The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture spoke to its achievements and challenges for Quarter 2 of 2020/21 and the progress made on the merger of the Department of Sports and Recreation and the Department of Arts and Culture.
Members were particularly concerned about the corruption in the National Arts Council and its implication for South African artists. Members enquired about the action taken by the Department to investigate the allegations of double-dipping and to ensure that the ±700 applications for government relief that were rejected were being attended to. Another concern was the reduction in the number of funded library projects from 29 to 12 library projects. Members were also concerned about the state of school sport and asked about Department plans to provide for the safe return of school sport.
The Chairperson expressed her sympathies for the passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, and actor and actress Menzi Ngubane and Noxolo Maqashalala. She encouraged members to continue adhering to COVID-19 protocols and regulations. She thanked the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) for providing the Committee with responses to questions asked at the previous meeting. Although the responses were not provided within the deadline, 99% of the information requested had been received. She reminded it to provide the remainder of its responses. Apologies from the Minister and Deputy Minister were noted.
Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Audited Quarter 2 Performance Report
Dr Vusithemba Ndima, DSAC Deputy Director-General: Heritage Promotion and Preservation, said that performance of DSAC focused on the Revised Annual Performance Plan (APP) which provided for changes in the targets as a result of the in-year budget adjustment process and the COVID-19 restrictions. Those restrictions included restrictions on movement and the gathering of people, and this had a significant impact on the sport, arts and culture sector of South Africa. Schools were also affected as they had to close to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The performance of DSAC was ‘dismal’ during Quarter 1 because of these restrictions.
During Quarter 2, DSAC planned to implement and achieve 12 performance targets. Of the 12 performance targets, 10 were achieved. A comparative analysis of the performance of DSAC in Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 indicated that there was an increase in the number of targets achieved in Quarter 2. During Quarter 1, DSAC achieved five of its 21 performance targets, and in Quarter 2 it achieved 10 of its 12 targets. This represents a 59% increase. He provided an analysis of the performance of each programme:
- Administration had two performance targets and it achieved both of these targets.
- Recreation, Development and Sport Promotion had two targets and it did not achieve either of these.
- Arts and Culture Promotion and Development had six performance targets and it achieved all of these.
- Heritage Promotion and Preservation had two targets and it achieved both of these targets.
Programme 1: Administration
Interns enrolled against funded posts
The recruitment of interns against funded posts had not yet commenced when President Ramaphosa first declared the National State of Disaster in South Africa. 5% of the funded posts are expected to be filled by interns by the end of Quarter 4.
Services modernised (processes automated)
DSAC will be more reliant on ICT to function because of COVID-19. DSAC will be implementing various technological applications to enable alternative modes of service delivery. Two projects will be implemented in 2020/21: South African Geographical Names System and a Call Centre System.
Sport, Arts and Culture (SAC) awareness campaigns to profile the work of the department
DSAC will implement the planned awareness campaigns through virtual campaigns and these will be live-streamed on all DSAC digital platforms and on television.
DSAC will save costs as a result of the virtual campaigns as there will not be inter-provincial travelling or physical hosting of celebrations. The 2020/21 annual target for the implementation of these campaigns was four and the target for Quarter 2 was two. As at 30 September 2020, two campaigns had been activated to profile the work of DSAC: ‘Women’s Month’ and ‘Heritage Month’.
Invoices paid within 30 days
Officials are available at all times to ensure payments, and DSAC will look into the development of a document tracking system to assist in tracking invoices from receipt until payment. The target for Quarter 2 was 100%. As at 30 September 2020, this target was achieved and 269 invoices were paid. The total transaction amount was R106.685m.
Councils/boards are fully constituted
The process to reconstitute the Council of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) had commenced when President Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster. The performance target could not be achieved during Lockdown Level 5. The Minister has extended the term of the Council of the NFVF and the process of reconstituting councils has now recommenced. This will be managed electronically.
Funds have been approved for transfer to the National Arts Council (NAC), NFVF and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) to manage disbursement of COVID-19 relief funds to beneficiaries on behalf of DSAC.
Programme 2: Recreation, Development and Sport Promotion
The key outputs of this sub-programme, which includes the support of high-performance athletes to achieve success in international sport, could not be properly achieved. DSAC has provided reasons for this (see document). Due to this, the budget was reduced by R1.5 million and this led to a reduced target on the number of athletes supported through scientific support (from 80 to 40 athletes per year).
The number of sporting events at community and school level have been reduced from eight to two and the number of people actively participating has been reduced from 46 964 to 2 400. Reasons were provided for this (see document). The budget supporting the events and the participation was reduced by R24.5 million.
The number of people actively participating in organised sport and active recreation events was reduced from 355 000 to 5 000. The 5 000 people will be reached through events held in all provinces and which will accommodate smaller numbers. The participation is impacted through the grant reduction amount of R224 million.
Meetings to establish school sport structures may still take place virtually, however sport in schools will be affected by lack of activities. Virtual training of teachers as coaches and managers can still take place. The manner in which this will be funded is provided (see document).
The COVID-19 restrictions have decimated the revenue streams of the sport and recreation bodies, leaving the bodies in dire financial situations. Consideration has been made to provide for greater allocation towards operational and administrative costs to keep the sport and recreation bodies afloat. The manner in which this will be done is provided (see document).
The Infrastructure Support sub-programme has adjusted its budget in response to the R168 million cut from its projects’ allocation, due to COVID 19.
DSAC is required to conduct site visits for inspections to ensure that the sport infrastructure projects funded by the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MGI) are compliant with the Technical Norms and Standards for Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Provision (2010). DSAC is also required to convene meetings with municipalities, consultants and contractors to provide overall monitoring and project management support. Under the lockdown, this was not been possible.
The target for Quarter 2 was 35 municipalities. All of these municipalities were visited for the purpose of inspection, the monitoring of progress and expenditure. Each project is at a different stage in terms of both expenditure and progress and as a result, there is inadequate evidence to support actual achievement.
The implementation of Heritage Legacy Projects suffered a budget cut of R16 million. Due to this, the APP target of two Legacy Projects (that is, the Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance and Enyokeni) will remain. The only impact will be their delayed implementation and completion.
During Quarter 1 and Quarter 2, DSAC achieved its performance target of 100% for the quantity of processed COVID-19 relief applications received from athletes, coaches and technical personnel. To date, 314 of the 500 applications have been paid.
Programme 2: Arts and Culture, Promotion and Development
National Language Services
The original targets for this remain intact. Reasons were provided for this (see document). During Quarter 2, the target for this was achieved. Specifically, 149 documents were accepted for translation or editing and these documents were completed.
Cultural and Creative Industries Development
The original target of 12 local and international market access platforms was reduced to six. Reasons were provided. The six platforms will be implemented through virtual digital platforms and other online tools. During Quarter 2, the performance target for this area was one and this target was achieved.
Financial support for capacity building projects relies largely on gatherings and given the COVID-19 restrictions, many incubator projects had to be cancelled and some postponed until further notice. The target for the number of capacity building projects financially supported was reduced from 20 to 14, and the budget reduced by R9.1 million. Reasons were provided for this.
Fewer Community Arts Programmes within each province will be implemented at lockdown Level 1 or when it’s safer to do so. Reasons were provided for this.
The budget for the coordination of international engagements was reduced by R13.9 million. The target for engagements was reduced from 20 to 11. Reasons were provided for this. During Quarter 2, the indicator for this area was the coordination of three international engagements. This was achieved.
Programme 3: Social Cohesion and Nation Building
Moral Regeneration Movement projects financially supported
The target kept at five, while the annual budget of R4.193 million also remained unchanged. However, given the current regulations that prohibit public gatherings, the mode of delivery has had to be revised.
Community conversations / dialogues to foster social interaction:
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, community engagements had to be adjusted down from 20 to 10. Most of these engagements are envisaged for Quarters 3 and 4. The mode of delivery for community conversations has had to be revised. While implementation of the conversations is funded from the Goods and Services budget of the sub-programme, there is no dedicated budget for this area of work. During Quarter 2, the indicator was the holding of three community conversations or dialogues. This was achieved.
Youth focused arts development programmes:
The target of four programmes was reduced to three. The delivery of the three targets will be through virtual, live-streaming and online platforms as well as tool-kits. The funds were reduced by R2.6 million.
Advocacy platforms on social cohesion by social cohesion advocates:
As most of the advocacy work involves people-to-people contact, the method of delivery will be digital until lockdown restrictions are reduced. In Quarter 2, the target was facilitation of five advocacy platforms on social cohesion. This was achieved.
Overarching social compact:
The target was revised from four reports on the implementation of the social compact to two reports. Reasons were provided for this. The mode of delivery now relies on virtual contact consultations with key sectors and role players that attended the 2020 Social Compact Summit. The current budget from Goods and Services would be sufficient even though there has been a reduction.
Gender-based Violence and Femicide Programmes:
The programme is comprised of various projects focused on children; youth; men and women. To give effect to these focus areas, a new indicator has been developed.
Mzansi Golden Economy
Some programmes supported through the Mzansi Golden Economy Programme were either cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The target was reduced from 88 to 12, and the budget reduced by R122 million. Although delivery will drift towards online virtual platforms, the general implication on the creative sector is anticipated to be the loss of job opportunities. Under Quarter 2, the indicator was the production of four reports by the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO). This was achieved.
Programme 4: Heritage, Promotion and Preservation
The target for Quarter 2 was the commencement of a feasibility study. This was achieved through the submission and approval of the feasibility study progress report by the Director- General and Minister.
Workshops to Advance Knowledge on National Symbols:
R1.858 million has been cut from the Bureau of Heraldry Goods and Services budget. The nine workshops to advance knowledge on National Symbols including the flag, in all provinces, will no longer be possible. Reasons were provided for this. Video and other awareness platforms and campaigns will be used.
Flags in Schools:
The 90 flags planned to be installed in schools will not be installed as access to schools is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. The 100 000 handheld flags planned to be distributed will no longer be distributed as public gatherings are likely to remain prohibited. Due to this, an audit of flags at national and provincial government administrative buildings is being planned to inform future interventions.
Books Documenting Living Human Treasures:
The target of publishing two books documenting Living Human Treasures will be achieved in Quarter 1 of the next financial year as bid committees could not meet to appoint the service provider. The annual target for the current year has been adjusted to drafting two books.
Heritage Bursaries and Policy:
Payment of the 65 Heritage Bursaries planned for Quarter 2 will be done in Quarter 3 as universities begin to become administratively more functional.
The stakeholder workshop on digitization of heritage resources policy planned for Quarter 1 was cancelled and draft policy was circulated to stakeholders for written inputs instead. Cabinet Committee meetings were also cancelled and this affected the presentation of the Repatriation and Restitution of Human Remains Policy. Alternative meeting options were explored such as Microsoft Teams.
Heritage Legacy Projects:
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only the following projects will be undertaken: Appointment of exhibition service providers and not development and installation of exhibitions for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Brandfort Museum, OR Tambo Garden of Remembrance and Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance.
Public Library Services
The Conditional Grant for public libraries was reduced by R312 million. This resulted in a review of targets and deliverables on planned infrastructure and library materials with the number of new library projects funded reduced from 29 to 12. The remaining grant funding will continue to maintain compensation for contract employees. The Quarter 2 target was the building of 12 libraries or support of 12 modular libraries. This was achieved.
National Archives Services
The budget for the upgrading of the National Archives has been reduced by R30 million. DSAC will appoint a feasibility study service provider to determine the accommodation needs of the National Archives. The Department will continue to coordinate planning and the implementation of the project. 50 Treason Trials will now be digitized so they are accessible on the National Archives system.
South African Geographics Names Council (SAGNC)
R1.171 million was adjusted from the R3.552 million Living Heritage Goods and Services budget, while the South African Geographical Names Council budget (R5.107m) was reduced by R2.432 million. The three Government Gazette notices on standardisation and transformation of geographical names will not be published. Reasons were provided for this. Greater focus will be placed on the development of Geographical Names Awareness Campaign video and public awareness material for public broadcasting and procurement, and the setting up of a geographic names’ database and online map interactive platform.
Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Quarter 2 Expenditure Report
Ms Sibongile Mondile, Acting CFO, said that the overall spending amounted to R2.3bn which is 49% of the budget. Reasons were provided for underspent items (see document):
Compensation of employees expenditure incurred amounted to 42%.
Goods and Services expenditure incurred amounted to 40%.
Departmental Agencies and Accounts (Current) expenditure incurred was 52%.
Departmental Agencies and Accounts (Capital) expenditure incurred was 28%.
Provinces and Municipalities expenditure incurred was 63%.
Higher Education Institutions (Current) expenditure incurred was 23%.
Regarding Higher Education Institutions (Capital), there was no expenditure incurred.
Foreign Government & International Organisations expenditure incurred is 90%.
Public Corporations & Private Enterprises (Current) expenditure is 48%.
Regarding Public Corporations & Private Enterprises (Capital), there was no expenditure incurred.
Households expenditure incurred is 39%.
Non Profit Institutions (Current) expenditure incurred is 21%.
Non Profit Institutions (Capital) expenditure incurred is 57%.
Other Machinery and Equipment expenditure incurred 57%.
Heritage Asset expenditure incurred is 1% of the budget.
Software and Other Intangible Assets - no expenditure incurred.
Expenditure was incurred for Payments for Financial Assets but there was no budget for this item.
Interest and Rent on Land - no expenditure incurred.
A economic classification breakdown of expenditure and a Quarter 2 comparative analysis with the previous financial year were provided (see document).
Ms V Malomane (ANC) congratulated DSAC for its achievements in Programme 1 (Administration) and for the 100% payment of invoices within 30 days. Sports must start at school and she wanted to know about the state of school sports since South Africa had moved to Lockdown Level 1. She asked who was responsible for safety protocols and if they were being adhered to.
She asked for the locations of the 12 library projects. She requested DSAC visit to the town of Sabie, which is her constituency, so it can observe the state of the library.
On the COVID-19 cases among professional sportsmen and women, has DSAC inspected if professional sporting events have adhered to the COVID-19 protocols since the return of professional sport?
Have funds been distributed to the financially constrained National Federations that were affected by the national lockdown?
Ms R Adams (ANC) noted that DSAC had planned to enrol interns but there was a delay due to the pandemic. She asked for the progress made in recruiting interns into DSAC. The use of interns is a short term solution and she asked about the risks to service delivery by using interns as a ‘stop-gap measure’.
What is DSAC doing, through the use of virtual platforms, to encourage people to be physically active during lockdown? She noted that schools have begun to function again, and asked when DSAC is anticipating the return of school sport. What is the status of the return of school sport competitions?
How does DSAC justify going ahead with the Monumental Flag Project in light of the current strain on the economy?
Under Programme 2, why is the budget for the Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance taken from the Sports and Recreation budget? Is it possible to redirect these funds to sports and recreation projects?
In light of the Auditor-General’s Second Special Report on COVID-19 Initiatives, can DSAC update the Committee on the consequences for those involved in double dipping and suchlike?
Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) said it feels as though nothing is going forward. He wondered if this is because ‘everyone here is acting’. Speaking from the standpoint of the artists, there is no accountability going on.
DSAC has been instrumental in creating opportunities for individuals to manipulate the system for financial gain whilst there are people on the ground suffering. These individuals that are gaining financially include artist Arthur Mafokate and Dr Sipho Sithole.
DSAC is complaining about double-dipping however it the Department itself that is creating these problems. DSAC makes the Committee look like ‘fools’.
Musicians are dying; they cannot work because of COVID-19 restrictions. The responses the Committee have been receiving from the Department is that it considers certain applicants for relief as tax non-compliant and ineligible for the relief. Despite this, three days ago, DSAC leaders said that they had decided to consider providing relief to individuals who are not tax compliant. What are people supposed to do further to highlight that they are struggling during these times? Do they have to ‘chain themselves to this building?’ DSAC neither respects its own constituency nor the Committee. DSAC is failing dismally; the level of ineptitude is ‘higher than high.’
Mr Madlingozi said that he was inundated with calls from youth asking why DSAC had changed the name of Port Elizabeth to Gqeberha without consulting them. He asked if DSAC had consulted with the youth in Gqeberha to ensure that they actually wanted the name change. Who did DSAC consult before it made this decision?
The Chairperson cautioned Members to mind their language when asking questions and when they are criticising a person in the meeting.
Mr M Seabi (ANC) said most issues he was concerned with had been raised already. In the financial reporting, DSAC indicated that 49% of the budget had been spent. In areas where it did not perform the reason provided for this was the COVID-19 restrictions [the was a sound interruption and Mr Seabi did not complete his comment]. When is DSAC expecting allowing spectators back into stadia? Is there such a plan and if so, can it brief the Committee on this? If not, what is their thinking on this?
Is DSAC monitoring the allocation of COVID-19 relief funds within the provinces? Although it was not part of the report, has there been any progress with the NAC situation?
Mr D Joseph (DA) [first question inaudible due to loss of internet connection]. He supported the question raised on the return of spectators at sporting events.
He requested more information on the boards referred to in the presentation. On the budget cuts, will the money come back to DSAC or does DSAC have to live with a reduced budget in future?
He emphasised the point made by Mr Madlingozi on the financial support that still needs to be provided to various sports and arts and culture organisations. He asked for feedback on this.
On requests relating to gender based violence cases, has DSAC been approached? What was its response to those requests?
He noted with concern the reduction of the new public library projects from 29 to 12 projects. He remarked that DSAC is not doing enough for the foundational phase of education.
On the recent changes to geographical names, particularly in the Eastern Cape, there needs to be more awareness and education. The Minister needs to reply about the process followed for the name changes.
Ms M Khawula (EFF) said in IsiZulu that DSAC is not accessible to all artists in South Africa. The artists struggle because they receive no support from the government. What does Winning Nation and Active Nation refer to?
How is the R168 million budget cut from Infrastructure Support projects being allocated now? Please can the Committee have a breakdown of the allocation?
What criteria were used to decline the applications for relief?
She noted that there is an absence of programmes geared towards training and recruiting talented learners from schools attended mostly by black people. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.
She remarked that there has not been visible progress in the implementation of the Heritage Promotion and Preservation Programme and thus no impact on the youth. Will there be recognition, in the form of monuments, of the individuals who fought against the Apartheid regime but who were not political figures?
It is upsetting that DSAC is using COVID-19 limitations as excuses for the programmes in which DSAC has not made any progress. She would like to see DSAC approaching youths that are addicted to drugs and alcohol with a view to rehabilitating and training them in performance arts.
DSAC needs to introduce curricula that includes cultural education to ensure that students leave school with a sense of pride for and an understanding of their culture.
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) expressed his concern about the questions about the NAC that was submitted to DSAC during a previous meeting, for which responses were not timeously received by the Committee. Why were the responses only received on 15 March 2021?
DSAC must inform them of the identity of the persons investigating the ‘rampant’ fraud and corruption at the NAC. Why is there an Acting Chairperson at the NAC? What happened to the Chairperson? Why did the NAC suspend the Chief Executive Officer and the CFO?
According to a briefing Mr Mhlongo had viewed on 13 March 2021, there remained ±700 applicants for relief who will not receive funding. What will happen to these applicants and when will they receive a response to their proposals or projects? Why is the Minister taking advantage of ‘our’ artists? Can the Committee be provided with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the NAC and DSAC on the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP)?
When was the induction of the new NAC Board? Who attended, what was the location and what time did it take place? Can the Committee be provided with the register of the meeting as well?
On the allegations in the media that Arthur Mafokate’s company ‘999’ is alleged to have benefited seven times from the PESP, when will the Committee receive a report addressing these allegations? There is a panel that is meant to undertake due diligence and oversight of the relief funding process but this does not appear to have been done. What is its duty?
How much money was given to DSAC by Treasury? Why was there a cut?
There is an allegation about the amendment of the contracts between the NAC and artists. If this is true, why were these contracts amended?
Why did the Minister appoint a duplication of the Ministerial Advisory Team (MAT)?
He questioned the adjudication process of the NAC. He asked DSAC to provide the Committee with the names of the individuals appointed to be part of the adjudication process as well as the criteria that were used?
The Chairperson asked about the progress made on DSAC posts. She noted a particular colleague had not been promoted although he had been working in DSAC for a number of years since the time of former Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile.
What is going on about sport in light of the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions? [inaudible]. The applications of people who want to create jobs are coming to the Office of the Chairperson for review. [inaudible as network connection unstable].
Mr Ndima listed the location of the 12 libraries: Mavalane, Limpopo; Limede, Limpopo; Dumela, Limpopo; Sileteng, Limpopo; Thubelihle, Mpumalanga; Green Point, Northern Cape; Sauthi Library, North West; Letlhakeng, North West; Miodol Modular Library, North West; Uitkyk Modular Library, North West; Swellendam Library, Western Cape; Beseg Library, Western Cape.
The feasibility study for the Monumental Flag project is still being done and it is in its final phase. The study will also indicate to DSAC where the Monumental Flag will be located.
On the name changes, there is still a lot of awareness-raising that must be done so the Minister does not continue to be accused of changing names. The Minister does not change names; he is the final authority when it comes to name changing. The names are actually changed by local communities who approach the Provincial Geographical Names Committee. These Committees ensure that proper consultation processes are undertaken. The proposal for the name change is then sent to the South African Geographical Names Council, which either recommends rejection or acceptance of the name change to the Minister. The Minister thereafter either rejects or approves the name change, based on the information made available to him.
The induction of the new NAC Board Members occurred around the 4 and 5 March. The register taken during the virtual meeting can be provided to the Committee.
On corruption at the NAC, Mr Mhlongo correctly stated that the allegations are just allegations at this stage, and they must be tested. The Constitution enjoins the Department to take necessary steps to deal with matters such as these. DSAC was made aware of the names of the people that might have been unduly benefiting from the system and it is its responsibility to follow up the matter. However, DSAC cannot do so in a haphazard manner as matters of law require caution.
On the absence of the NAC Chairperson, there was an allegation that there was no declaration of interest made on the part of the Chairperson. It was deemed appropriate to place the NAC CEO and the CFO on precautionary leave as the NAC stated that it was not necessarily getting the information it required from them. There is an MOU between DSAC and the NAC.
The amount of R1.2 bn was initially suggested as the amount that would be provided to DSAC. However, there was a revision across the board and this amount was reduced to R665 million. Therefore, R1.2 billion was not received by DSAC.
Mr Ndima noted that promotion is not automatic in government. He was aware of some colleagues that had occupied the same position for a number of years, and that some had either applied for promotions or were not interested in being promoted. The circumstances of the specific colleague referenced by the Chairperson must be provided to DSAC.
Mr Ndima replied in IsiZulu to Ms Khawula on the inclusion of cultural education in schools that the Department agrees that this is a goal towards which the country must strive. A committee is currently being formed, which will be referred to as the IKS Authentication Panel, and which will research cultures and practices existing prior to the colonisation of South Africa. The panel will consider what the good and the bad cultural practices were, and the focus will be on educating the youth on the good practices only. This panel will include all other government departments to ensure cross-departmental consultation.
Ms Khawula raised a point of order that the cultures to which she was referring are not bad. It was only the colonizers that declared parts of the cultures to be bad.
[Mr Seabi took over as Acting Chairperson and the Chairperson felt ill].
The Acting Chairperson asked Mr Ndima to address Ms Khawula in English because Members were having difficulty with the interpretation function on the Zoom application.
Ms Khawula insisted that Mr Ndima continue to address her in IsiZulu because the other Members had the option of utilising the interpretation function which she herself had been using to understand her English-speaking colleagues.
A department official instructed Members on how to utilise the interpretation function on Zoom.
Mr Ndima proposed that he rephrase his sentiments on culture for the purpose of responding to Ms Khawula. He said that when considering culture, DSAC encourages those cultures that are in line with the Constitution. In other words, the Constitution does not allow discrimination on grounds specified in the Constitution, including race and gender. Therefore, it is unlikely that there is a culture in South Africa that remains in its purest form because every law and action is subject to the Constitution, including cultural practices that are not aligned with the Constitution.
Ms Sumayya Khan, DSAC Deputy Director-General: Recreation and Sports Development, replied about the return of school sport. A lot of school activities fall within the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and that includes sport in schools. The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture came up with COVID-19 directives which allow for the return to play for both professional and non-professional sport. These do not align with the directives provided by the Minister of Basic Education which do not allow sports at school during the pandemic. This indicates an inconsistency between the directives. DSAC has a joint national task team that includes DBE. Therefore, a proposal was made on how sport can return to schools. Some federations have also sent in their proposals. DSAC is considering them and it has engaged DBE to submit a proposal to request an amendment to the regulations so that school sport activity can return. The national lockdown has had a negative effect on its intention to compete in international school sport during this financial year.
There are some federations which have already recommenced school sports but this may be limited to certain schools like private and independent schools. The majority of learners will continue to be excluded. To address this, the regulations must be amended. The proposal for the safe return to school sport is based on the following:
- All school sport structures must submit their operational plans to DSAC school sport federations in line with the approved operational plans and directives of the Sport, Arts and Culture Minister
- The number of learners allowed to play must be limited to avoid large gatherings.
- Where there are multi-code sports, they must be decentralised and national school sport championships must be included.
- Only technical support teams will be allowed at sport venues. No spectators will be allowed, including parents. All COVID-19 measures are to be in place.
DSAC has prepared draft guidelines on the safe return to school sport, and it has also prepared timelines on the consultation process to finalise those draft guidelines. It is hoped that by the start of the new financial year on 1 April, it will be able to implement the school sports programme that it usually implements to ensure that schools can take part in the school sports championships.
Ms Khan explained that any school sports taking place inside the school is the responsibility of DBE. However, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture is the custodian of sport in the country and there is, therefore, always a fine line between areas governed by other executive authorities and those governed by DSAC. To this end, there is an MOU that outlines the tasks that DSAC and DBE are each to take care of in school sport.
Within the conditional grant, DSAC also has funding which goes to all nine provinces and which is allocated to school sport. DSAC implements the national school sport championships but it is an organic process that begins at the schools and then moves on to the district levels which becomes the responsibility of DBE. Provincial events are in the purview of the provincial departments of sport and the national championship events are the responsibility of the national department. Funding is provided to provinces from the grant for equipment, attire and training of coaches and technical officials. Provinces themselves will have their own funding that goes towards resourcing of school sports.
On the sub-programmes that fall under Recreation, Development and Sport Promotion, specifically Active Nation and Winning Nation: these programmes are aligned to the national sport and recreation plan which has various pillars (including Active Nation and Winning Nation).
Active Nation supports mass participation and recreational activities. It is geared towards the physical well-being of citizens and it encourages life-long participation. Within this, there are many community activities like big walks, indigenous games, national recreation days and those are geared towards mass participation as well.
Winning Nation supports the development of elite athletes and DSAC provides scientific support in preparation for major events. Within this, DSAC ensures that it develops an ethical sports sector because DSAC provides support to the South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport. This is to ensure that South Africa honours its commitments to the World Anti-Doping Agency by ensuring that its athletes are clean and ethical. DSAC also looks at South Africa’s role models and recognition systems where performances and achievements of athletes are recognized.
On the return of spectators to stadia, Ms Khan replied that DSAC has had many requests and proposals from sports federations and different codes of sport. Some of these proposals request 50% of spectators to return. A stadium like the FNB Stadium has a capacity of 90 000 people, and if the proposals for the return of 50% of spectators were approved, this would mean that 45 000 people would attend a sporting event. It is important to be mindful that the world is still experiencing a pandemic and the impact of allowing 45 000 people into a venue and ensure regulations are adhered to must be considered carefully. Even if a smaller number of people were allowed to attend a sporting event, perhaps 2 000 people, the stadia facilities themselves have informed the Department that it does not make economic sense to accommodate such a small number as the logistics remain the same. DSAC has proposed to the Minister that it needs a strategy to address this. It needs protocols and procedures to ensure a coordinated approach for the safe return of spectators to stadia. To achieve this, DSAC is proposing to the Minister that a request be made to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to work with the national federations on a viable proposal. This proposal will then be provided to DSAC and it will present the proposal to the various structures within the National COVID-19 Command Council so that the proposals may be assessed. DSAC is busy with that process.
Ms Khan noted the funding from the sports budget allocated to the Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance. Within the Recreational Development and Sport Promotion programme, there are four sub-programmes. One of these is Infrastructure Support and it includes all infrastructure within DSAC, whether related to sport or heritage projects. Therefore, the project itself may look like it is within the branch of sport, but it falls within Infrastructure Support which is more ‘cross-cutting’.
On COVID-19 cases among professional athletes and DSAC monitoring sporting events to ensure COVID-19 regulations are adhered to, the first sporting code that returned to play was football. Before this, all sporting codes had to send their operational plans to DSAC to ensure COVID-19 protocol safety. These plans were analysed and submitted to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases which assessed them as satisfactory. Where plans were not satisfactory, DSAC sent these back to the federations for revision. It was this basis that the Minister approved the return to play for each of the sports codes federations.
When the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) resumed play, DSAC sent out a monitoring team and a check-list that the federation could utilise. However, DSAC could only monitor the sports codes training programmes. Activities take place in a bio-safe environment to which no outsiders and individuals who are not essential are allowed. DSAC has had limited capacity to go out and monitor. It has had monitoring officials that have themselves been infected by COVID-19 and this has made other officials reluctant to go out and monitor. DSAC has tried to address this through the PESP where job opportunities were created for compliance officers and inspectors for the different federations. DSAC is getting quarterly reports from SASCOC on this matter.
Ms Mondile replied on expenditure versus budget at the end of Quarter 4, it is important to remember that the DSAC budget is mainly transfers. At the end of Quarter 2, as much as there were budget cuts, some of the transfers had already happened and that is why it looks like the expenditure is going up. When DSAC transfers money to its provincial counterparts, it is reflected as an expenditure in the books of DSAC even though the deliverables may not yet be completed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Most of the deliverables were affected by the lockdown.
On capital expenditure like equipment, it was a R11.5 million budget with expenditure of R6.5 million. The expenditure increased due to purchase of equipment like laptops for officials who needed them to work from home. Under Programme 1 for Goods and Services, figures increased as DSAC has had to communicate using various forms of technology, which is something that it did not have to do before.
Dr Cynthia Khumalo, DSAC Deputy Director-General: Arts, Culture, Promotion and Development, replied about the consequences of those involved in double dipping. When DSAC went into Phase 1 of the relief funding, soon after lockdown, the criteria did not specify any exclusions and as a result, everyone began applying to different sectors of government. When the Auditor-General issued his first special report which included people benefiting from the different government interventions, DSAC took this into account. Going into Phase 2, it put specific criteria in place on people already benefiting from other government-funded relief. As previously reported, this led to a low number of beneficiaries. Going into Phase 3 and taking into account the lessons learned and the prolonged impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown, DSAC did not exclude people who benefitted from Phases 1 and 2. DSAC measures inside the department were to ensure that people would not continue to take chances and apply for relief even though they were already benefiting from other relief funding. It worked closely with the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to ensure tax compliance. She noted that Mr Ndima had already spoken to the allegations about NAC- related double-dipping. As at 15 March 2021, Mr Ndima had followed up on the matter and had sent correspondence to the NAC Acting CEO to address these and other matters which continue to emerge in the ‘NAC saga’ [inaudible due to internet interruption]
On tax compliance and the comment made by Mr Madlingozi about the Department's failure to take into account the nature of the arts and culture industry, it had previously explained that when it started with Phase 1, it had to take into account what it is obliged to take into account. When disbursing state funds, there are compliance measures it has to adhere to. However, going forward into Phase 2 and Phase 3, and taking into account the nature of the industry, DSAC engaged with SARS with a view to finding a way that DSAC could exempt the applicants, as it does not have the authority to do so on its own. As previously reported, it did not therefore, put in place tax compliance requirements when it commenced with Phase 3. Based on an agreement with SARS, the only requirement was that an individual would have to be registered with SARS. It also provided a direct link to the website that individuals could access to register with SARS.
On the question on whether DSAC is monitoring GBV cases, although it does not have a direct responsibility to monitor the numbers, through its Social Cohesion and Nation Building Advocacy Programme, the Department has been working closely with stakeholders to monitor the situation across the country. It also engaged with these stakeholders to enable itself to put measures in place that will address this challenge. DSAC is looking at how it can influence behaviour within communities and among potential individuals that would otherwise get themselves involved in these kinds of cases. These interventions mainly rely on the stakeholder approach that DSAC has adopted to ensure representation of non profit organizations, community organizations and other departments that have a similar mandate.
On the comment by Ms Khawula on the need for DSAC to go out and search for talent, Dr Khumalo agreed although it has been constrained by the restrictions limiting movement. The model of delivery to address utilisation of talent across different disciplines and cultural domains has been to look at how DSAC can work with the provinces and community art centres. Most provinces have established their structures for community art centres and DSAC’s approach is to look at how it can augment this approach because the centres are based within the communities. It recognizes that its footprint cannot reach every corner of the country without working with the provinces and the centres. However, it intends to follow the approach suggested by Ms Khawula to the extent that it can, given its constraints.
On the NAC issues, DSAC has come up with different interventions to address these matters. These interventions commenced with a meeting in February which involved the Minister, and includes many meetings involving the NAC and its management. During the week of 7 March 2021, the Presidency’s Project Management Office also came on board and DSAC was scheduled to have a follow-up meeting with the Project Management Office this afternoon. The focus areas are the new Council of the NAC, which came on board in January 2021, dealing with the PESP, taking into account the oversubscription of applications that DSAC received and the amendments to the contracts between the NAC and artists. Several legal opinions have been received on this matter. DSAC has also involved its own legal team and so too has the Office of the President.
A key focus area that has been mentioned is that of the conflict of interest. When the conflict of interest allegations came to the fore that some NAC Council Members have benefitted from the PESP, interventions were put in place. These interventions, however, must be in line with processes to allow DSAC to possess documented evidence to enable it to act on any breach that could emerge.
Another key area is information the NAC has given DSAC. What it has found is that the NAC has provided it with broad information on number of beneficiaries and total amount approved under Stream 1 and Stream 2. It requires more detailed information as requested by DSAC and the Office of the President. This will allow DSAC to zoom into the specific problems and to understand the extent to which the allegations are correct. This will assist in addressing the problems.
The last key area is on occupation of the offices. DSAC intervened and there are specific requests that have been made by the artists when DSAC engaged with the artists. These requests are currently being dealt with by DSAC. There were specific areas that were addressed during the meeting between DSAC and the artists and specific requests made by the artists. These requests included information requests, either from the NAC or DSAC [inaudible due to loss of internet connection]. DSAC will provide the names of the individuals appointed to adjudicate within the NAC Council and the MOU signed by DSAC and NAC [inaudible].
When the special budget process convened by Treasury in October 2020, DSAC received a budget of R665 million. R500 million went to the implementing agencies. R300 million went to NAC [inaudible].
Mr Mhlongo asked why the written responses to the questions posed to DSAC in a previous meeting were only received on 15 March 2021, when the deadline was 12 March 2021. Why does the Department not respect the Committee?
He noted that the question about the duplication of work by the MAT had not been answered. He remarked that the Acting Director-General had previously called a Zoom meeting which had been ‘fruitless’ as no resolutions were reached.
On double-dipping, the DSAC report received on 15 March 2021 indicated:
- Slide 25 of 34, ‘National PESP Success Application 12 March’, provides a name of a company with a project number of 8751810 (‘Road Show Marketing’). Funding was provided to it under Stream 2 as well. This is evidence of double-dipping and not a mere allegation.
- Slide 3 of 34 provides a company name (‘Black Technical Production Association’) and the company received R149 million under Stream 2. Again, this was not an allegation as there is proof in the documents provided by DSAC itself.
He had asked during the previous committee meeting about a company suspected of double-dipping. What progress had been made on the investigation into that specific company. How can it provide funding to companies before it has undertaken basic verification?
Who is investigating the NAC Chairperson not having made the requisite declaration of conflict of interest? Who is investigating the NAC CEO and CFO?
When are the ±700 applicants who have not received relief funding going to receive rejection or approval letters?
Mr Ndima expressed his apologies for having failed to provide the responses to the questions raised in the previous meeting timeously. This was not as a result of a lack of respect for the Committee but due to work pressures and the need to provide information that is of a high quality.
On the unfruitful Zoom meeting, it had been an attempt by DSAC to listen to what the artists had to say, and also to persuade the artists to move away from the NAC so that the NAC staff could proceed with work, as there had been fears about the safety of NAC staff. DSAC will be following up on the concerns raised by the artists. It wants to get to the bottom of the matter, but to do so carefully. It is currently awaiting a report from its lawyers to advise it on how to proceed.
When the matter of the NAC Chairperson was presented to the Minister by the current NAC Council and it was alleged that the NAC Chairperson had not made a declaration, the NAC Council recommended that the Chairperson be suspended. However, if this matter had been finalised at that stage, perhaps the NAC would have a Chairperson and not an Acting Chairperson. DSAC requests that it be allowed to obtain the details of this matter.
On the identity of the persons investigating the NAC CEO and CFO, that is the responsibility of the NAC Council as, until the contrary is proven, it is a legitimate council approved by the Minister.
The Acting Chairperson asked about the appointment of the NAC Council Members, the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) and the Advisory Council. He remarked that perhaps the question should be referred to the Minister.
Mr Madlingozi said that he was yet to hear DSAC accepting the corruption that it had been condoning. He asked about Sipho Sithole and the extent to which he was connected to DSAC.
Mr Ndima replied that Dr Sipho Sithole is a NAC Council Member and that he had also previously assisted DSAC with Phase 1 of the relief funding. He is also someone who had been accused of benefiting from the PESP. These are the things DSAC needs to investigate further so that it may prepare a report to present to the Committee. It is not in the interests of DSAC to hide anything because it has nothing to hide.
The Acting Chairperson noted that during the previous Committee meeting, a resolution was made about going on an oversight visit. The Chairperson’s Office is attempting to organize a week-long oversight visit on all the issues discussed. Whether this is approved will be communicated to the Committee within the following week or two.
He requested DSAC to make the Minister aware of the questions that were directed at him.
Progress Report on National Macro Organization of Government (NMOG) process
Ms Vuyiseka Mahlangu, DSAC Acting Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services, said that after the pronouncement of the merger of the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), six work streams were tasked with working on the merger:
Work stream 1: HR Management, Organisational Design, Labour Relations, Change Management
Work stream 2: Infrastructure
Work stream 3: Finance
Work stream 4: Information Technology
Work stream 5: Legal Services
Work stream 6: Communications and Marketing
She noted the progress made in the work streams (see document) which included:
Stream 1: Human Resource Management
All tasks assigned and processes in terms of Resolution 1 of 2019 had been concluded. The placement of officials had been concluded, with the exception of three officials who had not been placed. The names of these officials were given to the Department Task Team (DTT) and the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) for possible placement. DSAC is engaging with the National School of Government as they have a vacant, unfunded position and they have shown an interest in filling that position. DSAC is processing the request and it is at an advanced stage. The start-up structure was approved with 670 positions including filled and funded vacant posts. There are a few pending projects and those are the following:
- A Mop Up project to understand the status of employees after placement.
- A questionnaire for feedback which will form the basis of the organizational review.
- A review of existing policies of both departments to harmonize the existing policies.
The Ministry for Public Service and Administration approved the request for an organizational review. DSAC is awaiting approval of its submission to advertise a tender for the services of a service provider. Terms of reference were presented to specification committee for approval. Tender documents to be prepared and submitted to National Treasury for advertisement.
Stream 2: Infrastructure
- Office accommodation - there was an agreement that the five floors previously allocated to the Civilian Secretariat for Police would be allocated to DSAC at Sechaba House.
- Relocation: A budget of R18.6 million was approved for renovations and installations. A letter from DPWI on 4 February 2021 indicated that approval from National Treasury is awaited. Once approved, the building work is estimated to be completed within two months.
- Interim arrangements: Building work cannot start without approval from National Treasury and subsequent consultations with the landlord. Spaces have been identified to accommodate 60 officials and some of these officials have already moved. The remainder of officials will remain at Regent Place until the lease agreement is finalised.
- Asset register: The asset registers from the former Departments are now merged.
Stream 3: Finance
All of the key milestones under this work stream have been completed, except the following:
The audit of the approved budget and the asset verification of the merged asset register.
Stream 4: Information Technology
All of the key milestones have been completed except the following which are behind schedule:
Relocation Project; Review of ICT policies.
Stream 5: Legal Services
All of the key milestones have been completed.
Stream 6: Communications and Marketing
Detailed progress on branding and naming of departments: 70%
Client related change management: 80%
Media communications: on-going
Development of communication strategy: 85%
Mr Ndima added that he had been reminded of the query which required DSAC to quantify in rands the implications of using technology. He noted that this is something to which the IT department is better placed to respond.
Mr Joseph asked about the R18.6 million approved for renovations and installations. When was that amount decided upon and will it be enough to complete the renovations?
The Acting Chairperson asked about the effect of the merger on the Cape Town offices. He suggested placing the CFO position at Deputy Director-General level as the CFO plays an important role especially since the merger. The presentation indicates that the tender for sourcing a service provider is 100% complete. However, DSAC is still awaiting approval.
Mr Ndima replied that DSAC is trying to ensure that the position of CFO is at DDG level. This is to ensure that it maintains stable financial management.
Ms Mahlangu replied that DSAC has upgraded the CFO position to DDG level and has received approval from the Minister to go ahead. It has since written a letter to the Minister of Public Service and Administration for approval, after which it will advertise the position.
The R18.6 million is the provision made in 2020/21 for the relocation. DSAC has partly used this amount. It had to review its infrastructure capacity in terms of existing offices to which it is relocating the 60 people. It has agreed that there is a need to increase the tools of trade so that more officials can work remotely, and the budget will be used for this purpose as well. It has a budget for this financial year and 2021/22 for the ‘hard move’ with the refurbishment of the five floors so that the remaining people can also be relocated.
Ms Khan replied that there were two Ministry offices at 120 Plein Street in Cape Town on the 2nd floor for Sport and the 16th floor for Arts and Culture. The Sport office was relinquished and the Ministry now operates from the 16th floor. The Sport Department offices on the 10th floor of Parliament Towers is also likely to close.
The Acting Chairperson urged DSAC to urgently provide the Committee with responses to the matters addressed previously. He asked that DSAC ensure that it makes the Minister aware of the questions that have been directed to him as well. He asked that DSAC pay serious attention to the NAC issues as they are a ‘ticking time bomb’. The Committee will be embarking on its oversight in April, the Committee requests that it ensure that there is progress between now and then. He remarked that ‘those are your constituencies - do not run away from them.’
The minutes were adopted of the previous meeting and the meeting was adjourned.
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