Festac 2002; National Arts Council: briefing

Arts and Culture

22 June 2001
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

22 June 2001

Chairperson: Dr M Serote

Documents handed out:
Calculation of the Economic Impact of Festac 2002
Article on Festac: City Press, 13 May 2001

The third Black and African Festival of African Arts and Culture will be held in South Africa in November/December 2002. The organisers of the festival appealed to the Committee to persuade government to lend its tacit 'in principle' support to the event. They promised that South Africa would obtain sustained economic benefits from the festival.

The National Arts Council briefed the Committee on its achievements and problems to date. A problem the Council is experiencing is that previously the Council had funded arts projects without having regard to criteria. Huge expectations were created by this previous approach and there has been an ever-increasing demand for funds. They are now looking towards funding only larger projects, which are more likely to be sustainable and better able to be monitored.

Third Black and African Festival of African Arts and Culture
Origins of the Festival
Mr M Malefane, the presenter, said that the festival ( FESTAC) represents a reunion of Africans. The first festival was held in 1966 and the second in 1977. The third will be held in November or December 2002. The first two were government projects. This time, governments have encouraged the private sector to get involved. It is becoming an NGO initiative. Its organisers hope that it will equal the World Cup and the Olympics.

Purpose of FESTAC
The FESTAC organisers are working closely with different industries, especially the tourism industry. An economic viability study has been produced, showing how FESTAC will generate both income and jobs. In addition to developing the cultural industries in SA, the organisers of FESTAC 2002 hope that the festival will create an environment for poverty alleviation and investment.

The response to date has been overwhelming and there has been a need to link the festival with the Earth Summit to ensure an increase in revenue and tourism.

The role of SA government
Preparations have been made with the OAU to meet in Lusaka where further presentations will be made to the heads of state present at the meeting. FESTAC will be launched in September 2001. Thus, the groundwork has already been laid. All that is needed is for the SA government to give its tacit support for the event. Mr Malefane hoped that the Committee could impress on the government and the President the importance of lending their support.

How FESTEC will generate income after the festival
The organisers of FESTAC have formed a company, which will use products provided by KWV and Ceres Fruit Juice for export under the FESTAC brand.

The importance of obtaining South Africa's tacit support
SA has not yet given its tacit support to the event. The result may be that SA may seem less prepared than the rest of the world who are getting ready for the event. The question is whether SA will be able to get ready in time. Mr Malefane stressed that SA is merely the venue for the event and that it is not a South African event. If SA gives its blessing to the event it will expedite matters.

Mr Malefane insisted that South Africa will benefit from the event. Firstly, the nation-wide road show will benefit the country. Secondly, FESTAC will make resources and funding available to Arts Centres. In this regard FESTAC has undertaken to provide the various MEC's with R100 million to enable the different provinces to be ready for the event.

Mr Malefane urged the Committee to ensure that government gives its 'in principle' support to the event in the form of a letter, even if this support is accompanied with certain conditions. (This procedure was also followed by other governments.) This letter of support will be released to the various Heads of State at the meeting to be held next month.

Ms N Tsheole (ANC) asked the purpose of the Sandton meeting in April this year.

Mr Malefane said that on 22 April a formal announcement of the event was made to members of the different countries who were present. The President has been briefed and is aware of the plans.

Mr M Cassim (IFP) asked if concentrated activity taking place over a brief period would create sustainable jobs. He asked if a longer period would not be needed to achieve this.

Mr Malefane responded that FESTAC would generate concentrated global media attention. The best of African (including South African) Arts and Culture will be showcased in a manageable period. Between 200 000 and 300 000 people are expected to arrive for FESTAC. The principal city will be like the city hosting the opening ceremony for the Olympics. In addition, FESTAC will be used as a vehicle to get investment for poverty alleviation. The World Bank wishes to use FESTAC as a public platform to announce its contribution to the upliftment of SA.

Mr Cassim referred to the documents and said that Mr Malefane should provide the Committee with the business plan.

Mr Malefane said that the business plan will be drafted only after the event has been launched in different countries. This is because the event is based on the activities in the different countries. This will make the benefits more sustainable. Various organisations, including the World Bank, and certain countries have made commitments in terms of financial support. Mr Malefane noted that the government has supported other international events held in SA generously in the past. All FESTAC requires is theoretical and technical support. If the government gives even a minimal amount of financial assistance, this money will not go to FESTAC but to the communities to assist in their preparation for the event.

Mr B Martins (ANC) said that even though he will lend his support, more time was needed to consider the document that had just been handed out.

Dr A Van Niekerk (Federal Alliance) wanted more information about M K Malefane Pty (Ltd).

Mr Malefane replied that it is an event management company.

Dr Van Niekerk asked who the shareholders and directors of the company are.

Mr Malefane assured the Committee that this company is merely a promoter of FESTAC. FESTAC's finances will be managed by the FESTAC Foundation. M K Malefane is merely an initiator of the project.

Ms Njobe (ANC) asked whether there has been any interaction between FESTAC organisers and the Department.

Mr Malefane said that they have interacted since 1997. They had been motivating for the Department to lead the project and this continued until 1999. The department was slow in responding and so they had been forced to approach the private sector. The Minister has asked them to prepare an economic impact study to demonstrate the viability of the event. The Minister has given his tacit support but they have had difficulties in dealing with the Department.

Ms Njobe asked if the term 'black' placed limitations on who participated.

Mr Malefane replied that the name had changed from the First World Festival of Negro arts and culture in the 1960s to the second World Festival of Black arts and culture in the 1970's. From this point, the term 'Black' referred to all those who supported Africa. The name may now change to embody the renaissance. He added that the term no longer refers to Africans alone. The term FESTAC will remain as it has already gained worldwide acceptance.

The Chairperson said it was necessary for the Committee to acquaint itself with the details of FESTAC's business plan. He said that members had to indicate whether they wanted to lend their support to the event.

Ms A Van Wyk (NNP) said that the decision had to be made quite urgently. She suggested that that the Committee should contact the Department to determine how long the Department has been aware of FESTAC, the steps is has taken and which other Departments are involved. She agreed that the details in the business plan were important to the Committee. It was especially important to get information on how the Art Centres would be involved at a local level.

National Arts Council: briefing
The CEO of the National Arts Council (NAC), Ms D Nteta, said that the NAC had been formed on 1 April 1997. However, the Act was promulgated on 1 November 1999. This delay presented many problems.

Achievements of the NAC
-Ms Ntete said that the NAC had funded many organisations. They are preparing a list and profile of the projects that have received more than R50 000.
-They have transformed the Arts.
-They have provided infrastructure to the Local Arts Councils
- They have assisted artists by providing bursaries.

Problems experienced by the NAC
The fact that the NAC was set up as an Arts funding body created many expectations that it would be able to fund arts generally and sufficiently. Currently they operate on a budget of R25 million saved from the Performing Arts. Initially they had only a R10 million budget. Previously there was an open door 'Arts for all' policy. However the more the NAC funded, the demand for funds increased. For three years the NAC funded on this basis.

It became clear that they could not continue funding on this basis because funding was not their only function. The NAC also advises government on arts issues and conducts research. In November 2000 the Council decided that the NAC would only fund projects of national significance. In addition, they decided not to fund short-term projects. One way of doing this is to fund projects that are done in partnership with other projects.

Previously funding was very Euro-centric and funds were primarily provided for opera and ballet. This does not work in the African situation where the ordinary person does not categorise his/her art in this way.

Sources of NAC funding
Resources have only come from National Government. Local Government has not provided any funds and Provincial Government has provided limited funds. It has been very difficult to develop partnerships at provincial level. Provincial Arts Centres (except in the Western Cape and Gauteng) and Local Arts Centres are not functioning and this is problematic. Ms Nteta said that while it is the responsibility of central government to provide funding, responsibility for the functioning of these centres lies with the Local Authorities.

Ms Nteta pointed out that two types of funding should be avoided. These types include funding along traditional disciplines (with a Euro-centric focus) and funding on the basis of economic viability (while ignoring the intrinsic value of the art). With regard to the latter, she highlighted that the Department always focuses on jobs created by a particular project and the projects role in poverty alleviation. She added that although these are important issues, they cannot be the only reasons that one supports the arts.

The NAC has played a role in assisting the rural areas by the starting a Crafts Development Initiative. It is being piloted in KZN, the Northern Province and the Eastern Cape. There have been many problems with funding these craft projects because people are illiterate and are unable to submit proposals. The Crafts Development Initiative focuses on developing skills with regard to marketing, business and organising craft fairs. It therefore generates funds for sustaining its own projects.

The Norwegian 'Mnino' (music) project is also generating its own funds. Norway has made funds available for the next five years to sustain this project.

The NAC has had difficulty monitoring and obtaining reports about projects funded. This is because they have funded too many small projects. Monitoring will be easier with larger projects.

DiscussionMs N Tsheole (ANC) said she had had the impression that the NAC would launch an awareness campaign that would inform the public of the NAC's work.

Ms Nteta replied that an increase in publicity would lead to an increase in expectations.

The Chairperson suggested a double edged strategy - one that would inform the public and quell expectations.

Ms Nteta responded that the NAC has recently established the post of Communications Officer who will be able to do this.

Ms Tsheole pointed out that had the Provincial Arts Centres been established, they would have been able to deal with the smaller projects.

Ms Van Wyk said that it was unrealistic to think that the arts could be funded on a budget of R 25 million. Further she suggested that the major arts are not able to fund themselves entirely. She believed that the Committee should try and obtain sponsorships. She asked what percentage of the R25 million is being channelled to artists as opposed to salaries and administration costs.

Ms Nteta answered that the NAC is not allowed to spend more than 25% of the budget on administration. The most they had ever spent on administration was 16%.

Ms Njobe asked if the NAC relies solely on government funding or if it generates its own income as well.

Ms Nteta pointed out that the Crafts Development Initiative and the 'Mnino' projects generated their own funds. She added that this happens with specific projects only and there are no general fundraising activities. Hence the importance of funding only larger projects which are sustainable.

The Chairperson asked if there are any international fundraising activities.

Ms Nteta said that a conference was held last November and 100 organisations had met in Canada. The Federation for Arts and Culture Agency was formed so members could assist each other with fundraising and networking.

Dr Van Niekerk said that he was uncertain of the NAC's functions in terms of the 1999 Act. However, he thought that the Committee was expecting too much of the NAC and suggested that they may be moving outside the 1999 Act.

The Chairperson said that members should know the law. In terms of the 1999 Act the NAC is supposed to fund arts.

Ms S Motubatse (ANC) pointed to the fact that there are only two Provincial Arts Councils in operation. She asked if the Minister was aware of this so that the matter may be taken up at Minmec.

Ms Nteta responded that the Minister knows this. He is also aware that the Department is supposed to create these councils.

Ms Motubatse suggested that project cycles be reviewed so that projects do not apply for funding every year. She asked the period of project cycles.

Ms Nteta replied that a project cycle is usually one year. The NAC will now request projects to produce proposals on a three-year basis. However, she added that 75% of the projects are applied for by disadvantaged groups who are unable to draft three year plans and therefore run on a project by project basis. The problem is that one year projects tend to create dependency.

The Chairperson said that Ms Nteta should propose a strategy for international fundraising and suggest how these funds should be utilised. In addition, he suggested that the NAC propose a strategy to involve communities in funding the arts. He told Ms Nteta to identify partners in the community, the private sector and internationally.

In addition the Chairperson instructed Ms Nteta to identify three priority areas Committee so that the Committee can exercise its oversight role and help the NAC to implement these priority areas. He asked her to provide a date for her response.

Ms Tsheole emphasised that the Committee goes through this process with all bodies that they are responsible for establishing. She reassured Ms Nteta that the Committee and the NAC are partners and that the Committee was not pointing fingers.

Ms Van Wyk reiterated that the Committee is a stakeholder and therefore needs to see the draft policy document and should be provided with the business plan of the NAC.

Ms Nteta identified three priority areas to be dealt with by the Committee. These are as follows (1) policy and business plan, (2) Provincial Arts Councils and (3) the Craft Development Initiative.

The meeting was adjourned.



No related


No related documents


  • We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: