In response to the briefing by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) on repeat fees payable to actors, Members pointed out that the presentation had confused the concepts of royalties payable to artists and repeat fees payable to actors. What needed to be achieved was legislation that addressed the broadcast exploitation of actors after the product had been commissioned. The legislation needed to ensure they continued to receive royalties for further broadcasting. Members said a joint meeting needed to be held between the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) along with all industry role players.
DAC replied that DTI was the custodian of the mandate however the President in his wisdom felt the DAC should assist as many artists turned to that department for protection. DAC noted that a joint meeting had been scheduled with DTI for the following day where the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill and the Copyright Amendment Bill would be discussed. Thereafter a joint presentation before the Committee would be scheduled.
The Bills had been awaiting the President signing them into law. However, President Ramaphosa has raised concerns about the constitutionality of two proposed laws – the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill and the Copyright Amendment Bill – that sought to regulate the entertainment industry and provided for the protection of performers and the copyrights of writers and publishers. The President’s lawyers had written to DTI and DAC to raise concerns over the consultation process. They had indicated that several consultations had taken place.
Members welcomed the briefing on the Revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage. In response to their questions on what the foreseeable obstacles were and how long it would take to implement, DAC said that funding would be the biggest challenge in implementing the Revised White Paper so its roll out would be progressive.
The suspension of the whistleblowers at Freedom Park and an incident at the National Museum of Bloemfontein had caused two Members to write to the Chairperson and urgently request the Committee attend to this. The Chairperson read out the letters. It raised the question whether the Committee should deviate from its programme when Members raise matters not tabled in the programme.
The Committee and the Department had a discussion about the Committee's oversight role and what to do if a Committee Member learnt about a whistleblower who had been victimised. Some Members argued that it should be treated as a labour matter and the complainant directed to the CCMA or Labour Court or trade union. The Committee Member could also raise it with the Department and then the Minister. Other Members were of the view that the matter raised was urgent as whistleblowers were being threatened for exposing corruption and they required urgent assistance from the Committee. They pointed out that PACOFS had suspended the representatives of the union and the Department had taken over one year to complete the investigation while these employees were still suspended.
The Committee discussed whether oversight visits could be unannounced. Some Members took the view that the Committee could not interfere arbitrarily in matters arising in Department entities without following procedure and protocol. It was argued that the "rulebook" had to be followed and the Department notified first. When an MP acted on behalf of the constituency area the MP was assigned to, the Department said it was unsure how to answer about that type of spontaneous oversight.
Mr Charles Mabaso, DAC Chief Director: Cultural Development, said the reasons behind the failure to protect artists and deter this abusive business behaviour in the sector lies mainly within the gaps that exist in the copyright legislation of the country. The DAC trusts that major improvements would be realized if the copyright reforms that are currently underway should be effected.
Currently there is no law that compels the payment of royalties to performers. In cases were repeat fees/royalties are being paid, such arrangement are negotiated through contractual means. Organizations representing artists play a key role in the negotiation for a sensible rate; in certain cases it is a take it or leave it situation. Payment is done directly to individual artists or their managers, as there are no collecting societies to manage the collection and the distribution of such royalties. The absence of collecting societies makes it a very complicated system, and not easy to manage. In certain cases, contracts for actors from old productions were not kept, and in the absence of a reliable database including lack of contact details of the actors or their heirs, makes payment of such royalties impossible.
In the current Copyright Act, the default position is that "whoever commissions, owns the work" and performers are being paid only for the work done during the commission. The new Bill seeks to level the playing field:
• There shall be standard contracts in all business engagements;
• The ownership of any copyright subsisting in commissioned work shall be governed by a written standard contract and the agreement may limit the ownership only for the purpose of the commission and any other further usage of the work will be regulated by the law through contracts;
• Performers shall have the right to share in the royalties received by the copyright owner. When there is a dispute, the matter shall be referred to a Copyright Tribunal
• If the work is used for purposes other than the purpose commissioned, royalty payments shall be ordered;
• Where the work is not used by the person who commissioned the work for the purpose commissioned, the proposed law makes provision for licensing the author to use that work for such purpose, subject to a fee determined by a Tribunal payable to the person who was commissioned.
This amendment will help relieve the plight of performers whose works still earn large sums of money through rebroadcast and in excess of what was anticipated when the original commission agreement was concluded.
The Chairperson asked DAC about the President sending the Copyright Amendment Bill back to Parliament. She wanted to know what the implications were of the Bill being sent back to Parliament.
Mr Mabaso explained that various parties had sent letters to the Presidency disagreeing with the Copyright Amendment Bill. That included people who believed the Bill would not offer performers adequate protection. The President had inquired whether a proper consultation process had taken place and it was indicated to him that the process had begun a long time ago and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had had several consultations with the relevant role players. DAC had also been careful to ensure not to infringe upon the copyright of individuals. DAC had decided the legislation could not wait any longer and any issues arising would be dealt with through a tribunal.
The Chairperson asked if it was a Section 76 Bill and questioned if this Committee had the authority to deal with the Bill. She stated that Members would deal with the concerns raised in the complaints to the Presidency.
Mr Mabaso replied that the Presidency had raised questions if a lack of consultation on the Bills had infringed upon any rights. The DTI and DAC had responded in a letter explaining that a lot of consultations had taken place from 2013 to 2019.
Mr Vusumusi Mkhize, DAC Director-General, indicated that the legal team of the Presidency had sent three questions to the departments to address and give feedback. DAC would be meeting with DTI the following day to discuss the questions and draft a joint response to the Presidency.
He added that the President had requested that the Ministers of Arts and Culture and of Trade and Industry meet role players from the sector. There were two predominant divergent views by the sector. Some wanted the President to sign the Bill into law while others felt otherwise. The two Ministers said there should be separate meetings to prepare presentations on the two different views and what the two departments believed was an appropriate way forward. Writers and publishers felt strongly that section 12 of the Copyright Amendment Bill was not sufficient protection. Performers, however, felt the Bill was long overdue and artists remained vulnerable as a result of not receiving royalties. There was a third view that was for the separation of the two Bills which had their own different complexities.
Mr Mkhize confirmed that the two departments would be meeting the following day to respond to the questions raised by the President's legal team. Thereafter they would be able to brief Members. He explained that the custodian of the Bill was the DTI and suggested a joint briefing in the future.
Mr W Faber (DA) felt disillusioned. When he was in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in the Fifth Parliament there had been a meeting with DTI and all the role players which included writers, publishers and actors so he felt there had been adequate participation. However, that had been done through the Trade Committee of the NCOP and not Arts and Culture, so he questioned who actually had the mandate and within which Ministry the Bill fell. Two different Committees were working on one Bill and it was counterproductive. The two departments should work together on the Bill. It did not make sense to work separately as Members were unaware as to what had been discussed and decided in the previous Trade Committee that had worked on the Bill. Mr Faber had extensive background knowledge on the progression of the Bill because he had been a Member of the NCOP Trade Committee but the same could not be said for other Members. Mr Faber requested information on the President sending the Bill back. Was it because he wanted the DAC to be involved? He suggested a joint meeting between DTI and DAC.
Ms V Van Dyk (DA) referred to the title of the presentation which read ‘Repeat Fees for Artists’ and pointed out that repeat fees were only applicable to actors who had signed a contract. It should have read ‘Repeat Broadcast and Commercial Exploitation Fees for Artists’ as that was the concern. Royalties were payable to artists while repeat fees were payable to actors. What needed to be achieved was legislation that addressed the broadcast exploitation of artists after the products had been commissioned and to ensure they continued to receive royalties. Actors were protected because when they signed contracts with broadcasters such as eTV the contracts contained a clause entitling them to collect a repeat fee. However some companies like MNet and MultiChoice which were free enterprises negotiated a fee which the actor had the choice to decline or accept. She asked if Parliament could interfere with an actor's business decision to sign a contract.
Ms Van Dyk said slide 3 of the presentation referred to copyright and actors but it was not possible to give actors copyright protection as they were not the copyright owners – it belonged to the commissioner of the work. She asked for clarity on that point.
She repeated that eTV and the SABC already had contracts under which actors could collect repeat fees. However, there were no laws that forced a private business like MultiChoice to share the profits.
She asked DAC to explain what the Beijing Treaty was and why it had not been signed.
She pointed out that slide 4 referred to royalties when it ought to have referred to broadcast or commercial exploitation fees as the actors were not copyright owners and therefore could not receive royalties.
On the collecting societies, she pointed out that they were applicable to musicians but not to actors because their contracts already made provision for an invoice.
She felt the wording of the Performers Protection Act was more for musicians as was intended in 1967. She asked for clarity on that.
Referring to the Copyright Tribunal on slide ten, she said there was repeated confusion between royalties and repeat fees. A Copyright Tribunal could only be for copyright owners and not for actors who had only contractually negotiated rights and not copyright.
She suggested an independent ombudsman for the industry who would adjudicate disputes between actors, producers, writers and broadcasters in the entertainment industry.
She reiterated the confusion over copyright and repeat fees. The document did not accurately distinguish the two concepts.
The Chairperson reminded Members that the two departments were meeting the following day. The problem was that the President "had referred the Bill back to Parliament" hence the briefing. DAC had to meet with DTI. Perhaps after they had met a document would be produced.
Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) appreciated the efforts being made to address the plight of artists. He asked if managers exploited artists whose royalties were paid to them on behalf of the artists. Were the managers transparent about what percentage of the royalty fee they retained and was it an equitable amount?
Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) welcomed the presentation. He agreed with Mr Faber that a joint meeting between DAC and industry role players should be repeated. He understood that the two departments were scheduled to meet the following day but reiterated that a meeting with all the industry role players was necessary.
He referred to artists needing permission to collect their monies and asked if every person would need an accreditation from the collecting society to get their payments. Currently artists dealt directly with the consumer over various platforms that paid them directly so he wondered how that would work.
On repeat fees, Mr Madlingozi said that there were singers and voiceover artists who paid for adverts that were repeatedly aired. There were few artists who fought for their rights to get repeat fees. He himself had done a lot of adverts and had fought to get his monies paid. A lot of advertisers refused to pay repeat fees as they argued there had been no law compelling them to do so. The law protecting artists was vague and required revision.
Ms V Malomane (ANC) suggested DAC attend the scheduled meeting the following day and thereafter both Committees could have a joint meeting to find a solution. Discussing views separately was counterproductive.
On the concept of repeat fees and copyright, Mr Mkhize explained that the presentation should have been based on the Copyright Amendment Bill rather than on the isolated concept of repeat fees as it had created confusion. Ms Van Dyk had correctly picked up that defect as the focus of the presentation had been on an isolated aspect of a broader problem. The two Bills were trying to address various areas that negatively affected creatives. Perhaps the point of reference to the Davies solution would have assisted in isolating the problem that had been attempted to be addressed.
He agreed with Mr Madlingozi and referred to instances in Tanzania and Botswana where he had heard the music of South African musician Brenda Fassie being aired. How did Ms Fassie’s estate collect what had been due to them when her music had been played in malls etc. That detailed the reality of many artists who died poor yet their music lived forever. He cited the collecting societies and questioned if they assisted artists to get their dues.
That had been the reason DAC had started working with DTI to get the Bill to the Presidency. However, there had been an issue as to what should happen about royalties. Performers and creatives complained that the Copyright Review Commission had long made recommendations, yet they continued to be left unprotected. The Bill had been passed in that context to stop the exploitation. However, on the copyright aspect, the individuals who commissioned work had concerns that they did not have adequate protection in terms of section 12 of the Bill. They were not sure what implications followed when their work had been reused. They could be deterred from producing work as a result of the inadequate protection. That also referred to fair use of work for educational purposes which had been raised by publishers and writers. Secondly, writers and publishers questioned what the era of digital technology meant and if their work was being sold out to digital platforms as they would not benefit.
Mr Mkhize agreed that a joint meeting would be more beneficial.
In response to Mr Faber he stated that DTI was the custodian of the mandate. However, the President in his wisdom found that it was necessary for DAC to work with DTI as artists and creatives expected the DAC to protect their interests – hence the joint venture. He agreed that after the joint meeting there should be broader presentation on both Bills rather than focus only on repeat fees.
The Chairperson congratulated the Springboks who had made the country proud. She requested that the team come to Parliament on 11 November to parade the cup and take pictures with Members next to the Nelson Mandela statue.
Revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage: briefing
Mr Vusumusi Mkhize, DAC Director-General, said that in 2015 Minister appointed a nine-member reference panel, chaired by Prof Oliphant to revise the 1996 DAC White Paper. The emphasis of the White Paper review was on assessing weaknesses inherent in the 1996 White Paper by evaluating the extent to which its provisions align with the DAC priorities and programme interventions, national government's policy orientation and the impact on all programme interventions and outcomes. The panel was to provide overall recommendations on the future role of DAC entities and beneficiary organisations, and suggest priority policy interventions.
Following the First National Indaba in November 2015 a working plan was adopted for the revision of the White Paper. In February 2016 an inception report was discussed, revised and adopted outlining:
Scope and recommendations; Identifying obstacles to transformative policy implementation; Identifying new trends in cultural policy; Proposing the methodology for revision of the White Paper.
Public consultations were done in all provinces from April to June 2016. Consultations were done with multiple government departments including DBE, DHET, DST, DTI, DIRCO. Consultations were held with national agencies and institutions (including performing arts institutions, funding institutions of Arts and Culture, heritage institutions and museums, libraries, CCIFSA, SARA) as well as Provincial Arts, Culture and Heritage Departments. The need for an integrated, national, provincial and local system of government emerged from this process. The First Draft was completed in August 2016. The Second Draft was completed in November 2016 and tabled at the National Indaba on 17 and18 November 2016. The sector was invited to make further submissions until December 2016. The Third Draft was finalised on 3 February 2017. The Fourth Draft was finalised in October 2017. Briefings to Portfolio Committee were done in March 2017 and November 2018.
The draft material aspects included background and scope; objectives; values; vision and principles; policy proposals for the ACH subsectors; education and training; status and rights of artists; African Art, Culture and Heritage Centres (AACHC); education and training, diplomacy and international cooperation; technical skills and events management; language and literature, libraries and information services, cultural, creative heritage industries; heritage; new funding models; intergovernmental cooperation; monitoring and evaluation; and core roles and functions of the national department.
The proposed new dispensation included a National Arts and Audio Visual Council, Heritage and Book Councils, Technical Skills Academies and African Art, Culture and Heritage Centres (AACHC).
The Department and the reference panel agreed that the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) conduct the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) study of the Revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage. The SEIA study commenced in April 2017. The first SEIA draft report was received by DAC in August 2017. The revised report was submitted to DAC in February 2018. Interdepartmental consultations on the SEIA report were done in April 2018 with the Departments of Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, Department of Basic Education and Higher Education and Training. Reports were submitted to DPME in May/June 2018. DPME issued a provisional certificate in August 2018 to allow the Department to present to Cabinet. The Revised White Paper was approved by Cabinet in August 2018. It was tabled in Parliament on 12 October 2018 for consideration. A final briefing to DAC entities was done in October and November 2018
The Chairperson noted on record that the Department had given the Committee what they had asked for. They would endorse the White Paper once it had been finalised
Mr Madlingozi thanked Mr Mkhize for the presentation which painted a bright future. The White Paper had been created in 2015 so he wanted to know when it would be brought to fruition. He asked if the White Paper said anything about the protection of indigenous information and artefacts. That kind of information ought to be recorded and not sidelined. He asked how many technical skills academies existed in the country, more specifically black owned ones.
Ms Van Dyk welcomed the presentation and asked what obstacles and troubles were foreseen in the implementation of the White Paper. She echoed Mr Madlingozi that it painted a positive picture. However, the Sixth Parliament Committee had not been part of the process so they could not approve the document without the background historical information. Her observation of Arts and Culture as it stood revealed that there was no monitoring mediation and implementation. She therefore wanted to know the timeframes for implementation and the obstacles foreseen.
Mr Mkhize spoke to the timelines and indicated that it had been one of the challenges. On the verge of finalising the document, there had been the socio-economic impact study that needed to be investigated which had delayed progress. Currently they were presenting it to the Portfolio Committee and he requested that as soon as the Committee had considered the presentation and the White Paper itself, then the Committee could advise on its endorsement and what steps needed to be taken. If the Committee was satisfied and endorsed the White Paper, then DAC would roll out its implementation.
On indigenous knowledge systems, he explained that it was a hotly debated topic for the White Paper. It had been questioned how African knowledge would be protected and preserved. He stated that the White Paper did offer adequate protection of African Knowledge systems
He said DAC did not have a precise figure of how many black owned technical skills training academies existed because an audit had not been conducted. He indicated, nonetheless, that there were very few. That was why most academies were very expensive and they used the expensive fees as a barrier to exclude young artists.
He stated that the White Paper aimed to anticipate the challenges which might arise, which was why the proposals existed. He admitted that implementation could still present challenges where practice would inform what needed to be modified in the policy. There were currently no foreseen obstacles. That was the reason the socio-economic impact survey had been conducted. It would help achieve the intentions of the Revised White Paper. A challenge that might exist would be resourcing. Budgetary constraints could impact the speed of the roll out of the White Paper. For example, the country had a lot of municipalities and if each one had a District Development Model then the budgetary constraints would mean that recording studios, for instance, would not be installed in all the municipalities in the country. Instead the intended outcomes of the White Paper would be achieved progressively. Skills would also need to be developed to meet the intended outcomes.
The Chairperson said that there was a readiness to accept the White Paper.
Oversight role of the Committee: discussion with Department
The Chairperson stated that from time to time she received letters from Members. She felt she should read them to the Committee so they could be reflected on the record. The adopted Committee programme ran until December. The programme of the next quarter had not been finalised but there were local and international oversight visits scheduled.
She read out a letter from a committee member requesting a presentation on the status of Freedom Park. The letter spoke to allegations of mismanagement and maladministration at Freedom Park and requested that it be discussed at the next Committee meeting.
The Chairperson read out the letter as she felt it was okay to deviate from the adopted programme every so often. She stated that perhaps the letter had been written to her with the intention that the matters raised be prioritized in the next quarter programme. She pointed out, however, that the current programme had already been set and Members had been given an opportunity to make additions and amendments to the programme. She reminded Members that they had the right to write to the Minister directly if they had urgent matters that had to be addressed. The letter she had read out was from Mr Mhlongo.
She read a letter from Ms Van Dyk who had written to her three or four times. The letter spoke about whistleblowers at Freedom Park who had been suspended. It detailed Ms Van Dyk’s personal oversight visit to Freedom Park where it had been clear to her that there were employees in distress. The same happened at PACOFS where employees and shop steward union representatives had been suspended some for more than a year and were currently facing dismissal. At the National Museum in Bloemfontein employees had also been investigated for sharing information. It seemed to Ms Van Dyk that there was no protection for whistleblowers who were being victimized. Ms Van Dyk requested the Committee to urgently exercise their oversight role in the entities. She asked that the matter be placed on the agenda as a matter of urgency.
The Chairperson explained that the Committee Content Advisor advised that concerns in the second letter were matters of labour law. According to the information there were unions. The Chairperson did not want Members to feel censored, so she put it to the Committee and the Department to discuss if the matters raised ought to be attended to by the Committee or by DAC.
Mr A Seabi (ANC) agreed with the Chairperson that once the programme had been adopted it would be destabilizing to react every time an issue arose that was not on the schedule. That was especially the case where other Members had no background information. He suggested the Chairperson guide the Committee in such instances and suggested that matters raised be added to the next quarter programme. He also agreed with the Chairperson that in cases of emergency, Members ought to write to the Minister for urgent intervention.
He said that Members cannot do individual or party constituency work and hope for the item to be added to the programme without providing the Committee with details on the matter. It would disorganize the Committee if Members of all parties, carrying out constituency work, would want their concerns added to the programme.
He cautioned Members not to be become shop stewards for employees. If an employee, a member of the community or a member of society had an issued they should raise it themselves. There were multitudes of employees facing suspension daily and the Committee could not address them all. Both sides needed to be heard.
Mr Madlingozi believed that Members should be carrying out their oversight duties. There was a lot that was being covered up as there were many people who were being expelled and threatened from their employment because they had no support or money for lawyers. They stood for the truth. He had whistleblowers that had spoken to him from Pretoria State Theatre who had detailed the problems at the theatre. Mr Madlingozi said that if the problems had not been fixed then he too would raise matters with the Committee through a letter to the Chairperson as Ms Van Dyk had done. That did not mean that all the problems would be brought before the Committee. However, he felt that it would be wrong to turn away the people that Members represented when they approached with concerns.
Mr Ntshayisa felt that despite the programme there were certain issues that could not be ignored. Members represented people who had placed their confidence in them. Although the concerns raised may not be on the programme they should nonetheless be assessed, and advice should be given as people had placed their trust in Members. If a citizen approached a ward councillor about water, it would be out of order for the ward councillor to turn that person away because water was a competence of the district. The person should still be assisted as the ward councillor was the only point of contact. The Committee should find a way to facilitate the matters raised in Ms Van Dyk’s letter. Assistance could be in the form of referring the matters to the relevant body such as the Labour Court.
Ms Malomane agreed with the Chairperson that employee matters had certain processes that needed to be followed. The shop steward would be the first person to address and thereafter it could be taken to the relevant body like the CCMA. Members could only entertain a matter after all local recourse had been exhausted.
The Chairperson brought the matter before the Committee as part of the procedure. When dealing with labour matters there used to be unions like the Transkei Post Office Workers Association (TRAPOWA) which was later renamed. There were processes for dealing with disputes between workers and employers. She did not want to undermine Ms Van Dyk’s submission but felt that workers ought to approach shop stewards when they felt exploited by their employers. If the shop stewards could not assist, they would refer the worker to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The process was procedural. When Members encountered problems from members of the public in their constituencies they ought to report these to the relevant department and ministry. She did not have the answers Ms Van Dyk was seeking as DAC was better suited to provide answers. She emphasized that she had not shelved the matter but she did not want to answer a matter she had no knowledge of and felt DAC was better suited to respond. Members had a right to write to the Minister explaining that they had written to the relevant department and ask the Minister to intervene. The Minister would respond in writing as the oral question time in Parliament was limited.
Ms Van Dyk replied that she took the Committee as a starting point which was why she had included the Members. The matter at hand was not confined to labour law. She cited the Committee BRRR report in which Members decided they would be more proactive specifically regarding intimidation of employees. That was the reality in the entities. She proved how bad it could be by reading a threatening letter she had received from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Museum of Bloemfontein. The letter demanded that Ms Van Dyk refrain from stalking the CEO and accused Ms Van Dyk of trying to remove her. The CEO did not understand a Member's oversight role. The letter proved that if the CEO could threaten Ms Van Dyk then she could do far more to the workers in the entity.
At the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) the staff that had been suspended were the union representatives. Some had been suspended for more than a year and had received dismissal letters this week. They were suspended for bringing irregularities in the entity to light. The same situation existed at Freedom Park where half of the employees had been suspended. She felt it was the Committee's duty to prioritize oversight by changing the programme as some of the items on the programme were not as important or urgent as the matter at hand. Members could not simply turn the victimized workers away merely because it was a labour matter. These workers had spoken out about corruption and there was proof. It was the duty of Members to go to the entities to listen to both sides. Members owed it to citizens. It would not be fair to let the workers sit through Christmas with no money for food because the Committee said it could not interfere with a labour matter.
Mr Mkhize respected the Committee’s duty to carry out its oversight duties. One of the key issues raised in the entities was Ms Van Dyk's approach in carrying out her oversight duties at the entities. The management were aggrieved that they had not been informed of Ms Van Dyk's visit who had arrived unannounced. That could be the reason the oversight had been described as ‘stalking’ even though it was genuine. It created a situation of ‘us’ and ‘them’. There had been nothing in writing between the parties such as correspondence to management asking what they had done about the concerns raised.
Mr Mkhize said DAC would need the information about the matters raised at Freedom Park, the National Museum of Bloemfontein and PACOFS Free State.
Mr Mkhize did not know how to separate oversight as a constituency MP and as a Committee. If the Committee was carrying out the oversight there was a process to follow. The entity needed to be informed about the oversight visit and the engagement would be recorded to be submitted to DAC. That way DAC could intervene. He was not sure what process was followed when an individual member decided to carry out oversight of an entity on their own. That created an aftermath of hearsay.
On Freedom Park, Mr Mkhize said DAC had received a report from the union in August. As normal practice it had been forwarded to the Freedom Park CEO to give a right of reply. A response was received in September which stated that its Council had decided to appoint an independent body to investigate the allegation after which a report would be submitted. DAC had to follow that procedure and wait for the report on the investigation findings. Mr Mkhize sent a team to Freedom Park and a report would be submitted detailing the findings.
On whistleblowers, Mr Mkhize assured the Committee that DAC had acted when it was raised and that was on record. DAC investigated because whistleblowers could not be victimized. However, that investigation had been prompted by a complaint in writing as DAC could not act on word of mouth.
Ms Van Dyk said that at her meeting at the National Museum of Bloemfontein the protocol that Members should follow when conducting oversight was discussed. It was recorded that the DAC by implication said Members may not go on individual oversight visits. That is why Ms Van Dyk wrote to the Committee Chairperson to understand how DAC perceived a Committee member's oversight role. If DAC had communicated to the CEO of the National Museum of Bloemfontein that Members cannot carry out individual oversight visits, then DAC had been guilty of ill-informing that entity. Members should not be restricted from carrying out their oversight duties and DAC should be clear on that. She suggested that a document detail the roles of Committee member and the exact protocols to be followed so everyone knew what was expected.
Ms Van Dyk said some of the whistleblowers had been suspended after they exposed the corruption. She wanted to know how long it took to for DAC to investigate the matter. The whistleblowers had been suspended for over a year.
She urged the Chairperson that the Committee members should be allowed to carry out unannounced oversight as one could not only trust what DAC said.
Mr Madlingozi said it was not correct to inform the entities that Members were planning to carry out an oversight visit as it would give them an opportunity to clean up. That would not improve the situation. He had been twice refused from entering entities to carry out oversight. He reiterated that Members needed to go to the entities spontaneously. DAC should not tell the entities that Members planned an oversight visit.
Mr Seabi said procedure should be followed in terms of the rule book. An investigation should be the Committee's conscious decision. He also warned that arriving unannounced at entities could lead to dangerous situations because staff personnel might not know who Members of Parliament were and might harm Members. That was the reason Members were given security when conducting oversight. There was a risk factor and proper arrangements should be made.
Mr Seabi also reminded Members that the Committee could summon entities to appear before the Committee to account and the information they presented could be fact checked. He warned against passing judgment on implicated individuals without conducting an objective investigation.
The Chairperson said that she had brought this matter to the Committee to discuss. She did not want to be perceived to be undermining Member's views. She trusted the DAC despite Ms Van Dyk’s distrust for the DAC. Oversight needed to be done in collaboration with DAC. The Chairperson noted that DAC had also indicated the hotspots for the Committee to review.
The Chairperson reiterated that procedure needed to be followed and the Committee could not go unannounced.
The Chairperson repeated that she trusted DAC and, despite being the ruling party, they would always hold DAC accountable.
Committee Minutes / Department response
The Committee adopted the minutes of the 8, 9, 23, 29 October 2019 meetings. In the consideration of the minutes of 29 October 2019, Mr Madlingozi reserved his right to adopt the minutes as he felt his questions had not been answered. The minutes had not reflected that Mr Madlingozi had been told that his questions would be responded to later but this response had not been submitted. The Chairperson asked him to detail the questions so the minutes could note those specific questions.
Mr Madlingozi replied that he had asked what former Minister Paul Mashatile’s role had been in the Mzansi Golden Economy and the Director General had promised to give an answer at a later stage. His second question was if DAC had involved an audit team into the project in the last five years – that too had not been answered. He had also asked who the Director-General had been during that time. Additionally, he had asked if there had been a management team and if so, who they were.
The Chairperson wanted the minutes to be a true reflection and therefore asked Mr Mkhize if he was aware of Mr Madlingozi’s questions.
Mr Vusumusi Mkhize, Director-General, replied that former Minister Paul Mashatile’s role was to give input on how artists could be united in a federation of artists where they could raise their issues directly with DAC. The former Director-General was Mr Sibusiso Xaba. The DAC financial statements were audited by Auditor General South Africa (AGSA) every year. The Auditor General would select transactions that had involved Culture and Creatives Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) and audit them to ensure they complied with DAC policies and procedures.
Mr Madlingozi asked on what grounds had DAC decided to give CCIFSA an additional R13.6 million without CCIFSA submitting accounting information for monies it had received over the past four years. Could the CCIFSA financial statements be presented to the Committee?
The Chairperson proposed the Committee take a resolution to request the CCIFSA financials.
The Chairperson asked Members to adopt the minutes to include the new information as well as the resolution to request the CCIFSA financial statements.
The Committee adopted the minutes with the amendments and the resolution.
- Revision of Department of Arts and Culture 1996 White Paper Fourth Draft 27 October 2017
- Research Unit Briefing Notes: Revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage
- SEIAS Final Impact Assessment Template (Phase 2) October 2017
- Department of Arts and Culture - Repeat Fees for Artists
- Department of Arts and Culture - Revised White Paper on Arts Culture and Heritage