Committee Budget and Programme

Arts and Culture

23 May 2006
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

23 May 2006

Acting Chairperson:
Mr R Sonto (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Arts and Culture Portfolio Committee Annual Report January 2005 – December 2005

The discussion focused on the Committee’s budget and what it should be used for. Members felt that the total budget was small and wished to apply for more money. They also deliberated on whether the money should be used for national and international trips.

The Acting Chairperson stated that the Committee still did not have an elected Chairperson and that he was merely a caretaker. He mentioned that he was not aspiring to be Chairperson.

The Committee needed to consider the business plan for the current financial year. The amount of money allocated by Parliament was to be spent on the Committee programme as well as other issues that might arise. Mr Sonto stated that while Members were looking at the programme, he would invite comments.

Mr C Gololo (ANC) asked if the R500 000 allocated was for intercontinental or continental trips.

Mr H Maluleke (ANC) clarified that this amount was not the allocation for trips but was the overall budget.

Ms D Van der Walt (DA) stated that the Committee should have a briefing by the Department, and the Minister should attend Committee meetings more often. She believed that there were other things to do with the money than focus on international trips. The money should be used in a way that would benefit communities.
The Committee Secretary said that Members should suggest items that needed to be added to the budget.

The Acting Chairperson stated that the Committee was meant to visit all provinces but had only managed to visit three. The others had to be visited before the end of the financial year. A prioritised approach needed to be taken. When the Committee undertook these visits, they needed to go to the people who thought Parliament did not know about them as this would encourage these communities. When the Minister came to the Committee it would be a chance for Members to engage him and ask him questions. This would enable the Committee to exercise its oversight role. The Committee had talked about continental trips to Timbuktu and Mali, and an intercontinental trip to Cuba.

Ms N Mbombo stated that when the Committee had gone to the North West Province, they had met crafters and come back with a report that those people had been exploited. This had been given to the relevant people but they had never heard from them again. What had happened to that report?

The Acting Chairperson responded that this was something that should be investigated.

Ms Van der Walt mentioned that somebody had recently written to her about a major festival coming to the West Coast. Could these people come and present to the Committee or should she continue deflecting them to the provincial department.

Mr Maluleka replied that they should first approach provincial administration.

Mr Sonto commented that those sorts of events were monitored and funded by provinces, and so they should go to provincial administration first.

Ms D Ramodibe (ANC) stated that it in terms of a strategic planning it had been very difficult to say what the Committee’s priorities were.

Ms Van der Walt suggested that they should have a list of entities seen or visited for the benefit of those who had not been Members of the Committee initially. A workshop should be planned for Members and the Department. Mr Gololo agreed that there was a need for the Department to come and give them guidance.

Mr Sonto remarked that the difficulty was that the Committee suffered from instability. Other committees did their strategic planning over a weekend which gave them enough time to develop a strategy.
Mr B Zulu (ANC) stated that the Committee Secretary should assist the Committee on how they should elect a Chairperson.

Mr Maluleka argued that they would not come out of the meeting with anything. Mr Sonto should deliberate on these matters with the Committee Secretary.

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) stated that the allocation of R500 000 was too little.

Ms Van der Walt said that if there was a workshop then there would be outcomes.

The Acting Chairperson stated that Ms Pam Tshwete had been appointed whip for the Committee. Perhaps things would become better. He would, together with the Secretary, take suggestions and compile them as a programme. Should it cover the rest of the year or only the second quarter?

Ms Ramodibe stated that the Committee should apply for a researcher. This would be helpful for the work of the Committee.

The Acting Chairperson stated that the Secretary should check with Parliament about a researcher.

Mr Maluleka stated that the whip should do that as she had more administrative power than the Secretary.

The Acting Chairperson noted that there was a book launch that the Committee needed to host. Former President Nelson Mandela would be invited to the launch, but if he was not available then his daughter Zindzi Mandela would be invited.

Ms Mbombo asked what the hosting entailed, and stated that the Chairperson should find this out and make sure that he did not over-commit the Committee.

Mr Sonto stated that he would do that.

The meeting was adjourned.



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