ATC090701: Report on Budget Vote 12 of the Department of Arts and Culture

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture

Report of Select Committee on Education and Recreation on Budget Vote of Department of Arts and Culture, dated 01 July 2009


Having considered Budget Vote 12 of the Department of Arts and Culture, the Committee reports as follows:


1. Introduction

On 1 July 2009, the Select Committee on Education and Recreation considered the Budget Vote of the Department of Arts and Culture as part of conducting parliamentary oversight and ensuring executive accountability.


1.1. Objectives of the Department

The main objective of the Department is to develop and preserve South African culture to ensure social cohesion and nation building.


            2. Overview of the Government Programme of Action

The Director General, Mr Themba Wakashe presented a contextual overview of the Budget Vote. He indicated that the focus would be on social cohesion and National Identity Programmes as follows:

·                     Promote a national flag month in the South African calendar in order to promote national identity;

·                     Conduct and intensify national dialogue on various aspects of social cohesion, national identity and nationhood;

·                     Implement social mobilisation campaigns to build solidarity, improve safety of communities and strengthen social cohesion;

·                     Develop and publish terminology on concepts such as national reconciliation, national unity, social cohesion, as well as on soccer terminology for the official African languages;

·                     Intensify the campaign for the installation of flags and flag poles in schools, government buildings and entry points in cities and towns;

·                     Conclude the debate on a national schools pledge;

·                     Embark on a synchronised process to create a base slate of changes to geographic and place names.


2.1. Arts and Culture in Society

The Director General noted that the purpose of this programme is to develop and promote arts and culture in South Africa and mainstream its role in social development by:

2.1.1          Publishing a booklet and open webpage on Performing Arts, for data to be accessible.

2.1.2          Conducting national choral indabas and national conference towards development of the National Strategy on Performing Arts.

2.1.3          Continuing to work and support 15 sustainable Community Arts Centers.

2.1.4          Implementing 50% Arts and Culture Management training to community arts centres.

2.1.5           Ensuring compliance on Corporate Governance in funding bodies such as the National Arts Council (NAC) and Business Arts South Africa (BASA) by appointing executive management in order to comply with Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) regulations.

2.1.1          Implementing the programmes on Arts Access and Ke Moja campaigns in collaboration with correctional service centres (Juvenile Centres).

2.1.2          Implementing programmes emancipating marginalized women, children and exhibitions of works of artists living with disabilities.


2.2. National Language Service Priorities

The purpose of this programme is to promote arts and culture in South Africa and enhance the linguistic diversity of the country.  This will be done by prioritizing the following:


2.2.1. Translation, editing and establishment of language units in government departments.

2.2.1.  Managing the promotion and protection of the language profession.

2.2.2. Ensuring facilitation and development of provincial language policies, minimum of 3 provinces with approved language policy.

2.2.3. Ensuring that there is facilitation and development of literature and a development strategy.

2.2.4. Developing specialized terminologies in official languages.

2.2.5. Establishment of the National Centre for Human Language Technologies (HLT).


3. Heritage Promotion

The programme seeks to develop and monitor the implementation of policy, legislation and strategic direction for identifying, conserving and promoting cultural heritage for socio-economic development and social cohesion. This will be done as follows:

· Increasing the heritage skills pool through a human resource development strategy.

· Protecting and preserving South African Heritage using international legislation and protocols (Conventions).

· Safeguarding and promoting South African intangible cultural heritage through national policy.

· Developing national museums policy.

· Developing a digitization policy.

· Promoting and creating awareness programmes on the significance of Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology.

4. Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Expenditure trends

The analysis with regard to the MTEF was reported as follows:

· The Department of Arts and Culture’s expenditure grew at an average annual rate of    24, 4 per cent between 2005/06 and 2008/09.

· This was mainly due to additional resources for the construction of the Freedom Park, upgrading and maintaining museums, and the introduction of the community library services conditional grant in 2007/08 to improve community library services.

· Once-off items, like R9 million for background research on the community library services conditional grant and key commemorations, explain the increases in expenditure on consultants and transfers to households in 2006/07.

· The community library services conditional grant accounts for the 994, 3 per cent average annual growth in transfers to provinces between 2005/06 and 2008/09.

· Transfers to provinces are expected to grow more moderately over the medium term, at an average annual rate of 15 per cent. Expenditure over the MTEF period is also expected to grow more moderately, at an average annual rate of 4, 3 per cent.

· This is due to the conclusion of major projects such as the construction of the Freedom Park, which will end in 2010/11, and 2010 FIFA World Cup projects, including preparations for the opening and closing ceremonies, for which funding will end in 2009/10.


2.5. 2008/09 Department of Arts and Culture Achievements

The Director General highlighted the achievements of the Department as follows:

·                   International: Timbuktu Manuscripts Project training; conservation; travelling    exhibition and conferences in South Africa; new library in Timbuktu opened; UNESCO Memory of the World Programme; Restitution of archival and library material to Namibia.

·                   Internal restitution and recovery of stolen archival heritage.

·                   Handover of Rivonia Trial documents to the Minister of Arts & Culture in the presence of Nelson Mandela.

·                   Recovery of Presidential Visitors’ Book and 1910 stamp designs.

·                   Design and registration of six national orders.

·                   National orders ceremonies.

·                   Design of parliamentary emblems.

·                   Popularisation of national symbols, flag in every school.

·                   Cultural Development, International Relations and Investing in Culture.


2.7. Conclusion

Having considered and deliberated on Departmental budget vote 12 the Committee has noted the following:

2.7.1. The department is not doing enough to popularize the national anthem and national symbols.

2.7.2. That the department is male dominated and not gender sensitive.

2.7.3. There is no consistency on the implementation of language policy and this has led to indigenous languages being marginalized.

2.7.4. The Department is not doing enough to prevent poaching of staff working in the museums.

2.7.5. The salaries of the officials working in museums are not attractive.


2.8. Recommendations

In order to ensure continuous executive accountability and parliamentary oversight over the Department, the Committee recommends that the Department should: 

2.8.1. Develop a plan to popularise the national anthem and all national symbols especially among the children in schools.

2.8.2. Ensure that the Department is committed to the principle of gender sensitivity by employing female officials in senior positions.

2.8.3. Ensure that institutions such as the Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB) are visible and fulfil their constitutional mandate.

2.8.4. Ensure facilitation and development of the language policy by encouraging the usage of indigenous languages in schools.

2.8.5. Through the language policy the department should ensure that language practitioners are properly trained to interpret.

2.8.6. Develop mechanisms to preserve, protect and encourage the use of languages such as Khoi San and Ndebele which are slowly fading away.

2.8.7. The Department should develop mechanism on improving salaries of officials working in museums and libraries.

2.8.8. Ensure that the department complies with government policy of employment equity.

2.8.9. Ensure that there is memorandum of understanding between Departments of Sport and Recreation, Arts and Culture as well as Education to address the issue of the language policy.


The Committee recommends that Budget Vote 12 be passed.


Report to be considered



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