The Standing Committee on Community Safety, Cultural Affairs and Sport supported Budget Vote 13 of the Western Cape Adjustment Appropriation Bill: Cultural Affairs and Sport. The ANC express a minority view not to support the budget vote, stating the Department should be considered a priority just as other departments were. It indicated budget cuts should not be a normal thing for the department.
The Department briefly informed the Committee that its budget has been reduced by R21 million. In its recovery plans, the Department indicated it would focus on public employment programmes, after-school programmes, and work opportunities for the youth. As a result, it has received a provincial funding amounting to R5.5m to execute these activities.
Members wanted to understand what projects the Department would run to commemorate, celebrate, and conserve SA’s road to independence and unsung heroes in the province seeing that it has received R1m from the NHC; how the Department was intending to show the uniqueness of Cape Town culturally so that Cape Town could be the cultural hub of South Africa; employee service benefits, legal fees and what the innovation was in the light of Covid-19 and new year with regard to the mass participation programme.
Department presentation of the Vote
Mr Brent Walters, HOD: Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, informed the Committee the response to Covid-19 has had an impact on the Department and that the business of the Department came back only during level 1. The budget of the Department has been reduced by R21m. There has been a reduction of R453 000 in the mass participation sports grant. Revenue retention is at R5.5m. The Department received R1m from the National Heritage Council to establish the Liberation Heritage Route. There has been a movement of unspent R3.3m from the City of Cape Town libraries to the Swellendam Library Infrastructure Project. There has been a decrease in revenue from the vote in relation to lost library books as libraries were closed for a very long time, gym memberships have experienced reduction, and a loss has been recorded on museum entry fees.
Regarding recovery plans, the Department has decided to focus on public employment programmes, after-school programmes, and work opportunities for the youth. The Department has received provincial funding amounting to R5.5m to execute these activities. He also stated R5.7m has been shifted to programme 1 (content enterprise management). The Department could not fill vacant posts. R9.9m has been given up for Compensation of Employees (COE), and it has made changes to the APP and adjusted targets.
Ms Anroux Marais, MEC: Cultural Affairs and Sport, said the challenges experienced by the Department were strengthening it, not destroying it. She said the Department has been trying to be innovative and creative in trying to serve the communities and that there was capacity to do that.
Mr M Kama (ANC) wanted to understand what projects the Department would run to commemorate, celebrate, and conserve SA’s road to independence and unsung heroes in the province seeing that it has received R1m from the NHC. He also wanted to know why the unspent R3.3m received from the City of Cape Town for Swellendam were not spent and what the money was intended for.
Mr Guy Redman, Chief Director: Cultural Affairs, indicated the Western Cape has three sites: Robben Island, Roads to Freedom (Madiba Prison House, Grand Parade and Cape Town City Hall), and Tussen Riviere which focuses on early resistance by indigenous people in SA, mainly the friction between the Khoi and Portuguese. He said these were submitted for approval. The Department applied for funding from the NHC for memorial sites and interpretation centres on the sites. Hence it received the R1m. Other activities include the Freedom Square in Bonteheuwel, Langa Pass Office, and Gugulethu Memorial. These sites have provincial status and would be motivated for national status.
Ms Cecilia Sani, Director: Library Service, explained the conditional grant was not sufficient for the 12 months to all municipalities due to budget cuts. Municipalities were funded from July to March. Their last quarter would be funded by the new financial year funding. Asthe sector started being active in September, savings on conditional grants have been transferred to the City of Cape Town to cover some of the April allocation, which was reduced. This, however, does not mean they would be getting more funds, but they would be using the April savings they should have gotten.
Mr P Marais (FF+) sympathised with the Department on budget cuts. He wanted to know how the Department was intending to show the uniqueness of Cape Town culturally so that Cape Town could be the cultural hub of South Africa.
Ms L Botha (DA) wanted some clarity on the employee service benefits, and wanted to establish what the innovation was in the light of Covid-19 and new year with regard to the mass participation programme.
Mr Redman explained achieving mass participation was difficult due to Covid-19, but they had meetings with Two Ocean Marathon and other marathon organisers. Athletes can be literally anywhere in the world in order to participate as long as one has the app. This hybrid model is touted at the moment as something that can be used but it is difficult. Virtual training has been started, using Whatsapp, Zoom, etc. in order to be innovative. The Department has started transferring funds to federations to start their programmes.
Mr Paul Hendricks, Director: Sports Development, added that school sport and mass participating activities have started already. The Department has also assisted the Department of Basic Education with the feeding of the youngsters, social distancing, and wearing of masks at schools. These sporting activities happen after school hours.
An official from the Department, regarding service employee benefits, stated the R783 000 was the amount the Department was liable for. It was for allowing early retirement. The other smaller amount was meant for the staff that resigned from the Department.
Ms A Bans (ANC) asked for clarity on the provision of legal fees.
Mr Hendricks explained the Department was dealing with two CCMA hearings and also with legal matters that usually take two years to complete. The Department was using state attorneys to assist in its legal cases.
Mr Marais reminded MEC Marais that Minister Nathi Mthethwa indicated there must be anti-racism activities. MEC Marais has been talking about representative approaches towards this matter. He wanted to find out if the MEC has told her party about the renaming of Cape Town airport.
MEC Marais said public participation processes have to follow due processes.
The Chairperson then asked Members for their input on Budget Vote 13 and urged them to use their privileges to make their input.
Mr G Bosman (DA) suggested the Committee should support the budget, and he thanked the Department for making things work under the difficult circumstances.
Ms Botha and Mr Marais seconded the motion.
Ms Bans did not support the budget vote, saying the Department has been affected by budget cuts which should not be a normal thing for the Department. The Department should be considered a priority just as other departments were.
The Chairperson indicated that the Committee was in support of the vote, with the exception of the ANC which expressed a minority view not to support the budget vote.
The meeting was adjourned.
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.