Arts & Culture Portfolio Committee Strategic Plan and Programme for 2008

Arts and Culture

04 March 2008
Chairperson: Mrs T Tshivhase (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee’s strategic plan covering the years 2007 to 2009 was presented. This included a detailed explanation of the vision and mission statement and the outcomes to beneficiaries of the Committee, who included the Department and its entities, Parliament, communities, artists and Members’ political parties. The achievements thus far were listed, and the planned activities were tabled.

Discussions by the Committee ensued on priorities and matters to be addressed. Many Members stressed that use of indigenous languages must be promoted, that more interpreters were needed in Parliament, and that the confidence in African identity must be promoted. There was a need to investigate the Department’s efforts with Pan South African Language Board. More needed to be done to promote the range of culture in the country. There was a need to investigate Freedom Park, and this was to form the basis of an oversight visit. Other issues raised included the Department’s plans around 2010, the pricing of tickets, whether there were any mechanisms to provide affordable tickets for the poor. Tourism in South Africa must be managed and promoted effectively, and the Committee agreed that it would be necessary to do oversight visits to the provinces. It would request additional amounts in its budget to try to do so. The renaming of geographical areas was raised, and it was agreed that although it could not take precedence over the legislation needing to be passed, it should form part of the priority areas.

Meeting report


Portfolio Committee’s strategic plan 2007-2009
The Strategic Plan of the Committee for 2007 to 2009 was tabled. IT was noted that this had followed a planning session in 2007, and that the plans were closely allied to the Department’s strategic plans. The Committee’s researcher presented and spoke to the document. He noted that the vision of the Committee was to establish a good relationship between the Ministry, Departments and stakeholders of Arts and Culture. It included the promotion of the country’s rich diverse arts, culture and heritage and supporting arts and culture development in various ways. The Committee would endeavour to perform their monitoring and oversight vigorously and to campaign and promote a National dialogue, social and moral regeneration.

The Committee researcher added that the mission of the Committee was to perform a monitoring and oversight role by engaging the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and various stakeholders in their progress and development. The researcher added on that the beneficiaries (clients) of the Portfolio Committee were the communities- (with a focus on rural indigenous communities), Parliament, Department of Arts and Culture and its entities, artists both known and unknown and the Members’ political parties.

The outcomes of the vision and mission of the Committee were set out. These included that Members of Parliament were supported in freely using their indigenous language, and that communities understood the discussions in Parliament and the role of the Portfolio Committee. Other outcomes related to socking of libraries, development of pride in communities, publication of the work or indigenous writers, affordability of books, services by Community Arts Centres and promotion of culture in Africa and the world. Finally it was hoped that the DAC and the Department of Education (DOE) would have a cooperative relationship.

The researcher also stated that the Portfolio Committee achievements in this term of office were firstly that Parliament had begun to use indigenous languages, and that the Committee was conducting oversight visits to institutions. Another achievement was that the Committee had been part of promoting the indigenous language dictionary; local language film and video production; re-publishing of books; the use of Braille and sign-language. There had been development of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), development of heritage sites and the discussion of geographical names.

Mr B Zulu (ANC) raised a concern regarding the interpreters in Parliament and stated that in most cases English and Afrikaans were the only languages that were utilised by the interpreters. He suggested that Parliament, with the help of the Department of Arts and Culture, should get interpreters in all the eleven official languages. He went on to suggest that the Department should promote African languages and the confidence to speak

Mr Zulu asked whether there was still a plan by the Department to build a statue of former President Nelson Mandela.

Mr S Opperman (DA) d agreed completely with the suggestions of Mr Zulu.

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) stated that the funding structure of the Department left much to be desired and that it was important for the Department to cost its requirements and how it wanted to interact with the various communities for research purposes. He concluded that the budget needed drastic improvement.

The Chairperson asked what was being said about the issue concerning the geographical names of the country

Mr Zulu replied that the issue of the geographical names was indeed a complex matter and that it was a great challenge to the Department itself. He stated that the President assured Parliament that the process would be soon launched with the help of the Committees in all the nine provinces.

The Chairperson asked whether this issue was to be placed as top priority in the list of matters that needed attention from the Department, or if renaming was to be dealt with at a later stage.

Ms D Ramodibe (ANC) noted that the Committee, together with the Department, was to communicate with the various provinces to get an idea as to how far the provinces had gone in that regard. She thus suggested that the issue should be taken as a priority, but not as top priority, and that the Committee should give direction to the Department. The Bills needed to be put as top priority in this instance.

The Chairperson added that Mr H Maluleka (ANC) had indicated that the current Bill before the Committee was an amendment Bill that focused on cultural laws. She suggested that the Committee should deal with the issue of the renaming of the geographical areas.

Mr Lekgetho replied that the Bills were very important and should thus not be left till the next year. He elaborated that the renaming of South-African geographical areas should be regarded as a challenge, and should be equally prioritised.

Ms P Tshwete (ANC) mentioned that there were many issues surrounding the Freedom Park and that this could have been the result of inadequate funding. She stressed the importance of the Park being completed by the year 2010, as it would form entertainment for tourists.

Ms Tshwete followed up on Mr Lekgetho’s concern and mentioned that as the Committee was given a deadline for the Bill, the Department must be invited to brief the Committee on the Bill so that Members could get a common understanding of what the Bill really entailed.

The Chairperson stated that the Bills were a challenge to the Committee. She supported Ms Tshwete that indeed it was important that the Freedom Park was completed by 2010.

Ms P Tshwete (ANC) added that the Department should let the Committee know how far it had proceeded with the Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB), as it was core to promoting the African languages. She wondered if this matter should not be dealt with simultaneously to the Bills. She was also concerned that when PANSALB came into effect it did not have a board regulating its operation. She believed it needed a board and that the board should be required to address the Committee.

Mr H Maluleka (ANC) urged the Committee to make a clear distinction regarding the separation of roles between the Department and the Committee.

Mr Lekgetho suggested that the Department should give a briefing to the Committee on how complaints and issues of the Department were dealt with.

The Chairperson mentioned that the Department overlooked a lot of matters in society, and suggested that the Department should brief the Committee on how it interacted with societies in order to pin-point and expose the potential that people had in the arts and culture field, and how it was aligning social and heritage aspects.

Ms Ramodibe suggested that all the Chairpersons of all other Committees should meet to discuss the issues raised by the Chair.

The Chairperson mentioned that there were also complications around the issues of gender equality and as generally women were not being given the respect that they really deserved. This was essentially a cultural issue and needed to be dealt with by the Department and Committee.

Ms Ramodibe agreed and elaborated that when the matter of gender inequality was scrutinised, it was generally found that it was women in the rural areas who were being mistreated, mostly by the men in their communities or by their husbands. Women in the rural communities were not given due respect.

Mr Opperman added that the issue of racism should also be addressed by the Committee.

Mr Maluleka replied to the Chairperson’s concern by pointing out that different tribes subscribed to different cultures. However, he agreed that gender equality and racism needed to be looked at and aligned to the values set out in the Constitution.

Mr Lekgetho stressed that not all men mistreated and disrespected their wives.

Mr Zulu added that the Committee needed to be familiar with the different cultures and pointed out that sometimes women were also mistreated by other elderly women. He suggested that the concept of women’s assertiveness should be promoted.

Ms Tshwete replied that the question of social coercion and gender were long term and transitional processes which could not be dealt with in a set term. This could not be restricted to DAC, but was a matter that really required the mediation of other Committees and Departments.

Mr Zulu raised his concern that there were no scheduled events in most of the rural areas – such as Zululand - in 2010. He then suggested that the Department should be asked to brief the Committee how it planned to include rural areas in partaking of and hosting some events in 2010.

Mr Maluleka replied that the identification of stadiums was in the hands of FIFA, and that the Department identified the areas of attraction, such as Freedom Park.

Mr C Gololo (ANC) asked if the Department had invited comments and suggestions from other Departments and Committees regarding 2010. He then asked who was dealing with the pricing of the tickets.

Ms Tshwete replied that when the Department briefed the Committee about 2010 nothing was mentioned about the pricing of the tickets. She felt it would be useful to give insight to FIFA regarding the pricing of the tickets.

Ms Ramodibe said that Parliament needed to intervene in the pricing of tickets so that even the young up- and-coming soccer stars in the rural areas were able to attend the matches.

Mr Gololo suggested that the Committee suggest to the Department of Sports and Recreation that it must intervene and negotiate affordable tickets for the poor.

Mr Maluleka stressed that FIFA was in charge with the pricing of the tickets.

The Chairperson asked how the people with disabilities were going to be catered for at the stadiums.

Ms Tshwete further suggested that the Department should brief the Committee about what it had planned for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Soccer World Cup.

Mr Maluleka added that the issue of gender equality and racism were not isolated issues, and that they should be put on the national agenda.

Ms Tshwete suggested that Gauteng should be included in the list for the oversight visits by the Committee, to finalise the issue of Freedom Park.

Mr Lekgetho agreed. He added that it was crucial for the Committee to make a follow up on the concerns raised, and that even though each Committee was given an equal amount of budget, it was advisable for the Committee to ask for an increase to cover all the expenses, such as oversight visits. He also added that Parliament needed a facilitator.
Ms Tshwete suggested that the Committee should draw up a list of all the provinces that needed to be visited.

The Chairperson suggested that when oversight visit programmes were implemented, the plans must be executed. Those Provinces wishing to be visited should submit a written explanation with compelling reasons as to why the Committee needed to visit that place.

The meeting was adjourned.


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