Arts and Culture Strategic Plan and Budget 2006/07: Department briefing

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

07 June 2006

Mr B J Tolo (ANC, Mpumalanga)

Documents handed out:
Select Committee briefing for Budget Vote 14: 2006/2007
Strategic Plan and Legislative Programme: Department of Arts and Culture

The Department of Arts and Culture presented its 2006/7 Strategic Plan and Budget. It emphasised six key programmes. These included administration, arts and culture in society, national language services, cultural development and international co-operation, information and heraldic service, and heritage promotion. The mechanisms for policy formulation, legislation, and funding were highlighted and the emphasis on support to specialised institutions was pointed out. Three important events gained special attention. These were the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the Women’s Day celebrations, and the Beautiful Things Craft Exhibition. Members raised issues on language translation and general language issues, cultural industries, and the renaming of South African places and the technicalities it entailed.

Presentation by the Department of Arts and Culture

The Director-General, Mr I Mosala apologised on behalf of the Minister of Arts and Culture as he was not able to attend the meeting. Before beginning his presentation, Mr Mosala commented that the Department had attempted to work in sync with the Government’s three-year strategic framework with regard to planning, the importance of which had implications for early budget requests. His presentation included both the Strategic Plan and the Budget, but focused strongly on the budget, where it considered arts and culture in society, national language service, cultural development and international co-operation, heritage promotion, and information and heraldic services.

Mr Mosala highlighted the aims of the Department, with specific emphasis on social cohesion with respect to non-racialism and non-sexism. He highlighted six key programmes in the Department. First the administration programmes with the aim to conduct centralised management and support. Second was arts and culture in society, with the aim to increase access and participation in arts and culture through policy formulation, legislation and equitable funding. These three mechanisms i.e. policy formulation, legislation, and funding, he pointed out was the key aims which reverberated throughout the Department’s mandate. Thirdly he considered the aims of the national language services where the three mechanisms played an important role. Fourthly Mr Mosala highlighted Cultural Development and International Co-operation, which he defined as the cultural industry generating programme, which subsequently was more economically inclined. He maintained that the cultural industry was the backbone of cultural development. Programme Five was heritage promotion consuming the most money in the Department because of its infrastructure base. The final programme he highlighted was information and heraldic services, including components such as national archives and libraries.

Mr Mosala also elaborated on the Department’s public entities under the budget summary, which totalled 28 institutions each with their own Chief Executive Officer and independent councils. The Department of Arts and Culture provided a support function for these institutions via the three mechanisms emphasised (policy formulation, legislation, and funding), while the driving prerogative of arts and culture rested on these institutions with the support of the Department. With regard to upcoming events, special reference was made to the 2010 Soccer World Cup preparation and a study tour where lessons from Germany will be studied by invitation of the German government. South African artists will be performing at relevant events around the World Cup and a craft exhibition is also scheduled providing exposure to the cultural industry. He also placed special emphasis on the Women’s Day celebration which would entail an “elaborate” programme of celebration. Finally the challenge of renaming certain areas in the country was highlighted to be a difficult task entailing a description and capturing of accurate geographical data. Specific Budget detail was provided. (See documents for relevant detail)


Ms F Mazibuko (ANC, Gauteng) was disappointed with the 18% of the budget effectively allocated to the Department. She also found the measurable objectives on cultural development disappointing. She asked what steps are being taken for cultural development at local level. She maintained that the cultural practitioners at local level were underpaid in relation to the CEOs of the respective cultural institutions. She suggested that the international focus was too big, while at a local level there is not much focus. Finally she asked what role film played in empowering people at local township level. On library funding she was disappointed with the amount allocated and found that it was under-funded considering the challenges faced by the libraries. Ms Mazibuko was also sceptical about the small allocation of R5 million for Women’s Day celebrations as she felt it undermined Women’s Day and the role of women in the struggle. Finally she asked what criteria had been used to select artists going to Germany, as she felt that there was a need to pay more attention to artists who seldom got the focus or limelight and not just repetitively focus on the artists most frequently given attention. Additionally she asked if the Department thought their budget allocation to be sufficient to meet their needs.

Mr Mosala responded by acknowledging the frustration of the ambition to do and achieve more, however the available resources did not accommodate this ambition. He was grateful that the President granted the Department a separate Ministry though. On the international focus Mr Mosala maintained that this process exposed local artists to an international market and audience, hence it is of local significance. He also maintained that the policy was to aid those who were unable to expose themselves and who were previously marginalized. He also emphasised the criteria of broadly exposing cultural areas that have not previously gained significant exposure such as the craft exhibition. He highlighted that the Spanish authorities have invited South African artists to perform in the world festival in Spain, which is an example of this exposure. The dual purpose of exposure and economic empowerment via markets was thus highlighted.

With regard to Women’s Day celebrations, Mr Mosala claimed that the spending on this occasion would be much more than the R5 million allocated, because of re-organisation of other programmes resulting in an estimated spending of about R39.8 million. However, he maintained that the allocations were not sufficient, but Treasury’s response was that other Departments compete for attention as well. With regard to public entities, Mr Mosala argued that the bureaucracy in Arts and Culture because of the 28 institutions needed streamlining. Going back to the Women’s Day celebration he maintained that private sector companies such as Old Mutual were keen to aid the Department with the Women’s Day march. With regard to the allocation of only R200 million to libraries, Mr Mosala maintained that it was in fact a lot of money for one item. He then referred the question to Mr Wakashe, the Deputy Director General of the Department.

Mr Wakashe maintained that the Department’s mandate was only for national libraries and they did not look after provincial, local and community libraries; therefore the R200 million was granted in this context. Thus the amount was not a reflection of the total spending on libraries nationally (including local and community libraries) but just indicated the spending on national libraries. He also commented on the role of the private sector by referring to R4.6 million that was allocated to Business Arts South Africa to leverage private sector funding for Arts and Culture.

Mr M Sulliman (ANC, Northern Cape) with regard to geographical naming found it to be an important issue and argued that the Department seemed to lack significant funding and mechanisms in place to deal with this issue. With regard to National Language Services, he pointed out that this programme was supposed to be involved in translation and he asked what mechanisms were in place to address the issue of translation. Under other transfers he asked how one would go about gaining sponsorships from the Department of Arts and Culture. Finally he asked for clarification on the Boer War Museum’s functions.

Ms N Madlala-Magubane (ANC, Gauteng) asked for a list of the relevant institutions. Secondly she asked for clarification on the parties involved in the organisation of the Women’s Day celebrations. Finally she asked what criteria were used to declare world heritage sites.

On geographical naming, Mr Mosala acknowledged the difficulty involved; however he argued that it was the role of the specialised institutions to drive the process with the support of the Department. Generally also it was the respective councils that managed the naming mechanism. Hence he argued it was a bottom up process. With regard to the question of the budget for this, he agreed that the budget was inadequate and he called for the Select Committee’s support in this respect. Mr Mosala said that translation was a big problem, although he felt that the Department should be responsible for translation on a policy level, but would not want to be responsible for translating which is far too expensive and there was a lack of access to translators. He pointed out that each Department required a language unit to address its language problems. On the issue of bursaries or access to funding he noted the request and said that it would be addressed shortly. With regard to the list of relevant institutions he pointed out that it was provided in the presentation.

Mr Wakashe with regard to the war museum pointed out that it had received a budget allocation of R4.6 million. It was situated in Bloemfontein and was a museum that commemorated the Anglo-Boer War. With regard to the declaration of World Heritage Sites, Mr Wakashe said that the World Heritage Convention determined the criteria and the most commonly used definition was that the site should be of outstanding universal value. On a national level the procedure is first to declare a site a national monument or cultural site and the relevant laws to protect it are identified. These sites can then be nominated for consideration by the World Heritage Committee but generally the signatories to the convention decided on whether it would become a World Heritage site.

Mr Mosala highlighted that the Women’s Day celebration is scheduled to be a major celebration entailing a re-enactment of the march on Pretoria in 1956. In Gauteng there would be a major Diva concert.

A Member was concerned about re-naming Pretoria as a recent survey found that 80% of the public were against this.

The Chairperson also expressed concern over the naming and highlighted that it was important to secure our unique African identity especially with regard to the tourist market. Secondly the Chairman asked if there was a distinct cohesive South African culture being discerned or evolving. With regard to language he felt that the local languages were not being promoted appropriately. He asked if there were any mechanisms addressing this problem. He also felt the libraries were a significant problem especially with regard to the distribution of “contemporary” books. Finally with regard to museums, he found that local language or ethnic museums, such as Zulu museums were not being established and he stressed the need for these.

Mr Mosala agreed that language, and especially the dominance of English, was a problem and had to be addressed. He argued that it was a myth that someone could not function globally with their own language. As far as government was concerned, he maintained that the policy prescription with regard to language was not being enforced or implemented. With regard to the issue of an evolving South African culture, Mr Mosala argued that it was not yet evolving but the policy instruments that were in place were evolving e.g. the Macro Social Development Strategy that has been mandated to the Department of Arts and Culture which addressed the issue of South African identity. He also argued that sport was not being used to its full potential to evolve the cultural identity and cohesion of South Africa. Music was provided as a good example of national identity promotion. Mr Mosala maintained that there was a need for multilingual interaction to bridge the language divide. With regard to place renaming he argued that there was an asymmetrical distribution of political will among the different provinces with Limpopo having the highest level of political will in this regard, while the other provinces lacked sufficient political will. Finally with regard to the renaming of Pretoria, he proposed that the Minister should be consulted on this matter as it awaited his signature.

The Chairperson suggested that the Minister would probably have a good reason to delay this process and it would not be an arbitrary decision.

Ms Mazibuko pointed out that a target had been set for language sites, and asked to what extent these targets were met. On the issue of interpreters, Ms Mazibuko also pointed out that the target of eighty had not been reached. Rather only twenty-eight were employed and she asked what would be done to reach the target. She also stressed the need to construct our own approach to the 2010 World Cup preparations and not just adopt a western model. Finally with regard to Robben Island, Ms Mazibuko pointed out that the tour guide’s presentations were sometimes not accurate and standardised and this should be corrected.

On the language sites, Mr Mosala said he would supply the answer in writing. He maintained that the Department would make sure that the 2010 World Cup had a specific South African identity and as soon as the framework was established it would be reported to the Committee. On the issue of music, he indicated that this year’s heritage month was being dedicated to South African music.

Mt Wakashe stated that there were functioning provincial heritage resources in six or seven provinces. Where there was none established such as in the Eastern Cape, the South African Heritage Resources Agency had stepped in to provide support.

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: