A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
ARTS AND CULTURE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE : Ms L Jacobus (ANC)
25 October 2005
NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL; FREEDOM PARKS TRUST: ANNUAL REPORTS
Documents handed out
ARTS AND CULTURE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
: Ms L Jacobus (ANC)
National Arts Council of South Africa: Annual Report 2005
National Arts Council of South Africa: Report to the Portfolio Committee
National Arts Council of South Africa: Financial Report to the Portfolio Committee
National Arts Council of South Africa : Audit Report
Freedom Parks Trust: Annual Report 2005 [available at www.freedompark.co.za]
Freedom Parks Trust: Report to MINMEC – October 2005
Freedom Parks Trust: Annual Financial Statements for the Year ended 31 March 2005
The National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) briefed the Committee on its background, funding activities, achievements and challenges. It presented its financial report to the Committee which included a financial summary of its eight year history.
The Committee was concerned about the unequal distribution of NAC funding across the provinces and between disadvantaged and advantaged individuals as well as the exclusion of traditional dance and music. The Committee enquired about the criteria used by the NAC when distributing funds. It also felt that the NAC had not informed the Committee on the current situation of the NAC since the dissolution of its board by the Minister. The Committee suggested that the NAC return next year to brief the Committee on the organisation’s actual situation.
The Freedom Park Trust (FPT) briefed the Committee on its activities regarding the establishment of Freedom Park which would be opened in March 2009. A number of structures were planned by the Freedom Park including the creation of a Garden of Remembrance, a Pan African Archive and a Moshate. The FPT had consulted with a number of stakeholders so far and had also engaged and mobilized a number of minority groups to become involved in the process. The FPT also discussed its plans for Reconciliation Day on 16 December 2005. A summary of the financial statements for the year ending 31 March 2005 was presented. The FPT requested that the Committee assist them in their Freedom Park Project.
The Committee was concerned about the selection of leaders that would be commemorated in the Freedom Park. The Committee sought more clarification on the engagement of national groups by the FPT. A number of questions were also raised regarding the financial state of the FPT. It was willing to provide assistance to the FPT and suggested that future meetings be held in order to facilitate this. The Committee also hoped to visit the Freedom Park in the near future.
National Arts Council briefing
Ms J Diphofa (Acting Chief Executive Officer) briefed the Committee on the activities of the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC). The NAC had been established by Act 56 of 1997 and its vision was to promote through the arts, the free expression of South Africa’s cultures, while its mission was promote excellence in the arts. It received an annual grant from the Department and consisted of a Board of 23 members.
The NAC offered financial support to organisations and individuals involved in a number of disciplines. Applications for funding were invited twice a year and projects were only funded once a year. The NAC also offered national and international bursaries for the arts at a tertiary level. Performing arts companies were also funded; however the majority of companies receiving funding were situated in the four metropolitan provinces and African music and dance were not represented.
Since the Minister had dissolved the NAC Board, the NAC had stabilised. Workshops and road shows had increased the invisibility of the NAC across a number of provinces. Application forms had also been printed in all eleven official languages. Challenges faced by the NAC were that its funding model was purely reactive, the organisation had to deal with an onslaught of applications and there was an unequal distribution of funds amongst the provinces. A number of vacant posts had not been filled. A number of initiatives had been planned for the future.
Mr K Isvarlal (Chief Financial Officer) briefed the Committee on the financial report of the NAC. A financial summary was given for an eight-year period. The total grants received by the NAC over eight years totalled R238 million while total grants allocated totalled R220 million. Total administration costs totalled R42 million and total salaries paid over the eight years were R19 million. A summary of the variances between 2004 and 2005 was given as well as a number of financial highlights achieved by the NAC.
The Chairperson asked three questions. Firstly, she enquired whether the NAC used general criteria when deciding what projects to fund or whether they used specific criteria for each discipline. Secondly, how did the NAC plan to end the unequal distribution of funding so that disadvantaged artists would also benefit? Lastly, when would the numerous vacant posts in the NAC be filled?
Ms Diphofa answered that the NAC had both overall funding criteria as well as specific criteria for each discipline. The general criteria were that projects had to be nationally important and be able to foster national identity and prove their artistic worthiness. There were also specific criteria for certain disciplines such as the performance arts. These criteria included original and fresh ideas as well as the workshops held by the NAC. The NAC had been trying to solve the problem of unequal funding by instituting road shows and workshops that promoted the NAC in all the provinces. The NAC only had an office in Gauteng which made it difficult for groups from the other provinces to become involved. The road shows and workshops aimed to make these groups aware of the NAC so that they could approach the organisation in the future to apply for funding. The NAC also had a section that controlled the administration of funding and the staff in this section had been strengthened.
Mr M Sonto (ANC) commented that Members had only received the Annual Report of the NAC just before the briefing. This meant that Members had not been given a chance to gain an insight into the actual matters covered by the presenters. There was a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the NAC due to the large number of changes that had occurred recently within the organisation. He therefore requested that the presenters give a more thorough account of the current situation at the NAC. He enquired how Ms Diphofa managed the internal control environment of the NAC with regards to its staffing, projects and financing. Lastly, the annual audit stated that there had been expenditure that could not be verified. He sought more clarity on this issue.
Ms Diphofa remarked that a number of events had occurred recently in the NAC including the suspension of the senior staff of the NAC. These events lead to a great amount of uncertainty regarding the future of the NAC. However, the NAC had taken a number of steps since these events to ensure that the organisation ran more smoothly in the future. Included in these steps were using Human Resources consultants and implementing proper job grading programs as this had not occurred in the past.
Mr C Gololo (ANC) asked for elaboration on the reasons why the NAC was not identifying projects or creating initiatives itself especially at provincial and local level. He requested the NAC to give a breakdown of its distribution of bursaries by province and to elaborate on the criteria it used to grant bursaries to the previously disadvantaged. Lastly, he sought clarity on why the Department froze the NAC’s bank account in December 2004.
Ms Diphofa highlighted that when applications were made to the NAC these applications were first pre-screened by advisory panels in the various disciplines. Members of the panels would then make recommendations to the board for final approval. Due to the large amount of applications it was impossible for the NAC to view every single project. However, the NAC did its best to provide assistance to those projects that had been approved. Members of the projects that had been approved had to continuously report to the NAC and full funding was not given to these projects at the beginning. Funding was given in stages after members of funded projects reported back to the NAC and had complied with their contracts.
Ms Diphofa and the CFO were the individuals who had to authorize all projects finally. When the Department froze the bank accounts of the NAC it prevented all members from making payment of funds. However, since her appointment funds could be paid. The NAC not being able to identify their own projects led to worthy projects not being funded. Many people had no knowledge of the NAC and this meant they did not apply for funding. It meant projects on ground level were not sufficiently funded nor were these projects given sufficient assistance. The Annual Report of the NAC showed that most of the bursary funding went to Gauteng while the least went to the Northern Cape. A reason for this was that most academic institutions that received the bulk of bursary funding were situated in the metropolitan areas. The NAC applied three criteria when granting bursaries. These were the financial need of the individual, the merit of the application and lastly, whether the person was previously disadvantaged. The NAC also tried to keep an even distribution of bursaries in terms of the gender count.
Mr K Moonsamy (ANC) remarked that after reading the Annual Report of the NAC it was unfortunate that the Minister had been forced to remove members from the NAC board. These members had violated every rule of accounting and democratic procedures that governed organisations including allocating large bonuses to themselves and nearly bankrupting the NAC. These violations should not have occurred if a proper oversight mechanism had been in place and the Committee had also failed in this oversight area. It was vital that a lesson was learnt from these past occurrences and that it served as a warning regarding the calibre of board members. It was important that the Minister took this into account when electing board members in the future.
Mr Moonsamy commented that Ms Diphofa had said that when funding performing arts and music companies, traditional art and music were not included. What was the reason for this exclusion? Over R11 million had been distributed by the NAC during 2005. How had this been distributed? Ms Diphofa had also highlighted the fact that there was unequal distribution of funding by the NAC amongst the nine provinces. She had also stated that in 2000, the NAC had taken the stance of not funding projects of local and provincial significance. What were the reasons for both these situations?
Ms Diphofa highlighted the fact that the NAC was overwhelmed by applications for funding. Provincial Arts and Culture Councils were not helping to fund projects in their respective provinces which meant that all applications were directed to the NAC. The NAC therefore had to choose projects that would not only be of local significance but would go beyond these areas and have a greater impact and influence on a national level.
In the past smaller performance companies that promoted traditional art and music had been excluded from NAC funding due to its strict criteria. When applying for funds companies had to produce audit reports for a period of three years. This was obviously difficult for smaller companies who were new and therefore blocked their applications. The NAC now only required these audit reports from the bigger Performance Arts Companies while the smaller companies could meet the criteria of producing meaningful artistic offerings. Approximately 44% of the R11 million distributed by the NAC went to Gauteng. KwaZulu-Natal received 28% of the funds while the remaining funds were distributed amongst the other seven provinces.
Ms D Van der Walt (DA) had a major problem with the criteria used by the NAC to distribute funds. The criteria should not be used across all provinces as it had already led to an uneven distribution of funds in these provinces. It was also extremely important that provincial governments allocated funds for each province. She enquired whether the NAC intended to introduce research initiatives in the provinces in order to determine the specific needs of each province so that funds could then be distributed accordingly. It was extremely important that the NAC learnt from the past mistakes made by board members so that these mistakes would not be made again. Lastly, it was vital that the NAC and the rest of the country realized that South African artists were struggling and were extremely poorly paid.
Ms Diphofa agreed that research in the provinces was extremely important and had not occurred since the inception of the NAC in 1997. The NAC had to conduct research or an imbizo in the provinces so the organisation could play an active role in advancing arts and culture in the provinces.
Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) suggested that satellite offices of the NAC be set up in the provinces so that the unequal distribution of funding could be dealt with.
Ms Diphofa replied that satellite offices had already been suggested in the NAC. These offices could play an important role in enabling the NAC to assist artists in the various provinces.
Ms N Mbombo (ANC) enquired if government had a role to play in the initiatives of the NAC. If it did, what would this role be? If it did not, what was the reason for its exclusion?
Ms Diphofa highlighted that the Department had been playing a major role in the NAC since the suspension of the board members and it was the authority that provided final approval on all projects and initiatives of the organisation. However, in normal circumstances the government was expected to work at arms-length from the NAC and to not be directly involved in its policy decisions.
Mr M Sonto (ANC) remarked that the answers given by the NAC had not been sufficient. The documents given by the NAC had also not given the Committee a clear picture of the current situation. He therefore requested that the NAC return in the future so that the Committee could be briefed on the actual situation that existed within the organisation.
Mr M Matlala (ANC) agreed with Mr Sonto’s request. He remarked that there were a great number of contradictions between the Annual Report of the NAC and the presentation by Ms Diphofa.
The Chairperson answered that this could only happen next year as the Committee’s agenda was full up to the end of the year. She also enquired whether it would not make more sense to establish a Human Resources section within the NAC instead of using Human Resource Consultants. This would also be better financially for the NAC. She finally enquired how many temporary staff the NAC employed.
Ms Diphofa agreed that it would make more sense to establish a Human Resource section in the NAC as currently the organisation was using the services of consultants up to three times a week. Mr Isvarlal replied that the NAC employed three temporary staff.
Mr K Moonsamy (ANC) enquired whether the private sector had been assisting in promoting arts and culture as they had the ability and means to do so.
Ms Diphofa replied that a number of organisations worked in the private sector to assist South African artists. These organisations worked on the principle of supporting grants. At the same time the Act stipulated that the NAC could conduct its own fundraising.
Mr M Sonto (ANC) remarked that the Annual Report highlighted a number of areas of non-compliance by the NAC which was extremely worrying. It was vital that the NAC investigate these areas of non-compliance and ensure that the organisation complied with the relevant Acts.
Mr Isvarlal referred to the audit reports of the NAC given to the Committee that discussed areas of non-compliance in the organisation. This document mentioned the issues of non-compliance that had been reported in the past, the reasons for this reporting and the steps taken to solve these issues.
Mr G Lekgetho enquired when a new board would be appointed as well as a permanent CEO.
Ms Diphofa answered that a new board would hopefully by appointed by the end of November. Nominations for the board had already been received and a shortlist had been compiled. The NAC was currently waiting for the opinion of the general public on the shortlist. Once the board had been appointed it would then appoint the new CEO.
The Chairperson stated that it was important that the NAC return next year to update the Committee. The most important issue that had arisen from the briefing was the inequality that existed in the distribution of funding. It was extremely important that the NAC focused on dealing with this issue and included it in its strategic plan.
Freedom Park Trust briefing
Mr M Seroti (Chief Executive Officer) briefed the Committee on the role of the Freedom Park Trust (FTP) and its activities. The FPT had the core function of constructing the elements contained in the Freedom Park. The Freedom Park was an unprecedented project that not only contained 3.6 billion years of history but also aimed to contribute to the strategic objective of the liberation movement which was enshrined in the Constitution. This was to build a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic nation. The FPT had consulted a number of role-players to determine how these objectives could be met.
A number of phases were included in this project. Firstly, the construction phase of the project would consist of the creation of a garden of remembrance (Sikhumbuto). This garden of remembrance would have a wall of names of leaders and people who died in the struggle and beyond, a sanctuary in which an eternal flame would be situated dedicated to those who lost their lives and a memorial for the Unknown Soldier and an Indoor Space for leaders. After consultation the FPT decided on number of important national (Ghandi), continental (Nyerere and Nkruma) and international leaders that would be included in the personal space. The FPT requested the Committee’s assistance in the construction of the indoor space for leaders and the wall of names. A number of other groups such as traditional leaders were consulted when planning this phase.
A Moshate was also planned which would be a Presidential Hospitality Suite that would be used for special occasions when the President would host visiting heads of states or high level guests. This would be used for negotiations between Heads of State and Ministers on key issues such as the Peer Review Mechanism and the African Renaissance.
Another phase was the //hapo (Khoi San word for dream) where the 3.6 billion year history would unfold in a narrative form and would be integrated into nation building. The FTP also planned to establish the Pan African Archives which would include dialogue between the youth and elders of communities in order to capture the unwritten stories of the past. It was vital to recognise the importance of the life experiences of the elders despite their lack of education. The Construction process would culminate in March 2009 with the construction of the Administrative and Commercial components.
The FPT had also been given the responsibility of organising provincial celebrations for Reconciliation Day on 16 December 2005. The FPT had been consulting with a number of parties including the provinces as well as the Minister of Justice due to it being the anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The FPT had also been in close consultation with the President due to the Freedom Park being a Presidential initiative. The President had raised three issues during the briefings by the FPT. Firstly, how was the FPT planning to project both past and present events? Secondly, how was the FPT going to ensure that people entering the Freedom Park felt the importance of the heritage site? Lastly, due to indigenous plant systems, the Freedom Park looked extremely barren. How was the FPT planning to make the Freedom Park attractive without infringing on the natural environment?
The FPT had also made good progress in engaging and mobilizing four communities to become involved in the project. These four groups were the Khoi San community, the Indian community, the Coloured community and the Afrikaner community. The FPT had also formed a number of partnerships with organisations to facilitate the Freedom Park process.
The FPT had recently been through a turbulent time due to the Chief Operating Officer and the Marketing and Communications Manager being dismissed as well as the Chief Financial Officer resigning. The mobilizing of national groups such as the four mentioned above as well as trying to obtain public opinion over the project had also caused a number of delays and had impacted on the vision of the project. However the Minister had appointed a new board of members that had a number of fresh ideas and the project was finally on course to be completed in 2005.
Mr C Yates (Interim Finance Executive) briefed the Committee on the Annual Financial Statements of the FPT for the year ending 31 March 2005. A number of administrative challenges were faced by the FPT during 2004 and 2005. A comparison of the financial results for 2004 and 2005 was given. The total income for 2004 was R142, 789 million and for 2005 R120, 384 million. The total expenditure for 2004 was R48, 889 million and for 2005 was R51, 035 million. The net income for 2004 was R93, 900 million and for 2005 was R69, 313 million. A breakdown of the total income, total grants and total expenditure was also given. Financial projections were also given up to 2009. It was estimated that in the future there would be a shortfall of R174, 435 million. This would pose a challenge.
Ms D Van der Walt (DA) complimented the FPT on its work and remarked that it was the first project that involved all cultural groups. Her questions were around the Annual Financial Statement of the FPT. She remarked that surely a project the size of the FPT would have escalations built into its financial planning? She asked why salaries had risen to such a great extent between 2004 and 2005. The remuneration of the external and internal Auditors also rose substantially. What was the reason for these increases?
Mr Yeats confirmed that escalation had been taken into account during the financial planning of the project. He thought that around 15% escalation was taken into account. The reason for the increase in salaries was due to the Trust still growing in size. The Trust had 25 employees at the end of the previous financial year while at the end of the present financial year the Trust would have approximately 46 employees. A number of employees had also come on board in February 2004 which meant that their financial impact had only been recognised during the following financial year. A number of issues were related to the internal auditing situation. The first issue was related to bad financial management where the internal auditors were assigned tasks and did not complete them and this lead to the termination of their services. It also led to disciplinary enquiries occurring in order to investigate this misconduct. With regards to the external auditors, the Auditor-General worked on a "strange" system of accrual accounting for their fees. This had lead to the costs of the previous year’s auditing only being reflected in the following financial year. This meant that the 2005 financial statement included the audit for 2004 and the interim audit that occurred in February 2005.
Mr K Moonsamy (ANC) enquired why Patrice Lumumba had not been included in the continental leaders that would be honoured by the FPT as he had been a great continental leader. He also sought clarity on the issues surrounding the large number of officials the FPT had to dismiss. A number of other countries used graphic presentations around their eternal flame such as trees as a reminder of those who died for their countries. He suggested that the Trust also establish graphic presentations around the eternal flame to remind South Africans of their past. Finally, what role had the private sector played in the Freedom Park initiative? Could the R174 million shortfall estimated for the future not be raised by the private sector?
Mr M Mtatlala enquired if the Freedom Park would only be honouring leaders of the past or also those that were still alive.
Mr Seroti replied that the FPT had only concentrated on continental leaders that had contributed significantly to the South African struggle. For example, Nkruma had created the Organisation of African Unity that had its own liberation committee. This committee had contributed greatly to the liberation of South Africa. The reason for doing this was so that everything related to South Africa while at the same time indicating to South Africans not only to be conscious of South Africa but also the rest of the continent. The Trust had planned for the internal area to be extremely special and therefore only those who had made major contributions to South Africa would be included. However, Mr Lumumba could perhaps be included in the memorial wall.
There had been a number of debates regarding the eternal flame. The Trust felt that a comprehensive expression needed to be created to capture the spirit of the mass action of the country especially those who fell in fighting for the country. It was important that the unknown soldiers needed to be recognised. This expression was in the form of the eternal flame. So far the project would only recognise those who had passed away as they had given their lives for the struggle and had therefore paid dearly.
Mr M Sonto (ANC) commented that the Freedom Park was a unique project that was based on a resilient image. This was evident by the inputs the Trust had received from various sectors. In the course of moving forward the Trust had also changed their project quite frequently. How often did these changes occur and what was the impact of these changes on the program? Secondly, how did financial management challenges influence the infrastructural completion timetable of the project? The summary given by the Trust on the financial variances of the project showed that in 2005 there was a 17.9% reduction in expenditure as opposed to 51.4% in 2004. What led to this large saving?
Mr Seroti replied that the final handover of the Freedom Park would occur in March 2009. It was extremely important that the Trust found the funds to make the Freedom Park self-sustaining. Future plans and changes for the project would also be shaped by the expectations of the public. The previous year had also been extremely difficult due to the misconduct of the CEO and the Marketing Communications Manager. This misconduct had posed a number of challenges which the Trust had to overcome.
Mr Yates answered that the reason for the large reduction of expenditure was that during 2004 there were a large number of costs related to the construction of the first phase of the project. In 2005 the only expenses were smaller elements relating to the finalisation of the first phase as well as professional fees connected to the design of the intermediary phase. This difference led to the large reduction in expenditure between 2004 and 2005.
Mr H Malukela (ANC) stated that he did not believe there was a conflict between the concept of a secular state and a spiritual object. A conflict between these concepts would only exist if the state recognized only one religion and this was not the case as the Constitution recognized all religions. He then enquired when the internal auditors would be appointed. Lastly, the Trust had been communicating with a number of groups for example the Khoi San and the Coloured groups. He asked if the Trust had also been communicating with Afrikaner groups.
Mr M Sonto (ANC) remarked that as the process of the project was unfolding it was finally receiving attention from the rest of the nation. What inputs for nation building had the Trust received from various national groups?
Mr Seroti highlighted that it was important that all national and language groups be included in the project. However it was extremely important that while these different groups were recognised this recognition did not contradict the fact that all the groups were also African or more specifically South African. It was therefore vital that groups be included while at the same time recognising a South African as being non-racial.
The Trust had communicated with a number of national groups. The trust’s discussions with the Indian groups had been very interesting and had occurred over two years. However, two issues had not been concluded during these issues. Firstly, Mr Seroti had been unaware of the large impact the mass action in 1949 had on the Indian groups. The second unresolved issue was that of the Free State. The Trust had been encouraging Indians to enter the Free State on Reconciliation Day on 16 December and declare that the land was also theirs.
The discussions with the Afrikaner national groups had been difficult as the Apartheid past was directly associated with the Afrikaners. This group forgot that the Anglo-Boer war was a South African war and had also established a hegemonic state. It was extremely important to find a way to emancipate the Afrikaners from their past. The Trust had been conducting discussions with the Afrikaner Kultuur en Taal Vereeniging (AKTV) and the Voortrekker Monument board. It was extremely difficult to find a common point with these groups but some problems had been solved through a number of initiatives. For example, on 16 December board members of the FPT would visit the Voortrekker Monument while the board members of the Monument would visit the Freedom Park. It was vital to realize that the Voortrekker Monument was an important part of the history of South Africa even if it was a negative part of this history. Hopefully these initiatives would lead to a proper way forward being found in the discussions with the Afrikaner groups.
Discussions had also been held with the Khoi San. The issue that was concentrated on during these discussions was the genocide of the Khoi San in the past. This group could still not believe this genocide had occurred and it had led to the Khoi San feeling completely alienated from the democratic, non-racialized country. However, these discussions had led to the identification of good points of reference for future discussions as well to identify the reasons why the Khoi San should take part in the commemoration of this genocide.
Mr Seroti was happy to hear Mr Malukela’s opinion that no contradiction existed between the concept of spirituality and the secular state. However, it was important to determine how to approach this issue so as to develop an understanding that no conflict existed between these two concepts.
Ms N Mbombo (ANC) asked if the exchange between the board members of the FPT and the Voortrekker Monument were the only events planned for Reconciliation Day on 16 December.
Mr Seroti answered that a number of other events had been planned by the Trust. These plans included the recognition of provincial themes such as slavery in the Western Cape and pre-colonial symbolization in the Limpopo Province. Bloemfontein also planned to host national groups that had previously felt to be excluded in the former Free State province. This initiative would include the Indian groups.
The Chairperson stated that it was extremely important that the FPT recognized the wealth of knowledge in communities. It was vital to seize the opportunity to gather the knowledge of those members of communities who were still alive as a great amount of knowledge had been lost due to the deaths of many of these people. She firstly enquired how the Freedom Park planned to enter the communities in order to identify those members that had this knowledge. Secondly, how was the Trust planning to take the Freedom Park to those people who could not access it so that it could be popularized?
Ms Photolo replied that a number of criteria would be used by the Trust to identify elders who had knowledge in the communities. Firstly, the Trust through their partnership with IKSSA had celebrated the living treasures awards on 30 September 2005. The Trust also hoped to promote discussion between the elders and the youth of various communities. This was planned to start in Tswane, spread to the rest of Gauteng and only after this would enter the rest of the provinces. Institutions of higher learning would be used to facilitate the dialogue with the elders.
The Trust had also set aside R2 million in its budget to start a public awareness campaign. Part of this R2 million was dedicated to putting the Freedom Park "on wheels". The trust had already taken the Park to a number of museums especially in KwaZulu-Natal. The challenge would obviously be to reach people in outlaying rural areas in order to make them aware of the concept of the Freedom Park.
The Chairperson had two questions surrounding the Annual Financial Statement of the FPT. Firstly, when studying the total income and total expenditure one could see that these expenditures were quite low. What was the reason for the total expenditure being so low? Secondly, in 2004 the Trust had spent R405.178 on motor vehicles and only R66.000 in 2005. Why was the Trust’s motor vehicle expenditure so much lower in 2005?
Mr Yates replied that essentially what had been happening with the Freedom Park’s funding was that the Department had allocated a budget to the Trust over a number of years. Due to the lack of communication between the Department and the Trust on the compliance side, funds had been paid to the Trust because they had been allocated, but costs had not been related to this allocation. Secondly, from an accounting perspective, the Trust had been reflecting all the money they had received even though a large part of the money was really capital expenditure. A different way this could be shown was that only the operating income should be shown against the actual costs. This would provide a much more realistic picture of the actual situation.
In 2004, the Trust acquired two motor vehicles which led to the total of R407 178. In 2005, the R66 000 was spent on the purchasing of a golf cart that could be used to transport people who could not walk around the Freedom Park.
Mr H Malukela (ANC) asked when the Trust would appoint its internal auditors.
Ms Photolo responded that this appointment would hopefully occur in November 2005.
Mr C Gololo (ANC) enquired who had received the contracts for the procurement and construction of the Freedom Park.
Dr L Mofokeng (Marketing and Communications Manager of the FPT) replied that the construction tenders were granted to companies that had at least thirty percent black ownership. The companies had to provide plans to the Trust that showed BEE involvement throughout the construction process. If these companies did not stick to their plans they were penalised. The Trust also planned to create a database of small contractors that could be approached to help in future subcontracting projects.
The Chairperson acknowledged that Mr Seroti had asked on a number of occasions for the Committee’s assistance on the Freedom Park project. It was therefore important that the Committee interact with the Trust on a regular basis. This could hopefully be done by holding future meetings with the Trust in order to be briefed on the progress of the Freedom Park and the Committee’s role in this progress. She also suggested that the Committee visit the Freedom Park in the future and that they were awaiting an invitation from the FPT.
The meeting was adjourned.
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