Department of Sport, Arts and Culture 2021/2022 Quarter 3 Performance; with Deputy Minister

Sports, Arts and Culture

03 May 2022
Chairperson: Ms B Dulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee convened virtually to receive a briefing from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture on its third-quarter performance report. The Department could not achieve seven out of its 28 targets for the quarter for several reasons, including incomplete documentation, limited budget, contractual issues with entities, and COVID-19 restrictions. Some unachieved targets have been shifted to quarter four, while others hinged on recrifying incomplete or irregular documentation.

The Department achieved 100% of its targets in programme one and could pay all invoices within the stipulated 30-day cycle. It achieved 50% of its targets in programme two, 80% of its targets in programme three, and 86% of its targets in programme four.

The Department had spent R4.2 billion as of 31 December 2022, representing 73.4% against a budget of R5.7 billion. This was an increase of 3.0% compared to the spending in the previous financial year. The Department spent R279.7 million on compensation of employees against the budget of R379 million. It also recorded under-expenditure on goods and services by spending R364.8 million against a budget of R532.8 million. The underspending in this regard was due to the cancellation and scaling down of departmental events to comply with the COVID-19 regulations.

Members raised concerns about the Department's lack of detailed information on the National Arts Council (NAC) case involving the payout of a suspended CEO while the case was still being investigated – signalling failure on the part of the Department to carry out its oversight function as a mother body. Members urged the Department to prioritise school sports as the bedrock of sports and recreation in the country. It should also involve municipalities in executing massive national projects to promote the Netball World Cup coming up in 2023.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks by the Chairperson
The Chairperson opened the virtual meeting, acknowledging the presence of all Members of Parliament and officials from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) present. She wished everyone a happy Workers' Day, stressing that, even though the celebration was on 01 May, the whole of May should be celebrated in honour of workers. She also recounted some of the struggles of the past, calling for better conditions for workers. The current fight was for men to begin getting paternity leave to support women while on maternity leave. This cause was one that could not have been brought up with the government of the past. It is hoped that the fight for paternity leave would yield results and men would also take this leave to provide support for women.

On behalf of the Committee, she congratulated all sports coaches for the different competitions and sporting events. The Committee was aware that some federations held conferences during the weekend.

Parliament would hold plenary sessions three days in a row, starting from 03 May 2022 – the day of the meeting. Hence, there is a need for the Committee to hold a meeting before joining the plenary sessions. For this reason, the Department was urged to keep its presentation as brief as possible, especially since documents had been circulated to Members of the Committee prior to the meeting. Members were also urged to keep questions brief to grant everyone an opportunity to ask questions.

The event of Eid Mubarak was recognised, and Muslims were wished well on the celebration of the occasion.

Apologies were sent in from Ms V Malomane (ANC), who would be absent from today and tomorrow's meetings because of her exams; the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr Nkosinathi Mthethwa, who was caught up in a Cabinet commitment. The Deputy Minister, Ms Nocawe Mafu, was present at the meeting but would leave early to attend another meeting.

Mr S Jafta (ANC) notified the Committee that he was attending the meeting while driving to Cape Town and might be disconnected along the way. He would, however, stay connected as long as possible.

Mr J Mamabolo (ANC) proposed the adoption of the agenda for the meeting. He was seconded by Mr M Zondi (ANC).

The Chairperson handed over to the Deputy Minister to lead the presentation by the Department.

Ms Nocawe Mafu, Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, acknowledged the Chairperson, Members of the Committee and delegates from the Department, after which she handed over to the Director-General to make the presentation.

Briefing by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC): Quarter Three Performance
Mr Vusumusi Mkhize, Director-General (DG), DSAC, introduced the delegates from the Department, and noted that the Deputy Deputy-General (DDG) for Recreation Development, Ms Sumaaya Khan, was currently on leave; an acting DDG would represent her.

The third quarter performance report covered a timeframe from 01 October to 31 December 2021.
The report to the Portfolio Committee was for accountability as required by law, and to enable the Committee to provide oversight on the work of the DSAC and its entities. The Department's work and those of its delivery agents were centred around social cohesion and nation building. This encouraged the coming together of people from all walks of life to share common spaces wherever possible. Unfortunately, there was a counter-productive element due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Where cases of COVID were identified, with a risk of increase in transmission, the Department was forced to limit what it regarded as face-to-face or physical engagements. This affected the Department in meeting some targets relating to school sports, as schools could not grant learners the opportunity to participate in some sporting activities.

The spike in COVID-19 cases in December also impacted a number of departmental programmes, particularly the school championship and a sport tournament. The ripple effect is that this affected the target of the number of participants in these activities.

The third quarter report would provide progress made during the period 01 October to 31 December 2021, as well as challenges faced by the Department in its pursuit of the 2021/2022 financial year, as outlined in the Department's Annual Performance Plan (APP).

Performance Review
For the third quarter, the Department achieved 21 out of the 28 targets set, translating into 75% of the Department's overall performance. Of the seven targets not achieved, four were not achieved under Programme Two, which focuses on Recreation, Development and Sports Programme (RDSP). Two targets were not achieved under Programme Three, while the final unachieved target was in Programme Four.

Programme One: Administration
This programme focuses on ensuring effective and efficient administration and combines various administrative and support functions. Its sub-programmes include ministry, management, strategic management and planning, corporate services and office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
 
Three targets were set under this programme, namely three SAC awareness campaigns activated to profile the work of the Department; 100% payment of invoices within 30 days; and 100% constitution of councils/boards. All three targets were achieved (see page 12 for details).

Programme Two: Recreation Development and Sport Promotion
This programme supports the provision of mass participation opportunities, development of elite athletes, and regulation and maintenance of facilities. It has four sub-programmes, namely: winning nation, active nation, sport support, and infrastructure support.

The Department struggled to achieve its targets under this programme because many required face-to-face or physical engagement. It supported three athletes, compared to a target of 40 athletes, through scientific support programme per year. DSAC's partner organisation, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) could not support athletes in this quarter. To correct this underachievement, the federation submitted a request for support in quarter three and four; this request would be granted in quarter four. SASCOC has also submitted its reports for support of 221 athletes on 25 January 2022. This target would most likely be overachieved in Quarter four.

The Department supported 2 775 athletes through the sports academies, compared to the target of 1 200. This overachievement was caused by the Department's full dependency on the provincial Sports Department. The planning process for provincial departments and target setting helped DSAC in the long run, and provincial departments were also able to meet their own targets, resulting in more than the national targets.

Of the 100 000 people targeted for active participation in organised sport and active recreation events, the Department achieved 86 845. This underachievement was due to inadequate evidence to back up the statistical data. DSAC was engaging with outstanding Provinces to provide adequate evidence to support reported performance with that information.

The Department could only provide 149 schools, 73 hubs and 529 clubs (making a total of 751) with equipment and/or attire, as per the established norms and standards – compared to the target of 1 000 set. This underachievement was due to some challenges with the transversal contract, particularly in its interpretation of whether it had expired or was still active; this needed clarification. DSAC engaged with National Treasury (NT) on the latter's interpretation of regulation about when a contract of transversal nature comes to an end and whether it is affected by the threshold. This engagement was necessary to prevent irregular expenditure. DSAC, therefore, stopped provinces from further procurement until clarity was gotten on the nature of the contract. DSAC also needed to deal with the resumption of school sport activities so that procurement could be done for school sport activities in the fourth quarter.

As for the target for number of learners to participate in the national school sport championship, there was nothing DSAC could do to prevent the non-achievement of this target because there was an urgent need to cancel this particular event (that should have been hosted in Gauteng) due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

DSAC overachieved its target for the number of learners participating in district school sport tournaments and provided all 50 municipalities targeted with technical and/or management support during construction.

Programme Three: Arts and Culture Promotion and Development
The purpose of this programme is to promote and develop arts, culture and languages and implement the national social cohesion strategy. The programme has five sub-programmes namely:
-National Language Services
-Cultural and Creative Industries Development
-International Cooperation
-Social Cohesion and Nation Building
-Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE)

See pages 21 and 22 of attached document for details of these sub-programmes.

DSAC achieved most of its targets under this programme. Achieved targets include:
- financial support for one multi-year human language technology project, which in this case was endangered South African (SA) languages application and archive project;
- translation and editing of 188 received documents;
- award of 301 bursaries for the development of qualified language practitioners;
- financial support for three local and international market access platforms, namely Africa Book & Design Festival; Lagos Fashion Week and ARRIF;
- coordination of 11 cultural engagements (more details on pages 24 and 25 of the attached document);
- holding of five community conversations/dialogues to foster social interaction;
- holding of two youth-focused art development programmes; and
- implementation of 12 advocacy platforms on social cohesion, compared to a target of five.

DSAC could not achieve its target for moral regeneration movement (MRM) projects because the Chairperson of the MRM board did not sign the reports submitted; neither could the target for the number of projects in the creative industry supported through MGE be achieved because of the challenges experienced as a result of the new MGE App used for adjudicating projects.

Programme Four: Heritage Promotion and Preservation
The purpose of this programme is to preserve and promote South African heritage, including archival and heraldic heritage. Its sub-programmes include:
- Heritage Promotion
- National Archives Services, and
- Public Library Services

See pages 29 and 30 of attached document for details of these sub-programmes.

DSAC held five public awareness activations on the "I am the Flag" campaigns, compared to the target of four activations because of its partnership with the Social Cohesion unit that assisted in rolling out more activations. Twenty-two flags were provided to schools, compared to a target of 20 flags. However, it could not achieve its target for the Repatriation and Restitution of Human Remains and Heritage Policy, despite being approved in the previous financial year. By the time DSAC finalised its annual performance plan (APP), the policy had not been served to Cabinet. The policies that should feature prominently include the Digitisation policy and the National Legacy policy. Necessary consultations have been carried out. The plan for the national legacy policy was that the draft policy would be ready by the end of March. However, this target could not be achieved in the quarter under review.

DSAC hosted three workshops to advance knowledge of national symbols as targeted. It also achieved its targets on the number of records digitised; number of newly built and/or modular libraries to be supported financially; and the publishing of one government gazette on standardised geographical names.

Financial Performance Report as at December 2021
The new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) reported that the Department had spent R4.2 billion as of 31 December 2022, representing 73.4% against a budget of R5.7 billion. This was an increase of 3.0% compared to the spending in the previous financial year.

DSAC spent R279.7 million on compensation of employees against the budget of R379 million. It also recorded under-expenditure on Goods and Services by spending R364.8 million, against a budget of R532.8 million. The underspending in this regard was due to departmental events' cancellation and scaling down to comply with the COVID-19 regulations.

The CFO provided details of budget versus expenditure for each departmental programme, and expenditure per economic classification (see pages 37 to 49 of attached document).

Discussion
Before MPs asked their questions, the Chairperson urged Members to remember the family of former MP, Mr G Gardee (EFF), in prayers on the issue of their missing child, who was yet to be found.

Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) asked what prompted the Department to adjust the budget from R5.69 billion to R5.7 billion after realising that there were projects resulting in wasteful expenditure. Would it not have been logical to leave the budget as it was or cut the same down?

How did transfers and subsidies in programmes two and three result in higher spending, seeing that activities that warranted mass participation, regulation and maintenance of facilities became minimal due to COVID-19 regulations? Who decides what goes into the programme for the Dubai Expo? What criteria are used in giving so much money to the KwaZulu-Natal Museum? What was the estimated cost, and has this cost changed? If yes, why?

In his opinion, the issue of MGE should not be discussed, as some creatives were still suffering from the lockdown, and most were trying to regain their strength and sanity. What was the final verdict of the Department concerning Mr Hastings Mqhayi's claim that he designed the new South African flag and not the late Mr Frederick Brownell? What was the relationship between the two gentlemen?

He asked the Department to explain what the MRM projects were. What challenges were encountered at the point of execution; and who is responsible for ensuring that compliance report is given to the Department.

Mr M Zondi’s (ANC) questions were as follows:
- On programme two, what is the implication of the inadequate evidence for review of activities, which would have resulted in the Department accruing expenses of people actively participating in organised board and active recreation events?
- On language technology projects under programme three, what is the Department's strategic intervention in the digital economy and education to maintain all 11 official languages on internet platforms, seeing that one of the goals of the development of artificial intelligence development is to ensure inclusivity?

While referring to the KZN Museum APP, in which DSAC gives detailed information on relocation project that includes anticipated end date and budget, he wanted to know who the principal agent for the project was; and if the Department anticipated any delays in the implementation of this project, especially since that part of the KZN province was recently affected by recent floods. What is the likelihood of funds being reprioritised to deal with the crisis in the province? What (if any) other impact does the KZN crisis have on this project?

Regarding the Dubai Expo, is the Department aware of any benefit for local, cultural and creative workers participating in the Expo, and how much did the Department spend on the Expo?

What progress has been made in processing and financially supporting all MGE projects that have their memorandums of understanding (MOUs) in place?

Regarding the expenditure of 63% under programme two, in the third quarter, which is said to have a negative impact on the Sports and Recreation sector as a whole, what is the plan of the Department to finalise the expenditure on the remaining 37%, while avoiding the legal dumping that is expenditure towards the end of the financial year?

Ms D Sibiya (ANC) asked what support provinces provided to athletes through sports academies under programme two, and what criteria were used in identifying schools to give flags to under programme four.

Ms R Adams (ANC) wanted to know what the impact of not achieving the third quarter target of support for 40 athletes had on the athletes, and why SASCOC did not support athletes in that period.
There was engagement on the Expo but also the Bi-National Commission between South Africa and Nigeria that was held in Abuja in November 2021, as well as an Official State Visit to Senegal in December 2021. What are the outcomes of these engagements, and how will they create opportunities for learning and trade for South Africa's cultural and creative sector?
 
Why is the budget in the infrastructure sub-programme on the creation, promotion and sport development being used to build, repair and renovate buildings in the arts, culture and heritage sector instead of being used to build the much-needed sports facilities?

Mr J Mamabolo (ANC) wanted to know how DSAC was preparing to achieve its targets on school sports and which schools were being targeted. Is it rural schools in the townships? In his opinion, school sports was dead and kids were now indulging in drugs and other vices. He also asked if the international trips DSAC was engaging in were yielding any results.

Mr D Joseph (DA) asked what the hold-up with the attire was under programme two, especially since this was a straightforward project to implement, in his opinion. He urged DSAC to give more attention to providing infrastructure and technical support to municipalities.

He sought clarity on the staff strength of the Department to support provinces, and the number of legacy reports and resistance and liberation routes that existed. He also asked if DSAC had a team big enough to manage this.

He noted the corrective action by SASCOC on athlete support, and opined that this would be fully actualised in the next term.

Regarding public participation in sports, DSAC should ask provinces and the Ministry of Cooperative Governance Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to participate, especially on days like 15 June, Heritage Day. This will create big opportunities for DSAC to ensure that other stakeholders drive sports (including disabled sports) in the public domain. He asked if the decentralised championships took place in the last quarter.

With the world cup coming up next year, netball and rugby, DSAC should ask Members of the Provincial Legislature and the Mayors in municipalities to execute a massive national project promoting the flag through public representatives.

He expressed his pleasure about the approval of the Repatriation Policy, but said that there was still a lot of outstanding work to be done.

He raised concerns about Thabo Mbeki Foundation Library, especially concerning the report yet to be finalised and money yet to be transferred.

Regarding the private funding that was projected at 76% but the actual was 56.2%: this would most likely be addressed in the fourth quarter.

There was a need for a debate to be held in Parliament on Sarah Baartman. At the last meeting, it was said that the project would be a joint responsibility between DSAC and the Department of Public Works (DPW). However, it has become necessary to propose a debate in Parliament, as there was still quite a lot of work to be done to get this project back on track.

Regarding the new building for national archives, the CFO spoke about contractors before referencing a feasibility study. Should this not be the other way round: a feasibility study first before the rest of the work follows? He sought clarity in this regard.

Ms V Van Dyk (DA) referred to a media report of 29 April 2022, where the NAC released a media statement to the effect that the CEO was suspended prior to the conclusion of the forensic investigation and litigation. The institution agreed to part ways with the CEO, and the agreement terms were confidential. Also, the NAC had withdrawn charges. She asked if DSAC had given the Committee feedback on this issue, seeing that the NAC is a public institution. Are criminal charges involved, considering how long this investigation has been going on? Proper feedback from the Department is expected.

Regarding the fast-tracking of the pending White Papers and other policy priorities, can the Department provide the Committee with a plan for implementing certain short-term recommendations emanating from the revised white paper on arts, culture and heritage?

She noted that the Department set out 46 key performance indicators that it plans to achieve with an allocated budget of R6.2 million, an increase from R5.7 million in the 2021/22 financial year. Why did the Department reduce the target within its key performance indicators (KPIs) despite an increased budget? Why did DSAC reduce the budget for Programme two, and what implication does this have for sports and recreation?

She noted the reduction in the number of athletes provided with support from 200 in 2018/19 to 80 in the 2022/23 financial year, reflecting a 60% reduction in the target. Why has the Department reduced its target for the number of athletes it provides scientific support to, especially with the Paris Olympic games only two years away? In line with this, are there any programmes or plans the Department has set aside for the 2024 Olympic Games to ensure that the country wins more medals? How are national federations (especially the smaller ones) expected to implement transformation in sports, given that they only receive less than two percent of the Department's budget?

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) asked the Department to share details of its agreement with NAC.

As for the targets, did the DSAC consider them realistic? If yes, why did it struggle with achieving them? Can the Department provide the Committee with a copy of the report on expired projects and surplus policies, which were abolished per the Minister's response?

Ms M Khawula’s (EFF) questions and comments were in Zulu. She appreciated the opportunity of being able to join the meeting, despite recently being affected by the KZN floods. She was grateful for the corpses that had finally been found, though a lot were still missing. She thanked the Chairperson for showing humanity – being a leader in the Committee's support for those affected.

She welcomed the presentation. How will the DSAC ensure people's dignity is restored in preserving their heritage. She recognised that heritage is not accentuated enough and suggested that its importance be emphasised in native languages.

She lamented that sports in black schools are not prevalent, saying that this perpetuates some social issues such as teenage pregnancy and violence in communities.

The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee would be keeping flood victims in prayers.

The Chairperson said that once she saw the NAC article, she alerted the secretariat of some details that the Committee was not privy to. She immediately instructed the Committee secretaries to ask DSAC to come before the Committee with more information. Hence, her support for the proposition that the Department return to the Committee with a fuller report.

Regarding the three MGE-supported projects (Buyel'EKhaya Pan African Festival; Ebubeleni Music Festival; and Mpumalanga Cultural Festival), which DSAC claimed did not have adequate evidence as per the technical indicator, what are the implications of spending on projects that are not within the required standard? Did these events deliver their objectives? Why were they supported if they did not meet required standards per the technical indicator, including the required business processes for approval?

She commended the Department on the appointment of a new CFO but asked if other critical vacant positions at the beginning of the third quarter had been filled.

What is the progress on the Thabo Mbeki Foundation in terms of acquisition of the land to construct the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library?

Is it true that the national archives' outstanding invoices were found to be invalid, and DPW did not approve appointments? What consequence management actions have been taken? Which appointments were made without approval? And what were the findings of the invoices?

Department's Response
An official began by responding to the question of funds transferred to the KZN Museum. He noted that the funds transfer was because the Department acquired a new building in the same space, which used to be a hospital. Unfortunately, the estimate at the time hindered the Department from transferring the money all at once. DSAC had to then structure the allocation accordingly over the years but, to a certain extent, had to compromise the ability of the museum to pursue some other activities. Although the estimate was R336 million at the time, the construction cost is bound to escalate. Once this happens, the estimate would be a completely different figure, possibly in excess of R400 million. DSAC was doing its best to transfer as much money as possible within a reasonable time to undertake necessary activities leading to moving into a new building and establishing a new museum.

As for the impact of the KZN crisis on the project, DSAC was part of the departments that visited KZN immediately after good Friday till the following Saturday for an assessment of its infrastructure asset within the affected areas. During the visit, DSAC confirmed from the management of the KZN Museum that the museum was not affected by the flood weather, and no damages were done to the new building that the management would be moving into. Implementation of the project is expected to continue as planned, unless other externalities, such as delivery of materials, are affected. If this happens, it will affect the delivery rate of the project.

The company appointed as a project management company in that specific project is called Akwethu Engineering and Development. The consultants working on the project are Sakhisizwe Architects, while the facilities management company is the AFMS Group.

On the question of the infrastructure budget being used for heritage infrastructure instead of municipalities, he explained that, although DSAC is not a custodian of the municipal grant (which is situated with COGTA), it was somehow responsible for allocating R300 million to municipalities. This amount has been reduced to about R222 million at this stage, but the funds are allocated for building and refurbishing sport facilities within municipalities. Nevertheless, there is greater appreciation of the need to transform the heritage landscape of South Africa, and part of that transformation includes building physical assets that seek to promote and preserve South African heritage.

Regarding the comment on the need for DSAC to improve school sports, the truth is that the number of willing schools participating in the school sports programme is not more than 5 000 compared to an estimated 25 000 schools. The concern raised Ms Khawula was therefore justified, and it was indeed necessary for DSAC to begin to explore other means of providing schools with sports facilities, and ensure the existence of an enabling environment for participation in sports within schools. This matter has been raised once in Parliament, where the Department's ETG report emphasised the need to be biased towards schools when finalising allocation of MIG for construction of facilities, since schools are seen as the bedrock of sports and recreation. Unfortunately, COGTA continues to decline this initiative based on the excuse that the Department of Education has its own budget for school infrastructure, but DSAC knows that the said budget is insufficient to address the inadequacy of sport facilities in schools. There are no swimming pools in schools, which explains how South Africa in Olympics, which does not reflect the country's demographic profile. The Department has continued to engage with relevant stakeholders and organisations on these issues.

Regarding the hold-up of equipment and attire, it was clarified that the response on the clarity sought from National Treasury on the transversal contract came later, which affected the procurement processes that had to follow. The processing of the required documents could not be pursued until clarity about the status of the contract had been received. Once clarity was received, the issue was resolved accordingly. After that, that whole matter was then addressed accordingly. Old equipment and attires were acquired and provided to institutions.

DSAC has recorded significant improvement in the area of human capacity. Despite starting quarter three with challenges of vacant positions, it could fill quite a number of positions by the end of the quarter. A few positions were still vacant but the Department was committed to filling them up by placing advertisements when the next window opens for same. In no time, DSAC would be operating at full capacity.

So far, the Department has provided the necessary technical and project management support to all the municipalities it allocates to, even those it does not allocate but are implementing the sports projects, because the Department has that obligation. The only challenge that DSAC still has is with provinces because technical capacity is also required at the level of the provinces.

The issue of Sarah Baartman was noted as a matter that would be elevated for debate in Parliament.

Regarding the issue of invoices for the National Archives, DSAC had serious difficulties in paying the invoices that DPW submitted at the time. The Committee would recall that DPW would normally pay the services providers from its own budget after appointing them, after which it would come to claim cost recovery from DSAC. This explained why work would continue even if no expenditure was recorded on DSAC's side. However, DSAC needs DPW to submit invoices to recover these funds, but these invoices must be accompanied by reports for accountability and clarification on what exactly DSAC was paying for. Accessing this information from DPW became a difficulty. This was besides the fact that there was an issue with the contract's validity. DPW communicated to DSAC in terms of the contract that the extension of time last granted to the contractors expired sometime in March 2018 or 2019. The absence of a contract poses a problem for any transactions made within that period. DSAC needed clarity on this to confirm the basis of the claims being made for projects done in the absence of a valid contract. It was a long protracted struggle to get this information from DPW. However, before the end of the financial year, DSAC received the information and of the almost R38 million due to DPW, DSAC was able to pay R25 million.

Another official responded to the question of what services are provided as support for athletes through provincial academies – the services provided in this regard. The key services provided at provincial level are aimed at supporting athletes within the province and athletes already participating in the national competition such as school sports. The programme will focus on medical and scientific support services; life skills services, provision of training camps in preparation for the national competition; and coaching support to assist athletes in being better prepared for competitions at the national level. These are the broad services that are provided at provincial level.

The issue of not supporting the 40 athletes at the national level was more of a reporting technicality than a performance issue. In the programme, about 40 athletes contracted to the Department are provided with support through the federation, but the Department directly supports these athletes. By the end of the second quarter, DSAC had already supported 36 athletes. In the third quarter, the. Department supported three. However, the way the targets are split, the annual target is an average of 80 athletes. The Department is expected to support 40 athletes, while SASCOC would support the remaining athletes. When compiling the quarter-three report, DSAC had not received a report from SASCOC on the 40 athletes to be supported. It, therefore, had to indicate that the athletes had not been supported, until the report that served as evidence was received. In other words, these 40 athletes had been supported but the report to confirm the same did not come through in time before compilation of the third quarter report.

On why the target for athletes' support was reduced, he clarified that the target was only reduced in 2020 during the height of COVID-19 but it has subsequently been brought back to 80. The target is 80 per year, which is taken from the MTSF target of 400 athletes over five years. However, DSAC has continued to push to ensure that more than 80 athletes are supported annually.

Regarding supporting the federations to achieve their transformation imperatives, the Department agreed with the sentiment that the budget was limited. Unfortunately, this is the budget that gets appropriated for this purpose from National Treasury – which, so far, has only reached R114 million, too be split across 60 to 65 federations. Indeed, the budget is not sufficient, but DSAC does its best to ensure that the money reaches almost all the federations. It also prioritises certain key areas that federations identify from time to time.

Dr Cynthia Khumalo, DDG: Arts, Culture and Development, DSAC, responded to the questions on Dubai Expo; as well as the value, benefits, budget and processes that went into these international visits and the criteria for choosing artists to go to these events. The DSAC commissioned the State Theatre to deal with identification and coordination in the performing arts domain for the cultural and creative industry. The Department will guide the State Theatre in carrying out this function. In the course of identifying performing artists that ultimately perform at the Dubai Expo, it had to consider quite a number of criteria and adhere to certain standards, while focusing on the fact that these artists will be competing with other pavilions from other countries. Although professional artists were selected to perform, emerging artists were also accommodated. The State Theatre also had to ensure that the selection of artists was made in a way that considered a proper geographical and provincial spread.

Apart from the area of performing arts handled by State Theatre, there was a trade section where the Department had an opportunity to showcase products for sale. The NFVF oversaw packaging of items that were ultimately exhibited.

In the area of visual arts, Art Bank, the Department's national museum, oversaw the implementation, identification and commissioning of works. An opportunity was also given to artists constrained by COVID-19 restrictions and safety protocol, who could not physically attend the Dubai Expo. Their artwork was presented alongside their profiles. In total, 177 artists were supported, including artists that got an opportunity to display their talent, work or artwork virtually at the Dubai Expo. Of these 177 artists:
- 15 were from Gauteng (representing formed 28% of the artists)
- 14 from KZN (26%)
- Five each from Free State and Eastern Cape
- Six from Western Cape, and so on.

The Department also considered artists' demographics in terms of Blacks, Whites, Indians and Coloureds. Most artists were Blacks, with 20 males and 18 females for performing arts only. A detailed document can be shared with the Committee if required.

177 artists benefitted from job creation, with the bulk (80) in performing arts. The other areas represented include fashion and design (24); crafts (27); visual arts (23); and 14 artists in film.

The Dubai Expo benefited the artists by giving them exposure. Some of the professional artists who performed include Thandiswa Mazwai, Master KG; Mafikizolo, amongst others. These artists did not only perform but received a lot of enquiries with potential for more work.

In the area of fashion and design, there were designers like David Tlale and Thula to the less known fashion designers who were part of the delegation both physically and virtually.

As for budget, a total of R35 million was budgeted for performing arts through an inter-ministerial committee that led this aspect, as other Departments were also involved. DSAC was also allocated R3 million in December but the Expo took place in October. At the end of the October project, DSAC had spent R23 million of the allocated R35 million.

DSAC agrees that the human language technology interventions should assist with bridging the digital inequality among South Africans. Fortunately, this specific programme is about ensuring that language technologies assist people in accessing information and government services in their respective languages of choice. Examples of interventions emanating from this technology include the English-IsiXhosa Medical Bi-lingual Dictionary, the Endangered South African Language Application and Archives, and so on. There are detailed documents that unpack each of these programmes. An example is the Advancing of South African Sign Language for 4IR Technological Development, and as the Lexicography for Modern Day language use, which is on the South African Taal Dictionary and Encyclopaedia dictionary and encyclopaedia.

There is also a terminology coordination unit within National Language Services (NLS), tasked with developing terminologies in all official languages to empower these languages to be functional in the technical domain. About four terminology projects were done in the previous financial year; others would be done in the financial year going forward into the MTSF. Examples of such projects are information communication technology; engineering and construction; indigenous plants and animals; and road safety.

Regarding the issue of MGE, the Department was reporting on five national flagship projects. By the end of the third quarter, which was in December, DSAC had sent officials on oversight to those national flagship projects to confirm that those festivals indeed took place. It not only confirmed but received a narrative report to the effect that they took place. However, the reason for reporting 'inadequate evidence' for the three projects specified in the third quarter report was because of the timing of those projects. Those three festivals would mostly happen in December. And, as much as the organisers would want to submit reports in time by the end of December/Mid-January, they would still be finalising their close-out report, which is due at the end of January in terms of the MOA signed with DSAC. Only after this, and after receiving the narrative report, would the Department confirm and record the achievement of holding the festivals. Because the Department did not receive the necessary documents before finalisation of the third quarter report, it had to indicate this target as unachieved due to 'inadequate evidence'. However, DSAC can confirm sufficient evidence by the end of January to confirm the completeness of national flagship projects.

As far as MGE contracting and processing to beneficiaries was concerned, it was indicated that DSAC was dealing with very high numbers, alongside rigorous MGE processes to be complied with for all 360 projects that DSAC was handling at the time. DSAC accommodated so many projects to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the industry, and specifically for those that were constrained and could not go out to attend festivals. At the end of the financial year, the Department had financially supported 201 of these projects. Projects that were left out and/or are still being processed were either because of compliance documents or inability to finalise payment process because of other issues that emerged in the Department's system during processing. 221 projects had been financially supported by the end of the financial year, and more were still going through the contracting process, indicating underachievement.

The Department also addressed the Mr Mqhayi case. The Bureau of Heraldry investigated this matter. The Bureau went through all the designs submitted at the archives and also found the designs of Mr Mqhayi but none were anywhere near the current flag design, which was communicated to him. In DSAC's opinion, the matter has been laid to rest, except more enquiries emerge.

As for selecting schools, it was noted that the flag-in-every-school project dates back to 2007. The Department had a massive rollout in 2014/15 where it installed between 15 000 and 16 000 flags. In 2016/17, an audit was done with the young patriots to identify areas where flags were yet to be installed or supplied. The said audit informs DSAC's current approach. However, most of the work being done now is for replenishing flags as and when requests are made. Flag poles have been erected, but flags wear out from time to time and require replacement, hence the replenishment. The Department anticipates a time when DoE would take full responsibility for flags in every school to prevent disturbance at schools, which currently happens. If DoE was in charge, installation of flags would be done according to the Department of Education’s built-in programme, making it easy to roll out the project.

He agreed with Mr Joseph on the need to intensify programmes leading towards the World Cup. DSAC will definitely do this because the Netball World Cup presents a very powerful platform for this project to succeed. It was helpful that Sport, Arts and Culture had been merged into a singular Department, and the different arms of the Department would therefore work together on programme two.

Regarding the issue of Repatriation Policy, he confirmed that Cabinet approved the policy, and the Department was in the process of implementing same. To this end, a repatriation and restitution office has been established. An advisory panel on repatriation has also been constituted, consisting of various stakeholders – including the Department of Military Veterans, because more people who would need to be exhumed, repatriated and re-buried are stakeholders of that Department. Also, this project falls under heritage memorialisation and burials and is led by the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.

On the enquiry around the feasibility study on the archives, he clarified that the feasibility study is to establish the state-of-the-art archives and ensure that the existing infrastructure is well maintained. The building of the archives will in no way affect the maintenance of the former structure.

Ms Khawula's suggestion to ensure that heritage is part of the school curriculum was well received. The Minister has appointed the Living Heritage Authentication panel to assist the Department in identifying the inventory or list of all the intangible cultural heritage that reflects the diversity of cultures in the country. Once the information from this inventory has been compiled, it will be packaged for circulation within the schools. DSAC works closely with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on a history project. DBE contributes to topics of resistance and liberation heritage. The goal is to include this information in history books. DSAC has supported projects by the South African Democratic Education Trust (SADET), which has conducted similar research on precolonial history, and history of resistance and liberation.

Regarding the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, DSAC reported that it was able to pay the Foundation after some back and forth on the first report submitted by the Foundation. The challenges with the said report could be attributed to teething problems from working with a government department for the first time and trying to understand the rules and terms of MOA as stipulated. The Foundation was able to work through its challenges and has revised its report. Going forward, the Department constituted a steering committee that regularly sits to monitor progress. Other pockets of planning have been acquired, and some more will be acquired in the current financial year so that work can begin in earnest once that land has been acquired.

As for the White Papers, there are principles enshrined in the White Paper that DSAC was already implementing. For instance, DSAC was no longer setting up new councils when developing new institutions. The Department has collaborated with Freedom Park to incorporate operationalisation of the Matola Museum in Mozambique, and to take over operationalisation of Mbuzini – tragedy site in Mpumalanga. Freedom Park is assisting in resolving most of the problems identified there. DSAC's goal is to group these institutions accordingly. The Freedom Park represents and epitomises the theme of resistance and liberation heritage.

Examples of policies that Cabinet has adopted include Intangible cultural heritage; and Underwater cultural heritage. DSAC is now looking into the International Convention on Safeguarding cultural heritage, adopted by Cabinet last year, and should be served in Parliament anytime soon for approval before getting ratified by UNESCO.

Regarding the issue of NAC, the Department was informed that NAC had reached a settlement with the CEO and would be publishing a statement to this effect. The Department then requested full details of the conditions of said settlement, which NAC committed to providing. The DG agreed with the Chairperson that it would be best for DSAC to return to the Committee with the full report once NAC has kept up with its commitment. Although NAC indicated that the settlement terms were confidential, the Department explained that the oversight Portfolio Committee plays a critical role in this issue. The said terms would have to be divulged in the detailed report to be provided to the Committee.

On the issue of the revised budget, the CFO said the revision was in line with the adjustment budget. Once there is a move for adjustment budget, the Department must revise its budget, which has a ripple effect on the targets.

In addition to the explanation given for invalid contracts and payment of invoices for DPW projects, he explained that if DSAC pays any invoice without a valid contract, this will result in real expenditure.

Further discussion
Ms Van Dyk asked the Committee to choose a specific date for the Department and NAC to report with a detailed report. She found it alarming that NSC made special arrangements to pay out the suspended CEO amid ongoing litigation. What if there were criminal charges? The act does not sound right and reflects a lack of accountability.

To this, the Chairperson proposed 27 May 2022 as a tentative date that the NAC and Department is to appear before the Committee to provide full details on the matter.

Ms Adams sought clarity on some conflicting information on page 235 of the report, where the Mandela Theatre complex incubator is said to be situated in Gauteng and the Western Cape. She sought clarity in this regard.

She referred to page 202 and asked if the Department anticipated challenges with completing any of the projects listed, including the Sarah Baartman Museum and the OR Tambo Garden of Remembrance exhibition.

Why are there continuous delays in LoveLife submitting its annual plan and programmes to the Department? What challenges are the entities facing and are causing delays in the allocation of funds?

Mr Madlingozi said that since the Department was so adamant that Mr Brownell designed the flag, why did it not attend to the request to promote the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Act 2 of 2000), including information such as the disclosure of the names and capacity of each of the individuals of the committee and approved the design? The instruction was clear that the design should have six colours. How many colours did Mr Brownell have on his design?
Can the Department explain what the MRM projects are? What challenges are facing it? Who ensures the compliance report is submitted to the appropriate quarters? Lastly, he asked about the monies allocated for the 32 MGE projects: what happened to the surplus? Was it used elsewhere? If so, what was it used for, and was it given to those earmarked for?

Mr Mhlongo said it was not the first time NAC would address the public without addressing the Committee. This is wrong, signalling a lack of respect for the Department and the Committee. It is also shocking to learn that the Department does not have the detailed report because of confidentiality issues. He hoped NAC was not covering up abuse of public funds and corruption within the institution.

He asked the Department to share details on the big report on expired projects, surplus and policies, which have been repealed and abolished under the so-called leadership of NAC.

Ms Khawula asked about arts and culture: when will children in schools be taught about craftwork? This would ensure that they are equipped with skills that can enable them to have a livelihood.

She was concerned that the funds officials oversee often do not serve their purpose; the Committee hears about the plans, but nothing is being done on the ground. The Committee should conduct oversight to see if the communities are actually benefitting from these funds.

Responses
Regarding the flag, the DG said that the Department has responded truthfully and provided the Committee with the required details. DSAC was not aware of any response from Mr Mqhayi that he has not been answered concerning his enquiry about his right or intellectual property on the development of the South African flag.

Another DSAC official confirmed that the Department has not received any further enquiry from Mr Mqhayi. He added that if Mr Madlingozi is not happy with the information he was given by the Department, which came from the Bureau of Heraldry, he can invoke the Promotion of Access to Information Act, which is in line with the laws and Constitution of the country.

Regarding the questions on the MRM project, another DSAC official noted that the programme is anchored on the Charter of Positive Values. This Charter is driven through a civil society movement that engages with stakeholders nationally through a structure comprising of provincial coordinators that are primarily stationed in the offices of the Premier in the provinces. The Charter comes with five internal staff members coordinating these programmes, including a programme manager; a board chairperson overseeing operations and governance issues. Under this Charter, the focus of the programmes and projects is on youth development and support, and the aim is to address the challenges that affect young people and issues that drive them to some social ills. The programme engages with young people on various platforms. It also engages with other stakeholders and role players who augment their own programmes and facilitate some interventions for young people. A part of the youth-focused programme involves working with the Department to prepare the programme for Youth Month.

The MRM project also has a programme focused on ethical leadership that provides capacity building interventions for leaders in communities to address and combat some of these social ills. The plan is to embed this programme into the programme of municipalities.

Another focus area of the programme is the anti-femicide (GBVF) area of work, where various players are brought together to stimulate initiatives that set out activities against the escalation of violence against women and children.

A fundraising programme and a marketing and communication programme will be instituted to make the movement sustainable.

Regarding the challenges facing the MRM, it was pointed out that there was a time when it was difficult for the Department to get reports from MRM based on the claim that it was difficult for MRM to coordinate and receive reports from its provincial coordinators. However, this has been improved upon, and comprehensive reports containing details of work done from the beginning to the end of the year have been submitted to DSAC. The only challenge left is for MRM to comply with reporting standards set out by DSAC when preparing financial reports. DSAC has been guiding what is expected for financial reporting and audit processes. They struggled with the latter and discovered discrepancies that led to disciplinary action against the programme manager. The said programme manager has been released but a new programme manager has been appointed. Another challenge facing the MRM project is the fundraising programme, to the extent that MRM still relies greatly on funding from DSAC to execute programmes. The money received from DSAC is about R4 million. If this money is not complemented or augmented by any other funding, there will be a challenge executing the scope of work to be done nationally. Another challenge will the lack of a strong staff complement or provincial coordinators. Now that a new programme manager has been appointed, the Department's plan of action is to engage with MRM to offer assistance on governance issues, data coordination and monitoring of the network in terms of the available provincial coordinators.

DSAC advertised 56 positions in the just concluded third quarter regarding filling critical positions. Of those positions, there were about 12 SMS positions. Of these 12, the critical positions have been filled, namely, the Chief Director for Human Resource Management and Development; Chief Financial Officer; Director: Employee Relations and Health and Wellness; Director: Financial Management.

[The official faced connection problems]

Mr Mhlongo asked for a response to his question regarding expired projects and surplus policy.

The DG replied that the expired projects were a subject of the matter raised regarding Sarah Baartman, and the Public Protector made findings - the NAC committed to addressing those findings. Part of the issues concerned the surplus policy and expired projects. When the NAC comes before the Committee, it should be able to explain how it implemented the resolutions because they decided not to change the report. The reversed decision of the Premier's council to take the matter forward, and committed to implement and ratify those things as per the Public Protector's remedial action.

The Chairperson sighted Mr Mhlongo's hands in a bid to ask a follow-up question or respond to the DG. She cautioned Members not to engage in a dialogue over this matter.

Mr Mhlongo said that he only wanted to point out that the Department failed to carry out its oversight duties on the NAC, which resulted in DSAC not being aware of what was happening regarding the policy. This is uncalled for and totally unacceptable, and even the Minister was not present to address the Committee on critical issues such as this.

The Chairperson replied that the Minister had already apologised for being absent at the meeting, as he had to attend a Cabinet meeting. Moreover, there was no reason to link the absence of the Minister to the matter at hand.

The Chairperson appreciated the Department for clarifying the issues raised and assured Committee Members that the Department would come back with detailed reports on the NAC matter.

Just as the meeting was about to end, the Chairperson was informed that the body of the missing daughter of former MP Gardee, mentioned at the beginning of the meeting, had been found. A one-minute moment of silence was observed in her honour.

Committee Minutes
The Committee considered and adopted meeting minutes from 19 and 20 April 2022.

The Chairperson closed the meeting by condemning numerous cases of violence against women and children.

The meeting was adjourned.

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