KZN Playhouse 2006/07 Budget briefing; Committee 2005 Annual Report

Arts and Culture

29 March 2006
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

29 March 2006

Acting Chairperson:

Mr R Sonto (ANC)

Documents handed out:
The Playhouse Company: Outline and 2006 Budget: Part

1 & 2
Arts and Culture Portfolio Committee Annual Report January 2005 – December 2005

The Playhouse Company briefed the Committee about its structure, operations and 2006 budget. A clear outline of the personnel structure was provided as well as the activities that were being performed in line with the Company’s vision. Members were please with the progress made by the Playhouse Company and commended the work that had been directed toward education and development. The Playhouse Company’s projects were restricted due to funding problems. The budget review was briefly discussed and Members expressed concern at the changes between the draft and final copy. Members were deeply disturbed by the actions of the Director-General of Arts and Culture in respect of lack of information and slack service delivery. The Committee’s 2005 Annual Report was briefly discussed and adopted.

Playhouse Company briefing

Ms Linda Bukhosini, Director of the Playhouse Company, briefed the Members on the structure of the Playhouse Company. The overview outlined various sections that made up the institution. It included the Arts section that was responsible for the planning of all artistic productions, the Operations section that was responsible for production services and the Support section that dealt with finance and human resources.

The bulk of funding for the Playhouse Company comprised of government, the Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism (DACT) in KwaZulu-Natal and the national Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). An upgrade of the infrastructure was desperately needed. The Director noted that the artistic plan was set to deliver artistic services and products to the artistic community in alignment with all the national and provincial priorities. This artistic plan included education and development projects such as new stages, test drive, hip kulcha, arts network forum, schools programme, Grahamstown tour, residency programme and new commissions. A list of in-house and in-association projects was described as part of the artistic plan.

Mr N Magubane (ANC) asked whether it was a prerequisite that the nine-member council of the Playhouse Company was made up of professionals.

Ms Bukhosini responded that the council make-up was the prerogative of the Minister. The process involved public applications that were short-listed. Interviews then took place that led to recommendations that had to be approved by the Cabinet. Appointment was therefore not the prerogative of the Playhouse Company. She was pleased with the Council because of the diverse range of professionals that could assist with future challenges.

Mr H Maluleka (ANC) was impressed with the achievements of the Playhouse Company. He asked whether social issues such as HIV/Aids were covered in the productions.

Ms Bukhosini noted that many productions dealt with HIV/Aids. She stated that the Playhouse Company did not go in search of productions but social issues were included in many of the nominations.

Ms Ramadebe (ANC) asked how disadvantaged performers had been taken care of by the education initiatives.

Ms Bukhosini responded that the Playhouse Company had assisted where it could. She noted that plagiarism of disadvantaged performers’ works had to be interrogated. The Playhouse Company would provide further assistance but their resources were limited.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) questioned the number of productions that were performed at the Playhouse Company and what the profits and losses of the Company were.

Ms Bukhosini stated that she did not have an exact figure of how many productions had been done.

Mr B Pule (UCDP) commended the productions because of their representation of all cultural groups. He asked whether the outsourcing of security and cleaning services would lead to the eventual outsourcing of all services by the Playhouse Company.

Ms Bukhosini noted that the security and cleaning services represented a significant cost to the Playhouse Company. It had been cheaper to outsource the services but she did not think that all services would be outsourced.

Mr J Maake (ANC) questioned the downsizing of the staff from 600 to 86 personnel. He enquired how the visual arts had been dealt with. He also asked what the rented space was being used for.

Ms Bukhosini noted that the downsizing of the staff was due to the previous mismanagement of the Playhouse Company and a cut in their budget. There had been unfair use of public funds therefore the downsizing was to make the funds more equitable. The Ministry downsized certain sections that were not critical to the functioning of the Playhouse Company. She claimed that the Playhouse’s focus had been on performing arts instead of visual arts. However, there had been the opportunity for visual artists to exhibit their works on various occasions. She noted that due to the downsizing, the Company had thought that it would be productive to rent out unused offices for a small income.

Mr B Zulu (ANC) queried what system was in place for disadvantaged people who had wanted to record music.

Ms Bukhosini noted that attempts had been made to record rural and traditional music.

Ms D Van der Walt (DA) asked what the difference between productions and performances was. She queried how many performances had taken place last year.

Ms Bukhosini responded that the Company experienced managerial difficulties from 2002 to 2005. She noted that the new placements would provide an approximate figure.

Playhouse Company Budget briefing
Mr Zuko Mbwebi, Chief Financial Officer, presented the 2006 budget. He briefly outlined income and expenditure figures. He noted that 74% of the income had come from grants from the DAC, DACT and other funding sources. In-house generated income accounted for 26% of the overall income.

DiscussionMs D Van der Walt (DA) stated that there was no audit report. There had been no breakdown of salaries and no reference to debt, surpluses or investments.

Mr Mbwebi responded that cash reserves had been invested in the banks. He stated that the audit report had not been included so that the budget overview could be kept simple. The audit was in the process of being done.

Ms Bukhosini stated that the audit report would be made available as soon as possible. The reserves that had accumulated during the 2003/04 transition period would be used for upgrading the facilities.

Mr N Magubane (ANC) asked where the gate-takings had been reflected in the budget.

Ms Bukhosini responded that the fourth income line on the summary page reflected the box office earnings. The money had gone to producing more shows.

Mr Mbwebi stated that the negative figure in the budget was due to the spending of more money than what had come in. A specific explanation of how the money was spent could not be provided because it was an accumulative figure.

Ms Kohler-Barnard (DA) queried what had happened to the R5 million deficit that was not mentioned in the final report.

Mr Mbwebi stated that there had been no financial losses. The figure was due to the use of formulas in drafting the report.

Ms D Van de Walt (DA) stated the explanation was not useful and that a negative figure for income in the draft report was not acceptable.

Mr J Maake (ANC) asked how the budget had helped rural people.

Ms Bukhosini stated that the Playhouse Company was passionate about helping rural people. Due to budget constraints, assistance could not always be provided.

The Chairperson requested that a full explanation of the Playhouse Company’s finances be provided so that the Committee could assist in the future.

Committee Annual Report January – December 2005

The Chairperson stated that there had been a lack of coordination between the Director-General and the Committee.

Members had expressed real concern with the actions of the Director-General.

The Committee confirmed the corrections made to the Annual Report.

The Chairperson stated that the Annual Report was adopted and ready for presentation to Parliament.

The meeting was adjourned.



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