In this virtual meeting, the Committee was briefed by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) on several matters: South Africa’s (SA) bilateral agreement with the Government of Cuba on a cultural exchange; SA’s cooperation agreement with the Federative Republic of Brazil on Audio-Visual Co-Production; its 4th Quarter Performance Report for the 2021/22 Financial Year (FY); and its 1st Quarter Performance Report for the 2022/2023 FY.
During its briefing on SA’s bilateral agreement with Cuba, the Department highlighted that the agreement was signed in SA, on the 10th of June 2021 and will remain in force for a period of five years. The objectives of this agreement include: the promotion of communication between the two country’s respective specialists and officials, with a view to increasing mutual awareness of the cultural life of each country; and organising cultural workshops, musical festivals and other artistic events in both countries.
Department officials, however, were unable to explain to Members how the agreement had benefited SA thus far.
After hearing the Department’s briefings on both of its performance reports, the Committee expressed their concern regarding the underspending recorded by DSAC’s entities and provincial departments, particularly in the 1st Quarter of this FY, with provincial departments recording underspending of R120,7 million against R397,4 million projected quarter expenditure; while its entities underspent R129.4 million of its quarterly projected expenditure of R566,4 million. Members urged the Department to implement measures that will ensure that its provincial departments and entities spend their entire allocated budget on initiatives that will create jobs for the unemployed youth in the country.
The Committee Chairperson went a step further and recommended that the Committee consider extending its oversight of the department’s entities, by calling them, along with DSAC, to explain why they have recorded under expenditure in their programmes.
The Minister also shared Members’ concerns regarding the underspending in the Department, and he indicated that he had since issued a directive to Management that all unspent funds should be utilised to create jobs for the youth – which was greatly appreciated by the Committee.
Despite this, the Committee was pleased that the department had overachieved in several of its targets in both quarters, such as: providing 1 666 schools, hubs and clubs with equipment as well as attire (against a target of 750); supporting 2169 athletes by academies (against a target of 1 000); and digitising 49 records (27 Treason Trial dictabelts and 22 Truth and Reconciliation Commission audio tapes).
Opening remarks by the Chairperson
The Chairperson was pleased that the Committee’s efforts to encourage the Department to support women’s sports, were bearing fruits, with both the Springbok women and Banyana Banyana teams performing well. She was also delighted that all Covid-19 restrictions had been lifted, allowing for sports to resume.
Following this, she requested a mover for the adoption of the agenda.
Ms R Adams (ANC) moved for the adoption of the agenda.
Mr C Sibisi (NFP) seconded the adoption of the agenda.
The Chairperson requested that the department present its reports to the Committee.
Briefing by DSAC on the Bilateral agreement between SA and the Government of Cuba on cultural exchange and RSA cooperation agreement with the Federative Republic of Brazil on Audio-visual co-production
Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize, Director-General, DSAC, briefed the Committee on the bilateral agreement between SA and the Cuban government on a cultural exchange; as well as SA’s agreement with the Federative Republic of Brazil on Audio-visual co-production.
Mr Mkhize first indicated that the bilateral agreement between Cuba and SA was signed in SA, on the 10th of June 2021 and will remain in force for a period of five years. Thereafter, he outlined the objectives of the bilateral agreement, which include: the promotion of communication between the two country’s respective specialists and officials, with a view to increasing mutual awareness of the cultural life of each country; and organising cultural workshops, musical festivals and other artistic events in both countries. Since the signing of the first agreement, both countries have exchanged reciprocal cultural manifestations in areas such as ballet, book fair and exhibitions. Both countries, he said, were committed to strengthening their bilateral relations in all areas related to Arts and Culture.
He mentioned that the joint projects will have economic benefits for artists in both countries, therefore contributing to economic recovery. All projects are negotiated upfront, so each party is aware, beforehand, of the cost implications.
Referring to the cooperation agreement between SA and Brazil, he explained that strategic relations between the two countries were elevated following the formation of the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum in 2003 and the formation of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Partnership in 2010. As such, this agreement aimed to strengthen film cooperation between the two countries, encourage the development of cultural relations, boost cultural tourism, advance SA cultural diplomacy, encourage people-to-people relations, skills transfer and development.
The agreement, he said, was signed on September 13, 2018, in Brazil and is yet to be ratified by the two countries. Once signed, the agreement will remain in force for a period of two years.
Briefing by the DSAC on its 4th quarter performance report 2021-22
Mr Mkhize and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr Sibongile Mondi, briefed the Committee on DSAC’s 4th Quarter performance.
The Department achieved 74% (31 of its 42) targets for this Quarter,
100% of invoices were paid within 30 days
100% of councils/boards were fully constituted
21% (4 out of 9) National Federations met 50% or more of all prescribed Charter transformation targets
Overall spending stood at R5.6 billion (98.2%) against the final appropriation of R5.7 billion
Mr Mkhize then took the Committee through the Department’s performance in each of its four programmes, which were: Administration; Recreation Development and Sport Promotion; Arts Culture Promotion and Development; and Heritage Promotion and Preservation.
Programme 1: Administration
He indicated that in this programme, the Department achieved four of its five targets, representing an 80% achievement rate. Among its achievements, the department managed to meet its 5% target of interns enrolled against funded posts (30 interns/534 funded positions); all boards/councils were constituted, and all invoices were paid within 30 days. However, due to tax clearance issues related to the supplier, the Department was unable to meet its target of launching the South African Geographical Names System, and the Call Centre Project.
Programme 2: Recreation Development and Sport Promotion
In this programme, the Department managed to achieve six of its eleven targets, representing a 54.5% achievement rate. Among its achievements, the department managed to: support 96 athletes through its scientific support programme, against a target of 80, representing an overachievement; support 2169 athletes by academies against a target of 1000, representing an overachievement; provide 1 666 schools, hubs and clubs with equipment as well as attire, against a target of 750, also representing an overachievement. Some of its under-achievements include: 21% (4 out of 9) National Federations met the 50% or more of all prescribed Charter transformation targets; zero heritage legacy facilities (including the Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route sites) developed and/or maintained to transform the national heritage landscape, against a target of three.
Programme 3: Arts Culture Promotion and Development
In this programme, the Department managed to achieve 13 of its 18 targets, representing a 72% achievement rate. Among its achievements, the department managed to: financially support 20 capacity-building projects; coordinate 2 cultural engagements; organise one youth-focused programme, and support 51 projects in the creative industry through the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) programme. Some of its under-achievements include: 3 out of 5 community conversations/dialogues were held to foster social cohesion; 7 Provincial Community Arts Development Programmes implemented, against a target of 9; and 0 monitoring reports completed on the implementation of a social compact for social cohesion and nation-building, against a target of 1.
Programme 4: Heritage Promotion and Preservation
He stated that in this programme the Department managed to achieve 9 out of 11 of its targets, representing an 81% achievement rate. Among its achievements, the department managed to: digitise 49 records (27 Treason Trial dictabelts and 22 Truth and Reconciliation audio tapes), against a target of 45, representing an overachievement; financially support 26 newly built modular libraries; publish one gazette notice on standardised geographical names. Only one underachievement was recorded (as the target did not require reporting) was recorded, which was the development of content for only one of the heritage legacy projects (The Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Project); the other two projects (the Sarah Baartman and O.R Tambo exhibitions) had an inadequate portfolio of evidence.
Mr Mondli informed the Committee that the Department’s overall spending for this quarter stood at R5.6 billion (98.2%) against a Final Appropriation of R5.7 billion as at 31 March 2022, R2.1 billion of which was spent by the provinces and municipalities on mass participation conditional grants (MPCG) and libraries. The remainder of the funds were spent by the Department’s agencies (R1.8 billion), and the procurement of goods and services (R507.8 million).
The Department was pleased that the majority of its appropriated budget allocation had been spent in this quarter. However, it remained concerned that its entities had incurred underspending of R3.4 million, against an appropriated budget of R1.8 billion.
Briefing by DSAC on its 1st quarter performance report 2022-23
Mr Mondli briefed the Committee on DSAC’s 1st Quarter Performance Report for the 2022-23 financial year (FY).
The Department managed to achieve all of its targets for this quarter
100% valid invoices were paid within 30 days
100% councils/boards were fully constituted
1151 athletes were supported by academies
84 356 people actively participated in organised sport and active recreation
The overall spending is at R1,0 billion (16.2%) against the Adjusted Appropriation of R6,3 billion as at 30 June 2022
Underspending by R416,4 million (6.6%) against the projections
Mr Mondli then took the Committee through the Department’s performance in its four programmes: Administration; Recreation Development and Sport Promotion; Arts Culture Promotion and Development; and Heritage Promotion and Preservation.
Programme 1: Administration
He mentioned that in this programme, the Department managed to achieve 3 out of 6 targets (no reporting was required for the three other targets this quarter) representing a 50% achievement. Among its achievements, the department managed to: host 5 izimbizo, against a target of 3, representing an overachievement; pay 100% of valid invoices within 30 days.
Programme 2: Recreation Development and Sport Promotion
He said that in this programme, the Department managed to achieve 5 out of 11 targets (no reporting was required for the six other targets this quarter). Among its achievements, the department managed to: support 1 151 athletes through its academies, against a target of 500, representing an overachievement; encourage 84 356 people to participate in organised sport and active recreation events, against a target of 45 000, representing an overachievement; have 61 576 learners participate at district school sport tournaments, against a target of 10 000, representing a significant overachievement.
Programme 3: Arts Culture Promotion and Development
In this programme, the Department managed to achieve 7 out 19 targets (no reporting was required for the other twelve targets in this quarter). Some of the achievements reported by the department include: the implementation of 21 social cohesion advocacy platforms by social cohesion advocates; were implemented by the Social Cohesion Advocates, against a target of 5, representing a significant overachievement; and 5 Community conversations/dialogues were implemented to foster social interaction.
Programme 4: Heritage Promotion and Preservation
He underlined that the Department managed to achieve 5 out of 11 targets (no reporting was required for the six other targets in this quarter). Some of the achievements reported by the department include: the digitisation of 265 Treason Trial dictabelts (against a target of 37) and 626 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) audio tapes (against a target of 22); and financially supporting new and/or modular libraries
Mr Mondli informed the Committee that the Department’s overall spending for this quarter stood at R1,0 billion (16.2%) against the Adjusted Appropriation of R6,3 billion as at 30 June 2022. The department had projected to spend R1,4 billion (22.8%) of its budget by end of the quarter, which led to underspending of R416,4 million (6.6%) against the projections. The majority of the funds were spent as follows: expenditure of R276,7 million (12.7%) incurred against the Adjusted Appropriation of R2,2 billion relating to transfers of Community Libraries and Mass Participation Conditional Grants, by provinces and municipalities [the department recorded an underspending of R120,7 million (5.5%) against R397,4 million (18.3%) projected quarter expenditure]; R437 million (20.1%) spent by entities against the Adjusted Appropriation of R2,2 billion [(the expenditure is below the quarterly projected expenditure of R566,4 million (26.1%) by R129.4 million (6.0%)]
The Chairperson opened the floor for discussion.
Ms V Van Dyk (DA) asked that the Department provide the Committee with a detailed document on the cost implications and the benefits for local SA cultural workers relating to the collaborations with the Cuban government.
She then asked what the SA government’s stance was on the reports of Cuban artists being detained by the Cuban government.
Mr B Mandlingozi (EFF) asked if the department was aware of reports indicating that some Brazilian doctors were, allegedly, compelling colleagues to work longer hours than them, but still earning the same salary.
Mr D Joseph (DA) asked if there had been any cultural visits between Brazil and SA, since the latter’s inclusion in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping; and if so, what the focus points were. Furthermore, he asked how SA has benefited from its inclusion as a member of the grouping.
Ms Adams had four questions. One, she asked what progress SA and Cuba had made in implementing the objectives of their bilateral agreement. In addition, she asked whether the department had included the implementation of these objectives in its targets for the 2022/2023 FY.
Two, she asked what the outcomes of the cultural manifestation in areas such as ballet, book fairs, exhibitions and other various exchange programmes were.
Three, she asked what the outcomes of the bilateral agreement signed between the two countries were, and the impact it has had since.
Four, she asked for the Department to explain what the factors delaying the operationalisation of the agreement with Brazil were, and whether this matter had been addressed through diplomatic channels.
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) asked what would occur if the SA government were to break either one of the treaties it has entered into with Brazil and Cuba. Moreover, he asked what the difference between a treaty and an agreement; and why countries have struggled to enforce their compliance.
He also asked whether the department has set aside a budget for implementing these treaties, and if so, he asked that it provide a detailed breakdown. Further, he asked if the Department has monitors in place to track the progress of each treaty, and its benefits for the country.
Ms V Malomane (ANC) asked if the Department had finalised its internal processes and communicated them through the correct diplomatic channels, on how it will implement the bilateral agreement between the SA and Cuban governments.
Ms Cleon Noah, Deputy DG (DDG), DSAC, confirmed that the Department had put aside an annual budget to service the bilateral agreement, through its internal unit, named ‘Bilateral Cooperation, under the Chief Directorate of International Relations. This is premised on signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) or programme of action (POA), which details the specific activities that will be taken in a particular FY to service the bilateral agreement.
She further explained that cultural agreements are currently in place between SA and Cuba. However, there are no budget implications relating to the treaty with Brazil, as it has not yet come into force. Usually, the implementation of film production treaties is done through the Department’s entities, and in this case (once the treaty is enforced), it will be executed by the film and video foundation, which receives an annual allocation from the DSAC to implement these treaties.
Referring to the question on the outcomes of the cultural manifestation in areas such as ballet, book fairs, and exhibitions, she said that the implementation of these targets depends on the agreement as well as the Programme for Cooperation (POC), which stipulates what areas related to cultural manifestation, such as film festivals and exhibitions, will be organised by whom and by when. She said this depends on the availability of the annual allocated budget.
Regarding the difference between a treaty and an agreement, she explained that the terms are usually used interchangeably, with treaties referring to multilateral agreements (between two or more countries); or conventions that a country signs with more than one country. Bilateral agreements refer to agreements that SA has entered into with another country, such as the one with Brazil.
Touching on why countries have struggled to enforce treaties, she mentioned that the enforcement of treaties depends on the treaty's terms. Cultural treaties, she added, are not usually enforceable and their compliance depends on the extent of the relationship between the two signatories.
Mr John Mogashoa, Director: International Relations, DSAC, referring to the lack of enforcement of treaties and agreements, highlighted that cultural treaties signed between two countries are not, in a broad sense, enforceable by the law, nor do they carry any legal or financial obligations. What often happens is that once an agreement has been signed, the two countries will negotiate and enter into a POA, which will outline their objectives for a specified period. Subsequently, that programme will be budgeted for, and the designated departmental agencies will implement the objectives of the agreement; which will ensure that it is more binding on both parties. A treaty, on the other hand, he explained, is usually multilateral; however, depending on the nature of the treaties, SA has to ratify the treaty, which then becomes part of its law; although if SA does not ratify a treaty, it cannot enforce it. Though, if one signatory has spent its funds on one of the agreed-upon objectives and the other reneges in doing so, the former can pursue the repayment of its money through its domestic and international courts.
Mr Mhlongo said that the Department must be frank and honest with the Committee on the budget it has set aside for the implementation of these treaties, as it had only spoken about the amount allocated for the Cuban agreement, but not the financial implications thereof.
Mr Madlingozi indicated that the Department had not answered his question on whether it was aware of reports indicating that some Brazilian doctors were, allegedly, compelling colleagues to work longer hours than them, but still earning the same salary.
Mr Mkhize highlighted that the MOA is a framework of the agreed upon areas of collaboration. Once signed, teams from both signatories will then have to develop an implementation protocol and a POA – which indicates what programmes will need to be implemented in each FY and their cost implications. Thereafter, the budget will be established, allowing for the application of the protocol.
Continuing on the prior point, he further explained that when the government enters into a cultural agreement, it will ask, in the instance of an audio-visual co-production agreement, which filmmakers should be included and how much it will cost to transport and accommodate them in the particular country. However, such details are not contained in the MOA. The MOA is based on which parties will take responsibility for each programme; thereafter, the department will cost each after agreeing with the other countries.
Referring to the question on the alleged conduct of certain Brazilian doctors, he indicated that he was unaware of the reports, and as such, had no authority to speak on the matter. This, he mentioned, should be left to the Department of Health (DoH). Further, he felt he was not in a position to express the department and government’s stance on the reports of Cuban artists being detained by the Cuban government.
Mr Mhlongo asked if the department had hosted any country before and, if it did, whether it had used its own resources; and how much had been used.
Mr Mkhize confirmed that it had.
Mr Mogashoa confirmed that the Department had hosted countries before. In this FY, the Department planned to spend around R800 000, to assist its recently formed cultural academies to improve their cost design, as well as their syllabuses. The department, he said, is looking into the restoration of its traditional instrument – with Cuba being a leading country in this area. Much work has been done with Cuba, to identify methods that will improve SA’s ballet, for three reasons: one, the country ranks second in terms of ballet; two, Cuban artform is similar to SA’s, due to the high diaspora in the country and as it is not a Western country; three, its body formation is similar to Africa’s.
Still referring to his point on ballet, he indicated that various SA ballet companies have hosted Cuban ballets in the country, at no cost to the department. The bilateral agreement signed is designed to facilitate the movement of artists across the board: no SA artist is able to perform in other countries in the world without the backing of government. This backing, he explained, comes in two ways: one, government issues artists with passports, so that they are able to travel; two, through its various agreements signed with other countries, government is able to organise visits for artists, across the world. As such, all agreements signed are in place for that purpose.
Further explaining this point, he mentioned that the department’s responsibility is to facilitate an environment for those involved in the entire sports, arts and culture space to be able to work anywhere else in the world; and not to implement agreements signed by the government and another country. Thus, the government is an enabler. Although, there are instances where the government does assist through the provision of money. In other instances, it might make financial contributions to a small extent. During the period of negotiations of an agreement, the Department takes into consideration the needs of the sector.
Mr Madlingozi posed several questions to the Department. One, he asked how the department measured its successes in the development of sports, arts and culture in rural areas. In addition, he asked whether the department had collected data to support its claims in the presentation. Two, he asked what the department meant by ‘Artists placed in schools’. Three, he asked whether the Social Cohesion Vision was succeeding, as several racial incidents have occurred in white-majority schools. Further, he asked how the department measured its successes concerning building social cohesion.
Four, he asked what action the department takes regarding projects that take more than five years to complete. Also, he asked who was to blame for the money wasted. Five, he asked what the Caiphus Semenya Foundation Project entailed. Six, he asked when the department would resolve the standoff between the National Arts Council (NAC) and its suspended Head, Mr Freddie Nyathela.
He then mentioned that the underspending recorded in the department is the main reason for the lack of development of the majority of South Africans.
Ms Malomane, referring to the 1st quarter report, asked how the Department projects its quarterly targets and costs them. She was unimpressed by the Department’s underspending in the 1st quarter and felt that this reflected poor planning and implementation by it and its entities. Thereafter, she asked what mechanisms the Department is implementing to improve its planning, performance and monitoring.
She then indicated that her remaining questions would relate to the Department’s 4th quarter report. On this, she first asked how the Department’s supply chain management division could consider and appoint a supplier without a valid tax clearance for the development of the SA Geographical Names System. Additionally, she asked whether the department has implemented corrective action, relating to this, in the 1st quarter of this year, as it said it would.
Thereafter, she asked what additions were made in the contract between the department and the supplier, requiring the latter to provide a break-in service in all three sites. Furthermore, she asked what happened to the budget allocation for the project in the 2021-22 FY, as it was planned for completion in the 1st quarter of this year; and why had the fourth site not been delivered. The realisation of this project would be critical in effecting the President’s Economic and Reconstruction Recovery Plan.
She asked for the budget amount allocated to the initiative for social cohesion and nation-building, as well as the dialogues to foster social cohesion. In addition, she asked why the department had not overachieved by implementing the five targeted projects.
In her last question, she asked what lessons the department has learned to improve the processing of applications, in order to avoid underspending.
Mr Joseph, touching on the 4th Quarter report, indicated that while he was concerned by the 2% shortfall in expenditure, he was otherwise pleased by the Department’s overall performance.
He then posed several questions to the Department. One, he asked what percentage of the Department’s vacant posts were critical and scarce skills; and whether it had begun implementing an organisational restructuring for these posts.
Regarding Programme 1 in the 4th Quarter, he asked for details on the services not provided by the appointed contractor. On Programme 4, he asked what positions the organisations under distress are currently in and for the department to provide a report on each one that received the R57 million virement.
Afterwards, he asked for the department to share the feedback provided by school boards on how to improve sports participation. Further, he asked what challenges the Department’s entities have faced when dealing with school boards.
Regarding the promotion of arts and culture, he asked why the Department had not met three targets (out of 20) in the 1st Quarter of this FY, as it had access to technological means. In addition, he asked if the Department had failed to adequately plan for the conversations and dialogues to foster social cohesion; or, had they not occurred due to the Covid-19 regulations.
Touching on one of the DSAC’s projects, he asked if the Department had budgeted money for this FY, to complete the Sarah Baartman Centre on Remembrance (SBCR), as R143 million, he pointed out, had already been spent on this project over the past seven years. He described the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure’s (DPWI) inability to complete this project in time as an embarrassment, which also shamed the DSAC.
Still referring to the Department’s 4th Quarter report, he asked how many boards were still operational and how many had been constituted in the 1st Quarter.
On the Imbizo Programme in the 1st Quarter report, he highlighted his support for the department’s mandate to create social integration through sports, arts and culture and he requested that it should never forget it. Thereafter, he asked how many boards had been constituted in the 1st Quarter, within the Imbizo Programme.
Referring to Programme 1, he asked for an explanation regarding the Robben Island Museum (RIM) Board.
In his final two questions, he asked if either the department or the Minister had accompanied the sportsmen to Birmingham and Banyana Banyana to the Women African Cup of Nationals (WAFCON) Finals; and when Banyana Banyana would be invited to Parliament for celebrations.
Ms Adams, referring to the 4th Quarter report, asked what consequence management would be taken against officials who provided inadequate evidence to support a reported achievement, as this reflected a poor monitoring system and non-compliance with reporting activities.
She then posed several questions to the Department. One, she asked which of the 11 Federations failed to meet 50% of the Press Charter Transformation Target; what the systemic challenges impacting the achievement of the target were; and how they could be addressed to create inclusivity in sports within the country. Two, she asked what contractual challenges there were between the DSAC and the implementing agent, regarding the Dr John L Dube House Project; and which of the parties caused the delay in its completion. Three, she asked what the impact of the current vacancies in the department had on the delivery of its projects, as the underspending in compensation reflects a lack of adequate employees. Noting the Department’s overachievement in the number of athletes supported by sports academies; the number of people actively participating in organised sports and active recreation events; and the number of learners participating in the district schools sports tournament, in the 1st Quarter, she asked how the Department projected its quarterly targets and whether these (targets) were linked to its overall annual budget. In her final question, she asked what further support will be provided for the remainder of the FY, to ensure that the 60 projects within various municipalities are implemented within their timeline.
Mr M Zondi (ANC) had six questions for the Department. One, he asked what the contributing factors that led to participation in organised sports and active recreation were. Two, he asked how the Department encouraged increased participation in other active recreational activities, which require fewer facilities, in the 4th Quarter, particularly as restrictions had since been eased. Three, he asked what the challenge was in completing the SBCR and what had caused the contractual challenge between the Department and the service provider. Four, he asked that the Department provide reasons for National Treasury (NT)’s decision to decline its request to procure the sculpture made by Prof Pitika Ntuli; and why DSAC had required a deviation to do so.
Five, he asked what the implications would be if the multi-year projects were delayed, on the budget for current and future infrastructure projects.
Six, noting DSAC’s increased capacity to digitise records, as shown in the 1st Quarter report, he asked what the new targets for digitising the Treason Trial database and the TRC audio tapes were. While he welcomed the presentations, he was not pleased by the underspending recorded by DSAC.
Ms Van Wyk, referring to the 1st Quarter report, asked why the Department had lowered its targets for citizens’ participation in sport and the number of students awarded heritage bursaries.
She then posed several questions to DSAC. One, she asked for the Department to differentiate between Imbizos and Community Conversations, as there are separate indicators and targets for each. If they were the same, she asked why there had been duplication in the targets and indicators. Two, she asked if DSAC could not increase its annual target for school children participating in school sport tournaments to 75 000, as 61 500 were reported to have done so in the 1st Quarter report. She felt that this target was low, particularly given the fact that there are over 12 million learners across 25 000 schools in the country. In addition, she asked how many of the participants were from township and rural schools. Three, regarding programme 3, she requested that the Department broadly outline what research the SA Cultural Observatory (SACO) was currently undertaking, as the report mentioned that the organisation would have to submit 16 reports by the end of the 4th Quarter for the 2022/23 FY. Four, she asked what other challenges besides poor business planning, non-spending of funds and delayed allocations from the department, continued to affect Lovelife, on an annual basis; and what consequence management had been implemented for those responsible.
Due to network connectivity issues, she indicated that she would put her remaining questions in writing.
Mr B Mamabolo (ANC) highlighted that he was concerned by some of the federations’ failure to meet their transformation targets. Further, he was unimpressed that the SA Women's Cricket Team only comprised white women, particularly as there are capable women of other races in the country. As such, he asked why the Federations could not meet their targets. Thereafter, he asked how much had been budgeted for the Ncome project.
He also asked how many geographical names DSAC changed in the last FY, and how many it planned to change for this one. Regarding the Community Development Programme, he asked why the Free State (FS) and the Western Cape (WC) did not meet their targets. In his last question, he asked why the Department had failed to meet its targets; and he described this as worrisome.
The Chairperson said that the Covid-19 restrictions had exposed how vulnerable creative artists are and the importance of exhibitions, as well as heritage legacy projects to the development of; a national consciousness; a national identity; and opportunities for creators in the country. Referring to the Caiphus Semenya Project, she indicated that the outcome of this project was due to an inefficiency in the procurement process, an inadequate portfolio of evidence, and poor project management. As such, she asked what steps the department had taken to strengthen its administration and what consequence management would be implemented for poor performance. She asked why NT had rejected reclassifying the Nyanga Arts Development Centre Project (NADCP), which resulted in understanding. Touching on the under-expenditure on machinery and equipment reported in Programme 4 of the 4th Quarter report, she asked how the Department managed service providers who did not meet their contractual terms. Additionally, she asked if it had prioritised the underspent R16.4 million, and if so, for what purpose. She recommended that the Committee consider extending its oversight of the Department’s entities, by calling them, along with DSAC, to explain why they have recorded under expenditure in their programmes.
Regarding the community libraries, mass participation and conditional grants in Programme 1, she noted that there had been progress with provinces, regarding the finalisation of business plans. As such, she asked what type of support DSAC provided to provinces, to assist them in developing business plans. Still referring to the prior point, she asked how the Department monitored the implementation of community libraries and mass participation grants – to ensure that the money was spent for its purpose.
Furthermore, she asked whether the monitoring tools used are sharp enough; and what consequence management is taken if they are not adhered to.
She requested that the Minister provide his closing remarks at the end of the discussion.
Ms Mandisa Tshikwatamba, CEO, Small Enterprises Development Agency (SEDA), referring to the targets not achieved regarding the dialogues, mentioned that the Department did, in fact, achieve its annual target in 2021-22 FY, for the number of dialogues held. In the 3rd Quarter of the previous FY, the department, she said, was preoccupied with several tasks, such as assisting its peer departments to mainstream some of its content for the community dialogues. As a consequence, DSAC exhausted its budget for community dialogues in the 3rd Quarter.
However, she highlighted that the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) had flagged this programme for underspending, as the money spent was supposed to have been spent in both the 3rd and 4th quarters, instead of only in the former. She added that if the Department had foreseen this, it would have approached other departments to assist it with funding for implementing other dialogues. Regarding the question on the vacancies in the DSAC, she mentioned that the vacancies are mainly in the Senior Management Service (SMS) posts and as of September 2021, the vacancy rate stood at 25%. However, at year-end, this decreased to 12.3%, with the CFO, Internal Audit and Human Resources (HR) positions being filled.
Referring to the question on the boards constituted by the Department, she indicated that between the 3rd and 1st quarters, DSAC had reconstituted eight boards (also known as councils), which were: Ditsong Museums of South Africa, RIM, Nelson Mandela Bay Theatre Complex, the South African Library for the Blind (SALB), Nelson Mandela Museum (NMM) and the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDFS). At present, only three are pending appointments (interviews are currently underway), namely: SAIDFS, SALB and RIM.
Responding to the question of whether the Department has any monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools at its disposal, she said that DSAC is guided by the government's process, which begins with a review that is done quarterly, at a branch level, and every six months on an organisational departmental level. She added that this process requires that a performance improvement plan (PIP) be established and monitored for entities that are underperforming.
On the question regarding the implementation of consequence management against underperforming officials and those accused of wrongdoing, she said that the PIP ensures that if an official is found to be underperforming in their position, the department can institute a disciplinary process against them.
Regarding the question on the reasons for underspending by the Department’s entities, she mentioned that the Department provides an analysis, periodically, to the Minister, on the performance of each entity. To assess performance, the Department also contains three forums: one led by the DG and includes the entities; another led by the Minister and includes the entities; while the third contains the CFOs of the department and its entities, who discuss budgets. She admitted that the department is under pressure from its entities, as many require increased funding, while others continue to record underspending.
As some entities have initiated projects, but are slow to implement them, the Department is unable to take money from them that it can use for other projects. Discussions between management and the CFO are currently underway on how to shift funds from an entity found to be underspending its budget, to either other departmental projects, or entities requiring funds.
Dr Cynthia Khumalo, DDG: Arts and Culture Promotion Development branch, DSAC, referring to the Arts Schools, found in Programme 3, stated that this programme responds to the need, as identified by DSAC and the Department of Basic Education (DBE), to provide practical and theoretical skills to learners, due to the capacity constraints amongst many creative arts teachers. It focuses on four genres: music, drama, acts and visual arts; however, this varies among schools and provinces. She added that the programme's implementation is within the framework of the Curriculum Policy Statement, referred to as CAPS by the DBE, and focuses on the creative arts.
In addition, the Department is looking to create jobs and reduce unemployment through this initiative, particularly by targeting young creatives. Students, she further explained, are placed in one of these 300 schools across the country. She was pleased that the Department exceeded this target and indicated this was due to its cooperation with the provinces and schools.
Touching on the question related to the Caiphus Semenya Project, she mentioned that DSAC partnered with the Caiphus Semenya Foundation to build a school for African performing arts and to teach students contemporary dance – and music. This project, she said, is linked with the country’s bilateral agreement with Cuba, and is aimed at bridging the gap between universities and schools. The project falls under the academies that the department currently supports and focuses on training and capacity building in the creative sector. She added that construction of the school had been completed; however, payment has not been finalised, as certain reports were outstanding at the time of reporting, which the Department and the foundation are attending to.
Responding to the question on the underspending recorded in the MGE Project, she said that in the last FY, the department, through this initiative, managed to disburse more than R100 million in grant funding to creatives in the industry. MGE support covers some of the projects done by the department under its national flagship projects – six of which it supported in the 2021-22 FY – and provincial flagship projects – six of which it supported in the 2021/22 FY.
She informed Members that payments to beneficiaries are made in two tranches, with the first tranche providing 90% of the total grant allocation, while the remaining 10% is furnished in the second tranche; which is only disbursed once a recipient has submitted narrative and expenditure reports, in line with the MOAs that been signed with the department. She highlighted that 201 beneficiaries were paid at the end of the 4th Quarter 2021/22. However, there were beneficiaries who, at the time of reporting, had not submitted all the required documents – which indicate the full implementation of the project – as per the approved business proposal. Hence, the Department had to withhold the payment of the second tranche and request approval from the accounting officer, for the rollover of certain projects into the new FY. This was recorded as under-expenditure.
Referring to the question on the department’s community centres, she said that at the end of March, all nine provinces had implemented the Community Arts Centre Development Programme (CACDP). However, when analysing the reports submitted by provinces, DSAC picked up that several things were not aligned with the required portfolio of evidence (POE).
In the case of FS, she explained, the provincial department had changed the implementing agent twice during the 2021/22 FY, as the internal audit found that the implementing agent’s compliance documents did not meet the requirements. Following the conclusion of this matter, the provincial department provided a full POE, which illustrated that it had implemented all its projects, in line with its business plan.
In the case of the WC, she stated that the WC provincial department had mentioned that it wanted to undergo a comprehensive consultation process, which took a while to finalise. Thus, it had not finalised the implementation of its projects at the end of the 4th Quarter, which then led to the non-achievement of its target. She further explained that because of this, when the Department tables its annual report, towards the end of the year, Members will note that the WC had not implemented all of the projects it included in its business plan.
Control measures are in place, including not transferring additional money to provincial departments until the DSAC is satisfied with the mitigating measures, together with the new plans they have put in place. WC and other provinces have submitted three year business plans for 2022-23, to which they have since received grant allocation letters, indicative of the budgeted amount for the Community Art Centre developments. The department, she added, will be signing MOAs for three years, to ensure that implementation occurs as soon as the FY commences.
Regarding the question related to the Nyanga Arts Centre, she said that the project forms part of the Community Arts Programme, and its objective was to ensure that the facility is in a position to be able to host programmes organised for artists residing in that community. The Department has allocated funds for the facility. Furthermore, DSAC officials have met with the Nyanga Arts Centre Board and the WC Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports (DCAS), and they believe that the programme will be rolled out this financial year.
On what research is being done by SACO, she mentioned that in this financial year, SACO conducted a skills audit of the creative SA youth. It also conducted research on the baseline review of the White Paper on Arts and Culture; the SA animation industry ecosystem analysis; and the economic mapping of the cultural industries in South Africa, in this FY. She added that in the 2nd Quarter, SACO is working on a methodology to develop subnational satellite accounts, for provinces, districts and metros. This project, she indicated, developed from a resolution between the Minister and the department’s provincial MECs, during talks at the Minister and Member of Executive Councils Meeting (MINMEC). SACO has four other research projects underway, including looking into the realisation of the SA gaming industry through the linkages of the animation and design sectors, considering their future requirements and implications.
Mr Vusithemba Ndima, DDG: Heritage and Promotion, DSAC, referring to the question on the digitising of the TRC audio tapes, indicated that the Department planned, for the 2022-23 FY, to digitise 80 TRC audio tapes, and 100 Treason Trial dictabelts.
Regarding the number of geographical names DSAC changed in the prior FY, he mentioned that 27 names were transformed and standardised in four separate gazettes. He was, however, unable to indicate how many names would be standardised and transformed for this FY, as the department first has to receive names from local communities and provinces, who then send them to the Minister for acceptance and rejection.
Touching on the content displayed at exhibitions, he said that three exhibitions were under preparation this FY: the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, O.R Tambo and Sarah Baartman exhibitions. The installation of the Sarah Baartman exhibition is planned for the 2024/25 FY, though he admitted that the department had not articulated this target well to Members in its presentation.
Responding to the question on the community libraries, he explained that DSAC has worked with its provincial departments, to assist them with interpreting the conditional grant framework, which has its own requirements. The department, he said, works with the provincial departments from the onset, on the development of their business plans and subsequently approves them once they are finalised. DSAC also provides assistance through; the provision of workshops from the beginning to the approval of the business plans; the hosting of quarterly M&E meetings, where its officials analyse the progress of provinces based on their business plans. He added that this empowers the Department to report poor-performing provinces to the DG, who will write to them, highlighting areas they can improve.
He underlined that the Department had not gotten to the point where it appropriates funds from provincial departments found to have recorded underspending, with the intention to provide them to other entities. While the conditional grant framework does make provision for this, DSAC decided that it would rather monitor and provide support, instead of applying punitive measures.
Still referring to the conditional grant, he stated that this grant assists with infrastructure development; the refurbishment of existing infrastructure; the installation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT); and the purchase of library material. Through this initiative, the department, he added, observed that several of its infrastructure projects are stuck in the development phase and this seemed to particularly affect library construction.
Ms Sumayya Khan, DDG: Recreation Development and Sport Promotion, DSAC, touching on the question related to the overachievement of school sport targets, reminded the Committee that school sport was suspended for most of last year, so the Department had a congested programme in the 4th Quarter, such that many of the district championships and school programmes which could not take place in the previous quarters, only occurred then (in the 4th Quarter) – which led to the overachievement.
On how DSAC sets its targets on the number of school sports events hosted, she said that these targets are set by the provincial departments, based on their budgets and the number of schools registered on the School Sports Programme. Both the provincial DBEs and DSACs share this responsibility, however, DSAC is focused on district, provincial and national championships.
Touching on DSAC to assist athletes through its Academies Programme, she mentioned that the target of 80 athletes benefiting from this programme, was based on its five-year Mid-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). Each province has its own plan but its targets are aligned with the MTSF. Many athletes, she indicated, could not, in the prior FY, access fitness centres for training nor could they obtain support from high-performance centres, as such, they had to train at provincial centres, hence the Department overperformed in that target.
Responding to the question of which of the 11 Federations did not meet their targets, she explained that due to the Lockdown Regulations, sport in the country was brought to a standstill and as a result, all of the activities in all of the codes of sport that are part of the transformation process, such as the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), were cancelled and did not take place. In the EPG report, all the codes are measured in terms of the self-set targets of the barometer, hence some of the Federations did not meet their targets. The 11 Federations that did not meet their targets were: Athletics, Bowls SA, Boxing, Cricket, Hockey, Gymnastics, Rowing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Volleyball, and Jukskei. Netball, Rugby, Softball and Tennis were the only codes of sport that achieved their targets for the 2021-22 FY.
Touching on the question of whether the Department or the Minister had accompanied the team to the Commonwealth Games, and Banyana Banyana to WAFCON, she confirmed that the Minister had accompanied athletes to the Commonwealth Games (also referred to as the Games) hosted in July of this year. At the Games, which take place once in four years, all codes of sport conduct major governance meetings, which includes the compulsory Commonwealth Ministers meeting. The Minister also attended events where the athletes were participating, and other forums to promote SA as a business and sports-friendly destination; as well as promoting the country’s ability to host major sports, arts and cultural events. Once the Minister had returned from the Games, he was represented by the Deputy Minister, Ms Nocawe Mafu, who when at the Games, hosted female athletes in a discussion session focused on women in sporting activities.
Responding to the question on whether the Department could not increase its annual target for school children participating in school sports tournaments to 75 000, she mentioned that the department’s budget could not support every school in the country. In addition, she highlighted that DSAC provided support to quintile 1 and 2 schools registered to be part of the School Sports Programme, with equipment, attire and capacity building.
Regarding the number of rural and township schools represented in sports tournaments, she indicated that DSAC did not have the statistics on hand and would need to obtain them from its database.
On the challenges currently facing LoveLife, she stated that the department did not have any major issues with LoveLife, and in fact, it believed that the entity plays a strategic role in job creation, youth development and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle amongst citizens. LoveLife develops programmes on behalf of the department, such as the School Sport Programme, youth camps, and the ‘I choose to be active’ campaign.
Speaking on LoveLife’s budget, she confirmed that in the prior FY, the entity did record underspending, mainly because it was unable to conduct certain activities and programmes due to the lockdown restrictions. Since then, the entity has requested a deviation – which the department is considering – to use for the funding of other projects because it had a reduction in budget for this FY. Presently, the Department is working with the entity to address areas where there has been under-expenditure. She added that LoveLife planned to use its remaining funds to run national youth camp programmes.
Referring to the type of support DSAC provided to provinces to assist them in developing business plans, she explained that the conditional grant framework includes critical timelines for business planning. As part of this framework, the department ensured that it meets with provincial departments every quarter, and during the first meeting, it first provides them business plan templates from NT to complete. Thereafter, the department assesses the submitted business plans and sets up a one-on-one session with the provincial department. Submissions of business plans this year, she added, were slightly late because there was a slight increase in budget, so DSAC had to send them back to the provinces to include this change in their plans, which then delayed the transfer of funds to them.
On whether DSAC had M&E tools in place to monitor the implementation of business plans, she highlighted that the Department does receive quarterly POAs and reports from the provincial departments; and once received, a team of officials in the department verifies the POA. If a provincial department does not meet the timelines provided for the grant framework, the Department will withhold the grant until the issue is corrected. She added that in the previous meeting between the DG and the provincial Heads of Departments (HOD), the latter mentioned the challenges the provincial departments faced.
She also indicated that in the prior meeting between Management in the department, it was resolved that the M&E forum would be resuscitated, and it would map out how M&E would be done on-site. Further to that, the department’s internal audit does visit provinces to audit their finances.
Regarding the issues faced by RIM, she mentioned that the department, in line with the distressed project, had reprioritised the capital budget of R16.4 million, towards the operations of the museum in the 2021-22 FY. Following this, RIM identified projects that would be funded by the reprioritised budget.
Mr Lebogang Mogoera, Chief Director: Sport Infrastructure Support, DSAC, referring to the question on the distressed organisations, mentioned that R35 million in 2020 was reprioritised to fund RIM’s operations. A further R20 million was reprioritised in 2022, from the Heritage Art Centre, for the same purpose.
Referring to the SBRC, he indicated that the Department does have a budget allocated for the project in this current financial year;. However, he admitted that DSAC had encountered challenges in concluding certain outstanding matters with the DPWI. However, the Department did not believe it would be able to spend this entire budget on the project. He added that at present, the department is busy with the virement process and would look to shift some of the funds allocated to SBRC, and transfer them to other projects, such as the Ncome project: which is currently underway and has been allocated a R25 million budget, for the procurement of material, the majority of which will be expensive. An additional R15 million will be shifted from SBRC to Ncome.
Touching on the contractual challenges relating to the SBRC project, he indicated that the first contractor appointed by the DPWI to complete the project had ceded the contract, as such, the DPWI appointed a new contractor. Once the contractor began his work, he discovered some defective work that needed to be remedied, however, the DPWI refused to pay him for this work, stating that it had paid the retention and remaining funds to the previous service provider for the work done, which frustrated the current contractor. He added that the DPWI had delayed in approving the request for an extension to complete the work; approving the variation orders; and payments to the contractor. To resolve their disputes, both parties resolved to approach a mediator, however, DPWI did not follow through with its commitment, and thus the contractor decided to terminate the contract and withdraw from the site.
Regarding the John L Dube project, he explained that before the termination of the project, DSAC attempted to establish what challenges the contractor faced. When he (the contractor) was appointed, there was a time when the site was invaded by local communities and local business forums, who demanded opportunities to subcontract the project. Thus a significant amount of time was lost. Subcontractors, he indicated, were then appointed, although not through a fair process, by the contractor. Once work had been completed, DSAC found that it had not met all of the requirements and standards. Regardless, the main contractor was expected to pay the subcontractors for work done and on top of that, he had to complete the outstanding work.
The main contractor complained to DSAC that he was the only one, between the two parties, who had to carry the risk of the project, and there was no appetite from the implementing agent to share it. As a consequence, he decided to terminate the contract and informed DSAC that if he were to be re-appointed, it would have to be on fair terms. He added that the procurement of building materials was disrupted by the July unrest and the labour protests (which occurred in October 2021). The Department has since been submitted with a final account and is currently attending to it.
Adding on to this, he mentioned that DSAC had provided an additional allocation to the project, which also forms part of the virement process, to complete it.
On the support provided by DSAC to municipalities to complete their projects, he underlined that this had not been once-off support provided, rather, municipalities were assisted throughout the implementation of the project.
Mr Mondli, touching on the Nyanga Arts Centre, indicated that NT had declined DSAC’s request to have the project reclassified, because it was submitted late.
Regarding the R16.4 million, he said that the Department has agreed that all major expenditure in the future must occur in the first six months of the FY, so that it is able to have controls in place, allowing for it to intervene at any time. Furthermore, DSAC decided to review its procurement plan.
On the financial impact of the transfer made to Programme 2, he said that this would amount to R120 million.
Closing remarks by the Minister
Minister Nathi Mthethwa admitted that all government departments faced challenges relating to implementing infrastructure projects. To address this, DSAC has voiced its concerns to the DPWI.
He expressed his concern regarding two issues: one, the underspending in the Department, to which he has issued a directive to management that unspent funds should be utilised to create jobs for the youth; two, the fact that many beneficiaries who have received the first tranche of the MGE grant, do not bother to return and fill in the documents they are meant to. Government has established an agency to assist beneficiaries with financial management.
On the EPG, he indicated that the self-set targets are critical and to speed up transformation in sports, arts and culture, DSAC plans to develop stronger relations with the confederations.
He informed the Committee that the Cultural Diplomacy Programme is the primary focus of the Ministry, as it is an important initiative to promote SA’s creatives; and empowers its arts and culture practitioners. The Ministry is looking at opening some of SA’s cultural stores around embassies in the world.
The Chairperson, on behalf of the Committee, appreciated the Minister’s emphasis on correcting the underspending in the Department, and the measures he mentioned will be taken.
Thereafter, she thanked the Department and the Minister for participating in the engagement. She indicated that the Committee would then deliberate its schedule for the 3rd term.
Consideration and adoption of the Committee’s 3rd term programme
The Committee Secretary took the Committee through its programme for the 3rd term.
The Chairperson, after noting all the recommended amendments made by Members, requested a mover for the adoption of the programme, with amendments.
Mr Joseph moved for the adoption of the programme, with amendments.
Ms Malomane seconded the adoption of the programme, with amendments.
The Committee then deliberated and adopted its schedule for the third term, with amendments.
Consideration and adoption of the minutes for the 29th of May 2022
The Chairperson requested a mover for the adoption of the minutes.
Mr Zondi moved for the adoption of the minutes.
Ms Malomane seconded the adoption of the minutes.
Consideration and adoption of the minutes for the 7th of June 2022
The Chairperson requested a mover for the adoption of the minutes, with amendments.
Ms Adams moved for the adoption of the minutes, with amendments.
Mr Zondi seconded the adoption of the minutes, with amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.
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