Department & William Humphrey Art Gallery Annual Report; Election of Chairperson

Arts and Culture

17 October 2005
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

17 October 2005


Ms L Jacobus (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Department Annual Report 2004/2005 [available at]
Department PowerPoint presentation
William Humphreys Art Gallery Annual Report 2004/2005
William Humphreys Art Gallery briefing

A new Chairperson, Ms L Jacobus (ANC), was unanimously elected unopposed. The Department Director-General presented the Annual Report, as did the Director of the William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley. Questions and answers followed.


Chairperson election
The Committee Secretary, Ms T Cawe, called for nominations for the position of Chairperson. Ms D Motubatse-Hounkpatin (ANC) nominated Ms L Jacobus (ANC), and she was unanimously elected unopposed The Committee elected Ms L Jacobus as the new Chairperson.

The outgoing Chairperson, Mr S Tsenoli thanked Members and said he would still remain a member of the Committee. As he had other business to attend to, he excused himself from the meeting.

Department Annual Report briefing
The Department Director-General (D-G), Professor Itumeleng Mosala, apologised on behalf of the Minister and the Deputy Minister who could not attend this meeting. He said that it was gratifying that South Africa had been appointed to be part of the Executive of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) and that cultural diversity was on the UNESCO agenda.

In presenting the Annual Report, he said that because the work of the Programme Managers was so important, they should be personally present to answer questions, accept acclaim and be accountable for what was undone.

Professor Mosala highlighted the three branches of the Department, namely Arts Culture and Language; Heritage, Archives and Libraries; and International Development. Each of these branches had its own programmes.

Last year, a new Minister had been appointed and a new Ministry set up. Up until the elections in April, there had been a ‘shared Minister’ with the Department of Science and Technology. It had taken six to seven months for the new personnel to settle in to their respective positions, to secure the necessary resources and to establish the infrastructure. It had been necessary to budget for all of this. The Minister and Deputy Minister had begun their duties by visiting all the institutions and stakeholders.

Professor Mosala gave a broad overview of the report. The Heritage section had required major infrastructure upgrades, and had been allocated the most funding. The surplus of 1% had been earmarked and kept for specific projects.

The responsibilities of the National Language Service were tight and tough. There were some challenges and difficulties to overcome in order to achieve the objectives set. He hoped for no more media criticism.

He highlighted the service delivery achievements of the Language Programmes listed on page 32. He also highlighted Programme 4: Cultural Development and International Cooperation. (Point 2.7.4 Page 33).

Much good work was being done in the film and music sectors, which fall within the Department. Heritage Month had been very successful. This Department had had the privilege of hosting the World Heritage Committee last year. Professor Mosala said the Department of Arts and Culture significantly participated in the economy and that it was not just the entertainment / event management wing of Government.

Falling under the Heritage, Archives and Libraries Programmes, Professor Mosala highlighted the work of supporting the President with regard to National Orders awarded. The Department had supported, helped and funded the Presidency both locally and internationally and he cited the National Symbols Campaign as an example. He also spoke about the second biggest township in the country, in East London, being without a library.

With regard to the financial statements, Professor Mosala spoke as a financial professional in his own right and said that the Department ran a healthy financial department and that they kept the books well. They attempted as much as possible to have 100% record in accountability. Like all other Departments, they would like three times the amount of money allocated. All the Department’s institutions are under-funded. Some need the basic allocations and do not have this. As a result they have to play around with resources. In spite of this the Department performed exceptionally well and Professor Mosala felt good about the way monies were being looked after. The Auditor General had given an unqualified report. Minor issues, which were taken seriously, were being dealt with. He highlighted matters of emphasis on page 62 and concluded by saying that it had been a pleasure and a privilege to present this Annual Report with the Financial Statements.

Ms D Motubatse-Hounkpatin (ANC) mentioned that it would have been easier if a summary had been made available. She questioned that there was not much legislation coming forward from the Department. She also asked how they were doing with regard to public education about national symbols. She commended the Director-General on the work being done. She raised the question of the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA), and Department capacity with regard to staff allocation.

Mr Madlavu, Department Chief Director: Co-ordinating and Monitoring, responded that, with regard to legislation, there was a need for policy review. In November this year, there would be a gathering of various stakeholders for a policy conference and then legislation would be formulated.

Professor Mosala said that they continued to run campaigns. They had lost key personnel to the private sector during the year, as the remuneration was better. New positions would be advertised in the media very soon.

Ms Mangope, Department Chief Director: Arts, Social Development and Youth, said they were training artists to enrich the museums, and were addressing the problem of ageing staff. There was focus on popularising the arts amongst the youth. They needed to work on weak career guidance and it was their intention to popularise careers in the arts. The Minister had visited the British Minister of Arts and Culture and UK museums to learn from their solutions.

Ms van der Walt (DA) questioned various Section 9 Institutions’ statements regarding religion. The Director-General agreed that was problematic and the Department would investigate this. Ms van der Walt expressed her dismay that Heritage Month had been planned without sufficient consulation. The Department expressed regret for this oversight and said the reports would soon be tabled and distributed

Mr Moonsamy (ANC) questioned whether the introduction of mobile libraries might help towards alleviating the problem of financial constraints. With regard to films, videos and songs, he questioned when the "Hollywood poison" on our screens would stop. He also spoke of the high ticket charges at places like the Playhouse Theatre.

The Director-General said that he had made a very strong case to Treasury regarding library funding as a a major ‘finance injection’ was required. There were indications of wide support for libraries this year. With regard to "Hollywood poison", Professor Mosala said he was in conversation with the Minister and Director-General of the Department of Communication and was talking to the Minister of Arts and Culture. He mentioned that media and cultural diversity were also being discussed at UNESCO.

Mr Selepe spoke about the funding of orchestras. The State funded the National Philharmonic and the Cape Town Philharmonic, and three others received some support. There was debate around which orchestras should be funded, such as the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. It was the Minister’s view that there was a need to broaden the base with regard to large-scale performance companies. Funds should be redistributed to include other genres of music, such as jazz and support the Youth Jazz Orchestra.

In reply to the Chairperson asking if the Maths Dictionary was only issued in English, he was told that through the auspices of the National Language Framework, that the mathematical terms had been translated into ten official languages. The work had been well received by the general public. The issue of Braille for blind people was seen as a most important mandate.

Mr Gololo (ANC) asked what progress had been made with regard to ageing personnel in museums and the training of new personnel. He asked about the translation of official documents for blind people. He also queried the surplus reflected in the financial statements in light of the fact that the Department was under funded. Professor Mosala reminded the Members that the surplus was only in the accounting sense and that these funds were specifically earmarked. For example, R65 million had been allocated to buildings at Freedom Park.

The Director-General explained that a recent court case by the previous Board of the National Arts Council, had been won by the Department. The previous Board in Kwa-Zulu Natal had appealed. The matter was once again sub judice. This Department had taken legal advice to appoint a new Board, and candidates had been interviewed. The Minister was considering the matter, and the nominations would go to Cabinet soon.

Ms Motubatse-Hounkpatin (ANC) said that the National Arts Council was functioning better after the dissolution of the Board. The Department had taken over the governance role of the NAC (National Arts Council) and funded all projects.

The Chairperson said that, due to time constraints, the Department would respond to any further questions in writing. This would help in formulating the final report to the House.

William Humphreys Art Gallery briefing
The Director of the Gallery in Kimberley, Mrs A Pretorius, presented a concise summary of their Annual Report and financial statements. See attached.

Mr Sonto (ANC) asked on their measurements for success. He also asked about the programme involving the development of women in the area. He asked how many individuals or groups had graduated from this programme.

Mrs Pretorius explained that originally they had run art workshops for children, but soon realised that these children lacked many of the basic development skills required in order to do art. There was strong support from the community, and this had resulted in a great demand for places in this project. This experience had given the children a much better start to their school careers.

Their efforts regarding the development of local women fluctuated. The local women had named the project themselves. They attended a few days a week. They learn a number of skills including beading and embroidery, but refused to get involved with or learn to master any business skills. She outlined the extreme importance of teaching these women to become more independent. The women were made aware from the beginning that they were there to be empowered and acknowledged that they had to work on an exit strategy. Once such an exit strategy was in place, it was hoped there would be less confusion.

Mr Sonto asked about the potential to produce artists from these projects. Prince Zulu (ANC) questioned why South Africa did not produce its own beads, and requested support for lobbying for the production of South African beads. Mrs Pretorius did not have an answer, but thought the idea was excellent.

In closing, the Chairperson congratulated Mrs Pretorius and her staff on their innovative projects. The Department was not able to answer her question about the number of art galleries in the country.

The meeting was adjourned.



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