Arts and Culture Draft Annual Strategic Plan: Department briefing

Arts and Culture

09 March 2006
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

9 March 2006

Acting Chairperson:

Mr B Zulu (ANC)

Documents handed out:

Department PowerPoint presentation
Department Legislative Programme 2006
Department draft Strategic Plan: April 2006 - March 2009 (available at
Department of Arts and Culture Report

The Department Director-General presented the Arts and Culture’s draft Strategic Plan, provisional on finalisation by Cabinet. This draft followed the January Cabinet Lekgotla and the State of the Nation Address, and supported the Programme of National Government. He then briefed the Committee on goals and measurable objectives per programme.

The Department’s legislative programme planned to cover the Cultural Laws Amendment Bill (Section 75); the Cultural Laws Second Amendment Bill (Section 76); Legal Deposit Amendment Bill (Section 76); and the Language Professions Council Bill (Section 75) to regulate the accreditation and monitoring of the translation and interpreting disciplines. There were 18 relevant pieces of legislation, dating back to the Heraldic Act of 1964. There was also the issue of whether the Legal Deposit Act was adequate. There was duplication in the SA Heritage Resources Act, SA Heritage Act and SA Arts Council Act, and alignment was needed.

The Department particularly mentioned strained relations with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) after the Auditor-General’s qualified report on this entity. Officials also recommended a policy review of the Constitutional responsibilities of the Pan Southern African Languages Board (PANSALB). There was need for public policy review of the relationships with provinces and a task team had been set up. The Department would present to the Committee on this before engaging the nation. Lastly, it was expected that the Department would train 50 000 people in different foreign languages before the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The Chairperson apologised that the meeting had started late because of misunderstandings about the venue and time. Ms D van der Walt (DA) complained that this was not the first time this had happened, and felt the Department was not taking these meetings seriously. There were meetings last year when they had not arrived at all. She would take this concern to the Chief Whip. On the whole, other departments did not work like this. The Chairperson agreed.

Professor I Mosala (Department Director-General) apologised and explained that there had been major administrative breakdowns in communication. The Department had not even been aware of a meeting last year. There had been a communication problem between the Committee Secretary, the Department Parliamentary Liaison Officer and the Department officials. Earlier this year, the Department was supposed to have attended a workshop, but received the date too late and it coincided with many other activities and the Department’s own Strategic Planning. He felt the workshop should go ahead as scheduled. He assured the Committee that what had happened was not due to an attitude of disrespect. He would follow up on the ‘hitches’.

Department Strategic Plan briefing
Professor Mosala explained that the official Strategic Plan normally came out with the budget documentation, following the President’s State of the Nation Address. The document before the Committee was a draft and final allocations would depend on the decisions of the Cabinet. This draft followed the January Cabinet Lekgotla and the State of the Nation Address, and support the Programme of National Government. He then briefed the Committee on goals and measurable objectives per programme, key activities and the Department legislative programme.

Department unit activities
The ‘Language in Society’ division was responsible for Arts and Culture in Society; Arts, Social Development and Youth; and National Language Services.

Arts and Culture in Society
- The Performing Arts
- Arts and Culture Festivals and Festivities
- Playhouses (including grants to six playhouses)
- Strategic support for funding bodies such as the National Arts Council (NAC) and Business Arts SA (BASA), that in turn funded arts and culture projects.
- Community Arts Centre

Specific projects included the launch of the OR Tambo CD/DVD; planning and strategy for national anniversaries and national days; commemoration and celebrations such as the 50th Anniversary of the Women’s Anti-Pass Demonstration; the 30th anniversary of the student uprisings of 1976; commemoration of the 1906 Poll Tax Rebellion; the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the SA Constitution; the Ntsikana commemoration bi-centennial; and Heritage Day celebrations.

Arts Social Development and Youth
- Arts and Culture Education and Training Campaigns
- Women: The national roll-out of the ‘Mosadi wa Konokono’ project and ‘16 Days of Activism’
- Prisons Campaign: launch of Arts in Prisons Campaign in the Free State, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
- Provinces: Much co-operative work was being done between the Department and Correctional Services.

National Language Services
- The SA Language Practitioners’ Council (SALPC) had been established as a registration and accreditation authority
- Facilitating the establishment of language units in government departments
- The TISSA project
- Human language technologies
- Translation and editing of official documents
- Terminology development
- Train around 50 000 people in different foreign languages before the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The ‘Cultural Development and International Co-operation’ division was responsible for the delivery in the key activities of International Co-operation; Cultural Development; and Investing in Culture.

International Co-operation
- IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) partnerships this year would include a music, craft and fashion exhibition in Brazil
- Servicing new and existing Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements
- Southern African Development Community (SADC)/New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) to strengthen the cultural agenda in SADC and the continent:

Cultural Development
- Cultural industries included Music, Book Publishing, Technical Services and Events, the Craft Sector, Film and Multimedia; Visual Arts, Design and Fashion. These played a huge role in the economy and poverty alleviation.
- Visual Arts Research
- Department presence at the key international music markets, MIDEM in Cannes and Popkom in Berlin
- Support for the National Film and Video Foundation’s (NFVF) development of South African film
- Promotion of the craft sector through the Craft Imbizo, the Beautiful Things Exhibition currently touring through the United States; and a planned exhibition in Brazil as part of strengthening IBSA relationships.
- The Technical Services and Events Industry was a R20 billion per annum strategic industry. The Department had established a sectoral stakeholder task team to deal with the Soccer World Cup 2010.

Professor Mosala continued that the Visual Arts needed additional support, and a statutory allocation was made to the NFVF annually. The Department had leveraged funds from the Industrial Development Corporations (IDC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and had established core production with important countries. NFVF was one of 28 entities and not an organisation in its own right. The Auditor-General had found problems in the books of the institutions, for which the Director-General was accountable. The Director-General had written to all the institutions but still had queries from the Auditor-General. If the Department continued to allocate money in spite of no plan, the Director-General would contravene the Public Finances Management Act (PFMA). The NFVF had complained to the Minister about the Department having to account to the Auditor-General.

Professor Mosala also said the Department was working with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and an international task team, on the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The task team had put together a broad strategy that would be shared with the Committee. The first team had already been sent to Germany to see what could be done in terms of arts and culture.

Investing in Culture:
Key goals included sustainable empowerment and job creation through funded projects; close collaboration with the Department of Local Government (DPLG), the SA Local Government Association (SALGA), the Provinces and Local Government on the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), IRDP, URP and Agriculture SA (AgriSA); the support and establishment of strategic partnerships in skills development and training; marketing partnerships with MAPPSETA (Sector Education and Training Authority), tertiary education institutions and the Department of Labour; and the monitoring and evaluation framework. Such accelerated shared growth initiatives comprised the total budget R92 million and the estimated creation of at least 10 000 jobs.

The ‘Heritage, National Archives and Libraries’ division was responsible for delivery in Heritage Promotion; Archives and Record Services; Libraries and Heraldic Services. Unfortunately there were inadequate resources. R5 million had been made available for Treasury feasibility studies into how public libraries could be more effectively and efficiently funded. R1 billion was expected for next year. Some major townships, such as Mdantsane, did not even have a library.

- Heritage Institutions
- Review and alignment of Heritage Legislation
- National Audit of audit of cultural properties, estimated at R29.5 million in the Medium–term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
Treasury had turned down a request for once-off funding. Provincial government was not providing finance for this important work.
- Living Heritage/Intangible Cultural Heritage. This included the development of strategies to collect, preserve and promote SA living heritage; traditional practices; indigenous food, dance, music and indigenous music instruments; the identification of icons of South African Cultural Heritage/Living Human Treasures; and training in skills and art of indigenous music.
- Heritage Month 2006 had the theme ‘Celebrating our Living Heritage’ and sub-theme ‘Celebrating our Music, Our Heritage’
- Geographical names: Work needed to be done in proper community consultation
- New Frontiers and Projects included the launch of the Africa World Heritage Fund; the 50th Anniversary of the Women’s March, the refurbishment of the women’s monument and the construction of a Women’s Museum and public sculpture; the 20th anniversary of the death of Samora Machel; and the centenary celebration of Satyagraha.

Archives, Libraries and Heraldic Services
- Archives and record services
- Exhibitions and documentaries for the 10th anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and adoption of the Constitution
- Heraldic services.

Legislative Programme
The legislative programme included the Cultural Laws Amendment Bill (Section 75); the Cultural Laws Second Amendment Bill (Section 76); Legal Deposit Amendment Bill (Section 76); and the Language Professions Council Bill (Section 75) to regulate the accreditation and monitoring of the translation and interpreting disciplines.

The Deputy Director-General reported on progress since publication of the White Paper on Arts and Culture ten years ago. He said much work had been happening in the film sector and the recent Academy Awards pointed to a good foundation, and need for consolidation. There was also much excitement in the heritage sector. There was need for public policy review of the relationships with provinces and a task team had been set up. He emphasised that the Department would present to the Committee on this before engaging the nation. A critical component was the review of the arts and culture legislation, particularly in the Heritage sector. There were 18 pieces of legislation, dating back to the Heraldic Act of 1964. There was also the issue of whether the Legal Deposit Act was sufficient. There was duplication in legislation, particularly in the SA Heritage Resources Act, SA Heritage Act and SA Arts Council Act, and alignment was needed.

DiscussionMr K Khumalo reflected that there had been many changes in comparison to the adopted plan of 2003 – 2006. Two years ago, the Department had asked international SA embassies to have a copy of ‘Nkosi Sikelele Afrika’ and national symbols hanging on the wall. He asked whether this was being done.

Professor Mosala replied that it was primarily a responsibility of the Foreign Affairs Department. The Department had indicated what it would like, but the mission staff reported to Foreign Affairs.

The Director-General explained that the Strategic Plan was a third draft, having been informed by the January 2006 Cabinet Lekgotla. Every year the Department made changes based on the priorities identified by the July and January Lekgotla’s and in the President’s State of the Nation Address. The planning cycle for the year started in April. The plans for the second and third MTEF years still remained broad. Most of the major changes were planned for this year.

Mr C Gololo (ANC) welcomed the allocation of R1 billion for building libraries in townships, as well as the initiative of the Director-General in inviting Members on tours. He also felt there was a need to educate people on symbology of and respect for the national flag and anthem. He was impressed with the teaching of foreign languages in preparation for the 2010 event. He further asked whether complimentary tickets could be issued to the Committee for the Jazz Festival in Cape Town.

Professor Mosala responded that Very Important Persons (VIP) facilities at the Jazz event were very limited, predominantly for security reasons. The issue would be discussed with the Committee of Chairpersons.

Ms N Mbombo (ANC) asked about repatriation of human remains overseas. Mr T Wakashe (Deputy Director-General) replied that because of the sensitive nature of the matter, the Minister would put together an advisory panel on repatriation, identification of graves outside the region, and the upkeep of the graves. The Minister had also written to other political parties to request that they send a representative to the advisory panel. The matter was being held back because two political parties had not yet submitted names to the Minister. The matter was receiving attention.

The Chairperson and Mr K Khumalo (ANC) were concerned about problematic relations between the Department, Committee and arts entities, particularly those dealing with languages. He asked what the Department expected the Committee to do to resolve the impasse. Ms D Ramodibe (ANC) asked to what extent other departments were involved in language issues. It was important to work with other departments to reduce costs and avoid duplication.

Professor Mosala responded on the relationships with the Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB)

and on the role of National Language Service. The Department had had problems for a long time. He was concerned that PANSALB, although established by statute, had an independent approach to the Treasury medium-term expenditure, which meant they always wanted to suggest budget allocations. The final SA Constitution did not deal with PANSALB directly, and so it had technically only to report to the Committee and not the Minister, although the Department provided funding. PANSALB had taken the Minister to the Public Protector, claiming the Department encroached on their area of work. He suggested the policy be reviewed. He thought PANSALB was created to be a watchdog over linguistic rights protected by the Constitution, and not a tool for developing and promoting language. This was a matter the Committee must sort out with the Minister. PANSALB had even prevented staff from just attending a conference on language by threatening them. He also felt there was generally a need for more inter-departmental strategising, ‘horizontal synergies’ and clustering.

Mr Wakashe continued that Community Arts Centres were a serious and complex concern, and provided a brief background on how the matter came up in the budget. In 1995, the National Department provided funds to rebuild and repair buildings destroyed before 1994, with a Memorandum of Understanding that provincial and local governments would take on the responsibility of recurring costs. Work was done and a number of new ones were built throughout the country. The local government however did not have enough resources to provide for programming to Community Arts Centres, and so they were not used as intended. The Department took this up with the Minister, who reprioritised the budget. Over the past five years, the Department had provided R1 - R5 million to resource community centres, but this was still inadequate to assist struggling municipalities. Funding partnerships with Flanders (area in the Netherlands) had also supported community arts centres in the past financial year. KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Limpopo had been particular areas for improvement.

Ms D Ramodibe (ANC) was interested in the national roll-out of the ‘Mosadi wa Konokono’ (Women of Substance) project. Ms R Mangope from the Department explained that it was a socio-cultural economic campaign to foster social cohesion and encourage youth to adhere to moral principles "in the spirit of ubuntu", to culminate in an award ceremony in August. All provinces were involved. She also elaborated on the National Youth Expressions Campaign to commemorate the 1976 Soweto uprising, incorporating several projects to be carried out this year and beyond. The programme envisaged accelerating sustainable youth job creation and having stakeholders partnering with the private arts and culture sector.

The Chairperson enquired whether the Department had a bursary scheme and how many students benefited. The Director-General replied that mainly scholarships focused on postgraduate students. This year the Minister wanted to give some specific bursaries in arts and culture.

Ms van der Walt referred to the relationship of the Department with regard to the Cape Town Film Board and Tshwane University of Technology. It was a pity Members had not been invited to be included in the film preview of ‘Tsotsi’. Professor Mosala replied that the Committee had been invited but Parliament had been in recess at the time.

Ms D van der Walt (DA) was concerned about the NFVF’s relationship to the Committee, and whether the film school was getting off the ground. She also asked where the Committee got involved in the legislative process. She hoped the DA was not one of the parties that had not responded to the Minister’s letter. She also mentioned her shock that on International Women’s Day, so many people singing the national anthem only sung the verses in their own language.

The Director-General responded that no Bill could go to the National Assembly unless passed by the Committee. The review process would generate new bills. They would promote the translation of ‘Nkosi Sikilele Afrika’.

Prince N Zulu (IFP) said further research needed to be done before the commemoration of the 1906 Poll Tax, as some myths were being perpetuated. He also asked what would happen to the trained foreign language students after 2010. He also felt that not enough was being done about libraries in townships and in poorer schools. There was a need to educate the people to respect cultural resources.

The Director-General responded that the Poll Tax commemoration was a broader land issue that had led to uprising, rebellion, and resistance. The Department was working with the Premier’s office in KwaZulu-Natal on commemorative activities, such as a national ‘hero award’ for Bhambatha and a statue. Investigation was occurring in preparation for the commemoration.

Prince Zulu further referred to the issue of interpreters in Parliament. The Department had planned to employ about 80 interpreters by June this year and only 39 were already employed. This caused problems in House plenaries.

On library vandalism and respect for the culture of learning, the Director-General said there was a need for a more pointed project driven by Department. On interpreters for Parliament, further collaboration was needed between the Department and Parliament Committees.

Mr Khumalo asked which language was written on the South African Coat of Arms. As the issue fell under the national Department of Foreign Affairs, he asked that a meeting should be arranged to discuss this matter. These South African symbols should be reflected in every foreign office. The Director-General agreed that this Committee should meet with the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Mr Khumalo continued that multi-cultural organisations were mostly based in Europe. In 1999, there had been an international arts conference in Amsterdam, and important musical linkages with South Africa had been established. Were they still beneficial? Bilateral agreements should be continued within the region and with Argentina.

The Director-General agreed that Members should be included in more arts and culture events and conferences. There were 55 bilateral agreements, but some were ‘dormant’. His office was coming up with projects that could be marketable internationally. Regarding bilateral agreements on the African continent, two critical meetings had happened in December where Cultural Ministers met in Nairobi. An important document had come out with plans for African languages. The Department would issue documents to the Committee on bilateral and multilateral arrangements.

The Chairperson felt that the issue of the NFVF was very serious and prompted the Committee to meet with the Department and with the NFVF this year, as it had unfortunately not been possible in December 2005. The Director-General added that the former Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee was also in discussions with the Minister, trying to get a meeting to deal with the ‘bigger picture’. In terms of being accountable to Parliament, this was an internal compliance issue. He also explained that it cost much money to support more SA films, particularly as South African movie houses did not show South African movies. It was important for the Department to get the NFVF to showcase South African films. Not even Committee Members attended the festivals.

Mr Khumalo felt that most National Arts Council funding went to large theatres. Those play houses were also able to apply for more funding. North West and Limpopo were not adequately covered. He was unhappy about the proximity of those playhouses to the African communities, such as the Market Theatre and State Theatre. Productions were also not suited to a broad audience, and few were in African languages. He felt they should changing the whole ‘landscape’ of arts and culture.

The Director-General responded that funding inequities for venues was a problem. However, in order for the larger playhouses to survive, they needed to be sure of revenue streams over time and could ill-afford experimentation. This required a ‘transformation budget’, over and above what the Department gave for facility maintenance. Many changes had been made since 1994, and there was no longer 100% funding for playhouses. When the National Arts Council was formed in 1996, the budget was R5 million - it was currently R66 million and funded all other arts initiatives.

Ms D Ramodibe (ANC) asked about progress in collecting and promoting indigenous music. The Director-General responded that the Department was working with the universities of Zululand and Fort Hare on this. Heritage Month this year would focus on collecting and archiving indigenous music, and raising awareness and appreciation.

The meeting was adjourned.



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