The Select Committee was briefed on the Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2022/23 of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC). The Director-General spoke extensively in response to the questions raised. These questions included how the Department would adapt to the reduced budget; the lack of infrastructure; restoration of libraries and museums that had been neglected; social cohesion programmes to strengthen communities in the face of ongoing racism; artists who had not received COVID-19 funding; holding imbizos in the provinces; and if critical vacancies had been filled.
The Committee commended DSAC for promoting and developing the inclusion of women, youth and persons with disabilities in the sector. The Chairperson highlighted the importance of the Department in combatting social issues and uniting the people of South Africa.
Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson said the Department played an important role in uniting the people of South Africa. He noted apologies from the Minister and Deputy Minister. The Minister was attending a Cabinet meeting. The Deputy Minister was unable to attend as she was travel back to Johannesburg from a funera. lHe asked if Members had any comments on the apologies as the Committee is not allowed to continue with a Annual Performance Plan meeting if the Minister and/or Deputy Minster are not present. He acknowledged that Director-General was present to answer any questions the Committee had. He asked the Committee to decide if they could continue with the meeting.
Ms M Gillion (ANC, Western Cape) suggested that they do not continue with the meeting. It was unacceptable that the Minister and Deputy Minister were not present. She said that they have to adhere to the rules of Parliament.
Ms N Ndongeni (ANC, Eastern Cape) agreed that it was unacceptable that the Minister and Deputy Minister were unable to be present. She said that all Departments must be treated equally.
Ms D Christians (DA, Northern Cape) and Ms S Luthuli (EFF, KZN) also agreed.
The matter was discussed by the Committee. After a brief discussion, the Chairperson suggested that they move on to the next agenda item.
It was announced that the Deputy Minister was able to attend the meeting.
Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) Annual Performance Plan for 2022/23
Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize, DSAC Director-General, outlined the policies and framework documents in the process of being reviewed or developed. The legislative programme included: National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill, 2021; South African Institute for Drug-free Sport Amendment Bill, 2021 and the South African Geographical Names Council Bill 2021. He explained the Department strategic focus, which included a situational analysis, with these focus areas:
- Transforming society and uniting the country
- Response to gender-based violence
- Adaptations to risks posed by Covid-19
- Vaccination social mobilisation campaign
- Accelerating economic recovery
- Youth, women, and persons with disabilities
- Fighting corruption and strengthening the state
- Ministerial priorities.
In line with government priorities such as economic transformation and job creation, DSAC aimed to increase market share and job opportunities in the sport, cultural and creative industries. He described the DSAC interventions along with their outcomes and outputs.
The activities and out performance indicators for the DSAC programmes were noted:
• Programme One: Administration
• Programme Two: Recreation Development and Sport Promotion. It had three sub-programmes:
- Winning Nation supports the development of elite athletes
- Active Nation supports provision of mass participation opportunities in sport and recreation;
- Infrastructure Support regulates and manages the provision of sport and recreation and arts and culture facilities; technical support during construction, repair and renovation of buildings belonging to public entities and other institutions in the sport, arts and culture sector
• Programme Three: Arts and Culture Promotion and Development. It promoted and developed arts, culture and languages, and implemented the national social cohesion strategy. It had five sub-programmes:
- National Language Services
- Cultural and Creative Industries Development
- International Cooperation
- Social Cohesion and Nation Building
- Mzansi Golden Economy
The Department had three gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) projects that were financially supported, along with a number of youth focused arts development programmes. There were a number of advocacy platforms on social cohesion implemented by social cohesion advocates. These were among the output performance indicators.
• Programme Four Heritage Promotion and Preservation. The subprogrammes were: Heritage Promotion, National Archive Services, Public Library Services.
Mr Mkhize took the Committee through its GBVF Response programme which includes discouraging harmful cultural practices, community conversations, translating GBVF messaging into all languages. Several other campaigns include Baqhawefazi, Silapha Wellness programme and the Golekane campaign that range from creating a platform for men to become part of the solution to a wellness programme providing psychosocial support for athletes and creatives.
DSAC programmes prioritise the mainstreaming of women, youth and persons with disabilities as espoused in the NDP Vision 2030. He guided the Committee through the various plans to include them into the programmes within DSAC.
Mr Israel Mokgwamme, DSAC CFO, what percentage of the budget was being allocated to each programme. Thereafter, he provided a summary of the budget per economic classification. He said what the 2022 MTEF earmarked funds were, along with the MTEF specifically and exclusively appropriated funds. He highlighted how much of the Mass-participation and Sport Development Grant and the Community Library and Service Grant was allocated to each province.
The DSAC presentation was welcomed by all Committee members. As the Chairperson had lost network connection, Ms Ndongeni as Acting Chairperson thanked the Department for the presentation.
Ms Christians said that her questions will be submitted to the Department in writing. She commented on the R44 million set aside for the cultural and creative industries, saying that this industry needs the funds to stay relevant. It was an important intervention to take to combat the impact that COVID-19 for these industries to survive. There was an increase in the number of entities that have been experiencing operational funding shortages. Seven entities in the 2022/23 budget have been prioritized for funding. She asked how the funding will be managed and reported on. She asked how DSAC will ensure that the Select Committee is kept up to date on the progress of these museums.
She noticed that the William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley has been listed as one of the entities that will receive prioritized funding. She asked when the art gallery will receive the funding and the needed attention from the Department. She asked how the money would be rolled out and a timeframe for the process. The Barkly West museum in the Northern Cape had closed down and the infrastructure was dilapidated. She asked how much funding would be provided to restore this museum and if they were planning to restore it at all. The library in Barkly West has also been closed down recently due to infrastructure and funding challenges. She asked how DSAC planned to revive these neglected libraries such as the Kimberley City Library.
Lastly, she asked what measures the Department will put in place to ensure that the funding allocated to the creative industries, libraries and museums will be managed effectively while ensuring that the independent beneficiaries are not affected by poor planning. Will it give the Committee continual feedback on the process?
Ms Gillion referred to the StatsSA census briefing which raised issues of racism during the census. She asked what social cohesion programmes DSAC is running in the Western Cape to assist the province in combatting racism. South Africa has been a democracy for many years now and there is no space for racism in the country. Census field workers were humiliated and DSAC has an important role to play in social cohesion and uniting the people of South Africa.
Mr M Bara (DA, Gauteng) raised the artists who were unhappy with how the Department dealt with matters of compensation during COVID-19. They felt like they were done out by the Department. He asked for an update on the situation and if it has been resolved.
Ms Ndongeni noted that the Department added a new indicator in Programme One on Imbizos. She asked how it will ensure that these Izimbizos on sports, arts, and culture are effective and how it will ensure that the Izimbizo resolutions will be incorporated into the Department. She asked how much budget will be allocated to Izimbizos since there has been a budget cut for Programme One.
Ms Ndongeni asked if all critical vacancies have been filled in the Department, and if not, why there is a delay. She asked why the budget has been reduced for Programme Two and what effect the reduced budget will have on sports and recreation development.
Ms Ndongeni asked the CFO to explain the difference between the current and capital budget for libraries.
Ms Ndongeni said that nowhere in the APP did DSAC indicate how it is planning to support athletics preparing for the 2024 Olympics. She asked if it has set aside programme funds for the 2024 Olympic Games to ensure that South Africa wins more medals.
Mr Puleng Kekana, DSAC Chief Director: National Archives and Libraries, replied that the Barkly West Library was closed because it was being refurbished due to a leaking roof. The library is now fully operational since the reopening event in April this year. The capital budget is to support provinces in restoring, maintenance, and refurbishing facilities.
Mr Mokgwamme, CFO later added that the current budget is more about the maintenance budget for libraries and capital budget deals with construction and rehabilitation of libraries. The capital budget represents major expenditure and the current budget is for minor expenditure.
Ms Thembi Malao, DSAC Director: Entities Management, replied that the museums across the country have been heavily affected by COVID-19, and some of them were experiencing challenges before the pandemic hit. Some financial intervention was provided to the William Humphreys museum. DSAC has a committee that monitors the progress and allocation of funds to entities. The Department will monitor the annual and quarterly reports, and their monitoring committee will be doing quarterly visits to the entities and write up reports. Thereafter, the Department will assess the reports and address the issues highlighted in the reports.
On Barkly West Museum, the Department will have to engage with the provincial department. However, DSAC will ensure that the museum engages with the correct authority to identify and address the challenges to ensure that it is restored and fully functioning again.
Ms Mandisa Tshikwatamba, DSAC DDG: Corporate Governance, addressed social cohesion programmes. They do have social cohesion advocates who are spread across the various provinces. Some have become inactive and the Department is addressing this. Currently, they are left with two active social cohesion advocates in the Western Cape. The programmes are focused on communities, assisting communities with their leadership structures and how to deal with their social issues. The programmes are community leader empowerment programmes. However, there are programmes where they would go in and assist the local leadership structures on various issues such as conflict resolution, youth-focused interventions; GBVF programmes. She will address the concern about the Western Cape and create a programme to deal with the matter.
The Imbizo is a new indicator that the Department has introduced. They aim to have Imbizos in every province and the budget for the Imbizos falls under the budget for several initiatives. They are taking about 10% of the budget for these initiatives and allocating it towards Imbizos. This allows the Department a rough estimate of about R500 000 per province. The Department will partner up with their joint departments in every provinces to run and implement the Imbizos.
The Department has filled all the priority positions.
Dr Cynthia Khumalo, DSAC DDG: Arts and Culture Promotion, replied that the Department has tried its best to deal with the challenges that the artists faced during COVID-19. Several interventions were put in place and support was provided. Around R811 million of support was provided as part of the relief fund. A smaller percentage of the funds was allocated to athletes, but more than 95% was allocated to the creative industry. The intervention was part of a relief fund that was divided into three phases. The Department partnered with the Department of Smaller Business Development and it contributed a percentage of the budget to meet the specific needs of the identified areas. Looking at the total relief fund, R179 million was made up from reprioritization of the budget and it has benefitted 21 000 creatives across the country. The total number of beneficiaries was more than 59 000, including enterprises that DSAC has supported. The Department has done its best to support creatives in the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Sumayya Khan, DSAC DDG: Recreation and Sports Development, addressed the budget reductions in Programmes One and Two. The National Treasury reduced the budget by R2 million from the previous year.
Athletics is one of the priority sport codes and DSAC does provide support to about 60 of the federations. The budget is limited in the support given to the federations. Around R117 million is transferred to more or less 60 sporting codes. In the case of athletes, around R5.7 million was allocated to them in the last financial year. The Department provided support for administration costs as well as support to programmes.
Ms Khan replied that the responsibility of supporting the athletes for the 2024 Olympic Games lies with the respective federations as well as with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to prepare the athletes. As for the Department, it looks at the prospects for the different sports codes, the number of medals they have, and the prospect of their winning more medals. It provides support to SASCOC to identify the athletes who have the potential to win medals at international events, which include other sport codes, not just athletics. The Department, along with SASCOC, has already started to review Team South Africa’s performance in the last Olympics in preparation for the Paris Olympics in 2024. The analysis was done by an independent service provider and they are waiting on the review report. Many of the athletes who will be participating in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July 2022 will also be competing in the Paris Olympics in 2024, which will serve as preparation.
In support of athletics as a whole, if you look at the 22nd African Senior Championships in Mauritius this year, the Department committed to a system, and if you look at the performance, South Africa had 89 athletes and 36 of them received podium places (9 gold, 13 silver, and 24 bronze), finishing second on the medals table behind Kenya.
Director-General Mkhize replied that interventions will continue to be made along with SASCOC to review the previous performance of the SA team. They will look at the review report and identify where interventions should be made. Thereafter, the Department will report back to the Committee.
The Department also has a separate budget to assist SASCOC in the preparation of the team for the Paris Olympics. They would like to see a lot of change in the team in terms of performance and representation. He acknowledged that there are a number of constraints such as the budget; lack of infrastructure and availability of coaches. DSAC is working with SASCOC to help provide short-term aid to athletes who have the potential to win medals to give them the opportunity and access to training.
On funding support for the sector, DSAC has had to engage with the provinces to see how they can support creatives and athletes in the provinces, as there are no clear indications of how much of the budget is allocated to each province. Provinces have to have their budgets for sports, arts, and culture to be able to support more people in the sector. The Department raised this with Treasury to get more funds to be able to provide funds to the provinces. They are currently addressing the issue to see how they will be able to form collaborations. They are trying to shift the focus from the national level to provincial level.
On racism, the Director-General highlighted that there are various challenges and it requires continuous efforts. The interventions that are being made may not achieve as much in the Western Cape. Racism is an issue that requires continuous programmes to combat this in the country. The Department would appreciate support from the wider community and they will need more social cohesion advocates to be able to implement more social cohesion programmes in the provinces. It will be challenging but social cohesion programmes are important. They are working on collaborating with the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to address the issues of racism.
Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture comments
Deputy Minister Nocawe Mafu commended the Department for its response to the questions. She highlighted that the Imbizos and the social cohesion programmes were created to breach the gap between the people and government. They would all like to see South Africa win more medals at the Paris Olympics in 2024. They are working together with SASCOC on implementing interventions with the athletes to perfect the programmes [problem with the network connection].
In closing she said the Department will provide feedback to the Committee on the performance of the athletes. The review report will provide recommendations for the Department to be able perfect its programmes. She thanked the Committee for the questions and recommendations.
The Committee adopted the minutes of the previous meeting and the meeting was adjourned.
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