The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) presented their Annual Performance Plan.
Members asked why the R20 million for the National Monument Flag could not be diverted to the many unemployed artists especially with the Covid-19 third wave. beginning of the meeting was not recorded due to load shedding.
Members raised concerns about fallen cadres who had died outside the country. Families were contacting the Committee wanting them repatriated. The National Policy on the Repatriation and Restitution of Human Remains and Heritage Objects was discussed as well as the Transformation Charter.
Members asked about the recycling of council members who have a record of poor performance as well as council members serving multiple entities was raised. What had the Department done about the complaints among staff, labour unions and artists about these councils and the allegations? They asked how the Department ensures their good governance. What steps will be taken to ensure proper screening of council members going forward. They also asked if the Department vacancies had been filled.
Member asked for details about the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) programmes. Many departments are rolling out GBV programmes but there was little information. Questions were also asked about the 300 artists who will be placed in schools and which communities will be catered for. The Committee commended the Department on how they were planning to deal with race relations.
In a virtual meeting, the Minister gave opening remarks and the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture presented its Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Budget for 2021/22. (Note: This was not recorded by Parliament due to load shedding). The presentation spoke to re-aligning planning, budget and delivery due to the pandemic:
• Budget reprioritization to fund relief measures
• Reprioritize interventions to support recovery
• Repurpose the state to improve delivery/performance
• Temporarily deprioritize some projects that do not directly support relief measures
• Refocus integrated medium-term planning for resilience and inclusive development;
• Focus efforts to improve the capacity and capability of the state to deliver.
The strategic focus for DSAC includes:
• Increased market share of job opportunities in sport, culture and creative industries.
• Transformed, capable and professional sport, arts and culture sector.
Key factors that informed the development of 2021/22 DSAC APP were:
• Adaptations to the risks posed by Covid-19
• Accelerating economic recovery
• Transforming society and uniting the country
• DSAC response to gender-based violence
• Cross-cutting focus areas
• Fighting corruption and strengthening the state.
The performance indicators/targets and budget for its four programmes were noted (see document):
• Programme 1: Administration
• Programme 2: Recreation Development and Sport Promotion: Support the provision of mass participation opportunities, the development of elite athletes, and the regulation and maintenance of facilities.
• Programme 3: Arts & Culture Promotion and Development: Promote / develop arts, culture and languages; implement national social cohesion strategy
• Programme 4: Heritage Promotion and Preservation: Preserve and promote South African heritage, including archival and heraldic heritage; oversee and transfer funds to libraries.
The Chairperson highlighted what the Minister had raised in his opening remarks on the Draft National Policy on the Repatriation and Restitution of Human Remains and Heritage Objects. The country celebrated when the remains of Sarah Baartman were returned but they are still waiting on other human remains. He emphasized repeatedly that the colonial oppressors were the worst criminals, as they were not only killing people; they were mutilating them. They are still looking for the heads of Kgoshi Bambatha and Kgoshi Magoba. He had never heard of people so cruel, where you mutilate victims and use their bodies as trophies. There were many other warrior kings whose bodies were mutilated and shipped to “the white man’s land”. He asked the Minister what his transformation agenda is, and what is informing the transformation that the Department is talking about, to ensure that the industry itself gets transformed.
Ms M Gillion (ANC) stated that Programme 1 objectives include ensuring good governance among public entities. In one of the oversight visits to Free state and Gauteng there were complaints among staff, labour unions and artists about the recycling of board or council members who have a record of poor performance as well as council members serving in multiple entities in the same sector. What does the Department have to say about these allegations, and how will the Department ensure good governance? In the wake of such allegations especially given the crisis in the distribution of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Package (PESP). What steps will be taken to ensure proper screening of board and council members going forward. Have all the critical vacant positions been filled by the Department? If not, why is the process delayed?
Ms D Christians (DA) noted the R20 million set aside in the 2021/22 budget for the Monument Flag Project. In light of the outcry about the large number of unemployed battling artists who have lost income and their livelihood. Can the Department not rather redirect that money to assist the artists especially as we are facing a Covid-19 third wave?
Where will the emphasis be directed for the GBV projects for 2021/22? How will these projects be rolled out? Despite the money government has been spending on GBV, we have not seen a reduction in GBV. She is concerned that various departments are rolling out GBV programmes but they never get to know what these programmes are, where they are aimed, who they are aimed at, and which communities.
Her next question is about the 300 artists that will be placed in schools. What will they be paid to be placed in schools and which communities will be catered for. Where will they be rolled out and what is the aim of this project eventually?
The presenter said that race relations are very problematic in the country and that there should be a focus on race relations, so where and how will these programmes be run. She thinks it is fantastic that the Department is running a race relations programme because the country needs it more than ever before. Could it explain in more detail where these programmes will be run, and what the ultimate aim of the Department is in the roll out of this programme.
Ms N Ndongeni (ANC) asked if the Department has plans for the third wave and to explain them. They have a GBV plan – how will they spread awareness of GBV? In the performance indicators, it states: Number of municipalities provided with technical and management support during construction. How many municipalities have been covered? (1:02:30-1:02:40).
The Chairperson asked if South Africa will ever get the Cullinan Diamond back from the Queen’s crown. It must come home to Tshwane.
Dr Cynthia Khumalo, Deputy Director General: Arts and Culture Promotion and Development, replied that the GBV awareness programmes by the Department are aimed at campaigning against the scourge of GBVF. A number of programmes have been integrated so that they make more of an impact in this campaign. She programmes have been orientated in such a way that they are specific to certain target groups within our society. They have a programme which has been running since last year called “Baqhawafazi” which means “women heroes”. This programme is aimed at raising awareness particularly targeting women and girls in warning them against this scourge by telling the stories of the experiences of those women who are victims. These are testimonials, the untold stories of GBVF through raw footage of survivors, particularly focusing on the 30 hotspots as defined by SAPS throughout the country. It started in 2020/21 and is continuing into this year, escalating and spreading even wider.
The second programme was launched by the Minister in September 2020, and referred to as the Golekane Campaign which is a 365 day campaign which endorses a call to action by men. It is driven by men to end GBVF; through behavioral dialogues, panel discussions, grassroots anti-GBV activations that are specifically focusing on the father and the son through camps and other such interventions. It is part of this integrated approach with the orientation towards men.
The third programme is the “Silapha” awareness programme means “we are here for you, artist and sport practitioners” but can also be interpreted as “we are healing you, artists and sport practitioners”. This programme is an open engagement that addresses the wellness challenges in both the arts and culture and the sport industries. It includes addressing depression, legal financial management, and abuse. Creatives and sports practitioners will be able to access counselling and other services provided through Silapha. This is the integrated plan.
There is an action plan. The programme has started, but for the next six months starting in June they will be going to KZN and in July to Northern Cape. They are finalizing the provinces they will be going to in August, September, October, and November.
The Department will place 300 artists in schools. The objective of this programme is two-pronged. The first target is creating jobs and the second objective is ensuring they focus on the creative as a career at grassroots level. By working together with the Department of Basic Education and schools; they have brought on board the community art centres that are tasked with the responsibility of implementing this programme at grassroots level. The aim is two-pronged creating jobs for the artists but also looking at ensuring that talented young individuals are getting the practical information and exposure to what the creative industry is about and what it entails.
The artists are paid. The total budget the Department has set aside for 2021/22 is R 18.9 million with R2.1 million allocated to each province. For example in the Northern Cape, the areas are Frances Baard, John Taolo Gaetsewe, Pixley Ka Seme, ZF Mgcawu Districts where these schools have been identified.
Mr Vusithemba Ndima, DDG: Heritage Promotion and Preservation, replied about the repatriation of human remains. In 2002 they repatriated the remains of Sarah Baartman who had been paraded as freak show attraction in 19-century Europe. They had to repatriate those human remains as part of bringing back dignity to Sarah Baartman. It was done without a policy in place. Similarly in 2012 we had to repatriate the remains of a Khoisan couple who were dug out of their graves by an Austrian anthropologist Rudolph Pöch in 1909 in the name of science and taken to an Austrian museum. Former President Kgalema Motlanthe was pivotal in having these remains repatriated to SA and having them buried in a dignified manner. Similarly those who left this country to fight for the freedom of South Africa, some of their remains were returned in 2015. These too happened without policy. They wanted to ensure that whenever this is being done it is done within the parameters of policy. The policy was finally approved on 24 March 2021. Now in implementing the policy, DSAC is consolidating the development of clear criteria and clarifying the quest for repatriation and restitution. The Department will work with the resources it has and work with institutions to ensure that work is being done.
As part of transformation of the heritage landscape they have already done the audit of cultural statues and monuments which number 1 789. They look at statues and monuments that are not in line with the values of the South African Constitution. These will be allocated to regional cultural nation-building parks. This is part of the transformation of heritage landscape. We cannot continue to glorify atrocities.
On the national flag, they looked at the entire spectrum of what is being done by the Department. They adopt a holistic approach. Yes, the artists, creatives and athletes are important, but the work of the Department transcends artists and creatives and looks at important symbols in our society. For example, looking at the national flag, it is the primary national symbol enshrined in our Constitution. Its significance is that it ushered in a post-colonial and post-Apartheid democratic constitutional dispensation. It is a very important subject matter in the Department and is a subject matter for all South Africans. That is why they envisage this to be an iconic monument that will occupy a primary place in the imagination and memories of South Africans. So if there is a need to look at resources and cut wherever they can, then they will, but the significance of this monument must be emphasized.
Ms Sumayya Khan, DDG: Recreation Development and Sport Promotion, replied about infrastructure and how many municipalities have been given support. If they look at the support from 2017 onwards, the Department has given support to 157 different municipalities. If they look at support it may be that one municipality will get supported more than once thus 165 municipalities have been given support and included in the 165 are the 29 new projects that are starting on 1 July 2021.
On transformation in the sporting sector, they have a structured way of changing sport and transformation based on the Transformation Charter adopted at the National Sport and Recreation Indaba in 2011. The Transformation Charter guides the changes in sports federation in very strategic areas on and off the field including demographic representation in key areas such as access to participation, capacity development, governance, and economic empowerment. They look at federation procurement spending and who is benefitting from the procurement.
Transformation status is determined and monitored by measuring actual performance annually to ensure it achieves these targets in the charter. They have used this charter over the years but realized that the charter is a one size fits all. In 2016 they then adopted a barometer where the sport federations set their own targets and the Department then assesses the federations against their own set targets. Where they do not achieve 50% or more of the targets then penalties are imposed on the federation. The Minister has the power to suspend a federation and withdraw funding the Department provides. It can also revoke the authority for a federation to bid for international tournaments and withdraw the opportunity for them to award colours. There is a signed MOU between the federations and SASCOC to ensure that the federations are very aware that they are subject to penalties should they not meet their targets. Over the years the Transformation Charter has been overseen by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) who report directly to the Minister. They oversee and prepare an EPG report to give an indication of the performance of the federations but also guide the Department in key areas to strengthen its own delivery.
Over the years, the various challenges include the governance of federations. Also, given the population dynamics with an increase in young people, there is a diminishing white population where the greatest number of sport federation administrators lie so there is a risk of the country losing a lot of institutional knowledge in the administration of sport. They need to develop the capacity of the youth between 18 and 25 and include other race groups especially federation administration skills.
Another area to be worked on is school sports. School sport is the bedrock of sport development. They see the need to ensure the school sports programme is developed and that it is stronger in the country to ensure the nursery of talent is developed and this helps in the sports continuum of development to high performance.
Dr Sakiwo Tyiso, Department of Arts and Culture Chief Director: Strategic Management and Planning, replied about good governance in institutions and not recycling council members serving in multiple councils. DSAC has a number of interventions to improve governance in our institutions and we have established a number of forums to ensure that there is constant engagement between the Department and its entities. They have to ensure that whoever is appointed as a council member undergoes an induction to understand how the Department works and how it is structured. They have partnered with Institute of Directors of South Africa (IODSA) which oversees governance and gives a custodian report. They ensure our council members must be registered with IODSA and they benefit from a number of interventions including training. We pay for their registration.
Although there is a challenge of recycling council members the Department is working on this. It intends to use an open call process where they call for applications from all over the country to develop a board bank. Its open call for people to serve on councils will not be a result of vacancies but rather they will do an open call now to develop a board base to ensure that they have a diverse database of applicants and whenever they need a resource, they can go this. They will open the board base to the public to ensure there is no recycling of members. In engagements with the boards of entities they are guided on the relevant legislation and regulations they must follow. When site visits are done, challenges can be mitigated and they will look to the visibility of those serving on the councils in an advisory capacity to ensure compliance with legislation. These are some of the interventions to ensure they avoid negativity and improve governance.
Ms Mandisa Tshikwatamba, DDG: Corporate Services, says that there are a high number of vacancies, replied that there is a plan in place to fill the vacancies. This plan was put in place in September last year when the first batch of positions were advertised. This was followed by another 32 positions in March 2021 and they are moving to the third phase around the end of June. This batching is due to the high level of unemployment which causes a large number of applicants so the process of information capture, verification and communicating with applicants takes time. Of the positions in the first batch, much of it has been done. She stated that she too is a product of that first batch. The second batch of applications closed late in March and they have started setting up interviews. Although they started last year, there have been delays due to Covid-19 and some applicants could not travel. They have adjusted to working online where possible. As head of Corporate Services, she is committed to filling these vacancies but they are doing so with care as they are rationalizing their staff complement after combining two departments. They are also managing staff overlaps and working towards their final structure.
On budget prioritization for relief, they will manage the relief process without undermining the APP presented today. Work still needs to be done to see where we prioritize what and how much towards fighting Covid-19. The government has implemented the economic recovery plan of the sectors and that is why the PESP was established. During the third wave, the Department will be guided by government directions in dealing with Covid-19 in the creative and sports sectors. Foe relief, they look at the implications at the time and then reprioritize the budget according to that. There was no budget for Covid-19 but it is about responding to events as they happen and what they know has been happening in the plight of the creatives and athletes. There is a relief programme for them. With its programmes, DSAC ensures the creatives and sports people are the major beneficiaries to give them sustainable livelihoods through these programmes.
DSAC is in line with what government does in the third wave and lockdown status. They do not have adequate resources to make resources available to accommodate everybody. They use selection processes that ask people to come forward. There is a challenge in not having a real database. This is why they have started creating a national database of our creatives to verify this. They are assisted by organizations who have submitted their own databases. They were hoping this would assist them with a targeted Covid-19 response for the sector.
The race relations programme is under Social Cohesion an includes dialogues. They believe more has to be done as racist ideology still raises its ugly head. They utilise their social cohesion advocates who have developed programmes and target areas in need. The Department appoints these throughout the country. They help the Department address social cohesion and nation building challenges including race relations. It is seen that when farm workers complain, the farmers also complain. This is about social cohesion – bringing people together to understand they are united in our diversity which assists in addressing this.
On council issues, the Minister signs a shareholder compact with the councils. He ensures that they understand their fiduciary duties to ensure clean governance and accountability. When there is mismanagement of resources or corruption, forensic investigations will determine if the allegations are true and there will be consequences. There are measures to ensure good governance in terms of whistleblowing and we leave no stone unturned. The Minister will institute an independent investigation of the board if board members are implicated.
The Chairperson noted the performance indicators for heritage legacy projects. He has been receiving calls from families who have lost relatives who joined “Umkhonto we Sizwe” (MK) and fought in the Zimbabwean Chimurenga. Some of those fighters fell in the war in Zimbabwe and are buried in unmarked graves. He gave the example of France Ratsoma and others. They need to bring back the remains of those who fought in Zimbabwe to bring peace to their families and rest to the dead. Please speed up this policy.
Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa said he wanted to go back to the question of recycling members in the councils. One aspect that has not been touched on is that people apply. They go through a rigorous process because they are supposed to transform those councils and transform society. Those who are anti-transformation, will not be appointed. It starts with people applying in response to the Department advertising in the media. The onus is on the people to apply.
He referred to the example of the Zimbabwean fallen MK cadres. Right now we are dealing with the Viana camp in Angola and there are 300 fallen cadres in that camp. It is not possible to repatriate all those people. There are many camps and many liberation armies – we are talking about the liberation period of the banning of the liberation movements. There are also World Wars I and II. There are people all over the world. Repatriating everyone to SA would take more than the budget of the state as a whole. There are other ways of respecting people such as through monuments which should be in those particular areas. Right now they are at the point of engaging with the public including the Committee to see that just repatriating one person – we have repatriated a few people before the policy was in place as the DG was saying. Cabinet had committed to honouring those who have fallen outside the country but it is not guaranteeing to repatriate everyone simply because of the finite budgetary resources. They are finalising the finer details of the policy. However, government is very much on board about this matter, the process is there, the political will is there and as much as can be done within the resources available will be done.
Mr Mkhize replied that he does not see targets that have been revised down in the Heritage programme.
The Chairperson referred to the new indicator on workshops to develop knowledge of national symbols.
Mr Mkhize replied that they are being urged to document these workshops and increase the number so they do more in a year. In terms of the legacy projects for 2021/22 they have exhibitions they need to put in those museums so that they can then become meaningful museums and include an interpretive centre.
The Minister thanked the Committee for the engagement and the questions especially about ensuring that the artists do not go hungry in the third wave.
The Committee adopted the following reports:
Committee Report on Budget Vote 16: Basic Education
Committee Report on Budget Vote 17: Higher Education and Training
Committee Report on Budget Vote 35: Science and Innovation
The minutes dated 19 and 26 May were adopted and the Chairperson adjourned the meeting.
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