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ARTS AND CULTURE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
15 August 2005
COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE: DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE BRIEFINGS
Acting Chairperson: Mr. K Khumalo
Documents handed out:
Community Arts Centre (CAC): Progress Report
Guidelines for the Community Arts Centre Awards
List of Community Arts Centre (CAC) in South Africa
The Department of Arts and Culture briefed the Committee on the background to the Community Arts Centres and their programmes, and how the Multi Purpose Community Centres also assisted. The new Community Arts Centre Awards were described and their rationale set out. All the Department’s initiatives sought to promote the culture and heritage, to create employment, to create new opportunities and skills development, and to contribute to social cohesion and nation building. The criteria for the awards, the assessment and adjudication process and the roles and responsibilities of the assessors were tabled. It was proposed that the awards be established as an annual event, with a recommendation of the first prize being R500 000, the second prize R300 000 and the third prize R200 000. …
Members raised questions on the differing numbers and status of Community Arts Centres, the funding given to them and the lines of accountability. The challenges of management and capacity within the Department were raised, and concern was expressed about the apparent lack of sustainability of the Community Arts Centres, and how this would be addressed. The Committee was concerned that a full audit be done as it believed the Centres filled an important role in the community..
Mr. K Khumalo was appointed as Acting Chairperson. He voiced his frustration that time was wasted waiting for sufficient members to constitute a quorum, and was critical of members who did not attend on time, or at all.
Briefing by Department of Arts and Culture: Community Arts Centre matters
Mr Sidney Selebe (Chief Director, Arts in Society, Department of Arts and Culture (DAC)) reported that the Community Arts Centres (CAC) were established to provide opportunities for participation in the arts, to create opportunities for employment, and to provide cultural enrichment. The historical arts centres that had helped to provide informal arts education in the apartheid years had played an important role. The multi-purpose community centres (MPCCs) were also offering various arts and cultural programmes.
The Department of Arts of Culture had now initiated a Community Arts Centre Award, which aimed to recognize community arts centres that had made progress in addressing the challenges of service delivery in the field of arts and culture. The priorities which had been identified included poverty reduction, job creation and economic empowerment, skills development, social cohesion and nation building, and mass participation in and access to cultural programmes. The awards also aimed to highlight and elevate the role of CACs, and to improve intergovernment relationships.
The awards were open to all CACs and MPCCs. The criteria for application and assessment, the adjudication, the composition of the team of assessors, and their roles and responsibilities were outlined. It was proposed that this be established as an annual event. The first prize was recommended to be R500 000, the second R300 000 and the third R200 000
Ms D Van der Walt (DA) queried the meaning of the acronym MAPP.
The Acting Chairperson replied that it was Media Advertising Packaging and Publishing.
Ms N Mbombo (ANC) spoke in an indigenous language about the many dilapidated, derelict and under-constructed CAC's, particularly in the Eastern Cape.
The Acting Chairperson answered that DAC was aware of the problem. He acknowledged that this was a difficult situation but that it needed to be addressed by municipalities.
Ms D Ramodibe (ANC) queried how many CAC's received funding from DAC.
Ms C Selepe (Department of Arts and Culture) advised that there were four in the North West, six in the Eastern Cape and one in Limpopo.
Mr J Maake (ANC) queried the statement in the report that a maximum of R1million was needed for a CAC to function.
Ms N Mashamba (Department of Arts and Culture) said that this was an error and in fact it was a minimum of R1 million. There was no limit to the amount because each CAC varied in the number of programmes and the size of projects.
Mr J Maake sought clarity why the department had different categories of CACs.
Mr S Selepe clarified that a distinction needed to be made for those CACs that received funding for recurring costs from either the department, municipalities or NGOs.
Ms D Ramodibe asked how soon the department intended to address the challenges of management and capacity.
Ms C Selepe answered that discussions would take place in October or November during a national workshop for all role players.
The Acting Chairperson enquired about the line of accountability between a CAC and the department.
Ms C Selepe confirmed that a CAC reported to municipalities in respect of recurring costs and to DAC in respect of programmes.
Mr P Maluleka (ANC) asked what lessons the department had learned from foreign countries.
Ms N Mashamba indicated that an existing bi-national agreement with the Flemish government had yielded positive results. She stated that it was impossible to emulate all their examples because of the disparity in funding between the two systems.
Ms D Van der Walt expressed concern that DAC seemed to keep pumping money into CACs, but that they collapsed when DAC withdrew.
Mr S Selepe confirmed that DAC was also concerned about the sustainability of CAC.
Mr C Gololo (ANC) asked the department to explain why the current budget had been reduced.
Mr S Selepe explained that the budget was reduced to R2 million owing to other priorities.
Mr J Maake commented that there were huge disparities in the number of CACs across the provinces. He wondered whether this related to differing initiatives from different communities.
Mr S Selepe concurred that this was the case.
The Chairman stated that the benefits of the CACs should not be underestimated, and believed that DAC should produce an audit on the status of each CAC.
The meeting adjourned.
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