Arts & Culture Portfolio Committee Programme: adoption

Arts and Culture

06 May 2008
Chairperson: Ms T Tshivase (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Members discussed the Committee’s Draft Programme, effected certain amendments and ultimately adopted it. Concerns were raised regarding the work that needed to be done by the Committee to correct the misconception of arts and culture in the public opinion, and to encourage more artists to engage in arts and culture. Such steps would include hearing proposals from organisations with viable plans for developing and promoting arts in South Africa.

Meeting report

Introductory remarks by Chairperson
The Chairperson welcomed all the members of the committee and shared with them the happenings of the death that occurred in the Limpopo province. She stressed that she was deeply affected by these deaths and urged the Committee to play a part as an Arts and Culture Committee in preventing such happenings.

Draft Committee Programme
Ms D Van Der Walt (DA) mentioned that she had received an email during the recess from an organization requesting an opportunity to meet with the Committee. It felt that enough was not being done by respective government departments to promote the South African arts, and it thus planned to establish a university that would be dedicated to the Arts and Culture Department so as to promote arts and create facilities in most of the rural areas in Cape Town. She mentioned that this organization was however not looking to making the university a government entity.

Ms N Mbombo (ANC) agreed with Ms Van Der Walt and stated that the general population lacked knowledge and had misinterpreted the purpose of arts and culture to mean some form of entertainment. She herself had visited certain schools in Soweto, Johannesburg where the pupils felt that arts was a neglected profession and that there were almost no bursaries allocated for arts students. The students consequently felt very discouraged to follow that path.

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) stated that any endeavours made in the promotion of arts and culture should be supported by the Committee. Any organization that wanted to address the Committee regarding the promotion of arts and culture should be welcomed. He stated that during his visit to the North West Province he met with the councillor of the Provincial Arts and Culture Department who was concerned about the skewed funding within the national department.
The Chairperson stated that the recess was an eye opener as she realised that the populace of South Africa saw arts and culture to mean only entertainment. She felt strongly that the cultural aspect was highly neglected and thus taken for granted by the public. The ‘culture’ aspect was not developing as it should, which could have been an inevitable result of poverty within the rural areas. Arts and culture needed to be more visible. The Committee’s core mandate should be focused on improving the lives of people in the country.

Mr H Maluleka (ANC) agreed that it was imperative that the Committee listen to the ideas of people whose aim was to promote and develop arts and culture.

The Chairperson congratulated the Committee for its co-ordination of all the arts and culture events that had taken place during April.

She then stated that there were still unresolved issues concerning the Committee’s international study tour to Cuba, as National Treasury was taking its time in allocating the funds required for the trip.

Mr Lekgetho urged the Chairperson to follow up on the matter.

The Chairperson stated that the dates for the Cuba trip were now set for the 7-15 of June as opposed to the initial dates of 19-26 April.

Members proceeded to discuss logistical arrangements regarding various items on its 2008 programme.

Mr Maluleka advised that the entities that wished to make presentations to the Committee during the remainder of the year should be alerted timeously and given a time slots for their presentation prior to the meetings.

Mr Lekgetho stated that it was not fair to organizations which travelled significant distances to be given little time for their presentation. Secondly, the Committee should initiate field trips to all other provinces and not always go to the Gauteng province.

The Chair agreed that a field trip to the Freedom Park will take place and that other provinces would be visited.

The Committee adopted the draft programme with amendments.

The meeting was adjourned.


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