Plan of Action for Committee

Arts and Culture

16 May 2000
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Meeting report

16 May 2000

Documents Distributed
Plan of Action for Portfolio Committee on Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (See Appendix 1)

Chairperson: Dr M W Serote

The Chairperson presented the drafted Plan of Action for the Portfolio Committee on Arts, Culture, Language, Science and Technology. Its aim is to redefine the committee's agenda. Dr Serote asked the committee to present their corrections to the draft specifically concerning the Preamble and the definition of "African" in reference to indigenous African Communities. Dr. Serote also briefed the committee on the objectives of each internal sub-committee and updated the committee on the mandated 43 Community Art Centers and their internal goals.

Dr. Serote presented the committee with the amended document for the Plan of Action of the Arts, Culture, Science and Technology committee. He stated that the preamble must address the issue that Africans are marginalized. The most important issue however, is the difference between white and black African conditions. The current preamble, according to Dr. Serote, falls short of this goal. Instead, it remains apologetic.

" Notwithstanding the historical use of the term "African" to refer to the indigenous African communities, because of the dawn of democracy in our country and the strides to a non-racial and non-sexist society, the appellation "African" is used in an inclusive and non-racial sense. Therefore the term "African" in this document refers to all South Africans irrespective of colour."

Due to a slight delay in receiving copies of the document, Dr. Serote put the amendment to the Preamble on hold.

Dr. Serote turned his attention to the public hearings for Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). The sub-committee now has a list of public hearings and must mobilize as many practitioners to attend the hearings. In addition, there is a need to mobilize a multi-racial, non-gender biased, multi-party parliamentary representation to attend. The major problem that has surfaced is the collapse of the steering committee due to the lack of funding. Dr. Serote explained that he is hoping to resuscitate the steering committee as the driver for the process.

He urged Members of Parliament to attend the next scheduled meetings. The committee clerk read off the list of dates for the open meetings for IKS:
May 29th
May 30th Northern Cape
June 1st Gauteng
June 2nd
June 19th Fort Harare
June 20th
June 21st University of Zululand
June 27th Northern Province
June 28th Northern Province
July-Mpumalanga, University of Free State, University of Western Cape

Dr. Serote reported that he had attended a meeting the previous week with ten traditional healers to discuss specific issues in order to demystify their roles. Those included: the air of secrecy about traditional healers, diagnosis and curative methods, the problem surrounding the issues of witchcraft and discussions with the portfolio committee.

Ms N S Mtsweni, chairperson of the Living Treasure sub-committee, briefly addressed the committee. She stated that the project's mission is to look at Afro-centric art and to award people for innovation in Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and Indigenous Knowledge Systems. The awards will not be age discriminate. Specific businesses and government will be targeted to participate in recognizing and sponsoring awards.

Suggestions for alterations to the Plan of Action

Mr F Cassim (IFP) raised a question pertaining to a time frame for the plan of action in the preamble. He stated that it is necessary that attention be spent on the marginalized community for a period. He highlighted Malaysia as a successful example of a twenty-year period for focusing on the marginalized community.

Addressing Language on page 6, he stated that it is important to remember that the Department of Education is taking the issue of a third language to another level. Whereas the committee is suggestive of a third African language, the Department of Education is wanting to make it compulsory.

Concerning the issue of training the trainers of science and mathematics at Primary School levels, Mr Cassim insisted that the committee take a broader approach to training. He stated that technology, science and math are the drivers for job creation. It is necessary that we insist on training accordingly.

Professor J Mohamed (ANC): stated that he believes the entire document revolves around Art and Culture and pointed. This is evidence that the Plan of Action is exclusively proposed for Arts and Culture. Ms. N E Ghandi (ANC) agreed, and stated that she did not think that the committee should encourage the separation of Arts and Culture from Science and Technology.

Mr. M F Cassim (IFP) stated that there is an interdependence of art and music. Modern art and modern music are relying heavily on computer generation.

Ms. L M T Xingwana (ANC) asked about the issue of the Khoi and San languages and if they fell under the category of the 11 languages. These languages have been virtually annihilated. Moreover, she stated that she had a problem with the inclusion of Kwaito as indigenous African music because it was so strongly inspired by African pop culture. She also asked where the Commission on religion and culture was placed.

Dr. Serote stated the commission is seen as a partner.

Dr. A I Van Niekerk (FF) asked if enough money was placed in local governments in assisting the set-ups of the centers.

Dr. M W Serote stated that there is a partnership. He then moved to adopt the Plan of Action. The Plan was adopted and the meeting was adjourned

Appendix 1:

Notwithstanding the historical use of the term "African" to refer to indigenous African communities, because of the dawn of democracy in our country and the strides to a non-racial and non-sexist society, the appellation "African" is used in an inclusive and non-racial sense. Therefore the term "African" in this document refers to all South Africans irrespective of colour.

Contribute to positive thinking, and thus contribute to improving the quality of life through involvement in social and economic upliftment of all African communities.

Nurture and cultivate skills and creativity of the disadvantaged communities, so that
quality African products in arts and culture will emerge;
Cultivate a consciousness of African language, science and technology.

Contribute to both social and economic upliftment in society;
Utilise human and natural resources and infrastructure to contribute to the
transformation of society;
Search for quality thought, creativity and products in African communities;
Explore unique South African creativity and arts;
Bring marginalized creative people into center stage.

Department of Arts, Culture, Language, Science and Technology (DACST);
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI);
National Arts Council (NAC);
Traditional House of Leaders;
Religious and Linguistic Commissions;
Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB);
Provincial MECs for the Departments of Education, Arts and Culture;
Other Government Departments;
Business sector;
International partners: Afro-American, Afro-Caribbean, Europe, Scandinavia, Africa.

DACST has provided funds for the construction of community arts centers (CACs) in the nine provinces. Through leveraging community expression in the fields of language, science and technology, indigenous knowledge system and art forms, these CACs are the ideal vehicle for the Portfolio Committee to realize its objectives.

The Launch of African Arts
The Community Art Centres will be the vehicle for the restoration of the vibrancy of African Arts in a variety of forms: dance; theatre; music; arts and crafts; literature; film; photography; graphics design; painting; beadwork; implements; furniture; fabric; indigenous games; natural and social science, and indigenous knowledge systems.

A programme of action for these over the next five years has to resolve its:
Internal capacity;
External support and accountability.

The Value of African Art:
Its effects must lead to social and economic upliftment, and contribute to the moral and ethical regeneration of society.

The Internal Capacity of African Art:
Co-ordination of strategy will lie with the office of the Chairperson of the Committee;
Implementation will be through the sub-committees of the Portfolio Committee, in
partnership with DACST and the community through the community arts centres;
In particular, responsibilities are assigned as follows:
i) Community Art Centres: Mrs Mbombo;
ii) Living Treasures: Ms Mtsweni;
iii) IKS: Dr Serote;
iv) Language: Ms Tsheole;
v) Arts:
vi) Culture:
vii) Science and Technology: Prof. Mohamed.
Monitoring and assessment:
i) Office of the Chairperson will do monitoring over three-month periods;
ii) Researchers in the Chairperson's office must co-ordinate the reports of sub-
iii) Sub-committees must meet every two weeks;
iv) The Chairperson and sub-committee Convenors must every two weeks.

The External Support and Accountability of African Art:
Partners to work with in each project must be identified, and convenors answer the question as to whether there are enough funds to launch the project.

Detailed Plan of Action
A more detailed plan of action for African Art is provided as an Addendum to this document.

Analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
Of the Portfolio Committee, and their resolution through the community arts centres (CACs)

i) Community Art Centres in the provinces;
Forty-three CACs have been built, and need to be used to their full potential.

ii) African art forms being practised;
CACs will provide a focus and venue for Members of Parliament to contribute towards building and integrating community art forms so that the quality of life of the people can be improved.

iii) Democratisation/transformation processes in the country;
The CACs will provide the arena for the deepening of democracy at the local level, and further civic and cultural transformatory activities.

iv) Flagships: museums and monuments;
Representatives of the flagships can use the CACs to interface with local communities. Where CACs have an Internet connection, they can access information from the museums.

v) The mandate of the Portfolio Committee.
Members of Parliament can exercise the arts, culture, language, science and technology mandate given to them by the people through the CA Cs.

i) Non-delivery of what communities expect of Members of Parliament; Through using the CACs to contribute towards community upliftment, Members will be seen to deliver according to expectations.

ii) Not enough funds for Members effectively to fulfill their mandate to the people;
CA Cs will provide a locus around which local business people can be encouraged to contribute towards community development.

iii) Professional research skills not available for Members;
Through the CA Cs, Members can meet, mentor and be mentored by people who have the competence to help fill such gaps in knowledge and expertise.

iv) Portfolio Committee does not have a team to drive the process of capitalising on its strengths;
Using the CACs as a focal point will facilitate putting a team together who could use them for building on the strengths of the Portfolio Committee.

i) Portfolio Committee members are in Parliament, where there is access to provincial, local and non-governmental resources;
Members can use their networks and resources in the provinces and local areas to help the CACs realise their full potential.

ii) infrastructure skills and human resources in Parliament;
By deploying the richness of parliamentary resources, Members will leverage the efforts of communities to improve their quality of life.

iii) Transformation of historically Black universities (HBUs) for the creation of Centres of Excellence in indigenous knowledge systems (IKS);
Communities are a source of knowledge for IKS, and CACs will provide the arena for building partnerships where Members can facilitate the participation of HB Us, indigenous knowledge practioners and local business in linking to these centres of excellence.

i) Unsympathetic media;
The CACs should strengthen accomplishment at community level, to provide enough success stories to crowd out sensationalist negativism towards the transformation of society.

ii) Conservative groups in our society;
Society needs to challenge and engage with racism, tribalism and ignorance. The community can use CACs as a tool for building on the positive values of their know ledge and moral systems.

iii) Lack of consciousness for innovative processes;
Indigenous knowledge systems are a base for innovation, and this can be harnessed with the establishment of business and information centres at the CACs to stimulate a culture of innovation.

iv) Fear of science and technology in disadvantaged communities; Communities can be made aware that science and technology is embedded in IKS, and CACs can be the focus for exploration, teaching and sharing of science and technology' in local indigenous languages.


1. Arts and Culture
(a) Arts - dance, theatre, music, arts and crafts, literature, film, photography, graphics, design, painting
(b) Culture: Libraries, Museums, Legacy Projects, Monuments, Heritage
(c) Community Art Centres : Ms Mbombo
(d) Science and Technology: Prof U. Mohamed
(e) Language: Ms N.M. Tsheole
(f) Living Treasures: Ms N. Mtsweni

List of Community Art Centres in the Country
Eastern Cape · AmaMpondo Community Arts Centres
· Umtata Community Arts Centre
· Mdantsane Arts Centre
· Ezibeleni Library (Queenstown)
· Port Elizabeth Museum
· Queenstown Arts Centre

Free State · Thabong Arts and Culture Centre
· Zamdela Arts and Culture Centre

Gauteng · Mphatlalatsane Theatre
· Wattville Library
· Emdeni Library
· Solomon Mahlangu Project

KwaZulu Natal · Ntuzuma Art Centre
· Stable Theatre Upgrade
· Indonsa Arts and Crafts Centre
· Manguzi Library

Mpumalanga · Piet Retief Multi-purpose Centre
· Delmas Multi-purpose Hall
· Matsulu Multi-purpose Centre
· Lynnville Library
· Nkomazi West Library & Performance

Northern Cape · Travelling Community Art Centre
· Kimberly Community Arts Centre
· De Aar Community Arts Centre
· Boichoko Library
· Galeshwe Community Arts Centre

Northern · Giyani Arts and Sports Centre
Province · Jane Furse Library
· Thohoyandou Multipurpose Centre

North West · Ganyesa Community Library
· Legkraai Community Library
· Temba Community Library
· Itsoseng Community Library
· Kanana Public Library Additions
· Mabopane Resource and Training Centre

Western Cape · Kwanokhuthula Multi-purpose Centre
· Lenga Multi- purpose Youth Centre
· District Six Museum renovation

i)From the list above, information has been requested from DACST about what the CACs are currently being used for and where they get funding from; ii) There are organisations who are working on the innovation of African Games.. these can be introduced in the CACs for the youth and communities as a means of discipline, mathematical calculation, science and entertainment.

Living Treasures
This must be an award for incentive for creativity, quality products and innovation in Afro-Centric innovation.
· The award will be for innovation in Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and IKS.
· Other existing awards nationally and internationally will be studied, and big business and government will be approached for recognition and sponsorship of the awards.

2. Language
Since the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides for the recognition of the principle of multilingualism; and since provision is to be made for measures designed to achieve respect, adequate protection and furtherance of the official languages which did not enjoy full recognition, the full and equal enjoyment of the official South African languages and respect for the other South African languages used for communication and religious purposes must be promoted.

What we must do to ensure the dynamism and life of African Languages:
a) Be supportive of music festivals funded by PANSALB;
b) African languages should be integrated into the curriculum as languages, and languages which teach the Sciences;
c) Indigenous literature must be promoted;
d) A deliberate effort should be made to teach the youth the African Languages;
e) Profile and promote PANSALB, as well as African Languages, the issue of official languages and encouragement of multilingualism throughout the country and the continent.

3. Science and Technology
Evaluation of the year of Science & Technology
a) There should be consistent campaigns to popularize Science & Technology and raise consciousness of it;
b) Evaluate the impact of Science & Technology on productivity in South Africa;
c) Science & Technology audit - of who is who in Science & Technology;
d) Train the trainers of science and mathematics at Primary School levels;
e) Audit of IKS;
f) In partnership with PAN SALB, explore usage of indigenous languages m the teaching of science in the elementary levels

4. Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS)
IKS can be described in five categories, with the goal of seeking expert advice for its integration into curricula at primary, high schools and tertiary levels, and also to verify and to unpack the feasibility of these categories, which are as follows.
a) IKS has a potential to establish enterprise and industry;
b) IKS and bio-diversity;
c) IKS and liberatory processes e.g. principle of consensus at Codesa;
d) IKS and social institutions e.g. Lekgotla, initiation schools etc.
e) IKS and related to social issues

Programme of action for IKS
Over the next 2 years:
a) Introduction of IKS into programmes of the African Renaissance;
b) Introduction of the draft bill on Indigenous Knowledge Systems;
c) Meeting of the Steering Committee and the Women in Science to discuss the report of the Public hearings;
d) African Continental Indaba on IKS;
e) National Workshop on IKS (As a follow-up of the 1998 Workshop on IKS in North West Province);
f) Regional (SADC) Conference on IKS;
g) Report to Parliament on the overall programme.


Plan of Action for the Launch of African Art in 2000

1. Arts and Culture

Audit and characterisation of the African Art forms
i) Assessment and evaluation of information from the audit, for the social and economic upliftment and development of the society
ii) Promotion and development support


Briefing of the PC by National Art Council (Dr. John Kani and Mrs. Ntetha) on:
i) The structure of the Council
ii) Progress
iii) Programme of Action for this year


2. Language

Report on assessment of where PANSALB is with full participation of indigenous languages in all institutions around the country e.g. education
i) Current role of PANSALB
ii) New language policy


Compilation of the report and evaluation of the process, with formulation of particulars on a close working relationship


Monitoring of lexicography units, inclusion of indigenous language terms used in the teaching of science and mathematics


3. Science and Technology

Review of the 1998 Year of Science and Technology - call DACST to brief the PC about it (Dr Tyobeka)


Briefing of the PC by NRF on how to combine the modern science with Indigenous Knowledge Systems


Study tours to other countries to learn their experiences and success e.g. India, Japan, China etc

Depends to

Briefing by all Science Councils on their roles and contribution of Science and Technology in the improvement of life in South Africa, and the use of art forms in education and identification of appropriate technologies for such integration


The use of indigenous languages in the teaching of science and mathematics in the elementary levels - meeting with CEO of PANSALB, Department of Education and PC on Education


4 Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS)

Briefing by National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) on:
i) National Innovation Systems
ii) Relationship with NRF on IKS

The Programme for the coming 2 years
i) Public hearings
ii) Introduction of the draft bill
iii) Meeting of the Steering Committee and the Women in Science to discuss the report of the public hearings
iv) Continental Indaba on IKS
v) National Workshop on IKS (As a follow-up of 1998 Workshop on IKS in North West Province)
vi) Regional Conference on IKS
vii) Report of the overall in Parliament


Briefing by NRF on their Business Plan on how they are going to utilise the R10 million given to them for IKS


Clarification of roles of DACST and PC in organising the National Workshop


Marriage between language and IKS to bring Arts and Culture and Science and
Technology together
Using art forms in education
· Use of indigenous languages in teaching mathematics and science
· Monitoring of Lexicography Units to ensure the availability of indigenous terms for Mathematics and Science
· Promotion of the practice of publishing abstracts of scientific papers in indigenous languages by PANSALB, DACST, NRF (inclusive of Science Councils and universities)

The aim is to make full use of the Community Art Centres (CAC's) to restore the vibrancy of all art forms, to demonstrate the marriage between language and IKS in bringing Arts and Culture and Science and Technology together. This will also assist in the social and economic upliftment of the communities.

The following implementation programme will culminate in National and Provincial festivals, exhibitions and carnivals being held during the Freedom Day, Workers' Day etc. activities.

The Nomsa song and dance group from Gauteng (Professional traditional dancers) must visit all CAC's to teach and encourage a variety of dance styles. Examples:

i) Kwaito
ii) Umngqungqo
iii) Umrhibe

· The CAC's must adopt participation in African traditional games
· Teaching of indigenous languages in CAC's must be encouraged
· The CAC's will be used to teach Science and Technology and mathematics in
indigenous languages as already initiated by Fest". Example: North West has already started with the process. (Dr Hlongwane to supply information)
· CAC's will be used to teach IKS and other related projects to enable the society to benefit
· The CAC's can be used for choral music festivals and to work in conjunction with Old Mutual, Telkom etc. in organising such local festivals.
· CAC's must be used to innovate arts and crafts for interior design.
· CAC's must innovate arts and crafts including fabric of South African traditional dances for national and international catwalks of fashion.

Appendix 2:
A proposal to the Council ON Higher Education (CHE)

In response to the call made by CHE for proposals relating to the future policy for higher education system in South Africa, the Portfolio Committee together with that of Education will need to express views on the higher education policy for South Africa.

Two broad aims of higher education have been identified:

1 Social Upliftment through higher education and
2.Economic upliftment through training and education for human resource development.

Formal education has been skewed in favour of modern science, which has been given recognition and a status, while indigenous knowledge systems have been marginalised by receiving no recognition or status. Yet people all over the world have begun to realise that there is a body of knowledge that in many respects has tremendous value and needs to be incorporated into the education system. Modern science enjoys the sophistication of accreditation and through its records is able to put forth a systematic explanation with various forms of verification etc. Yet in many cases these very verifications have been flawed and true scientists are beginning to question their validity. Indigenous knowledge system have a wide variety of information and systems, none of which are documented or recorded in any way. As a result they need to be empowered by documentation and accreditation of both the knowledge systems as well as the persons who carry that knowledge systems as well the persons who carry that knowledge within them. Given accreditation these people maybe able to teach others and in this way carry forward an invaluable system, which is in danger of being lost.

The empowerment of South Africa's indigenous knowledge system is of utmost important. The advent of digitalization, exposure to foreign researchers and students and the interests of large businesses may result in a situation, where the benefit of our knowledge system maybe claimed by other people, while the people who have the knowledge will be totally marginalised. There Is an urgency and importance in the need to create mechanisms to protect and empower the individuals and groups who have these knowledge.

This initiative will certainly help towards social upliftment. Many researchers have established that many of these indigenous systems are Eco friendly and have a holistic approach to health. Their value is being increasingly realized as humankind grapples with the ill effects of modern science, on the environment as well as on health. We in South Africa are placed in a unique position with our bio diversity and wide range of knowledge systems. Yet through marginalisation these system maybe lost to the next generation unless we attempt to document these system, accredit them and place these systems on the formal system of education.

We have identified some critical areas in which we can create centres of excellence. Through the creation of faculties for the study of these various knowledge systems that we have already identified as unique to our country, we can ensure that our people claim the credit for developing the system. We believe that some of these knowledge systems are unique and have a valuable contribution to make to the world.

These are:-
1. South African traditional healing and medicines
2. A wide spectrum of art forms of South Africa.
3. Philosophy, culture, religion and traditional institutions of South Africa.
4. South African liberation culture, peaceful negotiations process, a leadership guided by traditional value Systems, and the Truth and Reconciliation commission.
5. Bio-diversity existing in South Africa.
6. Traditional agricultural methods and environmental care as well as tourism.
7. Many local innovations, indigenous knowledge systems and technology developed by the people of South Africa.
8. The unique South African traditional dress design, accessories and manufacture.
9. South African Living Treasures
10. Unique South African Cuisine.
11. Indigenous languages and Indigenous literature of South Africa.
12. Oral Culture and knowledge systems of South Africa.

These could be clustered appropriately and centres of Specialisation and excellence could be created at particular Centres.

Internationally there are specialised schools of music like the Trinity College of Music which has world wide recognition, J.J. School of Arts in India where arts of India are taught in a wide range of faculties from interior decoration of Architecture, and there are the various Gandhi rural Universities teaching agriculture and other rural industries for rural development. Alternate forms of energy and other discoveries have emerged from some of these Universities. We too can look at some kinds of clustering and specialisation, which will attract not only local students but also foreign students and academics. The South African knowledge can be popularised and widely disseminated.

We are not looking at issues of curricula development in these areas or at the actual developmental issues of funding and qualification etc. But we believe that if we accept the principle we can then look at how the implementation can occur.




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