DSAC BRRR; Revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage; with Deputy Minister

Sport, Arts and Culture

20 October 2023
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


2023 Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report

The Committee was briefed by the Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture (DSAC) on the revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage, which promotes the consideration of the celebration of cultural diversity, possibilities of social cohesion, nation-building, regional integration, and global solidarity in a world of differences. The Department noted that to be able to implement such, strategies and policies that regulate the processes and achieve set targets, needed to be drawn.

The Portfolio Committee adopted its Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) on the annual performance of DSAC and its entities for 2023/24. The Committee made amendments to the report and emphasised the importance of finalising policies/legislation aiming to protect artists’ royalties. A concern was also raised about the self-employment status of artists and the reprioritisation of programmes due to budget cuts by National Treasury.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed all the attendees and commenced the meeting.

Apologies were noted for Mr D Joseph (DA) and the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture.

The Chairperson asked Members to adopt the agenda as presented before they could commerce with the meeting.

Ms R Adams (ANC) moved for the adoption and Ms V Malomane (ANC) seconded the adoption.

Condolences to a fallen member

Committee Members each passed their condolences for the passing of Mr Christopher Sibisi (NFP), Member of the National Assembly.

The Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture on the Performance of the National Department and Its Entities

 The Committee collectively made the following adjustments to the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR): 

  • It was recommended that the Department provide a comprehensive overview of vacancies in key leadership positions by the end of the fourth quarter of 2022/23.
  • A comprehensive overview of the audit action plans for the portfolio was requested by the end of the fourth quarter of 2022/23.
  • Delays in the finalisation of heritage legacy infrastructure were noted projects and it was recommended that the Department provide quarterly reports on the projects that have been delayed and overdue.
  • The Department and national federations should continue to work on ensuring that township and rural schools are adequately supported to create conditions that will increase the uptake of minority sporting codes and place more effort on securing private sponsorship, leading to improved transformation in sports.
  • The Department should continue to work alongside the entities that have regressed in the audit opinion to ensure audit action plans are implemented and that there is an improvement in their audit outcomes by the end of the 2022/23 financial year.

Mr E Mthethwa (EFF) moved for the adoption of the report with adjustments and Mr M Zondi (ANC) seconded the movement.

Read full report here https://pmg.org.za/tabled-committee-report/5510/

DSAC Presentation: Revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage

Dr Cynthia Khumalo, Acting Director-General, DSAC, said that the revised White Paper urges the consideration of the celebration of cultural diversity, possibilities of social cohesion, nation-building, regional integration, and global solidarity in a world of differences. The short-term interventions and implementations have been as follows:

  • The National Book Development Plan is at the Consultation state.
  • There are letters compiled for the Minister and Acting DG’s signatures to agree on the Theatre and Dance Policy.
  • The National Treasury has recommended that the Department reprioritise its budget to meet the needs related to the adoption of the CACs.
  • For the 2024/25 period, funding of R4.3 million has been committed for the national events, and technical and production skills academy to develop human resources for the sector.
  • For the 2023/24 period, an amount of R21.5 million has been budgeted to establish the national orchestra and allocated in the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC).
  • There has been a need for theatres in each province and the Department has included the project in the 2024/24 UAMP, and there will be a budget allocation for refurbishment for the 2024 to 2027 periods.
  • Performing arts academies have developed reputable education and training programmes and are in the process of accreditation through the national qualification frameworks.
  • They have established a need to collaborate with relevant departments and intend to take it to provincial and commercial levels in line with the Key Action Plan number 1 in the CCI Master Plan, on improving access to finance and investment.

The medium to long-term plans were as follows:

  • Stimulating artistic innovation through support for artists and cultural practitioners.
  • Conducting audits for municipal theatres across the country and developing an implementation strategy for effectively administrating and managing these theatres.
  • Recognising the achievements in the sector through the South Africa Creative Arts Awards.
  • Establishing policies with a focus on developing, supporting and promoting South African music
  • Exploring ways in which banks and financial institutions could play key roles in fostering technological innovation and supporting investment in township cultural businesses.
  • The Department will enter a series of discussions with the Department of Labour to enable the artists to retain their self-employed status for taxation purposes.
  • Strengthening of existing visual arts, design and craft sector infrastructure for greater sector development, transformation through African knowledge development and critical skills growth in a key sector.
  • Implementing the MEGs Sourcing Enterprise.

Mr Vusithemba Ndima, Deputy Director-General: Heritage Promotion and Preservations, DSAC, said that the HPP Branch has responded to the approved White Paper in the following ways:

  • Developing the draft National Legacy Policy.
  • Reviewing the Heraldry Act of 1962 to align it with the democratic dispensation through the inclusion of indigenous symbolism and designs, new terminologies, clarification of the role of the Council, dispute resolutions, and the review of the penalties.
  • Routing a submission to the Minister by 16 October 2023, as per the revised road map, requesting in principle approval that the Draft Amendment Bill be consulted with all relevant stakeholders.
  • Awarding 45 heritage bursaries during the 2023/2024 financial year.
  • Employing 120 Interns during the 2023/24 as part of PESP
  • Providing Inputs to the draft MOA between DSAC and DBE.

See attached for full presentation


Mr B Mamabolo (ANC) raised his concerns about a theatre said to have been in construction in Polokwane for the past two years with no progress. He asked how much the Department plans to spend on it and when it will be completed.

Ms RAdams (ANC) asked what material changes the updated White Paper proposed, if the Department envisions the new council to be constituted of permanent council members, and if not, how responsibilities would be managed.

She asked which service provider had been awarded the tender for the establishment of the South African Book Development Council and what was the set budget. 

She asked if the Department met with a service provider, HTL Advisors, about developing a music strategy concerning the action in the White Paper of establishing public policies with a focus on developing, supporting, and promoting South African music on 16 October 2023. She asked about the outcomes of the engagement.

Ms V Van Dyk (DA) welcomed the presentation and asked for clarity on the Book Policy, who was consulted about it, and if Cabinet approved it. She asked how the Department has reprioritised the funding for the intervention presented, following the comments from the Minister of Finance about the unavailability of additional funds for the implementation of the White Paper.

She stated that there is a rumour that the DSAC might merge with the Department of Basic Education, and asked if this is true and, if so, how would the interventions presented be affected.

She asked if the African World Heritage Fund would be more financially supported. She emphasised that if the orchestra was not established according to the correct process, the Department would be held accountable because external legal advice had already been obtained.

She indicated that she and other Members of the Committee asked for the business plan and budget allocations for some time without receiving them, following the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra (MNPO) programme implementation.

She asked for the audited financial statements from the MNPO, if the Department has requested these documents and emphasised that if a lot of public funds are allocated to a private company, the Department and the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) should make sure that they are used for what they are intended to be used for.

Mr E Mthethwa (EFF) welcomed the presentation and noted that he was happy it included timeframes. He said that he has never heard a debate in Parliament about matters in arts and culture since 1994 and asked if there are any plans to do so in the future.

He asked which entity the Department worked with to execute cultural diversity in line with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Declaration on how it should be executed. He stated that he had never heard the International Relations division of the Department talking about its role, progress, and implementation of the conventions.

He asked for the Department’s explanation about allocating the R50 million to the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) for capital ventures and if it was used effectively, especially for the youth and their businesses. He asked if the previous reports complied with research about the classification of artists for tax purposes, were considered when making the decision to classify them as self-employed people.

He asked which organisations were involved in the music industry consultations, following the involvement of the South African Music Industry Council (SAMIC) which is an entity that is not in the same industry as the Department. 

Mr M Zondi (ANC) commended the Department for its job thus far and suggested that the consultations with the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) should not take long, as well as the accreditation of programmes compiled by the Arts Academies. He asked which cultural institutions were in the process of obtaining accreditation and endorsed the idea of artists retaining their self-employed statuses.  

Ms D Sibiya (ANC) welcomed the presentations and asked for the costs involved in revising the White Paper. If there were any updates in the establishment of the Theatre and Dance Policy, and if the provincial Members of the Executive Councils (MECs) and Heads of Departments (HODs) met with the ministers and acting Directors-General (DGs) to agree on the roadmap on the programmes to bridge the sector skills gap. She indicated that the heritage bursary programmes did not show if there are any targets set to be met by the sector skills gap-filling programmes.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) appreciated the presentations and asked if companies like the Independent Music Performance Rights Association (IMPRA) and South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) are accurately reporting the royalties of the sector and if they have a link with the Department because beneficiaries are complaining about not getting their deserved royalties.

He stated that South African artists are frustrated with the Department for not developing plans to assist them with being recognised as full-time employees. He asked what measures were planned to be implemented to ensure that taxpayer’s money was utilised accordingly. He asked about the strategies the Department has in place to fulfil its mandate on cultural matters following the budget cuts by the National Treasury and if there are revenue diversification plans to highlight the key initiative to generate income independently.

The Chairperson said that cultural diversity is crucial for social cohesion in the country. She stated that she supports the White Paper and noted that it should be implemented immediately.

She asked what the role of the national Department in the buildings, said to be owned by the provincial sphere, is.

She asked about the challenges faced in holding a systematic and formalised engagement with the Minister of Basic Education to accelerate integrated learning.

Response by DSAC

Dr Khumalo appreciated the engagement by Members and said that the implementation of the White Paper has become critical, and that there should be an understanding that, as a Department, they are trying to align to the master plan as it took a turn of becoming both strategic and practical.

She explained that the White Paper approaches interventions in three different phases, namely, research, the establishment of programmes, and implementation. She indicated that the Department is not responsible for coming up with the statement that says that artists should retain a self-employment status and that this has been in the White Paper and what they did was to give feedback on what they are doing to implement it. She indicated that the revised White Paper contains many material changes and the actions stated in the presentation are supposed to bring about the material changes as far as the industry is concerned.

She added that the Books and Publishing Policy is one of the cultural domains hence the focus on the development but it has not been finalised. She said that the Department was still waiting for approval from the government, and a partnership with the advisory team will be established to sharpen the edges of the policy so that it meets the standards of national policies.

She stated that reprioritisation means cutting funds for certain projects to fund other projects and it does not mean that the Department is moving away from anything that is part of its mandate. The findings from the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) have been considered and there were no findings related to the orchestra in the audit report for the NAC, hence the matter was acknowledged as being dealt with through declarations and members recusing themselves. The Department plans to pursue all those matters as it does all the audit findings through its action plan without extending its hand to manage the national orchestra. She added that they would rely on the NAC to report to them.

She indicated that there is a strategy put in place to show how the Department prioritises while adhering to and being cognisant of what becomes its mandate. Some of the deliverables that could be revisited are being reviewed. She added that there is also a process that looks at resubmitting the revised Annual Performance Plan (APP) in line with the strategy.

Dr Khumalo indicated that the Department is making efforts to partner with corporates to increase its revenue but would not be able to meet the needs holistically as these continue to grow despite the budget cuts from the National Treasury.

She highlighted that several organisations funded by the Department have created programmes that aim to bring cultures together, and there are environments that recognise the differences between different cultures and backgrounds. She said that the Department has its own control measures to ensure that the public funds are used in line with the purposes they are intended for.

Mr Carles Mabaso, Chief Director: Cultural Development, DSAC, said that R1.5 million had been allocated to appoint a service provider to take on the process based on the preliminary work done by the task team, and an advertisement for the tender still needed to be put up. 

He mentioned that there is a general challenge with the collecting societies and that the Department has had engagements with them to see how they could work best together. He added that they hope that they will be able to standardise the issues directly affecting practitioners through the approval of the Copyright Bill.

He explained that the Polokwane Theatre has taken a long time to be completed due to the change in the site that was previously approved, however, a new site has been identified and a tender is in the pipeline for its construction.

He said that the Department had engagements with arts practitioners who raised that organisations within the arts and culture sector are not necessarily receiving funding from banking institutions, hence the venture capital fund was set up as a pilot project and R75 million was allocated for black entrepreneurs in the cultural creative industry. This, he mentioned, is to assist small companies to survive, especially those in the technical services and film industry and after the pilot project. He added that it was evaluated that the project is important. Due to its success, it was relaunched to continue helping creatives in the second term.

He indicated that the study done by the Department of Labour covered the film industry only. The DSAC decided to do a sector-wide study on the social status of artists together with National Treasury on taxation issues and they supported SAMIC in 2021.

Ms Nontutuzelo (surname unconfirmed), DSAC, said that the status meeting to be held on 16 October was postponed to 2 November and an update would be forwarded to the Committee after the said date.

She said that the process of the music policy had recently begun, new service providers had been appointed for two months and DSAC would be consulting broadly in the sector and an indication of organisations to start with had been given. These organisations are Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), Composers, Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO), SAMPRA, SAMIC, IMPRA, Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA), Trade Union for Musicians South Africa (TUMSA) amongst others, music schools and general practitioners in the province. The inclusion of advisory bodies coming from all the provinces would ensure that no organisations affected by the policy are excluded in the consultation or in making their inputs toward what will govern them. She said that there is a vast majority of people that need to be consulted, thus the list is non-conclusive and any further ideas towards the programme were welcomed.

She indicated that The Market Theatre has qualifications like photography which have already been accredited. The Mandela Bay Theatre Complex has consulted with CATHSSETA for the accreditation and there was a workshop to find alignment with the courses offered in their institutions. The Department is constantly engaging with the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) to ensure that the institutions are able to offer accredited training programmes alongside any other activity.

She stated that Cabinet recently approved the Theatre and Dance Policy and there was a media release about it. She added that consultations would continue as implementation plans are aligned for it.

Mr Ndima said they would have liked to have more support for the African World Heritage Fund but there are no chances of that due to budget cuts. In the previous two years, DSAC has successfully ensured that targets of awarding bursaries are met, but technical expertise to conserve and restore broken objects is yet to be met.

He stated that the Department aims to build more capacity and have more entries on maritime archaeology given the fact that there are so many coastal lines in the country. He added that the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) is an implementing agency with a 3-tier system for heritage resources management function and the responsibilities of a national level are that of the entity. Provincial-level functions are for the provincial heritage authorities, and those of the local level are for the local authorities.

He indicated that SAHRA is responsible for identifying and managing grade one heritage resources in accordance with the applicable provisions of the act. For a heritage site to be national, it is graded beforehand, and this also includes the declarations involved to protect the heritage sites and objects. Permits are issued before usage and/or movement from one place to another. In addition, SAHRA determines if a heritage impact assessment is performed to see if there are no archaeological signs before developing or building a site. The National Commission focuses on the conventions, which they rectify before implementation to ensure that civil society organisations are represented. Support aspects in the areas are also considered so that government policies and programmes are supported by such programmes. 

Deputy Minister comments

Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Ms Nocawe Mafu, appreciated the discussion which took place that the rumour about the merger of the DSAC and the DBE remains a rumour until finalised.

She noted that a debate about issues relating to arts and culture would be initiated by Committee Members as it is out of the Department’s jurisdiction.

She stated that the issue of performing oversight visits to heritage sites is critical and that the Committee needs to visit a few heritage sites for oversight as such will give meaning to some of the debates and discussions.

She suggested that there should be a day where the Committee and the DSAC spend the whole day having a workshop on the White Paper to be able to ventilate some issues, including that of the master plan.

The Chairperson noted that all that she wanted to say had been addressed. She did not have any more remarks to add and noted the importance of understanding the White Paper.

She asked that the consideration of minutes be deferred and thanked all the attendees and participants for making the meeting a success.

[The meeting was adjourned]


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