Budget Vote hearing

Arts and Culture

11 June 2004
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

11 June 2004


Ms MAA Njobe

Documents handed out:

Pan-South African Language Board (PANSALB) submission
Iziko Museums of Cape Town submission
D'ARTS Magazine submission
Jumbo Arts Centre submission

The following organisations that are funded by the Department of Arts and Culture spoke about their work and funding constraints: PanSalb, Iziko Museums, Association for the Advancement of the Creative Artists, Jumbo Arts Centre, D'Arts Magazine and Kickstart.

The Chairperson noted that the representative of the Umtata Community Arts Centre had sent apologies that he not able to attend. Six organisations then presented to the meeting, detailing their history and operations.

PAN South African Language Board (PANSALB) submission
Professor N Marivate of PanSalb said the mission of the organisation was to promote the diverse languages in the country. The language board set conditions for languages to be promoted. There are 13 language bodies. Sign language was not part of the official languages but was recognised by the Department of Education. Khoisan and sign language were regarded as specialised languages.

There was lack of funds for African language dictionaries. The African language unit was given only R24-million to make sure it produced quality material. Only the IsiXhosa language board had managed to come up with a dictionary. R2, 7-million was given to the language bodies. There was a request for more funding.

Iziko Museums submission
Professor J Bredenkamp of the Iziko Museums said that it had never had an increase in subsidy since 1994. The institution was therefore underpaying its staff. It had since frozen all vacated posts. Therefore it could not meet employment equity requirements. The institution had urged Department of Arts and Culture to adjust salaries in accordance with the public service.

The Iziko Museums were the amalgamation of five museums and ten national heritage sites. There were infrastructure needs in all the museums. Renovations were in the pipeline for the SA Museum. The SA Cultural Museum no longer existed. It had been renamed the Iziko Slave Lodge. The institution was now busy devising a strategic plan.

Association for the Advancement of the Creative Artists submission
Mr G Mphakathi of the Association for the Advancement of the Creative Artists highlighted the history of the organization and the role it had played so far. His presentation was on language diversity in the country. He stated it was good to know other languages especially English but not at the expense of African languages.

Jumbo Arts Centre submission
Ms J Dlamini of the Jumbo Arts Centre in Durban appealed to the DAC, Education Department and Department of Labour to invest in the organisation. Ms Dlamini said she had started the organisation by training partially blind people. It was registered as a non-profit organisation in association with Izwi lama Crafters. The vision was to promote African culture. The organisation consisted of 50 women. The idea was to register the organisation as a commercial entity for marketing to local and international market. Items being sold were beaded tree decorations, beaded name tags for conferences and beaded and embroided wall hangings. The major project so far had been the Amabeadi-beadi for the Comrades Marathon.

D'Arts Magazine submission
Ms C Smarts of D'Arts Magazine said the magazine profiles arts and culture in the greater Durban area and surrounding townships. They have a website that was updated three times a week. They share the concern of many in the country - the exodus of artists from KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng to look for greener pastures. The idea was to bring arts and culture back to KZN so as halt the loss of talent.

Kickstart submission
Mr Greg King of Kickstart noted that the organisation was committed to maintain the highest standard of dramatic art in Durban. It had received R100 000 funding from the National Arts Council. However the concern was that the funding was not enough to sustain the organisation. The appeal therefore was for funders to consider making more realistic amounts of funding available.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) wanted Professor Marivate to explain the staff complement at PanSalb and whether there was any interaction with the SABC. Professor Marivate replied that the dictionary unit had a problem with a shortage of staff. The interaction with SABC was difficult but the broadcaster had progressed a little. The organisation now gave marginalised languages like TsiVenda and SeTsonga space, but not much was being done on radio.

Mr K Khumalo (ANC) wanted to know whether PanSalb was translating academic work. Professor Marivate said they had not done anything on this yet. The focus was on skilling translators. A survey had found that 75% of South Africans did not understand English.

Ms T Tshivase asked how far PanSalb had dealt with African language dictionaries. Professor Marivate replied that only one dictionary (IsiXhosa) had been established. Other languages only had small dictionaries. The mandate was to establish a monolingual dictionary.

The Chairperson was not sure whether there was any overlap between PanSalb and the national language boards. She noted that Professor Marivate stressed funding, saying that ran across the departments. The hope was that now that Arts and Culture was had its own department, there would be an increase in the budget. She wanted to know whether they get funding from Lotto.

Professor Marivate replied that the mandate of the boards and PanSalb was not clear and overlapping had not been resolved. His concern was not to waste resources. PanSalb had applied many times to Lotto but the organisation did not regard languages as arts and culture

Mr L Greyling (ID) raised the issue of cross-pollination.

Professor Marivate replied that PanSalb was trying to protect 13 languages. National language bodies reject cross-pollination. The boards complain about the radio and its cross-pollination. The boards are responsible for standardisation and development of terminology.

Mr M Sonto (ANC) suggested that the time was not sufficient to interrogate PanSalb and that another meeting should be arranged for PanSalb alone. The Chairperson agreed.

Mr Khumalo wanted to know who was responsible for the building of the museums - whether it was Public Works or the DAC. Professor Bredenkamp replied that Public Works was responsible in conjunction with DAC.

Mr Greyling asked to what extent are the museums marketed to generate income.

Professor Bredenkamp replied they were trying their utmost to market the museums. But there was no director of marketing. To get money they hire out buildings for functions. He noted that the museums were open even during holidays

Professor I Mohamed said that not enough effort made to raise funds. He had been disappointed when he had visited Castle. He had seen only furniture. Entrance fees should be increased. He suggested that that the museums should bring in schools from previously disadvantaged communities. These should not be charged.

Mr Greyling said that they (the Committee and the museums) had to find a joint solution for funding.

The Chairperson asked whether the Committee could identify areas on the sites that need to be renovated so that the museums could make use of the funds in the Public Works programme.

Professor Bredenkamp said they were already working with Public Works, but appealed to the Committee for support.

Mr Sonto was not sure what the value Castle to South Africa was of the William Fehr Collection at the. Professor Bredenkamp said that that was the question to be answered.

Concerning languages, the Chairperson wanted to know whether there was such thing as a South African language. She noted that there was tension during negotiations at Codesa on the issue of languages, noting that she had relaxed only after the eleven languages had been acknowledged. There was of course difficulty in implementing them.

Ms Tshivase said the language issue was very sensitive. Apartheid practices had contributed to this. The fact of the matter was that Africans undermined themselves. Mr Mphakathi commented that it was high time that Africans stop pretending to be either Afro-Americans or Eurocentric.

Mr Khumalo raised concerns about the use of government emblem in the Jumbo Arts Centre presentation. Ms Dlamini replied that it had been used only for the presentation only.

Professor Mohammed said there the items produced by the Jumbo Arts Centre were attractive to tourists.

Ms Kohler-Barnard said Ms Dlamini needed a detailed business plan with specifics. Ms Dlamini replied that the plan would be submitted.

Mr Khumalo said the issue of intellectual property rights of arts and culture products should be looked at seriously.

Professor Mohammed said intellectual property rights was a complicated issue. The only solution was to put products in the public domain for safety.

The Chairperson noted that many South Africans' ideas had been stolen. That was something that had to be taken seriously.

Concerning the D'Arts magazine, Mr C Gololo (ANC) wanted to know the number of organisations the magazine represented. Mr Khumalo asked if the magazine covered the whole of Durban. Ms Smarts replied that the magazine was affiliated to the Durban Arts Association and it covered the whole of Durban and surrounding townships.

Mr Sonto noted that the outlook of the magazine was fine. It sought to profile artists working from backyards.

Mr Greyling was interested in the amount of income being generated by the publication. Ms Smarts said the response was good. The readership was estimated at about 5 000, but the budget was not there for 2 000 more. The Chairperson cheered the new magazine's concept.

Ms Kohler-Barnard inquired from Mr King the amount he was looking for to sustain the KickStart project. Mr Khumalo was interested in knowing whether a programme/plan for was in place for nurturing actors.

Mr King replied that he would submit a business plan as a follow-up to the presentation. R2 million per annum was reasonable to sustain the project. The plan was to create residence projects for aspiring actors. They could learn by experience with established actors.

The Chairperson said there was a need to clarify the role of the private sector in arts and culture. Theatres were affected by the amount of revenue they collect. There was also a need to educate people about theatres.

The meeting was adjourned.



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