a result, charging for samples was required even though this charge was not too high. Still, not enough funds come from this and, since most people go to more developed countries for their testing, the laboratory does not get enough finds through the tests. Because of this, the Department has been meeting with the laboratory to assist it with increasing revenue and reviewing its status to become a recognised body and so get funding from other sources instead of just being an NPO. African Union Region 5 brings its samples to South Africa at very attractive rates as a way of supporting South Africa instead of taking them to Europe or Doha.

On the reduction of prices for training, Ms Mondile responded there was that upward and downward movement because from R200 000 to about R60 000 was because the Department conducted training internally and as such the prices reduced however when the Department used external trainers, the prices increased. There are so many federations that have been funded by the Department and a list of these can be found in the Annual Report.

On the breakdown of the goods and services, the CFO explained the Department tried giving explanations for these in the Annual Report – this was for figures which have gone up more than 10% or down in the comparative years. About the specific items such as the increase on computer equipment, which moved up from R3m to R3.9m, the Department paid for a licence fee and also a fee for the hosting of the website.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) asked the Department if it had ever blacklisted any companies and if such information can be seen on the database of the Department. How many municipalities did not sign the MOU? How many signed late? This information is not detailed in the Report. Were actions taken against these municipalities? These municipalities should be mentioned.

Mr Mhlongo asked why the MIG allocations were not used and how much it amounted to. The Department needs to needs to submit a valid register of activities it participated in. In the absence of such a register, it shows there is no evaluation in the Department. He asked how many staff did monitoring and evaluation.

The Acting DG explained infrastructure and the legal structure are the responsibilities of the municipalities however the MIG is used as an intervention. Looking back at funding historically, in 2001, S&R received allocations for building sporting facilities. In 2004, there was consolidation of all grants into the MIG and in this grant there was a 15% portion allocated to sporting activities because it was not stated that the MIG must be used only for sporting infrastructures.  The Department finds a way to get the 15% allocated to sports and have it used for sport facilities. The MIG grants makes it possible for the Department to create sport infrastructures in municipalities but the municipalities have to take responsibility for the maintenance of these infrastructures because within the MIG funding, there is very little the Department can do with regards to sustainability of these structures.

The Department signed an MOU with the municipalities and the Department has a list of this. There are nine per municipality but this is taken over a year.

On the companies blacklisted, the Acting DG was not aware of any of such companies however the CFO will explain better as this is within the area of her responsibilities. She agreed the Department fell short on its target related to employment equity targets but it is working on it hoping to take care of that in future.

The CFO responded that Treasury has started looking at the budget structure. The Department does not have a list of blacklisted companies for the period under review but National Treasury has a list of all blacklisted companies on its website and as such is accessible. The company that supplied the tracksuit was not directly contracted by the Department and the Department is not using that supplier

The Acting DG said that on the matter of MIG and the under expenditure, facilities are identified on an annual basis by working with the provincial departments of sports through the integrated development plans.

Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) said that from the presentation, a lot of human error can be seen as well as many people not doing their jobs. Perhaps that is why there is slowness of operation in the Department. Many unqualified people are brought and many vacancies exist in the Department. The slowness of the Department could be said to be as a result of the poor number of highly skilled employees when there are many people looking for jobs that can be hired. It then looks as if the right mechanisms are not being used and this results in lengthy consultations and the targets not achieved; for example on page ten, the reasons for underachievement are lengthy consultations which feels like people going back and forth instead of doing their jobs.

On the budget of the Department, he asked to know what is meant by the budget equipment and equitable share and what qualifies as equitable share. If the number of learners is exceeded as more learners show interest in participating in sports, why does it become a problem? The Member believed it should be seen as a good sign that people want to take part in sports. Why was boxing not included in the winning nation?

On the bilateral exchange programme, Mr Madlingozi asked how the countries were chosen as it also looked as if the highly skilled were less in number there. Why there was a 100% payment, or close to that, when there is no job being done? This may be as a result of most employees being unqualified - this is an unconventional way of doing things and as such is ineffective.

Mr Manase Makwela, Acting Chief Director: Strategic and Executive Support, Department of Sport and Recreation, responded that on the employment of lower skilled employees in the Department, in the Annual Report, the different categories of employment in the Department can be seen. Employees in top management do not have the same level of education as those in middle or lower level management. The work of employees are categorised into different classifications. This did not mean there are bad employees but rather that there was different levels of work. There are certain requirements for the different levels. One cannot take someone from the lower levels to do work at the level of Chief Director. As such, the Department recruits employees in the line with the category of work that person is going to do. The matter of unqualified staff can only arise if the Department employs someone in a post that he/she is not qualified for but as the Department did not do so, it cannot be accused of using unqualified employees. The salary band also correlates to the qualifications.

Mr Makwela responded to the exceeding number of participants creating a problem for the Department, saying that exceeding the number of learners was not the problem but it raised the question of blame as the question of why the Department did not foresee this happening arises – this is where the problem lies. The Department is not complaining about the number being exceeded but in order to avoid other technical challenges which may arise as a result of the higher number, the Department has provided the explanation it has. The Department is looking at other ways to attend to the matter as it wishes to achieve 100% in that aspect. Therefore to exceed the target is a bonus but the actual challenge was that during planning, the Department did not factor that in and it wanted to avoid blaming questions. Boxing is covered as part of sport support programme. It was not mentioned in the winning nation programme because it was not funded under that category.

Monitoring and evaluation of staff is a management function so although there is supposed to be some form of monitoring at each level in the Department, monitoring is seen in the unit of the Chief Director for monitoring and strategic planning. There is also a Deputy Director for monitoring and training which falls under the Chief Director’s unit and he does the monitoring with the assistance of two interns.

On the performance of provinces, the Department has a penalty schedule in the grant framework while legislation stipulated the number of days that the Department can withhold funding. Each quarter, provinces submit their reports. There is additional information on whether the reports were well submitted or if it was a case of malicious compliance on the part of the provinces. The Department would then know whether to release or withhold funding. There are different rates of funding that can be withheld ranging from 15% to 25% and when the provinces meet the requirements, funding can be released to them.

Looking at the different roles, in the Annual Report, at the top level, one would see five administrations and less number of managers. Also at this level, one would see the Acting DG reflected as the COO although the COO is now acting as the DG.

On the choice of countries, Mr Makwela explained the Department has an international relations strategy it follows and the rationale is that when it enters into an agreement, it should be an agreement that will have benefits for the country. There are times the Department enters into an agreement where it is not just about South Africa but the other country benefiting. For example in a post-war period within the continent, and the Department goes to another country to assist it, that country benefits more than SA but when that happens, the intention is made known and it is usually a decision that is taken by the country, not just the Department. There are times when agreements are made at presidency level and then the Department is required to enter into a sort of partnership with such countries on the said programme. This falls outside the Department.

On the matter of fraud, in the Annual Report, under labour relations, it will be seen there are four employees but looking at the reasons closer, this would point to matters of insubordination as the type of misconduct that was involved.

Mr J Mamabolo (ANC) observed what the Acting DG said about the organogram of the Department and how it will be reorganised under the new DG coming in. He therefore wanted to know what will happen to the other positions that are not occupied. He also asked the Department to mention the infrastructure it provides to the municipalities, how it identifies the areas that need the infrastructure, what contribution it makes to them, and how the municipalities come in. He was worried about the infrastructures in the rural areas and townships. On the federations, he asked the Department how it funded them and whether this was by size or if it is the same amount of money for all of them.

On funding of federations, Mr Makwela stated the Department funds the federations for different reasons. When it is done for the small ones, it implies there is a matter of administration required but for the larger federations, it increases the aspect of sports missing in the federation. An example is focusing on women sports and funding in that case will focus around that particular missing aspect. There are some federations and entities the Department does not fund because they are well off.

Mr A Seabi (ANC) asked the Department to give the Committee a heads up on the merger in terms of how far the process has gone. He asked about the additional increases to the establishment while there are vacant posts and intra-transfers of workers. Why has the Department not then increased employees of the Department given vacant posts? Was it impossible to transfer or re-skill these employees to fill the vacancies? 

He was worried about the numbers of sick leave in the Department especially as the Department was responsible for sport and therefore encourages people to be healthy even though the Department is not healthy itself. The Annual Report does not give the equity profile in terms of human resources and he asked the Department to state its employment equity targets and how far it has gone in achieving that. If the Department was to be judged based on the Report, then it is not doing well. He asked if the Department has experienced any cases of fraud and corruption in the year under review and if so, how such cases were handled. From the Report, it can be seen that the CFO will be acting until March 2020 – is this because the post will not be advertised or because of the merger? He asked for clarification as he has seen that the Acting DG is also reported in some other parts of the Report as COO, Acting Chief Director: Sport Support, Acting Chief Director: Winning Sport etc.

Ms Khan said the Department will make bursaries available to the different provinces because there are sports focuses for all the provinces. On the merger, there is a national macro organisation of the government that is being led by the Presidency and all the affected DGs are part of the stakeholders and each of the departments have to have a work stream. Therefore within the DSR, there is a work stream (six in all): human resources work stream, finance work stream, infrastructure work stream, ICT work stream, legal work stream and communication work stream and these work streams have very clear terms of reference. The streams meet on a regular basis and the Department reports the proceedings of these meetings to DPSA which is the secretariat of the national sporting organisation of the state. There is a new start up structure for the new department which has to be submitted to the DPSA. Treasury has started to look at the budget structure and as such it can be said the Department is advanced in terms of the merger process.

On the CFO acting up to 2020, Ms Khan responded that as the Department goes into the merger, there is an already existing framework along with an interim arrangement as the departments are still getting their individual budgets while the new Department of Sports, Arts and Culture is being set up. The Department has been directed not to fill any posts permanently under programme one. 

The Chairperson was not yet convinced that all is well in the Department. She was concerned that provinces do not report well in line with the technical indicators. She has seen from the presentations that workshops have been conducted for learners and SRSA has continued to engage provinces in their challenges. The Department has always had challenges with invoices presented by the Department from provinces. She suggested there should be a change in the mechanisms used in evaluation and monitoring. She asked the Department why it continues having workshops and seminars yet the problems persist as it increasingly complains that provinces are not accounting for their programmes. She therefore asked that the Department make known to the Committee more ways it intends to use monitoring and the measures it will use to make the provinces understand it means business.  

The Chairperson was not happy about the matter of inadequate legislation being presented as the Department was supposed to prioritise and present its legislation in the Committee in order for the Committee to monitor this. It is not the responsibility of the Committee to put up legislation for the Department - this says a lot about the Department. While the Annual Report spoke to the Department’s legislation, on the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill, they acted as a Committee as it was seen that nothing was happening. Unfortunately the Bill has lapsed. She requested the Department present to the Committee its priority legislation in order for the Committee to assist and monitor what Parliament was doing about legislation. Although some Ministers expect that some legislation be fast-tracked, it is not the correct way of working because the NCOP is supposed to consult the provinces. She was also interested in the companies blacklisted by the Department because there was once a problem with the tracksuits of athletes going to the Olympics and she would like to know what happened to the company that was involved in that case because it was an embarrassment for the Committee.

It is not the Committee that will prioritise the legislation for the Department – the Department needs to do this itself and the Committee can then advise where needed. The previous Committee called the Department to hear what is being done by way of legislation to prevent people being killed in the stadiums. As a result, the Committee promised that the Act will be amended but that was delayed and as such each department must specify the priorities of its legislation. The Department needs to explain what is being done about this.  

The Acting DG promised to bring the Act back to the Committee so that it will be looked into and sorted out.

Mr Faber stated that to the best of his knowledge, the S&R’s main responsibility is development and in the past years. The responsibility cannot simply be passed on to the Department of Basic Education (DBE). He was worried the Acting DG was not accepting the fact that the Department should be responsible for accreditation of teachers in the area of sports. He agreed that DBE can provide the guidelines for the training but the training itself should be done by the Department. He asked if the Department would be providing the accreditation of teachers in partnership with DBE. Saying that it is done by DBE sounds as if the Department is simply passing its responsibility over to DBE. The creation of policies for sportsmanship and accreditation of teachers is the main responsibility of the Department and he will not support the idea of such a very vital role of the Department being passed on to another Department. He stated that if one wanted professional sportsmanship in communities, one has to have teachers in disadvantaged areas that receive accredited training. These communities do not get the training privileged schools do. The Member wanted to get the view of the Department in this regard.

The Department responded that when it comes to accreditation, and schools’ sports, there are rules and specification of responsibility between DBE and DSR. What happened in the school and the capacity of teachers to coach, is the responsibility while DSR is responsible for the training of people in sports. Looking at the skills landscape, there is a sports training, there is a sport training authority. Looking at the sports codes, each has accredited training in line with national federations. CATHSSETA was looking at how to deal with training because while there may be manuals and codes, there is an international body that has the final say. This applies to, for example, how one qualifies as a referee or coach and as such, there are some criteria that must be met. In 2014, the athletes did not just have to qualify by way of training but also by the international sporting code. So in offering training to teachers at school levels, there has to be a system of what the needs are and, within the school environment, resources. Within the grants providing to sporting federations by the Department, training and support are given to different provinces and there is active development of teachers for them to manage and coordinate school sports. Although this may not mean accredited training in various sports, it helps coordinate school sports.  Training in various sporting codes involves the bringing in of sport experts and this is not the responsibility of the DSR alone. The Department provides an enabling environment for that to happen in schools depending on the demand for teachers to be trained in specific sports. This will require that DBE make resources available. Within DSR there is training for specific officials and specific codes of sports – this includes everyone and not only teachers.  

Mr Mhlongo was of the opinion that the Department is running away from some questions so he suggested that questions be written down to avoid leaving any question unanswered. The question he asked on the use of registers was not answered.

The Acting DG said that on the list of municipalities that will be benefitting in the 2018/2019 schedule, all provinces will benefit from the schedule. The Department has a list of all these municipalities in the Annual Report.

Mr Mhlongo stated the Department was yet to answer his question on the copy of registers. Why did the municipalities not build recreation centres? How much was the MIG allocation? On employment equality and people living with disability, the Department did not even achieve the 2% it said it would. The Committee always asked why this was the case, what the challenge is and how the Committee can help on this. Did it mean the Department does not have any association with people living with disability? He asked how many monitoring evaluations the Department had done and how many had been monitored in all the projects/programmes. He explained that he was asking because the Department talked about monitoring five individuals and this implies that officials were playing with the Committee. It comes back to the matter of duplication of registers and people using the same registers they used for other activities for new ones. This clearly shows there is no monitoring.

The Acting DG agreed that with disability and employment equity, the Department has not met the requirement though they do have a few people with disabilities.  Being a small department henceforth, it will work on this.  

Mr Madlingozi stated that when he spoke to non-delivery from the Department, he wanted to find out what the Department was doing about the reasons for this non-delivery i.e. repetitive human error, human inadequacy, human carelessness and human laziness. It seemed as if people are not doing their jobs.  What is the Department doing about the more than expected number of learners taking part in the programme?

The Acting DG was not sure if she understood the question on human error because the Department indicated that in terms of the 30 days payment, there are times when human error comes in in terms of capturing information etc. and this results in the Department not meeting the 30 day target. She could not see where laziness is reflected in the work of the Department.

Mr Seabi said that although his questions were answered, he wanted to follow up on the matter of the COO/DG. The Annual Report is a public document and should be distributed after the meeting. Had he not been a Member of the Committee, he would have been very confused had he come across that kind of information in the Annual Report. He suggested the Department should just go with the COO or DDG and state clearly what the individual is responsible. He did not hear anything being said about the MOU on school sports for the year under review – it would be good to get a report on this.

Ms R Adams (ANC) said that on slide ten of the presentation, the under spending was due to the delay of the signing of the MOU. She asked if the MOU was later signed. She asked this as Members represented constituencies and the municipalities are big problems in these constituencies. It would therefore be helpful if the names of those who did not sign or delayed the signing could be made available by the Department. Page 50 of the report spoke to the same challenge – the names of these municipalities must be made known. For the new department, she requested to know the timeframe for the filling of vacancies.

The Acting DG responded that the Department has prioritised the filling of posts before the end of the financial year. When the new department is formed, the requirements will be looked at again along with plans for the next five years and new strategic plans. 

The school sports MOU was signed in 2018 between the Minister of Basic Education and the then Minister of Sport and Recreation. The MOU lasts for five years – it is in its second year of implementation. The Department has a plan of action in terms of implementation. This is presented to the management board on a quarterly basis. There are other government structures in place in terms of the joint national task team on school sports including DBE and provincial departments. There are quarterly meetings to look at how the provinces deliver on their responsibilities in terms of sports.

The Department has six students on bursaries in the Eastern Cape, one in Free State, 22 in Gauteng, three in KZN, six in Limpopo, five in Mpumalanga, one in the Northern Cape, two in the North West and five in the Western Cape.  She reminded me the Committee that those athletes are chosen from the school programme. The Department has a programme of talent identification during the school sports championships and athletes are identified at these championships. The high number of athletes comes from provinces where there are resources for these athletes to perform - this is why Gauteng has the greater number of athletes.

The Chairperson asked if the Department was aware of athletes in rural areas obligated to cover their own expenses at national championships. This was the case in the North West where the most talented athletes are not competing due to lack of funds to pay for their expenses.  If the Department was aware of this, she wanted to know what it is doing about it and if not, what could be done to get to the root of the occurrence in the North West.

The Acting DG responded that the Department is not aware that athletes in rural areas fund themselves. The Department knows that within the school sports programmes and the championships that take place on annual basis, no athletes should be charged for coming to the school sports programme because there is funding for programs granted to the provinces for this and there is funding from S&R South Africa for hosting the national championships. Within that funding there is R10 million per province to actually provide all that is needed for the programme to the athletes and also for them to contribute towards the hosting cost. She repeated that based on this, no athlete should be asked to pay, however, the Department is aware that federations run their own programmes as well and they charge athletes to participate in events - the Department has been addressing this challenge with the federations. If there is a national championship or schools sports, it must not be for junior athletes alone rather it must be one event that will bring all 16 sporting codes together.

On the matter of sectors, the Department has a transaction tender for supply of equipment and attire and in term of the transversal tender all provinces have been allocated suppliers.

The CFO added that the supplier the Department uses for supplies was earmarked by MIG. On the MIG earmarked funds, there may have been a misunderstanding concerning some of the explanations because when the Department requested the MIG from Treasury, the Department needed support and capacity in order to oversee the MIG. When it is said the grant is earmarked, it simply means the grant is allocated for a specific reason and as such, cannot be used for any other reason. Even within the Department and by the end of the year, if the Department has not used up what was allocated for a particular programme, the funding cannot be used for something else.

The Department had no intent to avoid any questions but rather to answer them as much as it could depending on how it understood the questions. In every environment there is bound to be errors and as employers, the Department cannot afford to have its staff being scared all the time because that will give rise to a toxic environment and that is where people leave organisations. When people are scared of making mistakes, that is actually when they make mistakes or do not even do anything at all. When it is noticed that employees are making mistakes intentionally to sabotage the organisation, then the Department make use adequate measures. Each member of staff is employed to perform a particular duty and are rewarded accordingly at the end of every month and as such they are expected to contribute accordingly to the programmes of the employers to benefit the entire country. When it is realised that the errors were due to lack of training, the Department provides that training. Each year, the supervisors sit with the employees that report to them and come up with a plan for the year. Despite this, the Department acknowledges there will be errors every now and then.

On the matter of monitoring and evaluation of officials, the CFO said not all questions had yes or no answers – some responses require background so that the Committee can understand where the Department is coming from. He indicated that the number of people in the M&E unit is not adequate but there is a Deputy Director who is specifically charge of this in the Department with the help of two interns – this is all the Department has in place in terms of monitoring and evaluation. Monitoring and evaluation is part of the functions of management. Over the years, management has been performing this role to ensure there is adequate monitoring of their units however, occasionally, a group of people are brought together to form a team to assist the Monitoring and Evaluation Deputy Director. The CFO acknowledged that the Department’s monitoring and evaluation setup was not ideal with the development of a new department and merger, it would soon end and the situation will improve.

The CFO agreed there is duplication of registers and this is confirmed from engaging the documents the Department received from the provinces. Once they are picked out, such registers are disregarded. Each programme has its own participants however certain participants may participate in more than one projects. During the national recreation day, there are 10 000 participants in a certain event – 5 000 participants cannot be stopped from taking part in the Big Walk especially when their departments have spent money to ensure they participate in the second event. There are times when the Department has documents with 50 000 participants but this was later brought down to 30 000 after the duplications were removed. While this can be corrected, there are matters which cannot be corrected for instance when a register deals with an event such as the Big Walk where people come from far and wide. The Department works only with evidence by using reports which could be corroborated. The Department does its best to check these errors that can be caused by duplication so that where it is found it becomes an exception rather than the rule.

Mr Mhlongo stated that when the Committee questions the number of people, it should be provided. Yes or no responses do not require background stories – the requested response should instead be provided. He insisted the Department did not provide simply yes or no responses to his questions.

In response, the CFO stated that in the previous year the answer was “yes” but for the financial year under review, the answer is “no”. It was restated that the list of blacklisted companies can be found on National Treasury’s website for all interested parties.

Mr Seabi, on behalf of the Chairperson, thanked the Department for coming to give its presentation, advising it to avoid political statements when answering questions in future to avoid putting itself in trouble. The Committee would like to have a very cordial relationship with the Department for the period they will be working together bearing in mind that the Committee has the power to do oversight and the right to get any information it needed.

Annual Report 2018/19 of the Department of Arts and Culture

Mr Vusi Mkhize, Director-General, Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), presented the Annual Report of the Department beginning with the strategic overview and strategic goals of the Department. Looking at the performance in 2018/19, in the period under review, the Department planned to achieve a total of 39 performance targets. However, eight targets could not be achieved and this translates to 79% achievement. The period of 2018/19 saw a slight decline in performance by 3% when compared to 2017/18. Some of the contributing factors to the observed decline include:

-Inadequate corroborating evidence to support achievements e.g. outstanding reports from beneficiaries

-Prolonged consultations to enable adequate buy-in from stakeholders. This is more applicable to the work study conducted to inform a new DAC organisational structure and the feasibility study on the amalgamation of public entities.

-Urgent request to reprioritise other initiatives. For example, the planned digitisation of the Treason Trial Records could not be pursued as result of a special request by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prioritise the digitisation of the dictabelt of the Ahmed Timol Court Case. As such, funds were redirected to the latter project.

- Insufficient budget to fund some of the planned projects. For example, funds had to be directed away from some of the planned projects to pay litigation costs i.e. court order settlement of OPICONSIVIA matter. 

 

In order to enhance performance further, the Department will be institutionalising instruments in the 2019/20 financial year such as: service delivery charter, service delivery model, map processes for each target/service, service standards, tighten the monitoring and compliance of beneficiaries and effect punitive measures as per the conditions of the contract and tighten all internal deficiency controls identified by quality assurance providers.

The presentation then looked at areas where targets were achieved in the 2018/29 financial year. Areas where the Department underperformed in the 2018/19 financial year included:

-administration: the work study report

-institutional governance: consultations with entities conducted during the fourth quarter

-arts and culture promotion and development: flagship projects, community arts projects, capacity building programmes supported and sector organisations supported

-heritage preservation and promotion: collections digitised

 

Mr Mkhize then presented the report by the Auditor-General where the Department received an unqualified audit opinion with no material adjustments to the annual financial statements. There were findings on the audit of the annual performance report and compliance with legislation. The audit findings for each programme in the Department were detailed.

The DG used a graph to show the report by the auditor general for the periods of 2011 to 2019. He also explained the report on the Audit of the financial statements and the 2018/19 audit outcomes for the different programmes of the department as follows:

Mr Makoto Matlala, DAC CFO, took the Committee through the budget vs. expenditure beginning with the summary of appropriation per programme, expenditure variance per economic classification and explanation of the audit outcomes.

The DG presented the 2018/2019 highlights as follows:

  • Izimbizo and #I am the flag campaign where the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture and the Acting King, Azenathi Zanelizwe Dalindyebo, handed over the sewing machines that will be placed in the Community Arts Centre for crafters. These machines were expected to enhance productivity and ability to generate income for the crafters and the Deputy Minister emphasised the sewing machines belonged to the community and that every community member should have access to them.  The Minister of Arts and Culture launched the #I am the flag campaign to promote national consciousness, social cohesion, nation building and patriotism for all citizens of South Africa. The campaign, done in partnership with the South African National Taxi Association (SANTACO), was launched at the Randburg Taxi Rank, in Johannesburg.
  • Addressing the scourge of Gender-Based Violence (GBV): the DAC is implementing different models to contribute to socio-economic transformation where artists, especially the Legends and Divas, participate in campaigns against Gender-Based Violence. This is a four-pronged model of taking theatre to the people which includes the use of industrial theatre, cultural performance, dialogue and media interviews and social media platforms to convey messages of “No Violence against Women and Children”. More than 30 artists are participating in the programme; a CD and a video have been produced to create awareness on GBV and campaigns were hosted in Evaton on Mandela Day where killings of women were reported, the Cape Town Peninsula University of Technology together with the Limpopo Merit Awards After School Programme to support the launch of the university GBV policy during Women’s Month (16 August 2018). At the Ministerial imbizo in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga, on, 23 November 2018, Minister Mthethwa interacted with community members, who raised challenges on GBV and made recommendations. This imbizo sought to create social partnerships and including initiatives aimed at good governance, improved stakeholder morale, and public confidence.
  • Recognising the plight of people with disability: the Minister is committed to addressing the plight of people with disabilities especially people with albinism and on 13 June 2018, the Minister launched International Albinism Awareness Day under the theme Shine Your Light. The launch was held in Hlalakahle in Mpumalanga where two girls were killed and their body parts removed - this gave the Minister the opportunity to meet with the affected family. There was also a performance on the DAC-funded drama: “Mama I Want To Be The Black That You Are” highlighting challenges affecting people with albinism. Legends with disabilities hosted workshops and events in various theatres and at special schools nationally. This project empowers people with disabilities, including people with albinism, to express their artistic abilities, liberation from stigma and rejection and the “I Can Campaign Programme” was implemented through dialogues and workshops in all special schools
  • BRICS Summit: the event formed part of the 10th BRICS Summit hosted under the theme, "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution". Minister Mthethwa held a gala dinner as part of the networking session, and also to showcase South African music. The BRICS fashion show and fashion business forum showcased some of the best local and international designs. The fashion extravaganza was aimed at showcasing textile and retail opportunities within BRICS countries; creating a platform for fashion designers to participate in each others’ premier fashion shows; discussing and collaborating on fashion-related issues; creating market access; and promoting the consumption of fashion among BRICS countries. The fashion show concluded with a business forum on 26 October 2018 at the Lesedi Cultural Village
  • Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's House in Brandfort: On 26 September 2018, the Deputy Minister held an event to express government’s intention to declare the house of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Majwemasweu Township, Brandfort, as a national heritage site, and to unveil an artistic impression of the museum design. This heritage house will be converted into a museum together with the bombed clinic that Mama Winnie used as a clinic. A multipurpose centre with Wi-Fi connectivity will also be constructed on the museum site
  • Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance: The progress on the Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance construction site at Hankey, Eastern Cape, is 75% complete in terms of funds payable for construction of the Centre which spans both sides of the R300 at Vergaderingskop, Hankey. Sarah Baartman’s grave is situated on the sacred side of the Centre, at the apex of Vergaderingskop.  The administrative side is situated on the secular or northern side of the R300. By February 2019, the construction created 2 580 days of employment for Hankey residents, which is above the target of 1 850 days. The target is calculated as a percentage (R0.6 million) of the construction value.

Discussion

Ms Van Dyk highlighted an amount that was stated in the slide but not included in the final statement and she would want to know why. The amount that is condoned by National Treasury is R36.8 million which includes irregular expenditure from the previous financial years – she wanted to know if the Department applies any disciplinary proceedings against this or if fell outside of criminal proceedings and why. She requested the Department commit in this regard. On page 92 of the Annual Report, there were a number of social services projects conducted but the AG could not find sufficient evidence for them – this was also a problem in previous years. How would the Committee know that such projects have taken place? Why has this not been addressed? How would the Department address it? On the performance survey of the service chiefs, why is the performance survey at this rate? She was concerned by the amount spent on goods per service for consultancy and wanted to know why there was need for that much expenditure on consultancy.

Mr Matlala responded that the irregular expenditure was not condoned. He explained the only amount condoned is R9 million and the Department had applied for the condonement of R100 million but Treasury recommended that certain transactions should be reported to crime intelligence – this has already been done as that irregular expenditure stems from previous years’. For instance, where there was a forensic investigation, Treasury also recommended that the matter be reported to crime intelligence. The accused numbers will undergo due process and would then be forwarded to the Committee afterwards for Members’ interest. He said it is a pity that the matter with crime intelligence is taking too long because it is more than two years since the case was opened.

Mr Matlala said the matter of consultancy fell under into the cultural category. It was also talked about the previous day especially with regard to the involvement of the Nelson Mandela Bay University conducting research on behalf of the Department. The University has been doing a lot of research for the Department over the years and as such send invoices to the Department – this is why the University is seen in some areas of the Report in reference to consultancy.

Mr Mkhize said he does not question whether social cohesion platforms happened but rather if the people who conducted them were indeed social cohesion advocates. There were letters of appointments which were supposed to be issued to all social cohesion advocates appointed by the DG – some of the advocates did not have those letters. The question is usually was on how the Department knows if these people were social cohesion advocates and the Department had to explain about the letters. Some of the advocates were reappointed in February but this was post facto.

Mr Mhlongo asked the DG if there is an official of the Department named Charles Mabaso and what his duties in the Department were. He also wanted to know if Mr Mabaso was organising workshops and seminars in the Department.

Mr Mkhize confirmed that Charles Mabaso worked for the Department – he was present at the meeting. Mr Mabaso is the Chief Director of Cultural Development in the Department although currently he an acting DDG. However as to whether he organised workshops, the DG said Mr Mabaso would be in a better position to answer that as he as a person had no idea of any such workshops having taken place.

At this juncture, Mr Mhlongo interrupted the DG saying that Mr Mabaso should be excused from the meeting as he was not supposed to be present at that particular meeting as a result of an allegation against him.

The Chairperson requested that Mr Mhlongo allow the Department to finish its responses and if he has any allegations against Mr Mabaso he can write to the DG concerning that. The Chairperson stated that she had no idea of any allegations towards any member of the Department and as a Chairperson, she cannot head a Committee with information based on hearsay or a newspaper. She gave an example of when she was in PE, and there was a story she was not aware of. People then alerted her to the story but she informed them that she did not know about it and cannot act in Parliament based on a newspaper story.

Mr Mhlongo insisted the DG was copied in on correspondence as well as all Members of the Committee. For future smooth operations, the DG must respond to such letters.

The Chairperson apologised as she could not even remember that the matter was referred to the Committee. Since the office of the DG is under the office of the Minister, the Chairperson took responsibility for any correspondence that should have been taken up. She assured the Committee that she will take the matter seriously and would speak to the DG if he fails to respond to such again.

Mr Mkhize also apologised stating that he does not respond to social media but if a mail is directed to him as an official mail, he does respond to it. In future, matters requiring the attention of the Committee will be brought to the attention of the Chairperson.

Mr Mhlongo stated that it was not a social media complaint but an official mail written to the DG and copied to all Members of Parliament, including the Secretary of the Committee. It was a series of mails sent first in July and later in August. Mr Mhlongo agreed with the advice of the Chairperson.

Mr Seabi said the email was not directed to the DG. He indicated that even at a glance at the copied names, the names of the DG and that of the Chairperson were not there. Sometimes it was good for the Committee to call the DG to find out if he was aware of such matters but it should also be remembered that it was not always proper for someone to respond to an email that he was just CC’d in before the direct recipient responded.

Mr Madlingozi said that given the treaty/history of those organisations, where a lot of money went missing, and looking at the performance of how they are recorded with all the activities at 100% achievement, he wanted to know how credible the information presented was. It is stated there is inadequate corroborative evidence – what was the inadequately corroborated evidence? How is it captured?  He asked how operational the Winnie Brandfort theatre was because the last time he saw it, it was only coming together but now it can be seen government allocations to that is ongoing. The Member requested clarity on the monies allocated to machinery and software in the final appropriation as he was not sure that he understood what the machinery were and what the money is for based on the information he had been hearing about the Department.

Mr Mkhize said the Department has evidence of what happened but since it had not yet received corroborative evidence on that note, it decided not to report it as achieved or fully completed. He reassured the Committee that everything would be accounted for and every beneficiary must also account. The Department has beneficiaries which it is not funding at the moment as it has not accounted for the funding the beneficiaries have already received. He however agreed with the Committee that contracts/projects cannot continue receiving funding when there is not account for the funds previously received.

He stated the CFO will speak on the matter of the Winnie Brandfort theatre although he knows that it was revamped because it was not working as expected and it was merged with the market theatre.

Mr Matlala responded that the Winnie Brandfort theatre was consolidated with the Market Theatre because of the problems there and it ceased to be declared as the cultural institution when it was merged with the Market Theatre. Due to the problems there and the wasteful expenditure by the people in charge, the place was left in a very dilapidated state so the Department had to revamp the heritage house first and it is now in a more functional state. A centre manager has been appointed because it is now a satellite centre of the Market Theatre. There are activities happening in the heritage house but the area that has not yet become operational is the theatre itself.  The Department has allocated money in batches and quotations have been received for revamping the theatre. The Department allocates an amount of about R20 million annually so that the work of revamping the theatre can begin so that it can become operational in its entirety.

On the indicators for underachievement, Mr Matlala said there are a number of reasons that could be given for that because at the beginning, when the Department plans for a project, it was not that budgets were not allocated at the planning stage rather it is because of such factors as non-provision of corroborative evidence ( for example when the Department gives money for a particular project and the person does not account for the money, the Department will to give such a person more funding). On this note, the AG and the auditor cannot say that the target has been achieved as the entire project has not been completed including the final payment of that project. The other reason was the unfortunate situation this year where there was a settlement in terms of the court case the Department was involved in. This required the Department divert project money to pay for the settlement and this compromised some of the targets and projects. It was therefore not just a case of planning well but a case of situations arising during implementation resulting in either incomplete payments or diversion of funds to other matters.

Mr Seabi asked if the DG was aware of the complaint on the matter of blacklisting companies and if he was aware, how far the Department was in addressing it. Recently there has been some debate in Parliament on the matter of flags being put up in schools. The Member asked if it would be possible for the Department to procure enough flags for each Member of Parliament to adopt a school in the financial year and make sure that that school has a flag – Members will then educate the schools on the meanings of the colours on the flags as a way of promoting and recognising cultural heritage and arts. The Member did not know if that was already late but if not, he suggested this be done by the Members of the Committee on a yearly basis.

About the flags, Mr Mkhize pointed out the official in charge of flag matters.  He agreed the mounting and education of flags in schools would be an honourable venture but it is something to put up for discussion as it is a very good innovation to have more than 200 Members of Parliament adopting schools/hospitals and ensuring the flags are enforced in those schools/hospitals. There was already an initiative on this matter but the Department was taking it easy due to the budget. The matter would be engaged on elaborately to see how best to mobilise. The Department would appreciate assistance as it was not just popularising flags but also the national art programmes. The Department was already working with a company to produce a small booklet, which will resemble a passport, which would contain all the national programmes, arts and even Members of Parliament. These will be sent to schools to help educate people on their heritage. The programme could be brought to Parliament and it would be honourable if the Committee could champion it.

The Chairperson said that given the challenge of drugs in schools, it will be good that the dates be stated and sent to Parliament when each Member will be going to such schools for such programmes. SAIDS can accompany Members due to the scourge of drugs even among kids in schools. She did not think it was ordinary the way kids were attacking and killing each other in schools. Programmes must be encouraged in schools to serve as a good social platform to champion the challenge of violence against women and kids. 

An official from DAC said the flags are already available. He appealed to the Chairperson to hold Members of Parliament accountable for delivering the flags on behalf of the Department – this would be a very helpful action. The Department can provide Parliament with the flags but cannot query whether the flags were delivered or not.

The Chairperson suggested the matter of flags be adjourned for now on that note because it is all nine provinces involved and the time for that may not be available at the moment.

Mr Seabi indicated that on page 14, reference is made to a performance area which was not achieved due to insufficient funds – he asked why this would be the case since the Department had an idea of the type of budget it had already at the planning stage. Why did the Department plans for this knowing the budget it had available? 

He asked for an explanation for the allocation of R6.9 million to higher education institutions on page 19 and that of TV licences on page 24. There was a report given about allocations made towards payment of TV licenses and that was classified under allocations for agencies. It should be made clear if the Department was paying for TV for some agencies.

The CFO said the unauthorised expenditure was a topical matter concerning the R5 million paid to the Mzansi Academy. It happened that there was a difference in figures between the Department and the AG however the AG was addressing other matters due to the material amount in terms of its standard. He reminded the Committee that it was agreed the matter be taken to Treasury to determine the training offered by the Mzanzi Academy does fit into the Department of Arts and Culture – this is a matter that the Department is still attending to in terms of dispute resolutions

The CFO explained the matter machinery and other tangible materials referred to the computers and other office equipment used by the staff of the Department to enable them to do work effectively while software referred to other intangible materials used in the Department such as the accounting systems software, used by the accounting section of the Department, and those ones used by the consulting section. The Department pays licences for this software in order for the staff to use it.

The matter of bursaries was also discussed in the meeting of the previous day. The Department does not pay the bursaries directly to the students - rather it is paid to the institutions. When the Department plans for bursaries, the allocation for that goes under higher education institutions even though the institutions are not identified by name.

For the TV licences, due to the fact that SABC is a government agency and the law says that TV licences be paid the department pays for this licence

The Chairperson wanted to know how far the Department had gone with its paperwork and how the Committee can assist it. She also asked about the Department’s White Paper, requesting that the Committee be updated on that.  It should be known that Members of Parliament come from different constituencies and do not just want the flags for the schools - they would also like to have and give the backgrounds of the flags in those schools and even in some hospitals.

She pointed out there was something the Department did not say anything about – she requested the Department gives an explanation on the ongoing complaint in the Department and what went wrong. She knew all Members of Parliament are interested in the same matter because when people see it on TV and call Members asking them to explain, the Committee needs to know what is happening before it can respond. The Chairperson said it was her own way of running the paparazzi because as the Chairperson of the Committee, she did not have enough tangible information on the matter. 

The Chairperson emphasised the Department must prioritise its Bills. The Department should be mindful that on the White Paper, the Committee was authorised to call the Department in and question it on this along with the entities. Although there are many entities, the Committee needs to prioritise the ones it wished to call to give an account of what they are doing.  

The DG said the White Paper will be adjusted. When legislation arrives at Parliament, at the point, it is meant to driven by the Committee.

Mr Seabi said that on page 14, slide eight, the report has it that the reason for underachievement was insufficient budget – he asked why this was given that the Department knew the type of budget it had at the planning stage. The way the Department reports cases causes some confusion because in the report, the matter of TV licences were classified as departmental agencies not government agencies. This made it seem as if the Department paid for agencies called to the Department. If the information was reported correctly, that confusion will not be there. This is very essential as this kind of reporting can be very confusing to members of the public who are not part of the briefing.

Mr Mhlongo requested an explanation on the things that are reported as not running well and the challenges causing this.

The DG said that with regard to insufficient budget, those programmes were budgeted for but unfortunately the Department had to divert money, as can be seen with the R28million that the Department used to settle that case. He agreed with Mr Seabi that there was a problem with the presentation on slide eight.

The CFO said matters outstanding will be completed by the end of the financial year.

The Chairperson thanked Members for their patience as they had been having marathon meetings since the previous day yet they were still vibrant and objective in all deliberations. She reassured the Departments that the Committee will be very active on the ground as it works. Everyone must be ready for the merger of the Departments.

The meeting was adjourned.

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