International Agreements between RSA & Nigeria and Cȏte d’Ivoire
Sports, Arts and Culture
01 November 2022
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
The Committee was briefed in a virtual meeting by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between South Africa and the Republic of Cȏte d'Ivoire on cooperation in the field of sport and physical education, signed in South Africa on 22 July. The MoU came as an initiative to develop formal bilateral relations in the field of sport, with a desire to deepen cooperation and strengthen the bond of solidarity between the two countries. The formalisation of bilateral sports relations would be mutually beneficial, as South Africa and Cȏte d’Ivoire shared similar sporting codes, and the relationship could be beneficial to both countries concerning exchange programmes
The Committee was also briefed by the Department on the agreement between the governments of South Africa and Nigeria on audio-visual co-production signed in Abuja, Nigeria, in December last year. The purpose of this agreement was to consolidate, broaden and strengthen the friendly ties and reciprocal understanding between the two countries by working towards co-producing films, documentaries and other related audio-visual material.
Members discussed the potential for interaction between South African universities and other African countries, including facilitating conferences. They also considered how sports, arts and culture were being used as a means to promote peace in other African countries engaged in conflict. The Committee raised concern about the specifications of the budgets around the agreements and MoUs, including how such agreements would be effectively implemented if domestic MoUs, such as the one signed between the Department of Education and the DSAC in 2012, had not been implemented yet. Disappointment was also expressed over the omission of indigenous games in the agreements. Members agreed that engagements with other African countries through these agreements would be beneficial to the South African economy, and the culture, arts and sports environments.
Earlier, the Chairperson had raised concern about the many SMSs deemed as harassment she had received from the President of the SA Roadies Association since last Friday over assertions that the National Arts Council (NAC) had presented false information to the Portfolio Committee in a meeting in May. He had ignored requests to refrain from sending these SMSs. Members agreed that any form of harassment or threatening behaviour should result in remedial action. It was proposed that a legal opinion on the matter should be sought, and there should be a meeting with all the parties concerned to deal with this issue more specifically.
The Chairperson said it had been reported to her that the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) had sent two school football teams to the African Schools Football Championship in Malawi from 30 October to 1 November, and that both the boys’ and girls’ teams had emerged as winners. She said this was a time to be proud of the teams that had represented the country in Malawi.
Chairperson's concern over harassment
She raised her concern about the many SMSs she had received from Mr Freddie Nyathela (President of the SA Roadies Association) since last Friday, in which he alleged that in the meeting of 27 May, the Nationals Arts Council (NAC) had presented false information to the Portfolio Committee. Despite asking Mr Nyathela to refrain from sending these SMSs, the request had been ignored, as this behaviour had continued. A detailed complaint against the NAC had been filed, and responses were circulated. However, Mr Nyathela had indicated that the responses were not satisfactory.
The Chairperson said that if Mr Nyathela was not satisfied with the responses, there were remedial action processes that did not include being sent excessive SMSs, and therefore she felt harassed. Furthermore, she flagged that this had also been interpreted as a gender-sensitive issue which should be dealt with urgently.
Mr D Joseph (DA) commented that the Committee Members were aware of this challenge, as there had been excessive communication via email from Mr Nyathela. Any form of harassment or threatening behaviour should result in remedial action. He therefore proposed that the Chairperson get a legal opinion on the matter, and the Committee should schedule another meeting to deal with this issue more specifically.
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) said that he condemned any harassment of a South African on all fronts. However, the Committee should tend to take the blame as it had not responded to Mr Nyathela’s emails. This showed a lack of interest by the Committee to account to the public it serves. He proposed that to get a full perspective, it would be beneficial to meet with the Public Protector, the NAC, and Mr Nyathela.
Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) agreed with Mr Mhlongo that Mr Nyathela had been ignored for too long, which was why he had been sending excessive communications which the Chairperson had interpreted as harassment. The Committee should account to the public whom it serves by responding to the issues that had been raised.
Ms V van Dyk (DA) said it was important to get the NAC, the Public Protector and Mr Nyathela together with the Portfolio Committee to unpack this issue. However, this matter must be put to rest, as the whole Committee was receiving his email communications.
Ms M Khawula (EFF) raised concern that there were people who did not respect the authority of the Chairperson, and said the harassment issue should be urgently attended to. She encouraged Members of the Committee to be respectful of each other, even when there were differing opinions.
Ms V Malomane (ANC) supported that this issue should be tabled in the agenda of the upcoming meeting. This was also supported by Mr M Zondi (ANC).
In response, the Chairperson informed the Committee that there had been responses directed to all the enquiries raised, including those raised by Mr Nyathela. However, he was not satisfied with those responses. She added that further correspondence would be made available about the issues raised.
MoU between SA and Cȏte d'Ivoire
Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Acting Director-General, DSAC, introduced his delegation, and handed over to them to present.
Mr Meshack Mbowane, Chief Director: International Relations, DSAC, said that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between South Africa and Cȏte d’Ivoire on cooperation in the field of sport and physical education was signed in South Africa on 22 July. This was an initiative to develop formal bilateral relations in the field of sport, with a desire to deepen cooperation and strengthen the bond of solidarity between the two countries. The aim was to promote the exchange of programmes, visits, experience, techniques, information and knowledge between South Africa and Cȏte d’Ivoire in sport and physical education.
The MoU would remain in force for a period of three years, after which it would be automatically renewed for an additional five years, unless terminated under sub-Article 3. However, either party may terminate it by giving six months' written notice in advance through diplomatic channels.
The objectives of the MoU were to enable the two countries to implement programmes of cooperation in the field of sport and physical education based on reciprocity and mutual benefit, and to strengthen the partnership between the public and private structures of the two countries.
The two countries had undertaken to cooperate in the following areas:
- The management of sport;
- The development of coaches in football, basketball, rugby, taekwondo, and athletics;
- Improving the competitiveness of high-level athletes and trainers from both countries;
- The exchange of best practices in the development of sports infrastructure, including their maintenance and rehabilitation;
- Sports medicine;
- Programmes for the practice of sport by persons with disabilities; and
- The promotion of sport practised by women.
It was expected that the formalisation of bilateral sports relations would be mutually beneficial to both countries regarding exchange programmes, as South Africa and Cȏte d’Ivoire shared similar sporting codes. The MoU would significantly contribute to collaboration on the hosting of international events.
Mr Mbowane said that all events held because of the MoU would be coordinated by both countries, subject to conditions relating to finance. The implementation of the MoU would be dependent upon the availability of funds and resources in both countries.
Agreement between SA and Nigeria on audio-visual co-production
Mr Ruphus Matibe, Director: International Relations, DSAC, said that the agreement between South Africa and the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on audio-visual co-production had been signed on 1 December 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Through the DSAC, the two countries have been engaging on issues relating to implementing the Agreement of Cooperation in Arts and Culture since 2000. The engagements led to the signing of a specific agreement on the co-production of audio-visual material and the programme of implementation of the cultural agreement for the years 2022 to 2024.
The agreement would remain in force for a period of five years, whereafter, it would be automatically renewed for a further period of five years unless terminated under sub-article 3. The agreement may, however, be terminated by either party by giving the other party at least six months' written notice in advance through diplomatic channels of its intention to terminate the agreement.
Mr Matibe said the purpose of these agreements was to consolidate, broaden and strengthen the friendly ties and reciprocal understanding between the two countries by working towards co-producing films, documentaries and other related audio-visual material. The agreements would serve as the legal framework to enable both countries to celebrate and exchange knowledge and skills in the broader areas of arts and culture, and to tell their own stories. All programmes held because of this agreement would be coordinated by the parties in advance, subject to conditions relating to finance stipulated in both agreements.
Mr Joseph wanted to know if there was a record of interaction between South African universities and universities in Nigeria and Cȏte d'Ivoire, including the facilitation of conferences. He asked how sport was being used as a measure to promote peace in other African countries involved in conflict.
What was the South African government's budget as a contribution to the realisation of the MoU with Cȏte d’Ivoire?
He referred to the State visit of President Ramaphosa of 2021, and asked if senior officials from the DSAC had been present, as most diplomatic visits were normally about economic growth and trade relations.
He asked if there was a database of organisations in business, the arts, culture, and the sport industry that would indicate what the economic impact the MoU with Nigeria would bring to both countries. Was the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) involved in the overall process of the MoU?
Ms D Sibiya (ANC) said the presentation about the MoU between South Africa and Cȏte d’Ivoire had mentioned the areas of cooperation, but indigenous games and sports had not been mentioned. She therefore asked how the Department featured indigenous games and sports in the mainstream to be enjoyed by the world.
Ms R Adams (ANC) said that the agreement between South Africa and Nigeria on audio-visual co-production had been signed in 2000, which meant that it was still in effect and had led to another cooperation agreement which was yet to be effected. She therefore asked what notable things had been undertaken within the agreement in the past five years.
When did the Department envision the functioning of the cooperation activities on the agreement on cooperation in the field of arts and culture for the years 2022 to 2024, and the agreement between South Africa and Cȏte d’Ivoire on cooperation in sports and physical education?
Ms Van Dyk referred to the MoU's aim to promote the exchange of programmes between South Africa and Cȏte d’Ivoire, and asked if the Department had a record of how many South African schools offered physical education, and what that specifically entailed.
She said an MoU between the Department of Education and the DSAC was signed in 2012, but had not been implemented yet. She raised concern that if domestic agreements had not yet been implemented, how would agreements with other countries be effectively implemented? She therefore asked for feedback from the Department on what worked and did not work locally, to ensure that there was corrective action in implementing the MoUs with Cȏte d’Ivoire and Nigeria.
On the budget for schools’ sports in the Department of Education, she asked whether the Department was allocating a budget for school sports, except in the provinces. Was the DSAC benchmarking with other countries to ensure the best model possible to improve the development of sports in schools?
On the development of coaches, football, basketball, and others sports, she asked how this would be done at a grassroots level. In what sports would women be included?
Ms Van Dyk asked who was going to benefit from these MoUs, specifically the people who would undergo training in strategic heritage conservation to practice the heritage professions offered by Nigeria.
She asked for more information about the DSAC's participation in the Lagos Fashion Week.
Mr M Zondi (ANC) commented that Nigeria had been a country that had promoted its culture around the world, with its creative arts having a global outlook in the fields of music, literature, clothing, textiles and many other arts. He therefore asked how the cooperation between South Africa and Nigeria would promote the collaboration of artists from the two countries. Were there were any collaborations from both countries to strengthen friendships between the nations and promote knowledge-sharing?
Mr Mhlongo said that these MoUs would have a mutual benefit.
He said a festival was supposed to have been hosted for the people of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) following the floods. However, this had been postponed. He asked if there was a prospect of staging the festival soon.
He also asked when a permanent Director General for the DSAC would be appointed.
Ms V Malomane (ANC) asked how the cooperation agreements would promote economic opportunities for those who participated in the activities, including the monetary benefits realised because of the cooperation.
How was the Department ensuring a geographic spread of participants in the agreements on cooperation in the field of arts and culture, as well sports and physical education?
The Chairperson asked how the programme of cooperation between South Africa and Nigeria for the implementation of the agreement and cooperation in the fields of arts and culture in the years 2022 to 2024 would ensure a shared history between the countries.
She asked for more information about those who had represented South Africa in the Lagos Fashion Week event in Nigeria including their geographic spread.
Mr Ndima asked the Committee to allow him time to respond on the festival that was supposed to be hosted in KZN.
He responded on the cost implications involved in collaboration with the countries, which included agreeing on the implementation plans. Under such circumstances, the Department would implement the most cost-effective measures to ensure more was achieved with the limited resources available.
Ms Sumayya Khan, Deputy Director General: Recreation and Sports Development, said the MoU with Cȏte d’Ivoire was signed in July, and had been presented before Parliament, and had been noted and verified. However, the Department was waiting for Cȏte d’Ivoire to do the same on their side. Therefore, any implementation was subject to Cȏte d’Ivoire signing and sanctioning the MoU in terms of their domestic processes. Therefore, certain details had not been finalised yet. However, such information would be communicated once all the processes had been concluded.
On the linking of the agreement between South Africa and Cȏte d’Ivoire with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Ms Khan indicated that this was where the issue of physical education came in, as part of the SDGs was aligned with UNESCO's Kazan Action Plan, which promotes physical education, physical activity and sport, that had been ratified by many other countries in the international community. It was unfortunate that the Cȏte d’Ivoire was not part of the Commonwealth, but at the Commonwealth ministers’ meetings, they had agreed to the implementation of aspects of the SDGs concerning sport, and this would be shared with Cȏte d’Ivoire as part of the Agreement.
Regarding indigenous games, Ms Khan said this was something that the Department was looking at across the board, as different countries had various indigenous games. In the South African context, indigenous games would be a good way of encouraging more people to participate. Therefore, the Department would look closely at where there were similar games between the countries, and they would be merged at a festive offering.
On the issue of the school sport MoU, she said that the DSAC did not have a database yet, but there had been engagement with the Department of Basic Education. She affirmed that not all schools offered physical education because this required infrastructure and human resources which many schools did not have, and this was something that the DSAC was working on.
Regarding the MoU between the DSAC and the Department of Basic Education, the first MoU was signed in 2012, which was a five-year MoU, and in 2018, a new MoU was signed. There was already a draft MoU which addressed both aspects of school sport, including aspects of culture and heritage offered within the school environment.
On benchmarking with other countries in terms of school sport, she said the Department had had an MoU with the United Kingdom (UK) Sport and Youth Sports Trust which had seen the training of sports leaders, including the travel of educators to the UK for training and conferences. There were discussions with the UK to renew the MoU. There had also been cooperation with the German government, which had provided an opportunity for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and schools in South Africa in sports development.
Mr Mbowane assured the Committee of DIRCO’s involvement in facilitating the agreements between South Africa, Cȏte d’Ivoire and Nigeria. This also included engaging the Officer of the Chief State Law Advisor and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the legality of the agreements.
Mr Matibe added that an agreement with a country with a sizeable economy like Nigeria had an economic benefit for South Africa, as it would allow South Africa to present its cultural goods and services to the Nigerian market. It would also ensure skills development in South Africa. These agreements would allow people to make contact and address the ills across the continent, as people would have the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of the continent.
He also mentioned that the agreements would be looking at a creative arts heritage and an archive. These activities would benefit the public of South Africa.
Concerning the participation in the Lagos Fashion Week, he said there had been an open call for designers interested in participating, with a panel of five judges who had evaluated and nominated the participants.
Ms Mandisa Tshikwatamba, Deputy Director-General: Corporate Governance, DSAC, responded on the appointment of a permanent Director-General, and said that this matter had been previously responded to. A six-month provision had been made for the Acting Director General, and the Department aimed to clear the appointment process within the six months.
The Chairperson welcomed the responses and thanked the Department.
She recommended that on 25 November, the Department should avail itself and the organisers to report to the Portfolio Committee about the Netball World Cup. The Committee supported the recommendation.
The Committee considered the minutes of October 25 for adoption.
Mr Joseph said that the total of the call outcomes per discipline should be corrected.
Mr Mhlongo requested that his apology for missing the 14 October meeting be acknowledged.
The minutes were adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
Dlulane, Ms BN
Adams, Ms R C
Joseph, Mr D
Khawula, Ms MS
Luthuli, Mr BN
Madlingozi, Mr BS
Malomane, Ms VP
Mhlongo, Mr TW
Sibiya, Ms DP
Van Dyk, Ms V
Zondi, Mr MA
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