The Committee met with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) to receive briefings in a virtual meeting on the distribution of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) funds, and on the wellness programme tender that had been awarded to Indingliz Advertising and Marketing.
The Minister said the past two years had been difficult and devastating, as the Covid pandemic had hit the sports and creative sectors hard. The government, and the DSAC in particular, had sprung into action to provide relief funds, and that had meant the budget allocated to the Department had had to be redirected. The PESP had been useful in the DSAC's efforts to alleviate the situation the sectors had been faced with, and as a result, more than 60 000 athletes and artists had benefited. The Department had been allocated R678 million from the PESP for the creation/retention of jobs in the sports and creative sectors. R609 million had been paid to beneficiaries to date, and 37 556 individuals had benefited from the programme. Four of the projects in Phase 1 had been completed, and the other five were in the process of being finalised.
Through the PESP 2, the Department had received R15 million to support three independent small museums and had received a PESP3 budget allocation of R440 million for 2022/23, and R460 million for 2023/24. The allocation would enable a call for proposals for employment creation initiatives for artists, creatives, cultural and heritage practitioners, as covered in the cultural and creative domains that made up the industry.
The Department said it had contracted Indingliz Advertising and Marketing in November 2020 to administer the SILAPHA wellness programme, which was a platform created by the DSAC to contribute towards the psychosocial wellbeing of practitioners within the creative and sport sectors. The programme focused on addressing emotional, physical, psychological and mental well being of all artists and athletes, and would run for a period of three years as a pilot. The programme was now in its second year of implementation and had benefited 953 artists and athletes to date. Indingliz had carefully selected ambassadors for the programme to cover a wide spread of issues addressed by the programme, inclusive of gender-based violence (GBV), mental illness, drug addiction, abuse and the challenges of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) plus community.
The Committee asked the DSAC to define the term ‘jobs’ in the context of the jobs that were created through the PESP. Could it differentiate between jobs created and jobs retained, because the figures that were given made it difficult to observe the impact of the PESP programmes? What criteria had been used to decide which museums would be assisted in phase two? Could the Department indicate the length of the job opportunities that were created through the distribution of the PESP funds?
The Committee asked what criteria had been used to select the ambassadors for the SILAPHA programme, and what experience and qualifications the chosen ambassadors had. Had the ambassadors represented their respective geographic areas in terms of race, language, sexuality etc? Were the ambassadors compensated or not? Had the SILAPHA project fed into the national drug master plan? What percentage of the Indingliz contract had been sub-contracted to NBC Health and Wellness Services? The tender had been awarded to Indingliz in June, but the company had contracted NBC only five months later, resulting in only three wellness outreach events being held to date. Why had the process taken so long?
The Chairperson said it had come to her knowledge that during the past weekend there had been a tragedy during a school rugby tour in which two pupils had passed away, and she had sent the Committee’s condolences to the families affected.
She congratulated the Protea women’s cricket team on making it to the ICC Women’s World Cup semi-finals, and in commemoration of Human Rights Month, she quoted former President Nelson Mandela when he said, “Never again shall it be that this beautiful land will experience the oppression of one by another.”
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) concurred with the quote of the Chairperson and commented that in the last Committee meeting he had been oppressed by the Chairperson when he was not allowed to fully express his views. He said the Chairperson should practice what she preached.
Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize, Director-General, Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC), introduced the delegation from the Department.
Ms R Adams (ANC) said in the past week the Committee had not read anything about the Chairperson losing her relatives, and prayed that God would give her the strength to deal with all those losses.
The Chairperson confirmed that she had lost her nephew on the previous Friday, and it had been the fourth death in a week for the family.
Minister’s opening remarks
Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, comforted the Chairperson and her family for the deaths that had occurred in her family.
He said the past two years had been difficult and devastating for those in the Sports Department. The pandemic had hit hard on the sports and creative sectors. Government, and the Department, in particular, had sprung into action to provide relief funds and that had meant the budget allocated to the Department had had to be redirected. The Presidential Employment Stimulus Package (PESP) had been useful in the efforts to alleviate the situation, and more than 60 000 athletes and artists had benefited. More than 33 000 jobs were retained or created through the stimulus package, and the Department had allocated close to R700 million to the artists and athletes. The DSAC had indicated that the financial resources of the government were finite, and could not cover all the artists and athletes.
Ms Nocawe Mafu, Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, indicated that the Minister had lost his connection.
The Chairperson said the Department should continue with its presentation -- the Minister could continue with his remarks afterwards.
Mr Mkhize said the Department would be making its presentation on the PESP, which did not necessarily include the ‘relief’ aspect because the agenda had focussed on the PESP. The Department would be presenting on nine projects, of which four had been completed, the remaining five were still being finalised by the associated institutions.
DSAC on distribution of PESP funds
Dr Cynthia Khumalo, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Arts and Culture Promotion and Development, DSAC, said the presentation gave a full run down in terms of phase one of the projects that had been implemented and a sense of where the Department was with the phase two of implementation. A total of nine projects had been implemented in Phase 1, which had been initiated in the 2020/21 financial year and were being concluded in the 2021/22 financial year. Four of the projects in Phase 1 had been completed, and the other five were in the process of being finalised as of March. There had been more than 37 000 verified beneficiaries who had benefited directly or indirectly as per the approved and funded proposals.
The Department had been allocated R678 million from the PESP, of which R609 million had been paid via the implementing agencies to 37 556 beneficiaries, either as part of the jobs that had been retained and/or created.
Providing details of the Department's funding, she said:
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) had been allocated R140 million, of which R131 million had been paid to the beneficiaries, accounting for 6 968 jobs that were verified as ‘created’.
The National Arts Council (NAC) had been allocated R300 million, of which R292 million had been paid to the beneficiaries, accounting for 21 257 verified jobs created.
The Art Bank at the National Museum had paid all of its R4 million allocation to beneficiaries, resulting in 148 jobs created/retained. The project was complete.
The provincial museums had received R7.8 million and had paid R4.5 million to beneficiaries, with 350 jobs being created/retained
The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) had an allocation of R31 million, of which R22.8 million had been paid to beneficiaries in the form of 899 jobs created/retained. The project was complete.
The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) had received R10 million, and R7.4 million had been paid to beneficiaries for the 256 jobs created/retained. The project was complete.
The National Library of SA (NLSA) had received R60 million and had paid R38.2 million to beneficiaries for the 456 jobs that were created/retained.
The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) had received R51 million and had paid R43.7 million to beneficiaries for the 1 467 jobs that were created.
The Sports Trust had been allocated R60 million and had paid R55.2 million for 5 236 jobs created/retained from 65 organisations. The project was complete.
She said the element of skills transfer had been incorporated into the implemented projects, as was the case with the SAHRA and the SACO projects. Most of the productions that were funded in the project implemented by the NAC had been presented on various online platforms, resulting in an increase in the volume of the cultural and creative industry content for the consumers. Six of the Phase 1 projects implemented by the NFVF, National Museum, SACO, SAHRA, NLSA and the Sports Trust had been implemented with minimal challenges and had been successful in contributing to the creation and/or retention of jobs and skills transfer.
She said through the PESP 2, the Department had received R15 million to financially support three independent small museums:
1) The South African Hip Hop Museum in Newtown, would create job opportunities for 780 young people with diverse skills (designing, marketing, creative designing, music production) with a budget of R9 million.
2) The District Six Museum in Cape Town, which would retain jobs for employees whose jobs had been affected by the closure of the museum, with a budget of R4 million.
3) The Phansi Museum in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), would create job opportunities for young people and provide an opportunity for the museum to go virtual and digitise their culturally significant collections to be accessed by not only the people that visited the museum but even people outside of KZN. The budget was R2 million.
She said the Department had received a PESP3 budget allocation of R440 million for 2022/23, and R460 million for 2023/24. The allocation would enable a call for proposals for employment creation initiatives for artists, creatives, cultural and heritage practitioners as covered in the cultural and creative industry (CCI) domains that made up the industry. The output would focus on the number of opportunities for jobs created in the cultural and creative industries through a targeted call. The implementing agencies would be the NAC, the NFVF, the National Heritage Council ( NHC), the National Museum's Art Bank, and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA). The DSAC was going to retain R5 million per annum to set up a project management unit that would project manage the PESP over the next two years. It would monitor, evaluate and compile reports for the Department, the programme management office and National Treasury.
Mr Mkhize emphasised that the targeted jobs for the PESP were 33 000, and the Department had achieved 4 200 more. The presentation had illustrated the issue of ‘not living hand to mouth,’ and the beneficiaries had acquired skills that could be used in the long run. The issue of non-compliance showed that there was a need to train artists and athletes in business planning, business proposal development, reporting and compliance. The Department had also had to implement a monitoring system to ensure that the funds being disbursed went only to those who complied, which was why there had been additional organisations that had not received the money they had applied for. The next step, moving beyond the relief and the PESP, would be to implement an economic recovery and reconstruction plan which would be linked to the cultural creativity master plan, to enable the sector to create more jobs and contribute to the economic growth of the country.
He said the next presentation would address the issue of the SILAPHA wellness intervention programme. In creating the programme, the Department had aimed to provide economic and psycho-social support to artists and athletes amidst a rise in mental health issues, which had been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. SILAPHA had two objectives -- to raise awareness about psycho-social issues, and to provide the actual services that would help in alleviating the issues.
DSAC on SILAPHA tender awarded to Indingliz Advertising and Marketing
Dr Khumalo said the SILAPHA wellness programme was a platform created by the Department to contribute towards the psychosocial well being of practitioners within the creative and sport sectors. The programme focused on addressing the emotional, physical, psychological and mental well being of all artists and athletes.
Indingliz Advertising and Marketing had been contracted in November 2020 to administer the programme for three years as a pilot. For the first, second and third year of implementation, the budget allocation for the programme had been stipulated as R3 388 616, R6 524 298, and R5 000 000 respectively. The programme was now in its second year of implementation and had benefited 953 artists and athletes to date.
The programme had been officially launched in February 2021 at the State Theatre in Tshwane. The launch was partly virtual, with the panel, the Minister and the working team physically participating at the venue, while the proceedings were live-streamed on social media platforms for public participation.
A call centre had been established for accessibility by artists and athletes who needed assistance with regard to the psychosocial challenges that they might have been going through. To date, the programme had executed three outreach events in Mpumalanga on 28-29 April 2021, Limpopo on 07- 08 October 2021, and Free State on 17- 18 November 2021. Two planned outreach events in May and June 2021 had been cancelled due to heightened COVID-19 restrictions during that period.
The outreach events had provided the Minister with an opportunity to address the sectors. They had also provided a platform for the sectors to share their frustrations and receive guidance on how to deal with them, and learn from one another’s ways of dealing with them. The service provider had brought ambassadors on board to direct and increase the number of artists and athletes towards using the call centre, to benefit from the services provided. The ambassadors had been carefully selected to cover a wider spread of issues addressed by the programme, inclusive of gender-based violence (GBV), mental illness, drug addiction, abuse and the LGBTQ+ community.
The remaining SILAPHA outreach events were planned to be executed in the following order, pending alignment to Minister’s diary:
North West – March 2022
Western Cape – May 2022
Eastern Cape- July 2022
Northern Cape – September 2022
KZN- November 2022
Gauteng – February 2023
Mr Mkhize said GBV and femicide had always been seen as a twin pandemic to COVID-19, and SILAPHA had been an integrated response to all psychosocial and emotional issues to help the arts and sports sectors to survive. The Department had appointed influential individuals from the sports and arts sectors to be ambassadors for creating awareness of the issues and to share stories of how they had survived, to encourage athletes and artists not to suffer alone, but rather to seek help.
Mr Mhlongo said it was important for such projects to exist. Raising awareness was important, given that people still had a stigma towards mental health issues and the country’s artists were even killing themselves. He asked what the reason for Indingiliz not rendering a presentation was, as the implementing agency that had received the tender. He said any project, more so a pilot project like SILAPHA, had to have quarterly evaluations, but the Department had postponed the monitoring and evaluation of SILAPHA to a later stage, on the account of it being a pilot project. What was meant by a "pilot project?"
On the relief funding, he asked what the definition of a job was, and requested detailed terms of reference for Indingliz and its service level agreement (SLA). How much had been used to tackle the legal matters of the NAC? The Gauteng Province had not been paid for beautification projects -- what was the reason for that? R500 000 had been declined by an entity for the beautification project -- what was the reason for the decline? It had been clear that SILAPHA had not serviced the artists and athletes, and while the project showed experience in advertising, there was an indication that the project carried no experience in wellness. The project looked like it had been designed to boost the image of the Minister, as he would be present at the outreach events showcasing the tour. Who were the directors of the company that had received the tender?
He said two companies had been short-listed for the SILAPHA project and asked what criteria had been used by the Department to choose Indingliz and not the other. Could the Department confirm whether or not any employees of the state were part of Indingliz? On relief funding, he said it was clear that there had been a gap in terms of cash payments. Why were facilities such as the Post Office not being used to make the payments? It was not acceptable to ‘take a picture with money’ and use it to account for payments. Had the Department received any money back for double-dipping? Why was the NAC used for the second PESP when the NAC had issues?
He said that during May and July 2021, the awareness campaign had been cancelled due to lock-down restrictions, and asked why SILAPHA had not implemented an alternative intervention to ensure the campaign was ongoing. What criteria had been used to select the ambassadors, and what experience or qualifications did the chosen ambassadors have? Had they represented their geographic areas in terms of race, language, sexuality etc?
Ms V Malomane (ANC) referred to slide three of presentation one and said 6 968 jobs had been created or retained. She asked the Department to differentiate how many jobs had been created, and how many had been retained. On SILAPHA, she said the work that was being done was appreciated because it helped alleviate mental wellness issues that were present everywhere. She asked whether or not the SILAPHA project fed into the national drug master plan. Were the ambassadors of the project compensated or not? There was an implementation plan for 2022/23 showing a programme that was supposed to start in March in the North West -- had the implementation of the programme started?
Ms Adams referred to the PESP funds and asked the Department to differentiate between jobs created and jobs retained because the figures that were given made it difficult to observe the impact of the PESP programmes. What criteria had been used to decide which museums would be assisted in phase two? Could the Department indicate the length of the job opportunities that had been created through the distribution of the PESP funds? With short term employment contracts being concluded, what form of assistance had former employees received since? Could the Department provide more clarity on the projects declined by the William Humphreys Arts Gallery and the Afrikaanse Taal Museum? The Northern Cape had the lowest allocation of funds, followed by Limpopo -- what had been the reason for that? Under the Sports Trust summary, what had the Department meant by ‘39 not allocated’? The funds set aside for the Hip Hop Museum had averaged R11 500 per item. If 780 interns were to be contracted, what would the duration of the contracts be? Was there any formalised agreement with beneficiaries of the PESP funds?
Ms V Van Dyk (DA) referred to the Indingliz contract that had been ‘split forward’, and asked what percentage of the contract had been sub-contracted to NBC Health and Wellness Services. The tender had been awarded to Indingliz in June and the company had contracted NBC only five months later, resulting in only three wellness outreach events being held to date. Why had that process taken so long? She asked the Department to provide the Committee with a list of counsellors that had been used, and if they were accredited. How many people had made use of the services provided? In what manner was support given to the people who applied -- was there financial support? If the people came for assistance and it was observed that they needed professional help, was there provision for that? What had been the impact of the various social media integration interventions? On the PESP, how many jobs had been lost and how many new jobs were created? Had District Six been considered for the South African Liberation Heritage route? Could the Department elaborate on the retention of R5 million for the establishment of a project management unit?
Mr D Joseph (DA) recalled that the Minister had said R700 million was spent and asked if that expenditure had included the COVID-19 relief funding, or if it had been only for the PESP. He asked Dr Khumalo about the reference made to six legal cases under the NAC and asked what the total number of cases was that the Department had received. How much money had been spent to date on the NFVF? Why had the NFVF not been able to make use of all the opportunities provided? On the projects that were declined, where had that money been redirected to? On the NLSA, there was a reported roll-over of R4.9 million, and there were 109 interns -- would there be any other projects to be included in the R4.9 million, or was it only for the interns? It appeared that the Department was going to close the SILAPHA project, while the project had been rolled out to only a few provinces -- why had the project not been rolled out to other provinces? If there was money left when the project closed, what would happen to that money?
Mr M Zondi (ANC) said he had been overjoyed with the presentation on the Indingliz project. The Committee did not want the Minister to come to the meeting to answer questions, because the Department was always present in the Committee's meetings to answer the questions. The Minster was there to guide and discuss issues with the Committee. He commended the Minister and the Department for ensuring that the SILAPHA project had started in the less densely populated provinces when rolling out the outreach events. He asked if SILAPHA had a monitoring programme to be used after identifying individuals who needed help – was there a way to monitor whether the individuals were coping after receiving assistance? What were the Department’s intentions upon concluding the ‘pilot programme’ in 2023?
Dr Khumalo, answering why Indingliz was not in the meeting, said the Department’s understanding was that the Committee wanted the DSAC to present on the tender process, and the DSAC had responded to that. Indingliz, as a service provider, reported to the project manager who was an acting director in the Department. The Department had resolved that a full assessment would be done halfway through the project as part of monitoring and evaluation, and the assessment would then inform the way forward for the project.
On the definition of a job, she said a job was any paid responsibility -- in certain instances, it would translate to regular employment, and in other instances, it would translate to casual employment. The Department was not taking the definition of a job within the PESP guidelines but was using the regular definition of a job.
The Department would make the terms of reference and the SLA for Indingliz available to the Committee.
Answering on legal fees, she recalled that there had been a well-publicised legal matter on the NAF, for which the court ruling had been an amount of R4.5 million. There were currently three legal matters that the national academy system (NAS) was dealing with. The claims for the three cases stood at R260 000 and the NAC was engaging with the three organisations on the settlement and finalisation of the legal matters.
Answering on the beautification of spaces, she said there were a number of museums that were involved in the project, of which only three had finalised their programmes. Answering on why Gauteng had not been paid, she said the Gauteng Province had identified its implementing agent as the Gauteng Tourism Authority. The two museums that declined the programme had indicated that they wanted to withdraw because they were looking at other responsibilities, and would not be able to fully implement the project.
Answering on Indingliz’s capabilities to deal with wellness issues, she said Indingliz had contracted the NBC, which was competent in the area of counselling, to deal with those matters. The Department was going to provide the Committee with the list of directors for Indingliz, as per its request. Her presentation had not referred to two companies being short-listed, and she asked Mr Mkhize to help with the response for that.
There had been findings of double-dipping on the relief fund, but not on the PESP. The Department had submitted an action plan on how the matter would be dealt with, and the implementing agencies had pursued the matter with the beneficiaries found to be double-dipping. The double-dipping had to do with the recipients receiving funding from Department as well as from other entities.
She said the Department was looking to implement a project management unit for the PESP, not via an implementing company, but through recruiting project managers with the necessary expertise, and that would translate into the creation of jobs within the DSAC.
Answering on the use of the NAC for phase two of PESP, she said the new allocation on the PESP was structured in such a way that it would create an expansion in the creative industry, and the NAC had reported that it had systems in place for the appropriate disbursement of grants.
The cancellation of the May to June 2021 SILAPHA outreach events had been due to the lock-down restrictions and the alternative interventions had been in the form of bringing ambassadors on board to spread awareness. The ambassadors identified were those who were willing to come forward and share their experiences with the particular problems the programme was designed to address.
On the jobs created versus jobs retained, she said the NAC had retained 2 409 jobs and had created 19 118. The NFVF had 865 job retentions, and 6 103 jobs created. Answering on whether the ambassadors were compensated, she confirmed that the ambassadors were paid by the service provider as and when their services were utilised.
Regarding the implementation of SILAPHA in the new financial year, the Minister had been clear in saying that the outreach programme should not be prolonged into 2023 and that all the outreaches should be finished in all provinces by January 2023. Answering on the length of the employment, she said that differed with respect to the projects that were being rolled out -- some would take two months, some would take four months etc.
As to what happened to employees when the projects ended, she said some employees had gained permanent employment, as the skills provided during projects had enhanced their chances of getting employed.
She responded on the criteria that had been used on the three museums. National Treasury had allowed the DSAC to receive applications from other institutions, and a lot of applications had been received. Ultimately, the three museums got the PESP2 allocation.
Answering on formalised agreements with the beneficiaries, she confirmed that formal agreements existed. Regarding the awarding of the tender in June and the contracting of the NBC five months later, she clarified that the Department’s contract was with Indingliz, not with the NBC.
She had reported on the face-to-face counselling in the presentation and had indicated that out of the more than 900 individuals that had been reached by the programme, 168 had come forward for the counselling services, of which 111 had opted for face-to-face counselling. Each of the individuals initially got six counselling sessions and upon an assessment by the counsellors, it could be determined whether or not further counselling was required. T the Department was using counsellors who were experts in their respective areas.
Ms Sumayya Khan, DDG: Recreation Development and Sport Promotion (Programme 2), DSAC, said the Department had used agencies for the management of the PESP, which had been a Treasury directive, and the management fee had been capped at 10%.
Answering on the cash payments, she said the Sports Trust had been assigned to work on job retention, and the most vulnerable people had been the golf caddies, who worked only when golf was played. Most of the caddies did not have bank accounts, and a system to pay them in cash (wherein they signed proof of a receipt), had been put in place. 3 553 caddies had benefited from the job retention and had been paid R2 150 each.
Regarding job creation, the Sport Federation had employed inspectors and compliance officers to deal with compliance with all the COVID regulations. The inspectors received R7 500 per month, and the compliance officers R7 000 per month. There were 1 467 jobs created. The Sports Trust had 31 unallocated funds due to the applicants not indicating which province they were from.
Mr Vusithemba Ndima, DDG: Heritage Promotion and Preservation, DSAC, referred to the duration of the stay of youth at the Hip Hop Museum and said they had been there for five months. The programme would be ending at the end of March. The duration had depended on the length of the projects being carried out.
Answering on the roll-over of R4.9 million, he said the Department had to deal with the massive task of digitisation, and had asked the National Treasury that those interns who had been working over December 2021, be recalled. National Treasury had approved, and the interns had started work on 23 March. Their contracts would end on 23 August.
Mr Mkhize, responding on the issue of the NAC’s legal fees, said the cost of litigation had been about R2.5 million.
He rejected the claim that the SILAPHA project was being used to profile the Minister, pointing out that the work of the Department would always inherently involve the Minister.
Answering on the members of Indingliz being employees of the State, he said the law strictly prohibited individuals from doing business with the state while being employed by the state.
Answering on whether those who were supported through SILAPHA had been given financial assistance, he said that had not been the aim of the project, which was focused on skills transfer or counselling for those who needed it.
Answering on the retention of the R5 million for the project management unit (PMU) budget, he said the Department needed to create the capacity to manage the project, as there had been challenges with its management.
Minister Mthethwa emphasised that the SILAPHA programme was working. It was a big step for anybody to come forward and say, “I need assistance,” so there had been a need for the roadshows to get people to come out. One of the key members of the project, one of the founding members, had been the late Patrick Shai. Ordinarily, it would have been expected that he would have come forward and asked for help, but sadly ‘what happened, happened.’ The Department was grateful that almost 1 000 artists and athletes had come forward between February 2021 and February 2022. The people who were at the receiving end were saying that the programme was working.
Answering on why the NAC was still given the responsibility to disburse funds, he said the Department had received a call that the NAC was not fit to disburse the funds and upon conducting a forensic report, the Department decided that it would be disbursing funds into the future. There had been nothing in the forensic report that suggested that the NAC should not do the work.
Answering on the R700 million, he said the money was comprised of both the COVID19 relief funds and the PESP.
The Chairperson said the idea of the Department was noble, in that it created employment opportunities and assisted the economy to recover. The little that the people were receiving through the programme was really helping. Some people did not have money for food and had relied on what little help they could receive.
Mr Mhlongo said the SILAPHA project was important, especially under the circumstances that South Africa was experiencing, where artists were killing themselves. He thought it was appalling to see that R2.5 million had been used for legal fees, as the money could have been used to assist other artists, and in future, those issues had to be avoided. He commented that other Members had not read the presentation and had made little input at the meeting. He differed with Mr Zondi and said the Minister had to account to the Committee, not to the DG.
He asked how many qualified counsellors and financial advisers had been involved in the project. He maintained that Indignliz had to come and account to the Committee. He said the Committee should be invited to the outreach programmes so that it could exercise oversight. He asked how the ambassadors for SILAPHA had been identified/selected, and how the selected ambassadors represented their geographic areas in terms of race, language, gender and sexuality.
He said SILAPHA had held four social media interventions, and none of them had indicated an attendance of more than 150 people. The Department should note that SILAPHA had a low success threshold with social media interventions. With a budget of more than R3 million, SILAPHA had reached just over 900 people -- there had to be an explanation for that as far as accountability was concerned.
He said Dr Khumalo had played with words when asked about the definition of a ‘job’. The definition of a ‘job’ that had been requested was not a dictionary definition, but rather a definition with respect to the PESP. The Department could not give beneficiaries R3 500 once-off and record that as a job being created. He requested the Minister’s view on a case that had been opened against the head of department (HOD) of Arts and Culture in KwaZulu-Natal in connection with R2.2 million being spent on personal protective equipment (PPE).
He said the ambassadors that had been selected for the SILAPHA project had not been diverse enough and asked what criteria had been used to identify them.
Ms Adams asked whether the work of the SILAPHA programme fed into the national drug master plan. Were the beneficiaries limited in the number of times they could access services from the project? With the job creation in different provinces, there had been a difference between the expected and the confirmed jobs -- what had been the reason for that?
Mr Zondi maintained that the Minister was supposed to address the Committee and share with it the work that was being done in the Department, not only coming to answer questions. If the Minister was not in the meeting, the Deputy would be present, and the Department had been consistently present.
The Chairperson said she would not accept Mr Mhlongo’s claim that some Members had not read the presentation, as that was undermining other Members.
Mr Mhlongo, on a point of personal explanation, said he differed with Mr Zondi -- the Minister had to be asked questions when he was present.
Dr Khumalo, answering on the number of qualified counsellors, requested that the Department be given an opportunity/time to provide that information. It was able to confirm that the counsellors and legal experts that were being used were qualified.
On the criteria for selecting ambassadors, she maintained that the ambassadors that were being utilised were those who were willing to come forward and share their experiences for the benefit of others, as there was a stigma in terms of coming forward. The Department had noted the Committee’s remarks on the distribution and the spread for the ambassadors and would deal with that going forward. Each province had had the opportunity to identify ‘provincial-based ambassadors’, but they had to be people who were willing to come forward and share their experiences. The Committee Members would be invited to future outreach events.
On the number of people reached, she said the Department had targeted to reach 100 people per outreach, but there had been a possibility for the number to be improved, depending on the venue size and other dynamics. Each of the events had also been live-streamed.
She could not understand the question about the success threshold of 150 and asked for it to be submitted in writing.
The DSAC was a key stakeholder in the national drug master plan.
On the difference between expected jobs created and jobs confirmed, she said the number of jobs expected had been based on the proposals that were received, adjudicated and awarded. The number of jobs confirmed would then be based on the proposals that had been received and would grow as more proposals were finalised.
Mr Mkhize affirmed that the responsibility of the Department was to make the SILAPHA services available, make artists and athletes aware of them, and encourage them to use the services. It was practically impossible to force them to use the services.
He said the number of participants at an outreach event had also been influenced by the COVID-19 regulations. It was incorrect to say the R3.3 million had been used to reach 900 people -- the money had been for all the services that were to be rendered throughout the particular financial year. The Department was hoping that more and more people would take advantage of the services, as it was dealing with the issue of stigmatisation.
The Minister said the Department was committed to doubling its efforts to serve the community and to account to the Committee on the work being done. The outreach programme was not dependent on the presence of the Minister, as there had been three outreaches to date and he had attended only one.
Regarding the case of the HOD in KwaZulu-Natal, he said the DSAC had only one HOD who was the DG, and there had not been any issues of corruption in the Department. The question had to be directed to the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) in that province, and not the DSAC. The DSAC had zero tolerance for corruption.
The Chairperson said the Department had done good work in preparing documents early for the Committee to peruse. She thanked the Minister, the Department and the Auditor-General (AG) for being present at the meeting.
Mr Joseph commented that it had been strange that the legacy project for the Netball World Cup had not been about the building of more netball courts. The tournament would be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), and the structures would be dismantled afterwards.
The Chairperson said the Committee would check with the provincial governments and national government on what could be done on that matter.
The Committee considered the minutes of 18 March. Ms Malomane moved their adoption and was seconded by Ms Adams.
The Committee considered the minutes of 22 March. Mr Zondi moved their adoption and was seconded by Ms Malomane. However, Mr Mhlongo said those minutes had not been a true reflection of the last meeting because there had been an omission of a statement he had made at the end of the meeting.
The minutes were adopted, despite Mr Mhlongo’s protest.
The meeting was adjourned.
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