Committee Report on visit to PACOFS; National Arts Council; National Film & Video Foundation; Mabopane & Mamelodi Stadia 6-9 April 2021
The Committee convened virtually to consider and adopt its Committee Report on the oversight visits to the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) in Bloemfontein, Free State; National Arts Council (NAC) and National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) in Johannesburg, Gauteng as well as the Mabopane and Mamelodi Stadiums.
The Chairperson raised the matter of the complaint lodged by the NAC Acting Chairperson about a recording of her meeting with two Portfolio Committee members which was leaked to the public. The NAC Acting stated that since the leak, her life has been in danger. The two Portfolio Committee members refuted the complaint as having no basis because no meeting had actually happened. They stated that Members of Parliament have a right to engage with stakeholders outside the Committee. The Chairperson thanked the two Members for the clarification. The matter was informally closed.
Committee Report on Oversight Visit
Mr Solomon Mthombeni, Committee Content Advisor, took Members through the Report. The Committee conducted oversight visits to the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) in Bloemfontein, Free State; the National Arts Council (NAC) in Johannesburg, Gauteng; and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) in Johannesburg, Gauteng. The Report covered inputs by these entities, observations on the state of affairs of each entity as well as the Committee’s recommendations (see Committee Report).
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) welcomed the report but was concerned with the MOU between the Department and the NAC on the administration of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) which was old. He asked when the Committee would receive the most recent updated MOU.
Ms V Van Dyk (DA) asked for the insertion of the names of the PACOFS individuals referred to in the report. When one refers to this report in future, it will make it easier to understand. She also suggested that the Committee inserted timeframes for its recommendations.
Mr N Seabi (ANC) welcomed the report. The Committee need simply adopt the report, since Members had the opportunity to peruse it prior to the meeting. He proposed the adoption of the Rrport without changes.
He responded to Ms Van Dyk that when capturing what was reported to the Committee in that presentation, no names were mentioned. Now to include names, which were not mentioned in that presentation, would not be in order.
Mr R Madlingozi (EFF) was pleased with the report but the Committee recommendations were not clear on dates or timeframes. The urgency for artists and entertainers in the industry to get assistance is not reflected in the report. If the process is taking this long in dealing with people in the metros, how difficult would it be for those located in the rural areas?
Ms R Adams (ANC) seconded the proposal to adopt the report.
The Committee Report was adopted without amendments.
The Chairperson noted that there had been delays with the report as the secretariat had struggled to obtain critical information as the stakeholders had not complied with the time frames for submission. She was pleased that this information was eventually submitted and the report was complete.
NAC Acting Chairperson complaint
On another note, the Chairperson had received an email from the NAC Acting Chairperson that after finishing the official virtual Committee meeting with the NAC, two Committee members had requested a private meeting with the NAC Acting Chairperson. In that meeting the two Members recorded the conversation without the NAC Acting Chairperson’s knowledge and that recording was then shared publicly.
Mr B Mamabolo (ANC) asked for the names of those two Members saying that “we cannot operate like this because the Committee operates as a collective”.
The Chairperson replied that it was Mr Mhlongo and Mr Madlingozi. The NAC Acting Chairperson complained that after the leaking of the meeting recording, her life was now in danger.
Mr Mhlongo refuted these assertions and said that the NAC Acting Chairperson must provide full details about what actually happened. Members of Parliament have the right to engage privately with stakeholders. That private meeting was agreed to by the NAC Acting Chairperson. It was not meant to be part of the virtual Committee meeting. It was meant to be an engagement after the Committee meeting. The NAC Acting Chairperson had then proposed that the meeting should be formal. What was agreed to in that engagement was the NAC Acting Chairperson supported what was proposed and said that it would be presented to the board because it was a good idea. She lied to us and said that the court order would be withdrawn.
Mr Seabi interjected on a point of order. It would be out of order for the Committee to discuss this – this was just a report to the Committee. Most Committee members do not have insight into what transpired. If this matter is to be discussed in the Committee, it should be formally be put on the agenda and details should be provided so that every Member has complete information.
Mr Mhlongo said that Mr Seabi should have called the Chairperson to order for disclosing the names of Mr Mhlongo and Mr Madlingozi to the Committee without disclosing the complete information. This was wrong. Members are allowed to have engagement with stakeholders outside Committee meetings – even the Chairperson and Mr Seabi met with the NAC Acting Chairperson privately but this was not disclosed to the Committee. Why was that meeting not disclosed? Why are their names disclosed to the Committee now?
The NAC Acting Chairperson was out of order; the NAC Acting Chairperson lied to us. She came with different suggestions and later on requested a Zoom meeting to involve the NAC. However, at the end of the day the NAC would continue with the court order.
He was not pleased that this matter was put before the Committee, because there was no foul play by the Members. It was to be a private engagement, which did not take place.
The Chairperson explained that she had come before the Committee and declared that she was requested by the artists to meet with her. The artist concerned, Jabu, indicated that there would be five of them. She had invited Mr Seabi to accompany her as she was uncertain why a private meeting was requested. Before the meeting commenced, the Chairperson made it clear that the artists were ambushing her and this matter should rather be dealt with by the entire Committee.
Mr Madlingozi refuted the claims made by the NAC Acting Chairperson about the meeting and argued that it never actually took place. He and Mr Mhlongo were actually approached during the oversight visit and the NAC Acting Chairperson suggested that a Zoom meeting should be held to include the artists as well. He and Mr Mhlongo had agreed because it seemed that the matter with the artists was promising to be resolved amicably. It was actually an invitation to a meeting that never took place.
The Chairperson thanked the two Members for the clarification.
The meeting was adjourned.
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