The Police Oversight, Community Safety, and Cultural Affairs Committee (WCPP) met with the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, the Western Cape Cultural Commission, the Western Cape Language Committee, and Heritage Western Cape to discuss the 2022/23 Annual Reports. The Department maintained its unqualified audit status for the eleventh consecutive year. It was responsible for oversight responsibilities over three other public entities, all of which maintained an unqualified audit status. There were concerns about the language policy and its execution throughout the province. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) indicated that a study had been commissioned to assess the extent to which the policy was being implemented and the received report outlined the challenges of meeting the requirements and showed what could be improved.
Members expressed their concerns about the issues of initiations, as the season was approaching and the public had forwarded complaints about some of the issues surrounding the practice and the sites used. In addressing some concerns, the Western Cape Cultural Commission informed the Portfolio Committee that the Department tries to facilitate between those who practise the tradition and the land owners. The rule was that the community must enter into an agreement with the land owner and the land owner must provide consent because the biggest concern was the risk of fires. Although there were representatives who managed the outbreak of fires, in areas such as the University of Stellenbosch, where initiations took place, there was no support shown. However, the provincial government, the Cultural Commission, and Cape Nature were making alternatives available.
Members voiced their concerns about the state of the youth in the province, indicating that they were without hope and were turning against their communities, and as such inquired about the role played by DCAS in mitigating the dire situation. The DCAS expressed the difficulties around working with the youth saying that its mandate was not to fight gangs but to offer alternatives to gangs and this proved to be a struggle because of the limited budget and staff capacity. The Department did acknowledge that the youth strategy needed an urgent upgrade and resources were being gathered to achieve this. These included an assessment of major programmes, future insight workshops to determine the youth’s outlook on the future, and the Thetha Youth Campaign, which gave the youth’s perspectives on the key challenges and proposed solutions. The Department also focused on the shift to the digital space, mental health challenges, and general well-being of young people and continues to create opportunities.
The Provincial Archive Service said there was a need to create more understanding of the function by publishing two articles and creating awareness about the archive's function, hoping to attract funding. The entity aims to digitise the archives and move the facility into a bigger space. However, looking for other accommodation always leads back to extending the already existing site. In addition, a new site would come with additional considerations such as the strength of the floors to accommodate the weight, the security and cleaning services, and a fire detection system.
The Chairperson welcomed all those in attendance and asked the delegates to introduce themselves.
Ms Anroux Marais, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, mentioned that the Department was the only one in the province that truly valued and embraced diversity and also created opportunities for all communities. Programmes were implemented to ensure that the vision and strategic goals are met to sustain a socially inclusive and active Western Cape.
Mr Guy Redman, Head of the Department:, Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), thanked the Committee for honouring the request to wear the Springbok jerseys to the meeting in celebration of the recent 2023 Rugby World Cup win in France. He said that the Springbok’s rallying call was ‘stronger together’ which echoed the ‘one team, one country slogan’ that won the trophy on home ground, in 1995 and in the presence of President Nelson Mandela. He said that the Springbok team won for the nation and was motivated by the full support received. The team played for a much bigger cause, a united South Africa brimming with hope, which was in line with the just cause of the Department. He reiterated his gratitude and congratulated the country on becoming world champions again.
He stated that the Department maintained ‘its unqualified audit with no other matters outcome’ status for the eleventh consecutive year. The Department had oversight responsibilities over three other public entities, all maintaining their unqualified audit status despite using a different oversight method. He appreciated the Committee's oversight and added they were key players in the accountability ecosystem.
The Chairperson also congratulated the Springbok team for their win and said that he hoped the country would also show support to the Proteas who were set to play in India for the 2023 Cricket World Cup, as well as the Banyana Banyana who were playing to qualify for the Olympics. He said the Springbok Women's Team had been playing successfully in Athlone Stadium.
Mr M Kama (ANC) highlighted page 8 under ‘revision of the entity’ and said that within the province, there were still some institutions that were ignorant of the policy environment around languages. He inquired about the entity's work in community-based organisations to ensure the province’s language policy was respected and implemented.
Mr P Marais (FF+) inquired about the work done to ensure that Afrikaans is not left out. He said that the province stipulated that Afrikaans was one of the three official languages, but some elevated English above the language. He listed all the places in the province that spoke Afrikaans, asked why these places should be coerced into speaking only English, and how the language was being integrated into the primary and high/secondary schools.
Ms A Bans (ANC) asked if soft copies of the annual report were available in isiXhosa and Afrikaans, not just in English. She added that people needed access to the annual report in all three languages.
She asked if the Committee was satisfied with the work done by the Department in the current year.
The Chairperson mentioned that he had a copy in all three official languages.
Mr G Pretorius (DA) referred to page 24 and highlighted the ‘risks’ section. He inquired about who had
control over the execution of the language policy in the provincial government.
Mr Redman said that the Department worked with many community-based organisations, as outlined on page 15, and with limited resources. He mentioned that the entity had to operate in this manner as it had the same interests as the identified organisations. He said that the Department always participates in public initiatives around language policy and also worked with the University of Stellenbosch. He indicated that indigenous languages were at a higher risk of being endangered.
He stated that the Western Cape government had a language policy and all departments were responsible for executing the said policy. The main role played by the entity was that of oversight to determine the extent to which the policy was being executed. This was done to progressively achieve goals as cost implications needed to be considered. He highlighted that language practitioners assisted in interpretation and translation. In 2021, the Department commissioned a study to assess the extent to which the policy was being implemented and a report was given that outlined the challenges of meeting the requirements and showed what could be improved.
Ms Carol van Wyk, Chief Director: Cultural Affairs, DCAS, mentioned that the Department worked on many different projects and with many different institutions, and the work was aimed at educating the community on the Cultural Commissions Act. She added that the entity received a lot of input in partnering with the University of Stellenbosch.
Mr Marais said that it was easy to release reports, but it was truly important to show action on important matters. He asked about the stance on Afrikaans in 1994 compared with the current times, the number of schools that had made the language mandatory, and the number of schools that had not done so.
He mentioned that the Committee could talk about the Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB) extensively, but what was more important was to assess the action taken. He stated that the Afrikaans language should be given the same attention as English and highlighted that not doing so would create problems in the future. He asked what success the Department could report on so far.
Minister Marais said the Department worked closely with the Foundation for the Empowerment of Afrikaans to achieve set goals, without neglecting the other languages.
The Chairperson noted that the Members requested a report on the current status of the Afrikaans language; perhaps Parliament could produce this report.
The Committee moved on to the Western Cape Cultural Commission report and opened the floor for questions and comments.
Deliberations: Western Cape Cultural Commission Annual Report 2022/23
Mr Kama asked how the Commission assists with the different cultural groups and forging unity as there is a lot of division within the groups.
On page 17, under cultural facilities, he highlighted that the Griqua community had a piece of land on which they congregated on the last day of each year on the last day. He asked how the Cultural Commission assists the groupings in terms of identifying these areas as cultural facilities or heritage sources. He added that the gathering took place on private land and the community had trouble accessing the place.
Referring to the initiation programme on page 18, he asked about the identities of the people who constitute the committee. He said that he received several complaints that the appointed personnel were not respecting the initiation programmes. He asked whether those appointed performed their duties in a respectful manner, and gave an example that in an initiation programme that he was part of, women were not allowed.
On page 31, under risks, Mr Pretorius asked if everything had been achieved.
Mr Marais was thankful that the Griqua community had been mentioned. He said that the community was the country's largest, most organised indigenous group, which was reflected in their historical texts. He mentioned that he was disappointed at the misrepresentation of the community and asked why this group was not represented in the museums. He commented that the people were being depicted as half-naked, uncivilised humans, while they were outstanding horsemen with guns and not assegais. He said that the people bravely fought and defeated the Boers and reiterated that he was fed up with seeing indigenous people being represented as uncivilised. He asked to what extent the Department was depicting Griquas in a respectful manner.
The Chairperson noted that the answer to Mr Pretorius’ question was on page 139 of the main annual report.
Minister Marais reminded the Members that the cultural groups are able to apply for funding in their yearly cycle.
Mr Redman said that there is a sub-committee within the Cultural Commission that recognises the registration of cultural councils, and they too could apply for funding.
Addressing the question about the Griqua community, he said that one of the museums was currently undergoing major renovations, funds were being raised for the one in Mossel Bay and the entity had been consulting with communities in the area. He clarified that the traditional dress of the different groups could never be characterised as uncivilised as this was a reflection of the people’s cultural identity and the Department respected this fact. He indicated that the new museum is planned to cover many different groups and that the work of the Commission is exciting and aims to make communities proud of who they are while also ensuring that no one feels inferior or excluded. He said there is strength in diversity and social inclusion and social cohesions are not the same. He indicated that the Department tries to create cohesion within the different groups.
He mentioned that the Initiation Reference Committee was suggested by the Initiation Forums and highlighted that the committee was important as it did a lot of the work on the ground, and was, therefore, able to advise the Minister accordingly.
He said that the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Commission (PICC) was formalised by the Act, and it clearly stipulated that the National House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders must deploy two members to each province and is very strict about which sectors should be represented by the PICC. Above this, he added, there is the National Initiation Oversight Committee (NIOC) which looks at all initiation practices across the country.
Ms van Wyk said that several Khoi groups were supported through the Cultural Commission and they had the platform to promote indigenous dances. She added that the community played a huge role in supporting the heritage and the culture.
She indicated that the Department embarked on a feasibility study, and the report on this arrived prior to the meeting and would be reviewed on the recommendations from stakeholders going forward. She said that the revised tariffs would be looked into and the Department would also assist major facilities with upgrades.
The Chairperson proposed that a possible resolution would be to go look at some of these facilities before upgrades are initiated.
Mr Kama asked about the challenges faced at the initiation sites in the year under review and added that there was an ongoing case in Stellenbosch.
He referred to page 7 and asked about the impact of the shortage of permanent personnel, at the facilities, on the operations of the entity.
Mr Redman responded to the question on the challenges experienced in initiation sites and said that Department tried to facilitate between the communities practising initiation and the land owners. The rule was that the community must enter into an agreement with the land owner and the land owner must provide consent. One such site was the Idas Valley which landed in court, and the Department supported both the municipality and the Initiation Forum to come to an amicable solution. The biggest concern was the risk of fires which placed the city at risk, and should a fire break out, the city would be held liable. He stated that there were representatives from all across who managed the outbreak of fires but they did not show support to the University of Stellenbosch on the initiation which took place there, as this had been allowed by the university for the past 25 years. He mentioned that the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment mediated on the matter and that the provincial government, Cultural Commission, and Cape Nature were making alternatives available. He added that it was well within the rights of the landowners as well as the municipality to either agree or not agree and this was a very unique situation. He said that the Department hopes that the involved parties come to a resolution and begin initiation rituals as planned in November 2023.
Ms van Wyk mentioned that the Department is on a financial cliff and had to freeze some of the posts.
Ms BG Rutgers, Chief Financial Officer, DCAS, responded by saying that public entities did not have appointed staff and that all available staff had been appointed by the Department. She stated that the fiscal decline brought with it many challenges, however, this was being mitigated by beneficiaries as they received funding from the Provincial and National Treasury.
Mr Marais asked about the outdrawn Cango Caves that had been handed over to the municipality, whether there were any regrets in doing so, and if not, why not. He asked why there was no involvement with the indigenous people who reside in the caves, as he only noticed that there were only white staff members.
Mr Michael Janse van Rensburg, Director: Museums, Heritage and Geographical Names Service, responded regarding the Cango Caves and said that the municipality had been placed under administration in 2015, bringing challenges. The revenue generated by the Cango Caves went into the office of the municipality and not to the Cango Caves, which affected the conservation of the caves. The Minister appointed a board of trustees to provide oversight at the caves, and the Department has been liaising with the municipality and has noted an improvement in the management of the caves. He added that feasibility studies had been embarked on and these had been completed and the Committee would be given an update in this regard. He stated that the municipality appointed the staff members.
Deliberations: Heritage Western Cape Annual Report 2022/23
Mr Kama asked if the Department engaged with the Heritage Western Cape on having the land declared a heritage site.
On page 6, he asked what the objectives of the fixed capital property development team were and the composition thereof. He inquired whether it did not compromise the independence of the team to have the Heritage Western Cape be a part of it.
On page 16, he asked for clarity about the vacancy of the Assistant Director on Planning, Policy, and Research, what resulted in the vacancy being opened, and if it had been filled.
Mr Redman indicated that in 2018/19, the Premier set up a war room which was to resolve the issue of silos. Previously, a person would have to approach many departments just to obtain approval which involved a lot of red tape and the idea was to get everyone relevant to be in one room. The second step was to use a fishbone methodology which was problem-driven, not solutions-driven. One would weigh up whether or not the committee had the capacity to decide on the matter, and colour coding was used. He added that this was an efficient methodology used all over by government as each component had its own interventions interpreted as red tape.
Mr Janse van Rensburg indicated that the CEO did not make decisions pertaining to heritage applications, and that all applications went through the council where it would be discussed and the resolutions would be noted.
He explained that the benefit of a fixed capital property team was that it enhanced the Heritage Western Cape with its services and reduced red tape. Regardless of who owned the property, anyone could make a nomination to have a site formally protected. A sub-committee of the Heritage Western Cape would consider the nomination, and public consultations were also held. He stated that for the following year, the Heritage Western Cape instituted a new Annual Performance Plan (APP) indicator which would publish calls for the communities to nominate potential sites.
He confirmed that the vacancy on page 16 was advertised and filled by another official in the Department, and this led to another vacancy.
Mr Redman mentioned that the Fire Protection Association (FPA) managed fires in the initiation processes.
Mr Marais asked about the action plan regarding the Act passed by Parliament on the Traditional and Khoi San Leadership Bill, and if the Premier was taking decisions that recognised the indigenous people and elevated them to the status equal to the Nguni tribes, where the senior leaders were recognised and allocated a budget. He indicated that he did not recall seeing progress with the Griqua community, and asked if there was an allocated budget to the community or had any work been done.
Mr Redman confirmed that the Traditional and Khoi San Leadership Act was still in place despite the Constitutional Court regarding it as invalid. The invalidity was suspended for 24 months to conduct more consultations. The Department of Local Government had already allocated funding to the Act, appointed researchers to assist on Khoisan matters, and the work had already begun with two roadshows in the Western Cape. He added that this would close in March 2026.
He confirmed that the traditional leaders in various provinces were already allocated funds so they could conduct their business and that the Khoisan leaders would also be allocated funds as prescribed by the law.
Mr Marais said he was pleased but also concerned with the response. He asked why this had not been captured in the Bill, and indicated that it should have been part of the report.
The Chairperson recalled that the very same discussion was held in the previous year and Mr Redman provided the same response. He indicated that some of the Committee members sat in on the public participation hearings and that the matter was referred to the local government and it had been part of the agenda. He asked about the status of the capacity for local authorities to manage the heritage resources of local significance, what was done to increase capacity, and if there was a process of delegation functions to local authorities.
He mentioned that when he was a councillor, the focus was not just on protecting the heritage sites but also on growing the economy and creating jobs and that heritage approval and planning approval were often in the same department. He inquired about the state of the capacity that existed to handle the extra delegations, and if this only addressed the City of Cape Town.
Mr Redman mentioned that the City of Cape Town was declared competent by the Heritage Western Cape, and capacity was received through poaching the Department’s staff.
Mr Janse van Rensburg explained the Act's three-tier system, which indicates that tier one is the national resources, tier two is the provincial authorities, and tier three is the local authorities. He said the Heritage Western Cape had managed the tier two and three resources for the past 20 years. The majority of the tier three applications came from the City of Cape Town, which had the necessary skills and competence. He said that several staff members were lost through the recruitment drive of the City of Cape Town, which had advantages and disadvantages. He mentioned that the focus had been on the City of Cape Town and Drakenstein and these two locations were treated as case studies and used as a blueprint for other municipalities to follow.
The delegations of Section 34 were one of the strategies the entity worked on together with the City of Cape Town, and seven strategies had been developed to assist. A survey of a particular area was conducted where heritage resources in the area were identified. He added that seven more areas were also being targeted.
The Chairperson noted that on the one hand, the Department was trusted with certain decisions, and on the other, certain decisions were infringed on the work of the Heritage Western Cape. He asked how this was reconciled.
If capacity was built within the city, he asked what was done to support the municipal planning tribunals, and how more awareness within the community could be created.
In light of the recent fire at the Vodacom headquarters, he asked about the extra protection in place to prevent unnecessary fire risks.
Mr Janse van Rensburg said that the reason for the minor works process was to assist with processing the applications quickly, and as an entity, they only process and consider the heritage impact. He added that fire would be in the realm of the City of Cape Town.
He clarified that the city had been declared competent but still did not manage the grade 3 heritage resources. He added that a second step needed to occur as the Department had resources available to fulfil its task. He indicated that the entity met with the Department quarterly.
He said that heritage on its own is a subjective matter and that the entity was grateful for the democratic and tribunal systems in place.
Mr Marais interjected to say that the Department had just touched a nerve concerning heritage and that heritage was a possession. He asked if the land held in trust for the coloured community was considered or not, as these were about 23 areas in the province. He said this was heritage, and it belonged to the coloured people. He then demanded a response.
Mr Janse van Rensburg apologised for offending Mr Marais and reiterated that any community could nominate an area that they considered to have heritage significance to the Heritage Western Cape, and should this be regarded as such on a national scale, it would be escalated to the South African Heritage Resources Agency to be declared as a national heritage site. He said that there needs to be a separation from restitution and land ownership from a place that could have heritage significance. He stated that regardless of who owned it, the site could have a tangible or intangible heritage which would be considered by the Heritage Western Cape.
Mr Redman interjected to acknowledge the presence of several members of the Heritage Western Cape who had arrived later on in the meeting.
Ms Reyhana Gani, Chairperson: Heritage Western Cape, mentioned that the entity partnered with the Department of Correctional Services in the current year on the literacy competition. A new addition of the Nama booklet in English, Afrikaans, and the Nama language has been published. A total of 4o booklets were distributed to the Department of Correctional Services which included the Nama language as one of the competing languages, in the coming year, for the Funza Mzansi literacy competition. She expressed her happiness about this.
Mr Mandla Mbothwe, Chairperson, Western Cape Cultural Commission, mentioned that he was worried about the initiation, however, he was happy that a point had been reached where the trauma and fatalities were minimised; he said that the Department of Health made mention of the Initiation Reference Committee that dealt with such matters. He stated that, as a Commission, they could consider revising how operations are run as the situation in the Western Cape is dire because of non-compliance. The Cultural Commission tried to assist wherever to ensure that the ritual was practised in a healthy and safe manner.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee would be conducting oversight in this regard as the initiation season is approaching.
After a short break, the Committee resumed
Deliberations: Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport Annual Report 2022/22
The Chairperson asked if the Department was experiencing more challenges in trying to make the national indicators fit into the provincial priorities, and if there was a correlation between the national indicators/performance and the budget national issued.
Mr Kama mentioned that there was a debate around the vision of the Department on what the provincial government sought to achieve. He recalled saying at an earlier meeting that it was important to be intentional when budgeting. He expressed that he struggled to see how all goals would be achieved with a limited budget and added that it was possible to unite the country through sports and other activities, but this had to come with funding.
On page 13, he inquired about what it would take to deliver a report about the importance of lobbying for more funding and asked if the needed R1 000 000 000 for law enforcement empowerment would be channelled to the Department.
On page 29, he highlighted that the Department held a lot of responsibility and asked if it was sufficient for the organigram to best coordinate all the initiatives looking at youth development in the province.
The Chairperson mentioned that Members would have a better leeway in changing departmental budgets because when the budgets arrive, the Committee needs to push back stronger to prevent young people from ending up on the streets. He mentioned that more than 35 000 young people had been impacted by after school programmes and they had been involved in sports as well.
He said there was a delay in obtaining the electronic signatures and the software used to manage libraries across the province. He asked if the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) was the only agency to secure the software or if there was a scope to go elsewhere.
Mr Redman said that not all the indicators were national indicators. The challenge came about with the articulation of the indicators; if they were not articulated well, they could create unintended consequences for the audit. He indicated that the Department had been engaging extensively on the different languages used by the national government. Other challenges included not having enough resources to deliver on one indicator, and beyond this, the indicators were aligned with the vision of the Western Cape. He stated that the Department strived for social cohesion and as such, wanted to work towards using one language.
Regarding the budget, he mentioned that over the past three years, there had been communication with the provincial government that too much time was spent on ‘mopping the floor and not enough time turning off the tap’. For example, if the Department were allocated R800 000 000 to do something that impacted another department, and if the other department were allocated the same amount of money, the said department would never achieve as much as the Department would because the said department’s focus would be at the symptomatic stage and the DCAS focused on the preventative stage. He said that if operations ran well, there would be less youth in operating theatres every weekend.
He highlighted that the instinct of government was to say that there were too many youths in operating rooms, and therefore, more funding should be allocated to the hospitals so that they have more capacity to operate. This indirectly disadvantages the youth and is unsustainable at a time of budget cuts. He said that the focus needed to change and goals needed to be re-assessed, however, the results would not be seen overnight.
Mr Redman said that the Department was centred around the youth, but this was not enough, especially now that the budget had been cut to the bone but partnerships had been mobilised into the ecosystem. He added that the Western Cape was the only province where the entire library service was done through local government, and this task was being handled very well together with like-minded partners although with a limited budget compared with other provinces. He stressed the issue of working with a limited budget.
He indicated that there were engagements with the national department, to raise the alarm about slims, and the Chief Director responsible for policy in libraries had turned a corner and seen that the system was not sustainable for the management of large library assets, 6 000 000 to be precise. He added that it would make a huge difference for the country if there would be a move away from this system.
The law stipulated that certain procurement processes within the Information Technology space had to be done through SITA. The Free State province was on a different system but Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) was with the Department on the very risky slims.
The Chairperson stated that he hoped that the system for the City of Cape Town could be received for free.
Mr Marais mentioned that this was something that demanded attention rather than rambling on about numbers because the youth is uncontrollable. He mentioned that he grew up around gangs and the gangs back then never attacked the community. In the present day, however, the status is different because gangs hold even their own parents at gunpoint. He said that the youth used to be productive and had something to look forward to but now they have been forgotten and as a result, they are now turning against the community. He asked the entity how they could turn this around, as it was a serious matter. He expressed his hurt about the situation.
He explained that the youth in the 1960s was not like the youth in the present day and that attention needs to be directed to young people. He added that the entity should not look at the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) because these bodies are very involved in politics. He stated that NGOs were not elected through votes but members of Parliament were, and they needed a better strategy.
The Chairperson asked if there was a plan to update the Western Cape Youth Development Strategy of 2013.
Mr Pretorius congratulated the Department on its eleventh consecutive unqualified audit.
On page 31, he highlighted that the financial relationship was such that a subsidy was available to maintain museums. He referred to page 104, where the amount is R808 000, and also an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) amount that took place. He indicated that he loved old buildings and was grateful for all the work on the George Museum but could not say the same about the Drostdy Museum in Swellendam. He added that he was not aware of when last any member of the Department went to the location, but the exterior of the building in Voortrek Street was appalling. He said that he wanted to know the mechanisms put in place to see that the money donated and allocated for maintenance was being properly spent.
Ms D Baartman (DA) commented that out of the R81 000 000 000 for the Western Cape province, R30 000 000 000 is given to the Department of Health and R30 000 000 000 is given to the Department of Education, R10 000 000 000 is given to the Department of Infrastructure, R3 000 000 000 to the Western Cape Mobility Department, R2.5 000 000 000 to the Department of Social Development and R2 000 000 000 to the Western Cape Department of the Premier. The rest of the money which is about R4 000 000 000 has to be split amongst eight departments, including the Provincial Parliament.
Currently, National Treasury made a public wage agreement of R2 900 000 000 which the Western Cape province has to carry, and the province has not yet been reimbursed for this. She added that for anyone who might be interested, this might mean that several key departments would have to be completely cut and these are; the Western Cape Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, the Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety and Local Government. She stated that what was noteworthy was that in the previous main budget; the province of Gauteng received R120 000 000 000 in equitable share, and the Western Cape was the fifth lowest at R59 000 000 000 of equitable share among provinces. Perhaps this would change as the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) as it is still to be tabled. She indicated that the hope was that the National Treasury would pay for the increase of the public wages in the Western Cape, and in all provinces in the future to provide extra funds. She added that the Mass Opportunity and Development (MOD) Programme of the Department was cut by the national department by -31.47%, and the Library Grant Services only increased by 1.7% which is below inflation.
The Chairperson added that from the R875 000 000 DCAS received, it still gave the Western Cape Department of the Premier money to add to its allocated R2 000 000 000 and perhaps this implied that the Western Cape Department of the Premier was not needed.
Mr Redman echoed the comments made by Ms Baartman and Mr Marais and said that these were frightening times. Working with the youth every day meant seeing firsthand the struggles they endured and the Department’s mandate was not to fight gangs but to offer alternatives to gangs and this proved to be a struggle because of the limited budget and staff. He said they hoped to increase the number of centres as these currently stood at 181.
Ms Jacqueline Boulle, Chief Director: After School Programme, said that it has been ten years since the youth strategy was written, and it was urgently due for an update. She said that three activities had been done in preparation for the update and these included the following; the Provincial Treasury gave the Department a small allocation to assess all the province’s major youth programmes, which total 14 in all, and this report was submitted to the Provincial Treasury, a number of future insight workshops were held with the youth to assess what they think the future might hold and challenges thereof and a report was written in this regard. Through the Thetha Youth Campaign, the Department received the youth’s perspectives on the key challenges and solutions, and a report was written in this regard. She added that the new strategy would arise with the incoming Cabinet. The Department recognised the shift to the digital space, the mental health challenges, and general well-being and continued to create opportunities for young people to have their voices heard.
Ms D Manuel, Director: Sport Development, appreciated the Member’s sentiments about the youth. The Department runs a MOD programme which is an After School Programme; this is a safe space that makes the youth want to participate, and many of the coaches involved are young themselves. There is also the neighbouring schools programme which has one coach compared to the MOD programme which has two coaches. She added that the focus was creating safe spaces, role modelling, and creating opportunities. She indicated that the expansion was based on the premise of partnerships with NGOs who shared the same vision and that more resources were brought in to strengthen the programme.
Mr Janse van Rensburg responded by saying he too shared the love of heritage buildings and wanted to take care of them. He said that the Department owns the George Museum and the Drostdy Museum is a province-aided museum that belongs to the community and is governed by a board of trustees. The Department played a supportive and partial funding role with the latter museum. As with all province-aided museums, the Drostdy Museum is given an operational subsidy and the rest is obtained through fundraising. He added that he had knowledge that the museum received funding from the trust that assists with the maintenance of the building. The Department monitors the funds given through a memorandum of agreement as reports need to be submitted and to further ensure that funding is used correctly, the DCAS has a representative on the Board of Trustees. He added that the Department would look into when the Drostdy Museum building was last maintained.
Discussion on Part B
The Chairperson referred to language services on page 37 and asked what was done to promote South African Sign Language (SASL) outside of government events. He said people were inspired by the Artscape events to learn SASL, and asked what was being done to encourage the Western Cape Education Department to include SASL in the curriculum.
Ms Baartman referred to page 48, she said that she knew that the archive was trying to digitalise a lot of their documents and this would speed up the process had there not been a lack of storage. She added that it was discussed that the building could be expanded or extra space would be identified for archiving. She asked what the next step was and where could the Committee assist in this regard.
Mr Kama referred to page 42 and asked for clarity about the fraud and corruption cases and what misconduct was being investigated.
On page 59, he noted the socioeconomic challenges and asked what the Department was doing in this regard. He asked about the partnerships with the theatres such as the Artscape, and how the Department ensured that the community had access to these services. He added that he had received numerous requests for assistance with funding, especially in Hermanus, and indicated that this was not fair. He asked how the Department looked into such issues.
On page 66, he noted the underachievement due to payments not being made to several museums because funding was not required and asked that this be elaborated on.
The Chairperson referred to page 44 and asked for clarity on what was meant by ‘the managed network model was to expand and deepen the reach within arts, culture and language’.
He asked about the mechanisms in place to ensure that once a grant was issued to the local authority, it was spent appropriately. He said that he had visited the Ladysmith library earlier in the year and the chief librarian informed him that the chief director responsible for the libraries is in charge of the employment of staff and sometimes the librarians were not qualified. He added that there are also issues surrounding access to libraries.
Looking at conditional grants, he inquired whether the issue around Value Added Tax (VAT) attached to grants had been resolved and how this impacts the Department.
Mr Pretorius referred to page 42, said that he was thankful for the explanation on the province-aided museums, and asked if the Amendment Act which included auditing province-aided museums by professionally accredited auditors, had taken effect. He asked if the Department was happy with the arrangement and how the governing body appointed the accredited auditors.
The Chairperson interjected to say that the Committee was responsible for the change because they processed the amendment and if it was not working, then the Committee was to blame.
Mr Redman responded, saying the managed network in the work of the Department is not new and was only recently being applied. He explained that the Department works with other bodies who share similar goals. These can be in government or the private sector and this allows the Department to oversee a network of partners not funded by organisations. He added that many organisations were doing the same work in the same communities without discussing it with one another first, and the DCAS was able to intervene in this regard.
He indicated that the arts and culture space was still new and most of the interventions within the communities were being driven by the staff and what the Department was doing was taking a step back to ensure that the funds dispersed are being monitored accordingly and relationships with beneficiaries are looked into.
With the arts and culture organisations, he said that the Department has a funding programme and also within the funding policy, there was space built in for Ad hoc requests which are useful for emergencies. He added that the Department also decided to capacitate the community art centres and reposition libraries as community art centres because not everyone can perform in Artscape as it only accepts the best performers. He said that the Western Cape has over 20 art community centres and, together with centre managers, a programme has been crafted in partnership with the
Business School of the University of Stellenbosch. The programme covers various aspects and is a comprehensive course and is available.
He said that the library in Swellendam is already beginning to follow the desired model and that a library cannot be a place where people only check out books. A library is a space of literature that can be in a written form or performative form. He said that libraries are art centres and performance spaces. The Department was also beginning to get other libraries to see that they could not just be spaces for the exchange of books but also spaces for creativity. He added that if the Department is able to change how libraries operate their spaces, there would be an additional 375 community art centres.
An official said that the Department has always prioritised the needs of the deaf, SASL and its programmes and has provided interpreters to various Western Cape government departments. In the current year, the services of three freelance SASL interpreters have already been utilised. With the implementation of the Act, basic SASL training was provided for the frontline provincial staff. This began in June 2023 and will continue but the limited budget negatively affected the impact the Department wanted to make.
She mentioned that the Department had interpreters for a number of awards ceremonies and in the previous year, there was a Deaf Awareness event where a Bilingual dictionary was launched which included SASL. With a limited budget, the Department depended heavily on collaborations with other organisations. It partnered with the Western Cape Language Committee and the National Institute for the Deaf to roll out the project. There was also the Youth Day event, in the previous year, where the DCAS collaborated again with the Western Cape Language Committee, and the theme was ‘promoting resilience and sustainable livelihoods for a better tomorrow’. In addition, the Department celebrated International Literacy Day in collaboration with the National Library of South Africa, the City of Cape Town Libraries, and the Education Department. Lastly, National Mother Tongue Day was celebrated in partnership with the Western Cape Language Committee and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Indigenous Languages Action Forum (ILAF), and the Western Cape Department of Education. She added that an isiXhosa spelling bee competition was also hosted.
An official said that the Department signs very detailed business plans with municipalities annually against all transfers done. She stated that monthly expenditure reports are done, quarterly visits to the municipalities are conducted and visits to libraries are done as well. In a case where it is picked up that a library manager is being paid for that specific position and is also working in the Human Resources (HR) section, this would be addressed as it is in breach of contract and if needs be, it would be further escalated.
She mentioned that the Department was not involved in appointing staff in the libraries, and that this was the municipality's responsibility and there were clear municipal guidelines and functions for each position. She added that not following this was a breach of the agreement.
Regarding VAT, she stated that the Provincial Treasury had requested municipalities to perform internal VAT assessments, to seek guidance from the South African Revenue Service (SARS), and to conduct a VAT ruling if applicable. Municipalities were also requested to do an S72 application to exempt the library function; to date, no ruling on the library function has been made. She added that the Minister was to draft a letter to the Minister of Finance to resolve this issue.
Mr Redman interjected to add that they had already been to Cabinet for in-principle support for drafting the legislation, and Cabinet had agreed to this. A draft of the legislation has also been tabled and will soon be completed as the deadline to be met is the month of March 2025.
Ms Nomaza Dingayo, Director: Provincial Archive Service, responded on the extension of the archives building and extension of the building and said that there was no answer on what would happen in the future. However, in May 2022, the risk of inadequate physical space in the archives was escalated to the provincial registrar. After discussion, it was agreed that this was a broader provincial challenge as not all the records kept were from all the departments, municipalities, and public entities. She said this was escalated to the Department of the Premier and a meeting was due on 17 November 2023. She said that in the meantime, the Department continued to lobby for more funding, and holds quarterly meetings with the Department of Infrastructure because the project had been put on hold indefinitely and discussions are ongoing. She said that the requests for the User Asset Management Plans (UAMPs) were also included.
She said that as the archives department, they decided that there was a need to create more understanding of the function through publishing two articles and creating awareness about the archive's function, and hopefully, this would lead to more funds. The archives department continues to conduct records inspections in the governmental bodies so that one can understand the state of the records and how they should be kept safe.
In terms of looking for other accommodation for archives, she said that this has been considered but all roads led back to extending the already existing site and many factors would have to be considered even upon receiving the new space. She indicated that a new building needed to have strong floors to accommodate the weight, the security and cleaning services also played a role and there needed to be a fire detection system. The current staff would continue to provide these functions but moving to a larger building would require more staff.
Mr Redman added to the inspections and said that these have been intensified. The Department also prepared a publication called ‘state of management records in the province’ which would go to each accounting officer. He stated that this would indicate that resources have been assessed and the outcomes would then be communicated. This was not a ‘name and shame report’ but was meant to alert the accounting officers of their responsibilities.
Mr Janse van Rensburg said that he would respond to the issue of transfers to Blombos and Elands Bay and the accredited auditors that audit museums. He said that the Blombos and Elands Bay museums did not receive their normal subsidy for operations in the current year because the two museums were not ready to receive the funding operationally. He indicated that these were fairly recently affiliated with the Department. The museums, he stated, were local museums and the intention behind them was to act as interpretation centres for the Cradle of Human Culture project.
In Elands Bay, the museum had to first sort out the lease agreement with the municipality that owns the building before the seed funding that the Department gave could be fully utilised to install the exhibition. He mentioned that he was happy to say that this happened in the current year and the exhibition would be launched on 20 November 2023. He said a similar case was seen in Blombos and therefore, no funding could be released.
He confirmed that the accredited auditors had been implemented and explained that the province-aided museums appointed accredited auditors through the procurement processes. This has been attempted on a regional level to get better quotes and also to get auditors with the necessary experience to work on their financial statements. He added that what has been helpful is also the assistance from the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) which continues to provide oversight.
Ms van Wyk responded to the fraud and corruption case. She said that someone alleged theft of books in the libraries and the provincial forensic services investigated this and could not be substantiated so the case was closed.
The Chairperson asked where on the provincial risk registry were the provincial archives, whether on top or bottom. He asked if the Committee would be able to request an update from the Department of the Premier, after the upcoming meeting. He asked if there was scope to get money from the National Treasury in this regard because a large part of the records belonged to the Eastern Cape. He inquired if the Eastern Cape could pay for the expansion of the archives.
Mr Redman confirmed that this had been escalated to the provincial risk register and the Department of Infrastructure has been on their side. However, he suspected this would fall off due to the limited budget. He said that the plans were complete and what was left was appointing a contractor. He emphasised that this needed to happen because the digital records were recently implemented and that the rest of the paper-based should remain as such to retain their authenticity.
He clarified that the kept records did not belong to the Eastern Cape but only covered the province, likewise, the national archives might have archival material that covers other provinces and this does not make it the property of such provinces. He indicated that the responsibility still fell on the Department’s shoulders and as such, the Eastern Cape records have also been digitised.
Ms Dingayo said that at a national level, the archive sector tried to apply for a conditional grant because the sector had different challenges. Around 2016/17, she said they approached National Treasury requesting a conditional grant and were unsuccessful. As such, the process was resuscitated before the global pandemic, which proved to be bad timing and there is no hope of receiving funding from the National Treasury. She added that the national archives had run out of space and had been looking for funding to no avail. She added that the discussions still continued on such matters.
The Chairperson said he had an internal giggle when Mr Redman mentioned that the archives did not belong to the Eastern Cape. Perhaps the HOD needed to write to the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) of the Eastern Cape because the last time he spoke with them they had mentioned that they want their records repatriated.
Mr Pretorius referred to page 65 and commended the Department on creating 156 extra jobs over the set targets.
Mr Kama asked about the challenges at the Ladysmith libraries and said that he was appalled at the challenges he learnt thereof. He asked if the Department was aware of such challenges and if these were resolved.
On page 75, he indicated that he assumed that all libraries had access to the Internet but asked about the number of libraries that had no access to the internet, and requested the timeframes set to address this.
Regarding foresight planned for 2023, he asked for clarity on the matter.
On page 82, he stated that having great plans for sports, arts, and culture was not enough while the facilities remained a challenge. He said that the issue that has always been raised is that in the communities that are targeted, the youth is at high risk of joining gangs and criminals have taken over some of the facilities. He said that he wanted to understand the role of the Department in this regard, and if facilities could be rezoned for other uses. He gave an example and said that a sports facility in Gugulethu township was going to be changed into a health facility. He said that when details on such were requested, the Department responded and said the municipality had to provide such details. He asked how much of the mentioned equitable share has been given to municipalities.
He asked if there were plans to increase the MOD programmes and if there was funding for school sports. He mentioned that there was a young man who was identified for an opportunity in Spain and because it becomes it then becomes the responsibility of the individual to cover the costs, some of the opportunities can be missed. He asked how the Department assisted in such cases.
Mr Marais highlighted that he was interested in researching land ownership and asked if there were private archives in the hands of private individuals. He said that, to his knowledge, Simon van der Stel was the first coloured governor of the Cape. He asked whether all the records of land allocations are in the departmental archives or are privately kept.
Dr LJ Bouah, Chief Director: Sports and Recreation, responded to the Department's role in the facilities sector. He mentioned that in terms of Schedule 5A of the 1996 Constitution, all facilities belonged to the local municipalities. The entity’s role was to avail a small budget of R2 000 000 for any construction or upgrades. The municipalities are responsible for the norms and standards of sports fields and facilities, while the Department, together with the local government, ensures that tasks are properly carried out.
He said that municipalities are allowed to apply for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) funding, which is around R22 000 000 and R25 000 000. He mentioned that for each of the large projects, there would need to be established community-steering committees.
He said that the rezoning of facilities is in the purview of the municipality and the Department does not have the mandate or competence to overrule the decisions made by municipalities, however, engagements do occur if a community approaches the Department on the matter.
In terms of school sports, he mentioned that there has been a lot of development in the last six months. In May 2018, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) signed an agreement that Levels 1,2,3 would be the mandate of the DBE and the Department would be responsible for Levels 4,5,6.
He mentioned that on the 14th and 15th of September 2023, a National School Sport Indaba was convened and it was reiterated that a new policy for sport was being looked at. He said that the following year would only be the summer games, no winter games.
He stated that the R10 000 000 allocated for school sports would be split as follows; R5 000 000 for school sports in December and R5 000 000 would be used to promote local sports leagues on Wednesdays. He said that the Department would then need to work with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to ensure that local leagues take place throughout the province. He indicated that all the operational aspects had not yet been worked out but there would be an opportunity for HODs to engage on such matters. Following the National School’s Indaba, he said it meant that there would be a renewed focus on local school sports leagues within district communities.
He mentioned that the difficulty with assisting those who have been selected for trials is that the budget does not extend to such individuals. Funding is only made available for ad hoc funding when a learner receives their Protea colours, which amounts to R10 000.
Ms Manuel said that the Department would love to extend its MOD programme and currently, 181 schools and two coaches are being supported. She said that in the plans to extend the programmes, two sites were visited, one in Gugulethu township where an NGO is running a safe hub facility, and the location is ideal as it is close to public transport systems which means that all the neighbouring schools would be able to use the facility. In the same facility, there is a youth café that has been set up by the Department of Social Development, a clinic that has been set up by the Department of Health and Wellness, and local businesses operating.
Another facility that was visited was in Malmesbury, where the sports facility is also funded by international funders. She added that the Department works with them to expand their reach to schools in the area. She also added that the entity was looking into partnerships where the private sector invests in the infrastructure in partnership with NGOs and not only to run sports facilities but other programmes as well, such as the youth café. She said that the Department was also looking to expand with the Department of the Premier and Cape Access to go into these hubs where young people can have access to the internet.
She mentioned that the Department was embarking on a journey to prove the benefit of sports. A study by the University of Cape Town and Discovery showed the benefits of sports on one's mental ability.
Ms Boulle said that concerning the Kannaland municipality issue, there was a quarterly meeting with the municipal representatives. The representatives were reminded that the law indicates that access to public libraries is free. The Department had also requested more information from the implicated librarian but has not yet received feedback.
On the Rural Library Connectivity project, she indicated that there were currently 332 projects, together with the City of Cape Town. On 19 October, one was activated in Cape Agulhas, bringing the total to 333, and five others were planned. She explained that these were modular libraries with Internet access and that the only libraries without Internet access were the ones in correctional facilities, as this was not allowed. She stated that some libraries in rural areas had no infrastructure. The Department is working on the Broadband 2.0 project to be rolled out in November 2024 to connect more libraries in rural areas. She clarified that the entity does not only provide personal computers (PCs) but facilitates internet access for libraries.
Ms Dingayo, in addressing the questions on the collections that cover the Eastern Cape province, said that prior to 1996, the archive’s function was centralised in Pretoria. The one that is now the Western Cape archives used to be part of the Cape administration which covered the Northern, Eastern, and Western Cape. She mentioned that the records that cover the named areas were received when the Cape administration was still in operation and this means that they are in the right place. The records were also put together with other collections and alternative arrangements are being made for provision of access.
She said that private records are the records that belong to individuals which are called private or non-public records, which also fall under the archives services but the bigger responsibility is that of preservation and provision of access to public records. She said that the Department did have records from the Simon van der Stel period which covers the land issue. She said there were records from the Council of Policy dating back to 1652 up until 1795. There are also different kinds of records, including journals and diaries of the early explorers, and land court and commissioner’s records from 1822 to 1859 which covered issues of land provided for hunting. There are also records from survey general records and receivers of revenue from 1682 to 1930. She indicated that the records with individuals are private records and the other records sitting with other departments are those that cannot be taken due to the issue of space.
Mr Marais interjected and said that he listened attentively to the response. He said that records can be burned as Parliament also burned down and he wanted to know about the risk management in place and what precautions are there to ensure that the archives are not destroyed by fire or other elements. He mentioned that there were volatile people out there and that the archives are part of heritage.
The Chairperson mentioned that he would arrange another visit to the archives in the following year. He said that the archives are probably more secure than Parliament and are practically housed in a prison and during the Committee’s visit, they were shown their fire detection technology.
Ms Dingayo said the place is very secure with cameras and security 24 hours a day. To address any fire issues, there is also a fire suppression system and when the Committee Members paid a visit, the service provider was still busy finalising the process. In the previous weeks, the system was tested and handed over and the staff would be trained. She said that the facility was 99% protected.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would address part D of the annual report, which began from 154 to 157 and there were no questions raised.
Minister Marais thanked the Committee for the invitation and said that the Department has the community’s best interest at heart and works hard to achieve its goals of making a positive impact. She said that in the past weekend, the positive impacts of sports were seen with the Springbok’s win in the 2023 Rugby World Cup. She added the win united everyone.
She commented that the Committee Members were always so professional, and thanked them all.
The Chairperson thanked all in attendance for their time and participation and mentioned that this was the last annual report ever in the current term of Parliament and that they would next see each other to discuss the adjustments budget. He thanked the delegates for all their hard work and for inviting people to see the work done. He said that it was exciting to see participants being awarded.
He said that if he does come back to Parliament in the following year, and chair the meetings, he would invite members of the public to showcase their work as such engagements are important. He mentioned that what caught his attention on the risk registry of the Department was the strategic risk around the limited financial and human capacity to provide sufficient support to the youth of the Western Cape. It was sad that the Department prepared the youth to enter the economy, but they were deprived of work opportunities and felt hopeless. He added that more engagements were needed in this regard. He said that he looked forward to the updated youth development strategy and in the following year, there could hopefully be engagements with other entities to assist young people.
The Department was dismissed.
The Chairperson said that the first recommendation was on the status of Afrikaans since 1994, and he asked for an expansion on the resolution to state that the Committee would like a report on the status of the three official languages of the Western Cape. The report should also address aspects such as the promotion, maintenance, and implementation of the languages in the Western Cape government departments, academia, and the broader community.
He asked for copies of the different reports around the engagement with young people that will feed into the provincial youth development strategy. He mentioned three reports were; the Future Insights Workshop, the Thetha Youth Campaign, and the report that came from the allocation that the Treasury gave to access the status of the youth development programmes in the Western Cape government.
Ms Baartman said that perhaps there could be a report sent on the outcomes after the meeting on 17 November regarding the archives and the risk.
The Chairperson requested a detailed report on the maintenance and governance issues at the Drostdy Museum in Swellendam and said that, hopefully, the Committee would pay a physical visit to the site. He also requested a report on the state of readiness for the initiation season.
Mr Kama requested a list of public libraries without internet access.
The Chairperson said that there is an app where one can loan audio and electronic books.
He mentioned that if the Committee receives an invitation from the Speaker to join Parliament on Friday to congratulate the Springbok team, the Committee would be contacted on WhatsApp.
[The meeting was adjourned.]
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