ATC110526: Report on Budget of the Department of Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on the Budget of the Department of Arts and Culture, Vote 14, dated 25 May 2011


The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture, having considered the Budget of the Department of Arts and Culture, reports as follows:


1. Introduction  


The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture held a meeting with the Department of Arts and Culture on 13 April 2011 to create an opportunity for the Committee to assess whether the Department would be able to implement its programme for the 2011/12 financial year. The Department presented its programme to the Committee, at a meeting held on 8 February 2011. The meeting also afforded the Committee an opportunity to determine the extent of the support the Department needed to execute its mandate.


For this purpose the Committee invited four entities to be part of the proceedings and deliberations.


2. Entities invited


The Committee invited the National Heritage Council (NHC) which was represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Advocate S Mancotywa. The National Arts Council (NAC) was represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Ms A Lithebe and Chief Finance Officer, Mr S Letsoalo. Ms B Khumalo, Chief Finance Officer; Ms Z Fakier, Acting Chief Finance Officer; Ms Jansen, Senior Finance Officer and Ms L Mema, Manager, represented the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA). Mr A Mokoena, Chief Finance Officer, represented the State Theatre.


These entities represent some of the major genres in the arts, culture and heritage sectors.


3. Presentation by the Department


The Acting Director General, Ms V Buduza, as a prelude to the presentation of the Budget, told members that to achieve to deliver on the mandate of the Department – which is to develop and preserve South African Culture - the Budget was divided into six programmes as follows:


 Programme 1: Administration – Which provides leadership, management and support functions of the Department


Programme 2: Performing Arts – Promote the Performing Arts


Programme 3: National Language Service – Develop and promote the official languages of South Africa and enhance the linguistic diversity of the country


Programme 4: Cultural Development – Promote and develop South African Arts and Culture


Programme 5: Heritage Promotion – Provide policy, legislation, and strategic direction for identifying, conserving and promoting cultural heritage


Programme 6: National Archives and Library Services – Facilitate full and open access to the archival and information resources of South Africa


The Acting Director General reported that in November 2010, the Department had held a Strategic Planning Session which enabled the Department to identify key Departmental priorities. Further, that the exercise resulted in the restructuring of some programmes. In line with the changes, the National Film and Video Foundation was now located within programme 2. The Heraldic Services moved to programme 5 while the South African Geographic Names Council was now a sub-programme whereas in the previous financial year it was a line item under programme 5. She also informed the Committee that the Capital Works Programme was now spread over 3 programmes, namely – Performing Arts, Heritage Promotion and National Archives and Library Services. In the past the programme resided only under programme 5, Heritage Promotion.


In the summary of the Department’s programmes over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, the Acting Director General, highlighted that the Budget would see a growth of 6 per cent – moving from R 2 441 245 billion to R 2 784 743 billion. The Acting Director General reported that, from the total allocation to the Department only 16 per cent would be administered by the Department while 84 per cent would be spent outside the Department - through transfers to entities. She also reported that compensation of employees; goods and services; machinery and equipment; capital works and household (projects) would be the main expenditure areas both inside and outside the Department.


The table below shows the growth of each programme over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF):


Budget Summary per Financial Year




















Performing Arts





Nat Lang Services





Cult Development





Heritage Promotion





Nat Archives & Library Services





Grand Total






The following figures constitute the difference between what was allocated in 2010/11 and what is allocated in 2011/12 financial years.


·        R5.4 million in 2011/12, R5.6 million in 2012/13 and R5.7 million in 2013/14 to improve conditions of services in the arts and culture sector.

·        R33.5 million, in 2011/12, R42.8 in 2012/13 and R58.9 million in 2013/14 for the transfer to the National Film and Video Foundation to develop the local film industry and create jobs.

·        R10 million in 2011/12, R13 million in 2012/13 and R16 million in 2013/14 for municipalities and accommodation charges.

·        R11.5 million in 2011/12, R12 million in 2012/13 and R13 million in 2013/14 for Institutional support and capacity building for the National Library of South Africa and South African Library for the blind.

·        R5 million in 2011/12, R6.8 million in 2012/13 and R7.6 million in 2013/14 for operational costs of the Bloemfontein NationalMuseum.

Bursaries for heritage studies has an additional allocation of R1.5 million in 2011/12, R3 million in 2012/13 and R4.5 million in 2013/14.

·        The Department continues to upgrade all its public entities, and has allocated R455.6 million in 2011/12, R483 million in 2012/13 and R509.5 million in 2013/14 respectively.


4. Inputs by entities


Advocate Mancotywa, on behalf of the National Heritage Council (NHC), welcomed the Budget and noted the Budget cuts in government generally. He stressed though that these cuts put additional pressure on the NHC, considering that the National Liberation Route project was becoming a transnational, requiring more funds. He reported that the NHC had written a letter to the Minister requesting a reconsideration of their allocation.


Ms Lithebe from the National Arts Council (NAC) also welcomed the Budget. She indicated that there were real dynamics and pressures in supporting the 7 sectors that it was currently involved in. She reported that although the entity welcomed the vision and the drive of the Minister for arts, it still had R 51 million to disburse nationally. For that reason it would continue to plead for an improvement in its allocation.


Mr Mokoena, representing the State Theatre indicated that the State Theatre was in need of extra funds as only 15 per cent of the funds it received went to core activities. He mentioned that the State Theatre was losing income through decreased rentals. He alluded to forming partnerships with producers but added that this meant capital injection. In conclusion, he indicated that the entity appreciated the grant but registered an appeal that the allocation be improved.


Ms Khumalo, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from the South African Heritage Resource Agency (SAHRA) welcomed the allocation. She informed the Committee that sixty per cent of the allocation went to compensation while only 40 per cent was for operations. She also said that they had gone through a process of combing the Act with a view to costing it, so that their mandate was not compromised. She appreciated the support from the Department, adding that they would appreciate it if more resources are allocated.






5. Deliberations


During the deliberations the Committee was informed that the process of appointing a Director General was completed and by the end of May 2011, the Department would have a new Director General. The Committee was also informed that the Department had a plan to fill all vacant positions.


Hon. J Phaahla, Deputy Minister, told members that they were continuously looking at the issue of efficiency in the Department which required alignment of functions to the mandate of the Department. He also indicated that resources would go in line with priorities, emphasising also that they would be guided by the work that had been done before. He further hinted at possible rationalisation, merging of some institutions which might necessitate change in legislation.


Hon. P Mashatile, Minister, informed the members that April (month) had been declared Freedom Month by Cabinet and celebrations would be held every year in Pretoria.  He said that during the current year, as part of the celebrations, there would be a cultural parade; with people marching to the Union Buildings and that the Military would also be part of the commemoration. He further told members that while Leaders and Premiers would go to Pretoria, there would be activities in other Provinces as well. There would be a cross-over to Pretoria when the President spoke. Furthermore, there was an Arts and Culture Summit during the following two days and they were planning to come back to present the results of the Summit to the Committee. In concluding, he agreed with the Chairperson regarding the issue of income generation, adding that people come toSouth Africa for stories, not because access to heritage sites was free.


Dr Jokweni informed the Committee that the South African Languages Bill was being fine-tuned and the target date for submission to Cabinet was April 2011. Regarding the “investing in culture programme”, the Committee was informed that a task team had been established to look into the programme all over again.


The Acting Director General indicated that they would look into the issue of Noria Mabasa and promised to come back to the Committee on the matter. Advocate Mancotywa advocated some form of a social compact between the Department and Entities. He also raised the issue of the silence of the White Paper on the role of civil society and implored the Department to look into this. He expressed concern at what he termed ‘heritage that was in private hands’. He was aggrieved by the non linkage of heritage to land. He also decried the apparent bias in favour of culture as opposed to heritage. He argued for a change of the national lottery model.


Hon. Sunduza, in summing up the discussions, reiterated the issue of income generation by heritage institutions. She also challenged the Minister and the Acting Director General to prioritize people with disabilities. Hon. Sunduza emphasized the issue of linking up with other Departments, notably the Department of Sport; Education; Tourism and International Relations. In relation to the latter, she expressed the hope that international cultural treaties did not disadvantage South Africa.


6. Conclusion


The Portfolio Committee expressed appreciation for what the Department had presented. The Committee also appreciated the contribution and inputs made by the entities present.


The Committee recommends that the House adopt the budget vote of the

Department of Arts and Culture.



Report to be considered.



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