ATC110728: Report on Oversight visit from 26 - 28 July 2011, to public entities in the Western Cape Province, dated 28 February 2012

Arts and Culture

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on an oversight visit from 26 - 28 July 2011, to public entities in theWestern Cape Province, dated 28 February 2012


The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture having conducted an oversight visit to the Robben Island Museum, Afrikaans Taal Museumand the South African Heritage Resources Agency in the Western Cape Province reports as follows.


1. Introduction


The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture, inspired by its Constitutional mandate and Rules of Parliament to ensure effective oversight and greater accountability of entities funded through transfers from the Department of Arts and Culture, embarked on an oversight of entities residing under the auspices of the aforementioned Government Department in the Western Cape Province for the period 26 to 28 July 2011.


2. Terms of Reference


The entities that the Committee conducted oversight over were the Robben Island Museum (RIM), Afrikaans Taal Museum (ATM), and the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA).


 The objective of the oversight visit was multifold. The visit sought to ensure that:


·       Entities were carrying out the mandates for which they were established.

·       To improve transparency within government operations and enhance public trust in government.

·       To assess whether the entities complied with Government Priorities.

·       To assess the challenges that the entities were faced with.


Core to all of the above the Committee’s intention was to detect and prevent abuse, arbitrary behavior or illegal and unconstitutional conduct of the abovementioned entities.


3. Delegation


The delegation consisted of:


Committee Members:


Hon Ms TB Sunduza (ANC)                    -           Chairperson and leader of the delegation

Hon Ms LN Moss (ANC)             -           Committee Whip

Hon Ms TE Lishiva (ANC)

Hon Ms TLP Nwamitwa- Shilubana (ANC)

Hon Mr DW Mavunda (ANC)

Hon Dr   A Lotriet (DA)

Hon Mr P Ntshiqela (COPE)

Hon Ms HS Msweli (IFP)

Hon Mr SZ Ntapane (UDM)


Provincial Government:  Western Cape

Hon Dr I Meyer                          -           MEC, Cultural Affairs and Sport

Mr G Wagner                                         -           Spokesperson of the MEC

Mr W Vrieslaar                          -           Ministerial Staff


Parliamentary Officials

Mr J Van Der Westhuizen                       -           Acting Committee Secretary

Mr V Muhadi                                          -           Committee Researcher

Ms V Magadana                                    -           Executive Secretary to the Chairperson


4. Findings


4.1 The Robben Island Museum (RIM)


Robben Island is an Island in Table Bay situated 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. The name is Dutch for “SealIsland”. The Island has a long history of being used as a place of punishment. In 1657 Jan Van Riebeeck decided to use the Island as a place of banishment, sending slaves and exiles to dig out the white stone found there.


In 1959 the Island became a maximum security prison and between 1961 and 1991 over three thousand men were incarcerated there as political prisoners. Amongst the incarcerated were the first democratically elected President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela and current South African Deputy President Mr Kgalema Mothlanthe, alongside many other political prisoners who spent decades imprisoned there during the apartheid era. Among those political prisoners was also current South African President Mr JacobZuma, who was imprisoned there for ten years.


On 4 September 1996 Cabinet decided that Robben Island should be “developed into a National Museum, National Monument and World Heritage Site, which could become a cultural and conservation showcase for the new South African Democracy…” On 1 January 1997 theRobben Island Museum opened its doors to the public. In the month of December 1999 Robben Island was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under criteria (iii) and (vi) of the “World Heritage Conventions Operational Guidelines” .


The Museum had however received “Qualification and Disclaimer” audit opinions from the Auditor General for the past four years. This had led Robben Island Museum into a deep financial crisis. The Auditor General was of the opinion that poor management and administration of finances was the cause of this financial crisis. Following interventions on the part of the Minister of Arts and Culture, a new Council was established. The Museum also appointed a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).


Upon arrival on Robben Island the Committee was welcomed by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr S Mkhize, who was accompanied by Mr M Llale, Chief Financial Officer; Mr L Mpahlwa Chairperson of the Sub Committee on Heritage of the Robben Island Museum Council; Advocate Ms S Goordeen, Company Secretary; Mr R Whitting, Senior Manager: Heritage Department; Mr S Khangala , Senior Manager: Marketing; Mr J Munsamy, Senior Manager: Ferries and Cargo; Mr M Mabe, Senior Manager: Human Resources; Ms N Noal, Acting Head of Department: Public Heritage Education Department; Ms N Blacky, Unit Manager: Administration Support.


 The Committee was taken on a guided tour of the Island by Mr T Mabaso who was also a political prisoner on the Island. The guided tour included the Visitors Centre, the Maximum Prison, Medium B Prison, D Section which housed Namibian Political Prisoners, theSobukwe Complex, Power Station, WW II guns, the Light House, the Blue Stone Quarry and a drive around the Island to visit environmental sites.


Upon conclusion, the Robben Island Museum made a presentation to the Committee wherein they indicated the Vision, Mission and the diversity and scope of the Museum. Mr Mkhize indicated to the Committee that the new Robben Island Council with Ms Thandi Modiseand Mr Ben Martins as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson respectively was inaugurated on the 15th March 2010. The new Chief Executive Officer commenced employment on the 1st November 2010. The Robben Island Museum had also appointed a new Chief Executive officer in January 2011.


Mr Mkhize commented that the new Council had been very active in its participation and attendance of various programmes and activities of the Museum and that prior to his appointment Council also provided hands-on leadership.


The Chief Executive Officer indicated that Senior Management was in the process of reviewing the Robben Island Museum strategic and operational challenges and that they also aimed to introduce a Performance Management System. He indicated that core to the aforementioned was a review of their organizational structure, the alignment of their strategic plan with their budget, Human Resources Strategy and the Integrated Conservation Management Plan.


Mr Mkhize reported that the Robben Island Museum was also in the process of rehabilitation and restoration of their Built Environment Projects. He indicated that the Maximum Security Prison was rehabilitated, restored and handed over in June 2009. The Guesthouse was rehabilitated and restoration of the entire building, including the roof, had been completed.


Among the other building environment projects that the Museum has undertaken was the upgrade of the Harbor to accommodate people living with disabilities and also the restoration of the female asylum and refurbishment of the WWII guns. The first phase of the restoration of the guns was completed in March 2011.


Mr Mkhize pointed out that funding for the restoration of the bluestone quarry was in place and that he was happy to report that the restoration process would commence shortly.


The Chief Executive Officer indicated that the Robben Island Museum was also faced with challenges, which included:


  • Environmental challenges with the ever increasing numbers of wild animals on the Island.
  • Maintenance of the Island and in this regard the Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Public Works has proposed a Facilities Management Contract.
  • Growing visitor numbers and the demands that this put on the sensitive eco-system.
  • Financial sustainability
  • Unfunded mandates:  This included Municipal Services, Border Patrol, Environmental Management, the School and the Post Office.
  • And the implementation of the Integrated Conservation Management Plan with its budgetary implications.


He also highlighted the achievements of the Robben Island Museum, which included:


  • The appointment of the Robben Island Council, the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer.
  • The natural environment problems were brought under control.
  • Major restoration and the upgrading of facilities on the Island.
  • An increase in the demand for events and conferences.
  • Stabilization of the Financial Management Systems.
  • No mechanical breakdowns of ferries during the peak season.


The Chief Executive Officer indicated that the Robben Island Museum was in the process of drafting a Memorandum of Understanding with the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), the University of the Western Cape, Department of Public Works and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. He also said that the Department of Energy had approached the Robben IslandMuseum to be part of its Working for Energy Project through the South African National Energy Research Institute (SANERI).


The Chief Executive Officer indicated that the Robben Island Museum Management was looking at a clustered approach to the governance of the Island. He said that the various Government Departments including the Department of Arts and Culture, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs and the South African Police Services should all be responsible for their respective mandates on the Island and its surrounds.


On International Comparative studies the Chief Executive Officer indicated that the Robben Island Council was planning to visit all sites of slavery or liberation struggles in West and East Africa. He also indicated that relations with Namibia have been strengthened and that more areas of cooperation were being explored.


During the ensuing discussions the Committee wanted to know if the Auditor-General also conducted visits four times a year to  theRobben Island Museum; What the nature of the relationship with the Department of Energy entailed; Wanted clarity on the generation of electricity on the Island; How many critically funded posts were vacant and what had been done to remedy the situation; How the RobbenIsland Museum was managing if they also have to attend to unfunded mandates; Whether there was a timeframe attached to the diversification of tours to Robben Island;


Mr Mkhize indicated that the Auditor General was conducting quarterly visits to the Robben Island Museum. He further indicated that the Museum was still faced with a challenge in filling the critically funded posts.


4.2 The Afrikaans Taal Museum and Monument (ATM)


The Afrikaans Taal Museum and Monument is located 66 Km outside of Cape Town. The Monument is located on a hill overlooking Paarl,Western Cape Province. The purpose of the Afrikaans Language Monument and Museum was originally to pay tribute to the people who played such an important role in the process of getting Afrikaans recognized as an official language. The evolution of Afrikaans from Dutch could be traced there. Afrikaans is presented as a living language on these historic premises.


One important group in this respect was the “Association of True Afrikaners” that was founded in the house which is now utilized as theAfrikaans Language Museum. The Association for True Afrikaners was founded on the 14th August 1875. Their circumstances and the spirit of their times are portrayed as accurately as possible so that visitors could get a clearer picture of the work they did and the obstacles they had to overcome.


It is also the purpose of the Museum to present various aspects of the Language, its development, its variants and its character in the modern context, so that visitors could understand that it is indeed a living, growing language that is constantly adapting itself to the modern world.


The Afrikaans Taal Museum received a “Qualified” audit opinion from the Auditor- General for the 2009/2010 year under review. The Auditor- General based his opinion on the fact that the Museum did not have adequate systems of control over funding and marketing income on which he/she could rely for the purpose of his/her audit. There were also no satisfactory alternative audit procedures that the Auditor- General could use to obtain reasonable assurances that all funding and marketing income were properly recorded. The Museum also lacked efficient and transparent systems and internal controls that complied with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and Treasury regulations.


The delegation was welcomed by Mr J Louw, Chief Executive Officer of the Afrikaans Taal Museum and he was accompanied by Ms TLouw, Chief Financial Officer and Ms I Botha, Head: Marketing and Communications.


In a brief presentation to the Portfolio Committee the Chief Executive Officer addressed the Committee on the challenges that the TaalMuseum was experiencing and the following was cited:


The lack of funds inhibited


·         The Museum’s ability to employ permanent staff

·         The Museum’s skills development plans

·         The Museum’s marketing programmes

·         The Museum’s international cooperation and representation programmes

·         The Museum’s projects


He also indicated that there had been changes in Tourism trends and this had an adverse effect on the number of visitors to the Museum. He attributed the decline in visitor numbers to the recent global recession.


Mr Louw also highlighted their successes. He indicated that they have embarked on sustainable events that guaranteed income, and that they have increased visibility of the Museum through effective public relations and media exposure.


Mr Louw reported that the Museum was opening a new Interpretation Centre for the Taalmonument and that the Building Contractor would conclude building towards the end of September. He indicated that the Centre would comprise of two offices for staff members who were running operations from a wendy house at the Monument and the Taalmuseum in town. The Centre would also consist of a lecture hall that was earmarked for educational programmes and small conferences.


He also indicated that through their “Sponsor-a-Bus” project over 6000 School Pupils over a period of six years from as far asVanrhynsdorp ( 273km from Paarl) and Hawston (100 km from Paarl) , who would not otherwise been able to visit the Taal Museum and Monument, have experienced the trip thanks to the Museum’s innovative “Sponsor-a-Bus” project. This project, he said, had been made possible through generous contributions from the National Department of Arts and Culture, the Drakenstein Municipality, the CapeWinelands District Municipality and Het Jan Marais Nasionale Fonds.


Mr Louw indicated that transport costs have escalated drastically, in recent years, and that they had to attain additional sponsorship to ensure the sustainability of the project. In addition to aforementioned project the Museum also had various other projects that included activities for school children on Nelson Mandela Day.


Mr Louw said that the Museum offered Internships and Part Time employment to Tourism Students and that they were also fostering relations with Local and Regional Tourism Organisations.


Mr Louw also pointed out that the Taal Museum had also concluded various international partnership agreements with the Dutch and Belgian Embassies and Consulate- Generals. He indicated that the Museum was also regularly hosting overseas researchers and also published articles in International Publications.


During the ensuing discussions members were interested to know if the Taal Museum liaised with the various Universities in the country, If the Taal Museum has approached the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund for funding, If the new building would alleviate TaalMuseum of some of their challenges; If the Taal Museum has approached the Director- General of the Department of Arts and Culture to request for more funds and if the Taal Museum also liaised with other Government Departments.


The Chief Executive Officer indicated that the Museum was liaising with the Department of Education and the Department of Transport. He also alluded to the inaccessibility of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund. He informed the Committee that the Museum had missed the deadlines for submission of application for funding on four occasions. He pointed out that there was a lot of uncertainty, on their part, surrounding the opening dates for the submission of application for funding from the National Lotteries.


The two offices he said would be occupied by the Marketing Manager and her Assistant. The Museum also intended utilizing one of the guides at the Monument as a receptionist.  He pointed out that the Museum intends building an additional two offices at the Monument and that these would be built with the grants that the Taalmuseum received.


Members wanted to know if the funds that the Taal Museum received from the Department of Arts and Culture only covered salaries; a breakdown of the Museum’s staff complement; What the Museum were doing to reach Schools from previously disadvantaged communities


The Chief Executive Officer reported that 75% of their budget was allocated to the payment of salaries and that the remaining 25% were utilized for the operations of the Museum. He indicated that the Museum employed 21 staff members and that 9 were professionals and 12 semi professionals. He also indicated that they currently had no disabled people in their employ. This was attributed to the fact that no persons living with disabilities have ever shown an interest in being employed by the Museum mainly due to the size of their facilities.


Mr Louw indicated that the Museum did indeed received visits from Black Schools and that their outreach programmes stretched as far as the Karoo and that all their exhibitions were offered in the three predominantly spoken languages in the Western Cape Province namely Afrikaans, English and Isixhosa. He pointed out that most High Schools that offer Tourism as a subject were targeted and that most of the District Municipalities were of immense help in that regard.


Upon conclusion of deliberations the Committee was taken on a physical site visit of the Taal Museum by Ms Janine September, a tour guide employed at the Museum. She took the delegation through the house where the “Association of true Afrikaners” was established. She indicated that the ground floor has in recent years been restored to the state that it had been during the last quarter of the 19thcentury. The rooms on the ground floor that had been restored to their former state were the entrance hall, the dining room, the lounge and Mr Gideon Malherbe‘s bed room. Ms September pointed out that the rooms have been refurnished with original pieces of furniture and ornaments, of that era, as far as possible. Where it was impossible to obtain the original furniture, replicas have been made. Most of the pieces have been donated or made available by members of the family or the general public.


Ms September then guided the Committee to the top floor of the Museum. This floor she indicated presented the story and the personalities behind the development of the language. The exhibits were imaginatively presented as games, soundtracks and interactive displays. The exhibits were translated in English so speaking Afrikaans was not a prerequisite to interact with the exhibits.


The delegation then proceeded to the Taal Monument where Ms Verinque Hendriks was the tour guide. She explained in detail the significance and symbolism attached to the structure.


On the left (West) of the approach to the Monument stood three columns representing the languages and Cultures of Western Europe namely Dutch, French, German, Portuguese and others. The columns progressively diminished in height to express the diminishing influence of the European languages on Afrikaans.


To the right (East) of the approach was a podium which represented the Southern tip of Africa. On this podium was three convex mounds and Ms Hendriks explained that these round convex mounds symbolized the influence of the Khoi, Nguni and Sotho languages. These structures progressively increased in size and thereby indicated the increasing African influence on Afrikaans as a Language. MsHendriks pointed out that the mounds were positioned in an arc and that this connected with the Monuments’ main curve (symbolizing Afrikaans), thereby connecting them physically as well as spiritually.


Ms Hendriks further informed the Committee that where the two arcs of Western Europe and Africa met, a bridge was formed and that this symbolized the fusion of Languages from the two continents.


The Malay language and culture was represented by a wall on the stairs leading towards the Monument. This wall was positioned between the two arcs of Western Europe and Africa so that it was separate, but yet united with those two forces, which combined to form a bridge symbolically depicting the basis for Afrikaans.


Ms Hendriks further elaborated on the symbolism of the main column. She informed the Committee that it represented the accelerated growth of Afrikaans. The column stood in a pool of water, which further reinforced the concept of Afrikaans as a living, growing entity requiring sustenance for its continued existence. She said that the play of light inside the monument, caused by the pond and openings in the main column, symbolized the language as a “gleaming tool”


A second shorter column represented the Republic of South Africa and stood in the same pond. It was hollow and open to Africa and this indicated the continuous interaction and discourse that took place between Afrikaans, South Africa and Africa.



4.3 The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA)


The delegation was welcomed by Ms LS Van Damme, Chief Executive Officer of the South African Heritage Resources Agency and she was accompanied by Ms JB Khumalo, Chief Financial Officer of the South African Heritage Resources Agency, Prof S Fikeni, Chairperson of the Board of the South African Heritage Resources Agency, Ms HH Gous, Executive Officer: Corporate Affairs at the South African Heritage Resources Agency, Ms B Samuels, Public Relations Officer, Mr D Sibayi , Executive Officer: Human Resources.


Chairperson of the Committee opened the meeting and indicated to the South African Heritage Resources Agency that the Committee had expressed a desire to also interact with employees to assess the conditions that they worked in. The Chairperson also indicated that the management of SAHRA should include Human Resources issues in their presentation with emphasis on the devolution process that the agency has embarked upon.


The Chief Executive Officer, Ms Van Damme indicated to the Committee that legislation prescribes that responsibilities be passed over to Provincial Agencies. Previous Council of the South African Heritage Resources Agency insisted that the Agencies previous Human Resources structure be unbundled. The Head Office of the Heritage Resources Agency previously supported Provinces. The focus of SAHRA was also diluted to take care of Provinces and that there was currently a backlog of 10 years in this regard. She also pointed out that Provinces only received R 2 million in this regard and that it posed a serious challenge, but notwithstanding the challenges there were due processes underway.


The Minister of Arts and Culture has in the meantime, at Minmec level, made it clear that Provinces should take up their mandates and set up their own Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities (PHRA’s)


Ms Van Damme pointed out that the South African Heritage Resources Agency derived its mandate from the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 and that the operationalisation of its mandate found itself in the Built Environment, Archaeology, Paleontology, Meteorites, Heritage objects, Maritime and underwater Cultural Heritage, Burial grounds and Graves Division, National Inventory, The Centre for Training Research and Education, Grading and declaration, Finance, Human Resources and their Corporate Affairs Division.


On the Finances of the SAHRA she gave a brief breakdown of the following:


·         Revenue                                                -           R36 204 000

·         Interest                                     -           R500 000

·         Permit Fees                                          -           R12 000

·         Council                                     -           R75 000

·         Office of the CEO                                   -           R400 000

·         Legal Office                                           -           R580 000

·         Public Relations                         -           R745 000

·         Devolution Process                                -           R400 000

·         Human Resources                                 -           R1 628 000

·         Corporate Affairs                                    -           R5 915 000

·         Human Resources Management  -           R2 705 900

·         Limpopo Office                           -           R180 000

·         Eastern Cape                                        -           R69 000

·         Free State                                             -           R150 000

·         Gauteng                                                -           R174 000

·         Kwazulu- Natal                          -           R130 000

·         Mpumalanga                                          -           R50 000

·         North West                                            -           Not budgeted for

·         Northern Cape                           -           R150 000

·         Salaries                                                -           R21 887 159

·         Finance Department                               -           R2 175 000


The Chief Executive Officer indicated that the SAHRA had a video conferencing system installed during the previous financial year to connect the satellite offices. The aim of this was to cut down on transport costs. She pointed out that the SAHRA had 36 properties under their control, but that there is a challenge in the collection of rentals and that they had a limited budget available for the maintenance of the properties.


On their National inventory Ms Van Damme indicated that a need for a digital inventory of resources in State ownership has to be developed and that the development of the South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS) would form part of the National Audit Project to serve as repository of Information collected during inventorisation. In this regard the State Information Technology Agency could assist with the identification of suitable service providers for the development of the South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS)


Ms Van Damme further pointed out that their Human Resources has since 2009 been a function on its own and that their Performance Management System has been revised and that the implementation thereof has been monitored. She also indicated that the SAHRA has embarked on a restructuring process to address devolution matters.


On Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage the Chief Executive Officer indicated that SAHRA is participating in the Department of Arts and Culture Growth Development Plan. She indicated that there is an international agreement between South Africa and the Netherlands on underwater Cultural awareness programmes. She also pointed out that the Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention should also still be ratified. This will protect the countries’ heritage resources from looters and those that wanted to embark on salvaging. South Africa was also cooperating on regional level with Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Namibia to raise funds in this regard.


Ms Van Damme further indicated they have capacitated 87 people on 3 courses and that 2 divers and 2 swimmers were trained for Underwater Cultural Heritage. She pointed out that they are also experiencing challenges in this regard and that there was a need for greater site assessments and research.


The Chief Executive Officer further pointed out that the SAHRA has sent 150 headstones to Tanzania for victims of conflict. InMozambique they have assisted with the installation of grave markers and grave restoration. She pointed out that the SAHRA was planning a reburial of +/- 300 remains in a historical mining site in Langlaagte. They were however also encountering some challenges in this regard, which entailed the escalation of costs, lack of dedicated capital for exhumation, forensic anthropological research, storage, the securing of land for reburial and Educational Workshops on peoples’’ rights to graves. Other successful reburial included a reburial of 70 miners in Paardekraal. She pointed out that the detention graves on RobbenIsland still remained an unresolved puzzle.


Some of the challenges according to the Chief Executive Officer also included the lack of capacity and resources and that the South African Heritage Resources Agency simply had no funds to retain heritage objects that were prohibited from exportation. She attributed their failure to retain heritage objects that were prohibited from exportation, to a lack of cooperation among institutions concerned with the management of heritage objects. She mentioned that Transnet outsourced the identification and categorization of some of their disposable assets and that these assets included old locomotives. These assets were bought by wealthy corporations and private individuals and could have been utilized as a tool to create employment and thus complying with one of Government Priorities.


Ms Van Damme indicated that the South African Heritage Resources Agency signed a memorandum of understanding withRhodes University and that the agency was focusing its training on Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities (PHRA’s) competencies that were critical in the implementation of the Act. The Heritage Resources Agencies was also focusing on the Curriculum Statements and capacitating teachers to deal with heritage content.


She indicated that some of the challenges that they were faced with entailed the transfer of assets, rights, liabilities and obligations of the South African Heritage Resources Agency to the Provinces; the establishment of the Provincial Heritage Resources (PHRA’s) by Provinces and the allocation of the necessary funds for this; finances and an Act that was not costed at the time of its promulgation.


Ms Van Damme also pointed out that the Heritage Resources Agency submitted request for funding to the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund and to the Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Public Works.


Upon conclusion of the presentation members wanted to know: If The South African Heritage Resources Agency had a working relationship with the National Heritage Council; Wanted clarity on the discrepancies in allocation of funds to the Provinces; If the Heritage Resources Agency requested funds from the Department of Public Works; What the Heritage Resources Agency was doing to empower civil society; What the Heritage Resources Agency was doing to source funds; What the Heritage Resources Agency was doing to promote careers in Heritage; What distinctions could be drawn between the mandates of the South African Heritage Resources Agency and the National Heritage Council; What the criteria for the issuing of permits were


The Chief Executive Officer responded that indeed the Heritage Resources Agency does have a working relationship with the National Heritage Council and that the National Liberation Heritage Route was one of the projects that the two entities were jointly involved in. The role of the South African Heritage Route was to identify heritage sites and this process involved public participation.


The reason for the difference in funds allocated to the various provinces was that the different offices had different issues to deal with. The Chief Executive Officer pointed out that the South African Heritage Resources Agency had requested an audit of the total funds that the Agency required. The Director – General: Department of Arts and Culture has approved the request and a service provider has been appointed to cost all Heritage Agencies. There has also been a proposal by the Minister- MEC (MINMEC) that the costing should be taken to Cabinet and Treasury. She also indicated that the establishment of the Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities should be the responsibility of the Members of Executive Councils from the various Provinces. The various properties currently owned by the South African Heritage Resources Agency should also be transferred to the Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities. She indicated that the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund had allocated the Heritage Agency with a reference number for their funding request. The African World Heritage Fund was also approached for funding, but the global recession resulted in the Heritage Resources Agency being refused the necessary funding


On the civil empowerment question she responded by indicating that, though the Heritage Resources Agency was faced with budgetary constraints there were attempts to empower civil society. She pointed out that Conservation Management Plans involved the communities and that there was a pilot project that focused on youth. She indicated that their Maritime week involved Grades 10-12 and that five children per Province were afforded the opportunity to spend time on Robben Island.


Prof Fikeni, Chairperson of the Board acknowledged that there was confusion in drawing a distinction between the mandates of the South African Heritage Resources Agency and that of the National Heritage Council. He pointed out that it was the responsibility of the South African Heritage Resources Agency to grade the National Heritage Liberation Route and the responsibility of the National Heritage Council to provide funding for it. She stressed that the National Heritage Council was well resourced (R44 million), but yet only had a staff complement of 20.


Upon conclusion the Heritage Resources Agency accompanied the Committee on a site visit to the Castle of Good Hope which housed their Maritime Unit.


5. Conclusions


On Robben Island the Delegation commented that there has been a vast improvement in the upgrading of the facilities and the situation as a whole at the Robben Island Museum, but that some of the sites on the Island were still inaccessible to the public. In this regard the Committee indicated that Heritage was not about rules, but also respecting other cultures and that when some of the sites that were currently not open to the general public tourist would not have first-hand experience and would not feel that it was worth their while to visit the Island. The Committee also identified the six areas that was an unfunded mandate of theRobben Island Museum. Some of the challenges the Committee indicated should be addressed through interactions with the various Portfolio Committees at Parliament.


On the Afrikaans Taal Museum the delegation commented that if the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury regulations were not complied with, it would have a negative impact on funding from the Department of Arts and Culture. They further indicated that the Afrikaans Taal Museum could also be seen as part of the Liberation Heritage Route and that the Museum should not operate in isolation. They also proposed that the Afrikaans Taal Museum should expand its operations beyond the borders of the Western Cape Province.


The Committee further acknowledged the funding challenges that the South African Heritage Resources was experiencing.


The MEC of Cultural Affairs gave an undertaking to liaise with the City of Cape Town to look into the matter of refuse removal and acknowledged that this was a mandate that the City of Cape should be responsible for.



6. Recommendations


The Committee recommends that the Minister of Arts and Culture should ensure the following:


6.1 While acknowledging that the lime quarry was an environmentally sensitive area, the Committee recommends that it be opened by the Robben Island Museum, and a bridge be built to allow sightseeing.


6.2 The entities should foster stronger relations with the media and the use of social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.


6.3 The National Youth Development Agency should be utilized to train young tour guides.


6.4 The National Heritage Council and the National Lotteries Distribution Fund should be approached for funding to create moreprogrammes and projects to benefit the communities.


6.5 The Robben Island Museum should foster relations with Provincial and Local Government.


6.6 On Tourism which is one of the drivers of Economic Development, the Robben Island Museum should approach the Department of Tourism and Economic Development to assist in the marketing of Robben Island as a tourist site.


6.7 The Afrikaans Taal Museum must extend its operations beyond the confines of the Western Cape Province.


6.8 The Museum should foster closer relations with the Provincial Education Department and Namibia.


6.9 The South African Heritage Resources Agency should create partnerships with other Government Departments.


6.10 A distinction should be drawn between the mandates of the South African Heritage Resources Agency and the National Heritage Council.


6.11 The Department of Arts and Culture and the MECs of the various provinces should resolve the issue of the Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities.



Report to be considered




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