Question NW4139 to the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

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10 November 2022 - NW4139

Profile picture: Luthuli, Mr BN

Luthuli, Mr BN to ask the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

In light of the fact that Iziko Museums of South Africa are reportedly facing financial constraints, limited specialist labour, dilapidated buildings, a ballooning wage bill, and a 32% vacancy rate what (a) steps is his department taking towards the sustainability of the national museums and (b) plans does his department have to fix decaying buildings owned by the national museums


(a). Long term planning initiatives aimed at stability, growth, and the reduction of susceptibility to unexpected challenges is built into the Iziko strategic plan and include the crafting and implementation of a long-term financial sustainability plan and an income generation strategy.

These plans incorporate innovations to address weaknesses in income streams; allow for income diversification and increase own income generation through unlocking some legislative impediments, like the Section 18A of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 which other government departments enjoy.

Iziko’s revenue streams were negatively affected by budget cuts and the COVID-19 pandemic which necessitated the closure of museums and impeded travel and tourism. While cost containment and other cost cutting measures have been implemented, these measures on their own will not lead to financial health and issues related to the lack of staffing. Regular reporting and in-year monitoring by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), ensures sound financial administration and budgeting practices essential for financial viability and resilience of the institution. In addition, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has initiated discussions with relevant government departments to address challenges facing the museum sector. The overall objective is to secure additional funding for the heritage.

(b). The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture is not the custodian of state-owned buildings and as user is only required to fund repairs and maintenance projects of R100 000 and below, however DSAC has nevertheless provided funding and appointed Architects with heritage expertise to develop a five-year Conservation and Maintenance Plan for the nine state-owned buildings occupied by Iziko Museums.  

In terms of the South African National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act No. 25 of 1999), all heritage buildings must be managed in terms of a Conservation and Maintenance Plan (CMP) to protect the heritage resource.

In addition, a Project Manager with architectural and heritage experience was appointed and applications for repair and renovation permits were submitted to Heritage Western Cape (HWC) in terms of the South African National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act No. 25 of 1999). HWC has approved the CMP for all sites as legislated. The documents not only direct Iziko's annual repair and maintenance programme but also assists to maintain and preserve the significance of the heritage buildings.

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