Policy Review & Legislation: briefing; Festival of Arts & Culture (Festac) Preparations for 2010: briefing

Arts and Culture

05 February 2008
Chairperson: Ms J T Tshivhase (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

A delegation from the Department of Arts and Culture briefed the Committee on the Department’s progress on reviewing its policies, its review of legislation concerning arts and culture, and its draft legislative programme for 2008. Members raised questions on progress towards 2014 targets to eliminate poverty and halve unemployment. Concern was expressed that expectations should not be created if they could not be fulfilled. There was still much to be achieved. The Department of Education might be invited to discuss with the Committee the place of arts and culture in schools. Concern was expressed about artists’ welfare, but the Department’s view was that its priority was rather to promote artists’ artistic and cultural interests. A Member stressed the need to create a culture of reading. 

The legislative review was essential to bridge gaps between policy and legislation, to eliminate duplication of legislative measures, to eliminate wastage of public resources and confusion and tension between institutions. Eleven acts, dating from1962 to 2001, were under review. The first of these, the Heraldry Act No.18 of 1962 was recommended to be repealed and replaced by a new act, the National Symbols Act. Further recommendations were made in respect of acts needing amendment.

The Chairperson of the International Organising Committee of the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) spoke about preparations for the projected 3rd All Africa, Diaspora and World Festival of the Arts and Culture, (FESTAC) 2010, to be held in South Africa in February 2010. He also spoke about the Organising Committee’s relations with the Department of Arts and Culture from 1998 to date. The Portfolio Committee agreed to study FESTAC’s submission before committing itself to expressing an opinion.

Meeting report

Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson asked Mr H Maluleka (ANC) to convey to the delegation the Committee’s condolences on the death of the father of Mr Victor Julius, Deputy Director-General, Department of Arts and Culture, and on the death of the father of Mr Anil Singh, Director of Legal Services, Department of Arts and Culture.
Mr Themba Wakashe, Director-General of the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) thanked the Chairperson and Committee Members for their support and encouragement.

Policy Review Process: Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) Progress Report
Mr Wakashe said that the purpose of his presentation was to inform the Committee on the progress to date on the comprehensive review undertaken of policies, including the 1996 White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage, and all relevant legislation.

In February 2005 MinMEC had mandated the Technical Intergovernmental Committee (TIC) to initiate a comprehensive review of arts, culture and heritage policies, including the 1996 White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage, as well as legislation promulgated and implemented since 1994, with the aim of reviewing the effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of policy and legislation in the arts, culture and heritage sector, and to provide a platform for the development of creative and appropriate solutions to respond to challenges to implementation over the past ten years. The TIC had established a Policy Review Committee to develop terms of reference and facilitate the process. Researchers had been commissioned to study and assess the impact of various aspects of arts, culture and heritage policies. Broad consultations had been held with all relevant stakeholders.

The Policy and Legislative Review Process had focused on seven themes, as set out in more detail in the presentation. Consultations were held. It produced the discussion document that was used as the basis for a National Policy Review Workshop held in May 2007, and which reflected on the Arts and Culture Task Group (ACTAG) Report of 1995. The Workshop noted that the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage promulgated in 1996 had adopted 20 principles proposed by the ACTAG process.

The Workshop noted also that a revision of all existing legislation on arts, culture and heritage had been partially completed, with some legislation still under review. Development centres and museums for all indigenous languages recommended in the ACTAG Report had not been established. Instead nine language and development centres had been established. Tax incentives for arts sponsorship and funding had not been implemented. The proposal to formulate new legislation for the social security and protection of artists had not been implemented in the light of the national social security strategy.

With regard to the review of heritage, archives and libraries legislation, the TIC had recognised the requirement of a two pronged approach, namely an overview of arts, culture and heritage policy and legislation, and a specific focus on the legislative framework. This sector in particular faced challenges on both policy development and legislation.

The TIC had resolved that a parallel consultative process was required in order to deal effectively with all aspects of heritage, archives and libraries, including duplication and gaps in heritage policies and legislation.

Mr Wakashe explained in detail the seven themes of the policy and legislative review process, the challenges to each theme, and the recommended policies and strategies to address each challenge.

In respect of the arts, culture and heritage legislative framework, the first challenge was to transform public entities. The TIC recommended drafting transformation policies for statutory bodies and public entities, and incorporating policies on cultural rights, including the rights of artists, into all legislation.

The strategy for transformation of public entities was to promote the recognition of cultural rights as equal to other constitutional rights. Leadership capacity must be increased in institutions to guide transformation processes. The pool of qualified people from historically disadvantaged communities must be increased. Indigenous language should be promoted as a mainstay of knowledge; and equity ensured in allocation of resources and funding.

The second challenge was to align legislation to national priorities. It was recommended to update existing DAC legislation to include the requirements of national priorities, in consultation with relevant departments and interest groups, and to engage with other departments and amend their legislation to ensure that arts, culture and heritage issues were included. Participation of civil society in cultural planning and policy making would be promoted on an ongoing basis.

The third challenge was to review existing legislation to eliminate inconsistencies. It was recommended that there be definition of the roles of national, provincial, metropolitan and local government in arts, culture and heritage with a focus on decentralisation and localisation of services. Broader partnerships to implement cultural policy would be encouraged and roles, responsibilities and accountability of DAC and the Pan-South African Languages Board (PANSALB) would be set out. There would be attempts to develop policy and legislation for intangible heritage and align this to international conventions, to update and modernise designations and definitions and ensure consistency of institutional arrangements in DAC legislation. There would be finalisation of language policies as identified in the Discussion Document; and the DAC would draft and implement policy on legacy projects, setting out responsibility for their development, implementation and maintenance.

The strategy for reviewing existing legislation to eliminate inconsistencies would include promotion of the inclusion of arts, culture and heritage in developmental local government, through interaction with the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG), provinces and municipalities. A rights based approach would be used in promotion.

The fourth challenge to the policy and legislative review process was to strengthen and streamline the mandates of institutions. Policies would be formulated to determine where legacy projects would reside, to address duplications in mandates and responsibilities between the National Heritage Council (NHC) and South African Heritage Resource Agency (SAHRA), to align all existing legislation to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). The role, mandate and status of performing arts bodies would be clarified and their requirements reviewed. The museum flagships would be reconsidered. Responsibility for undeclared sites and objects would be clarified.

Provincial involvement in heritage issues would be investigated and promoted. Indigenous languages would also be promoted. A task team would be set up to assist all public entities to comply with the relevant legislation.

Mr Wakashe concluded that there were short, medium and long term issues. The recommendations would be measured against the requirements of the PFMA, and a final report on the first phase would be done before the end of February 2008.

The Chairperson expressed a concern about the role of the private sector, and asked if it had contributed to or assisted the Department in its efforts towards the development of libraries. She gave children’s libraries in China as an example of private sector participation.

Mr Wakashe said that he did not understand why BEE companies seemed uninterested in arts and culture.

Ms D Ramodibe (ANC) said that it was important to start inculcating concepts at an early age in a child’s development. The task was huge and costly. She asked to what extent other departments, such as the Department of Social Development, were involved and committed, and asked for specifics how DAC interacted with other departments. In particular she asked if the Department interacted with the Department of Labour with regard to skills development.  

Ms Ramodibe also said that it was not possible to compare artists with other professions. Artists needed education and help, since they were typically poor and had been deprived of opportunities in the past.

Mr J Maake (ANC) asked Mr Wakashe to tell the Committee about the structure of the TIC, and which departments were involved. He asked about the structure of the Policy Review Committee, and whether it was succeeding or failing. He also asked if it might be better to emphasise building theatres rather than classrooms with a view to enhancing the artistic and cultural development of children.

Mr Mzukisi Madlavu, Acting Deputy Director-General, DAC, said that the TIC was also a structure intended to implement the decisions of MinMEC, so as to achieve a co-ordinated response.

Mr Madlavu said that the Policy Review Committee was composed of persons from various provinces.

Mr M Bhengu (IFP) said that it seemed clear that progress was being achieved. He said that most members of the population were culturally disadvantaged and had suffered from cultural imperialism. However, it was important to achieve a balance between giving advantages to one culture to remedy previous disadvantages yet not thereby putting another culture at a disadvantage. It was important to achieve and protect cultural diversity.

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) asked if Mr Wakashe thought it likely that the Department’s contributions to the effort to eliminate poverty and halve unemployment by 2014 would be successful.

Mr Wakashe could not commit himself to predicting whether or not 2014 targets would be achieved. He said that it would be better to estimate on the basis of progress made to date.

Ms D van der Walt (DA) said that creating expectations was fraught with danger if these could not be fulfilled. There was still much to be achieved. There might be higher priorities. She said that she could not agree more on the issue of children’s theatre, but said that it was a cross-cutting issue that concerned also the Department of Education. With regard to artists’ welfare, the Department of Arts and Culture’s priority was to promote artists’ artistic and cultural, rather than social, interests.

Ms van der Walt said, with regard to libraries, that it was imperative to create ‘a culture of reading’.

Ms N Mbombo (ANC) thanked the Department for what it had done. However, she said that there were some areas that tended to be forgotten. When she had visited schools, she found that the pupils who wanted to study the arts and culture perceived that the legislators cared only for students of mathematics, science and technology. Those who wanted to become artists, designers, painters and writers said that no one wanted to encourage them. She stressed that artistic and cultural subjects needed to be given the same prominence as science, technology and mathematics.  She gave the example of Chinese designers.

Mr Wakashe agreed with the fears about marginalisation of arts and culture, citing his own experience at high school, where facilities for arts and cultural studies and activities were minimal, and where teachers had discouraged his ambitions to study theatre at university level. He suggested that the Committee invite the Director-General of the Department of Education to talk about the role of arts and culture in schools.

Mr H  Maluleka (ANC) expressed his appreciation of Mr Wakashe’s briefing, and his concern on the absence of intellectual debate on arts and culture. He wished to see more interaction between the Department and academic institutions. He asked for clarification of the consultative process and how widely that process had been taken in the 2007 workshop.

Mr Wakashe noted that the relationship between the Department and academic institutions needed to be researched; however, there was a tendency for academics, in discussing co-operation with the Department, to occupy themselves with asking to what extent the Department could give them research funds rather than asking themselves how they could carry out research for the Department.

Mr Bhengu asked how the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) could be involved in promoting arts and culture.

Mr Wakashe said that the Chief Executive Officer of the SABC was passionate about arts and culture and its implications in terms of local content, and should be supported in the aim of increasing the local content of television programme schedules, thereby generating more work and income for local artists.

The Department of Trade and Industry should help the Department of Arts and Culture with regard to protecting intellectual property.

 Mr Wakashe called for an audit of the country’s arts and culture infrastructure, which still reflected a pre-1994 legacy. It was in arts and culture that multiculturalism would find a platform.

Secondly he called for an audit on the pattern of funding, since 60% per cent of the National Arts Council funding was absorbed by Gauteng, the Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

Members expressed their concern about these figures. 

Review of heritage, libraries and archives legislation: DAC Briefing
Mr Wakashe said that the purpose of his second presentation was to brief the Committee on the process of reviewing legislation concerning heritage, archives and libraries. Arts, culture and heritage policy development had begun with the Arts and Culture Task Group (ACTAG) process in 1994/95. The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology came into existence in 1994. The White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage had been adopted in 1996 as the first official document of that Department. The White Paper had been an elaborate and ambitious document but had been biased towards the performing arts, with little attention to heritage.

In some instances, the White Paper had merely reinforced the status quo, for example, of the National Monument Council and the National Geographic Names Division. It had emerged with innovative and creative approaches to the role of museums, preservation and promotion of living heritage, the creation of the National Heritage Council, and the transformative role of the Geographic Names Council. There had been a disjuncture between the focus on heritage in the White Paper and the actual importance and responsibility of the legislation promulgated as a result of the White Paper. Eleven items of legislation were passed in the area of heritage and archives, whereas only two had been passed in other areas of the arts and culture sector.

In 2004 a decision was taken to review government policies and legislation. This was essential to  bridge gaps between policy pronouncements and legislation, to eliminate duplications and overlaps, to eliminate wastage of public resources, to eliminate confusion and tension between institutions, and to clarify roles.

For example, repatriation was assigned currently to both the National Heritage Resources Act and to the National Heritage Council Act. The Cultural Institutions and the National Heritage Council Act apparently duplicated the coordination of institutions. The National Heritage Resources provided for the establishment of Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities (PHRAs), but had not been implemented as intended. Some of the White Paper’s pronouncements had not implemented at all.

The review was expected to eliminate divergence, duplication and inconsistency between and in the laws, and to provide an analysis of gaps in heritage policy and legislation. It would further serve to identify solutions, and propose amendments to legislation and to the heritage section of the White Paper.

Eleven items of legislation were under review. These were the Heraldry Act; the Culture Promotion Act; the National Archives and Record Service of South Africa Act; the Legal Deposit Act; the National Library for the Blind Act; the National Library of South Africa Act; the South African Geographical Names Council Act; the Cultural Institutions Act; the National Heritage Council Act; the National Heritage Resources Act; and the National Council on Library Information Services Act.

The consultative process included a series of consultative meetings with stakeholders, including national departments, provincial departments, declared cultural institutions and non-governmental organizations. Seventeen consultative meetings were held between July 2006 and March 2007, and six further meetings were held with the Reference Group between November 2006 and December 2007. Stakeholders had the opportunity to submit written comments to the process.

Eighteen policy challenges and gaps had been identified, and these were detailed in the presentation. There were thirteen general recommendations, which were also set out in detail. The policy aimed to increase access to heritage institutions, including reduction of entrance fees for residents and free days. There would be an intergovernmental agreement on the councils instead of provincial representation, and the Councils would be limited to 15 members.  Further matters relating to the Councils were also set out. National policy development and advice to the Minister should be located at a national, not institutional, level. There should be a national heritage development strategy, led by the NHC, with emphasis on community based heritage initiatives. Repatriation of cultural artefacts would become a national responsibility. Administrative and technical amendments to relevant legislation would be made. 

Major legislative challenges were outlined further in the presentation. In particular reference would be made to Sections 195(1) and 217 of the Constitution, which dealt with public administration requirements to provide for transparent sourcing of goods and services, and amendment of governance issues. The affected Acts to be amended were the Culture Promotion Act 1983, the Cultural Institutions Act 1998, the South African Geographical Names Council Act 1998, the National Heritage Council Act 1999, the National Heritage Resources Act 1999, the National Library of South Africa Act 1998, the National Council of Library and Information Services Act 2001, the South African Library for the Blind Act 1998, the Legal Deposit Act 1997, and the National Archives and Records Service Act 1996.

The Heraldry Act 1962 was entirely outdated and would be repealed, and the new Cultural Symbols Act would provide for indigenous heraldic symbols, the use of modern and African designations, an updated register of heraldic representations, names and uniforms, and other administrative matters.

Preliminary recommendations were that amendments on matters of governance of institutions should be effected at the same time as technical or administrative corrections. A timetable would be drawn to address policies to deal with gaps and challenges, and in the long term legislation involving substantial policy formulation would be amended. Technical or administrative amendments, and those involving minor policy decisions, would be drafted and submitted to the Minister, Cabinet and Parliament for approval. Legislative amendments with major policy implications would be tabled for public consultation by Legal Services. The report on the legislative review would be printed and disseminated to the public.

Mr Anil Singh, Director for Legal Services, DAC, said that the Department had been asked to prioritise legislation, on account of the shortened time frames in the 2008 parliamentary year.  

The Department proposed to defer submission of the Language Professions Council Bill, originally scheduled for submission in April 2008. The purpose of this Bill was to regulate the accreditation and monitoring of language practitioners for translation and interpretation. The impact would be to formalise the Constitutional recognition of eleven official languages through institutional recognition.

Priority would be given to the Cultural Laws Third Amendment Bill, scheduled to be submitted to Parliament in April 2008. This aimed to amend cultural laws, following the prioritisation of the Heritage Legislative Review process. Funding was available. There would be technical amendments to existing legislation. These would ensure that DAC’s heritage legislation was aligned with the Constitution and the PFMA, would rationalise the size of councils of certain heritage institutions and provide for performance agreements between the Minister and councils.

Mr Bhengu asked how many Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities (PHRAs) there should be in each province.

Mr Wakashe responded that there was one Provincial Heritage Resources Authority per province.

Mr Maake said that he understood the Department’s problem with provincial representation on the governing councils of heritage institutions, but asked if abolishing provincial representation on these councils was a solution to the problem.

Mr Lekgetho said that he agreed with Mr Maake. Moreover, members of heritage institution governing councils who neglected to attend meetings should be educated as to their responsibilities.

Mr Wakashe responded that the proposed Bill included a clause to authorise the Minister to appoint selection committees to advise and oversee selection and appointment of appropriate members of heritage institution governing bodies. Six to seven months had often elapsed under the past system without receiving a province’s nomination of an appointee and this had effectively prevented the governing council from meeting at all. A further problem had been the frequent failure of provincial representatives to report back to MECs.

Mr Wakashe said that many policy workshops were conducted in English, but that it was necessary to be more sensitive, especially in issues of heritage, to language issues, since language was related to self-identification.
The Chairperson said that one could not imagine a traditional leader being represented by a university professor. It was desirable to increase representation of stakeholders. 

Mr Maake asked for a status report on the South African Geographical Names Council. He said that the provinces were not moving at the same pace. If a province did not produce suggested name changes, he asked what would happen. It was not enough to make cosmetic changes to names.

The Chairperson commented on Mr Maake’s question, saying that the name of the province of KwaZulu-Natal was ‘a name and a surname’. The name ‘Louis Trichardt’ was an especially painful one to the people. She stressed that the Department should be taking the views of the people into account.

Mr Wakashe said that the issue of name changes was a sensitive one and there were many opportunities for misunderstandings. He said that government had not been as assertive in giving leadership on the matter as it could have been.

The Department of Arts and Culture had, in November 2007, appointed a new geographical names council. It would go on a road show to all the provinces to explain the policy and let people take ownership of the geographical names. It was one of the priorities of government.

Festival of the Arts and Culture (FESTAC) International Organising Committee Presentation
The Chairperson noted that on account of prior commitments and travel plans, the Department of Arts and Culture delegation, with the exception of Mr Sandile Memela, Spokesperson for the Minister of Arts and Culture, was unable to be present at this briefing.

Mr M Malefane, Chairperson of the International Organising Committee of the Festival of the Arts and Culture (FESTAC), apologised for attending alone. He had intended to bring a delegation, but because he had been informed only yesterday afternoon that he should attend, he had been unable to mobilise his colleagues.

Mr Malefane spoke about preparations for the 3rd All Africa, Diaspora and World Festival of the Arts and Culture, (FESTAC) 2010, to be held in South Africa in February 2010. This was first suggested early in 1998 and initially planned for late 1999 with support from the then Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, South Africa, and from the government of Nigeria. It had been postponed, but since 1999 FESTAC had established a support network of multi-lateral, local and international cultural organisations, institutions and governments, including the African Union, UNESCO, and the World Bank.

If hosted in South Africa in February 2010, the festival would coincide with Africa History Month and serve as a platform and test for demonstrating South Africa’s readiness for the 2010 World Cup. It would also offer a platform, in the form of a continental and diaspora conference, for Africa’s civil society movement and businesses to collaborate with governments in providing vision, direction and strength to the Heads of State Summit. It would also facilitate promotion of the envisaged Africa-diaspora economic integration, beginning with joint-venture investment projects, particularly in the cultural industries, and other priority sectors such as agriculture and food security. The first All Africa and Diaspora Agribusiness and Food Security Summit and Exhibition Market were envisaged as part of FESTAC 2010.

On Africa Day on 25 May 2008, South Africa would host a two day international planning workshop for 2010, to be attended by delegates from all African countries and from the African diaspora. At this time, the updated events programme and international participation list for FESTAC 2010 would be discussed. Also on the agenda was the envisioned economic impact study and business plan for FESTAC 2010, which would demonstrate the quantified multi-billion rand economic impact of FESTAC 2010, particularly on poverty reduction and job and wealth creation.

The main programme of events for FESTAC 2010 would include traditional, classical and popular music and dance, theatre and cinema, literature and poetry, paintings, sculpture, a handicrafts exhibition and market, fashion extravaganza and pageants, an international cultural industries investment summit and general colloquia on arts and culture. It would also offer a carnival, food and wine festival, an exhibition and market of books and audio-visual materials, sports and games, official opening and closing ceremonies, and fringe community cultural activities.

The associated events would include a world summit on aging, a reunion conference and celebrations for world war and struggle veterans in Africa, an all-Africa traditional leaders summit and launch of the parliament of traditional leaders in Africa, in  partnership with the African Union. There would be a continental business summit on New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), an Africa-diaspora tourism summit, a world summit and exhibition on traditional and complementary medicine and healing, and wide ranging FESTAC 2010 games.

The presentation outlined preparations, preliminary and associated special projects. These included special designs, a school’s African renaissance pictorial encyclopaedia of African and diaspora history and cultural heritage, film projects and legacy films, and the construction of FESTAC city, a rental and holiday accommodation housing project and tourist resort in the host city. An additional benefit that would accrue to the host city would be its positioning for the bid to host the permanent secretariat of the United Cities of Local Government in Africa (UCLGA) and to raise and secure funds for the construction of the office park complex. The official unveiling of the Sarah Baartman Memorial and Slave History Centre, and the bicentennial celebrations of the end of the transatlantic slave trade would bring thousands of participants and visitors from all over the world.

The total budget of FESTAC 2010 was projected as between R300 and R600 million. The host city and provincial government would be expected to raise between R5 million and R10 million. The national government would be expected to raise between R25 million and R50 million, this amount to be matched by South African public and private companies. Foreign governments would be expected to raise between R150 million and R300 million. International corporations and institutions would be expected to raise between R100 million and R200 million.

Between January and May 2008 the organisers aimed to complete a detailed viability study and business plan, and confirm sponsorship and investment pledges and guarantees totalling a minimum of R100 million. The organisers would then make a formal presentation to Cabinet in the hope of securing official endorsement and support. By the end of 2008 there would be final presentation of guarantees for the minimum of R200 million, together with a detailed report of the event’s programme and list of participants.

Administrative and other costs for the February to May 2008 planning period were estimated at R1 million. Mr Malefane had personally funded by himself the planning operations between October 2007 and January 2008 to the extent of R200 000.

Mr Malefane touched on the relationship between FESTAC and DAC from the period 1998 to date, noting that there had been difficulties and support had not been forthcoming. He asked the Portfolio Committee to intervene to secure the co-operation and support of the Department of Arts and Culture in facilitating the event.

The Chairperson noted that the presentation had been ‘an eye opener’.

Ms van der Walt agreed, saying the Portfolio Committee could take note of Mr Malefane’s issues.

Ms van der Walt however emphasised that she was perturbed by the “inappropriate” timing of the event in February 2010, so close to the 2010 World Soccer Cup. It was important to realise that there was a shortage of building materials in South Africa on account of preparations for the World Cup. 

Ms van der Walt said that she was especially perturbed by the fact that the Organising Committee had not yet completed a business plan, as it was difficult to engage further on the matter without such a plan. She anticipated problems with the supply of electricity to the event.

Ms Ramodibe said that the Portfolio Committee should be given time to consider and discuss the issues raised by Mr Malefane. She felt that she could not express an opinion immediately.

Mr Malefane responded that the timing of the event for February 2010 could not be more opportune. It was the only event similar in magnitude to the 2010 World Soccer Cup, and thus it would be a ‘dry run’ for the soccer event. Infrastructure to be constructed for FESTAC, such as rental housing, would be of benefit in the long term, especially since there was a shortage of rental housing in Cape Town and Durban. The shortage of building materials was no problem. Construction would include using sandstone from Lesotho similar to that used in the construction of the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The Organising Committee would be able to verify the event’s business plan in due course.

Mr Maluleka proposed, and other Members agreed that the Portfolio Committee be given the opportunity to study the subject and the issues raised by Mr Malefane, before committing itself to expressing an opinion.

The meeting was adjourned.

Share this page: