Closure of Reconciliation Bridge and road in Pretoria and Ncome: Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, Msunduzi Museum and DAC briefing; Status and future of Ncome Museum: DAC briefing

Arts and Culture

02 February 2016
Chairperson: Ms X Tom (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was briefed by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) , the Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, and the Msunduzi Museum on the issues that these museums faced, and especially on the closure of the Reconciliation Bridge and Reconciliation Road in Ncome and Pretoria respectively. The Road had been closed two days after it was opened by the President. The Committee was also briefed by the DAC on the status and future of Ncome Museum, explaining how it had been constructed in two phases, with the second phase including the Bridge, which had regrettably been closed by the Blood River Monument during Phase 2 for lack of funding to maintain it.

The DAC advised that the main problems lay with the cost of maintaining the facilities. The Reconciliation Road linking the Voortrekker Monument and Freedom Park had been operational since June 2011, and up to August 2015, the DAC had transferred R1.17 million to it, with a further R130 000 expected once a comprehensive report had been submitted. However, the DAC was not permitted by National Treasury to keep transferring funds regularly because the Voortrekker Monument was not a Declared Cultural Institution. In the past, the funding had been done on an ad hoc basis – yearly requests would be made and whatever the DAC had available could be transferred on an ad hoc basis. Other institutions were in the same boat. There were ongoing negotiations on how the Road could be reopened and its maintenance costs covered and an agreement had been reached for it to reopen on 1 March. The Reconciliation Bridge had unfortunately been closed by the Blood River Monument shortly after the opening of phase 2, due to funding issues around maintenance and operations. Because the Blood River Monument was also not a declared cultural institution, the DAC could also not sustain funding to the Monument.

The presentations by Freedom Park and Voortrekker Monument set out what each of the museums was doing, what was being discussed and what it was hoped to achieve and it was conceded by the institutions that perhaps there should have been more collaboration with each other directly at an earlier stage on the road closure, because communication from the DAC and Minister had been intermittent. They were agreed that the Road was an important symbol of reconciliation. The institutions said that they did have good relationships with each other. At Freedom Park, in the spirit of open negotiations, a proposal was made for a joint task team consisting of DAC, Freedom Park and Voortrekker Monument, with the agreement that the two CEOs of the institutions would go and do some costing for the security and maintenance. In the meantime, Freedom Park would extend its security services to both gates and Voortrekker Road would be able to invoice Freedom Park for expenses on the Reconciliation Road. Freedom Park had its own agreements with the DAC, and in the longer term DAC would try to set up a Private Public Partnership with Voortrekker Monument so that it would be able to release funding. The joint task team would continue to deal with the issues. The Chairperson asked that a further progress report on this be submitted within the next 29 days.

The presentation by the Musuduzi and Ncome Chairperson and Director noted that the Council was appointed and started work in December 2014. Although the Members later criticised the presentation, the Director explained that he had tried to avoid any overlaps with the DAC presentation and that all the information was included on what the Museum was doing. The main challenge here was management of the institutions, which were far apart geographically, and it was more complex than the Freedom Park and Voortrekker Monument issue. The Bridge was on a dirt road that many tourists were unwilling to take, and this fact also raised the costs of maintenance and deliveries. Despite the fact that it was an important economic link, the Department of Transport did not regard this road as a first priority.  Initially, the cost of fencing and paving was agreed upon to be paid by the Voortrekker Monument, but the costs escalated and it was now proposed that the joint task team must develop a Memorandum of  Agreement instead of a Memorandum of Understanding, with a communication timeline. The Chairperson suggested that in addition, the institutions must come up with a strategy of what would happen if the plans did not come to fruition.

The Committee asked for clarity on the principles and implications of ad hoc funding. Members were a little unhappy that the Ncome presentation was short on information, but the presenter explained that he had tried to shorten it to avoid duplication with the DAC presentation and it had perhaps lost some of its essence in the process. The institutions agreed on the importance of keeping the road and bridge open and would work better with each other in the task team to try to ensure that this happened. Members were supportive of the Ncome Museum becoming a separate institution with its own Board, but the DAC pointed out that this might incur too many costs in the current climate. Members asked about the content and terms of the Memorandums of Understanding, what was said in there about the costs and the roads, and why the gates had been closed on the Blood River side. The point was noted that it did not bode well for evidencing reconciliation if one institution were to appear better maintained than the other. A further report was promised on the plans and outstanding issues within the next month.

The Committee adopted its minutes and the report on the oversight Visit to Limpopo Province in July 2015.

Meeting report

Apologies were tendered for the Minister and Director General.

Voortrekker Monument current status: Department of Arts and Culture briefing
Ms Monica Newton, Deputy Director-General: Department of Arts and Culture, outlined the situation with the Reconciliation Road that currently linked the Voortrekker Monument (VTM) to Freedom Park, which had been operational since June 2011.

The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) had up until August 2015 transferred R1.17 million to the Voortrekker Monument and will transfer an additional R130 000 on submission of a comprehensive report before the end of the current financial year.
However, because the Voortrekker Monument was not a Declared Cultural Institution, the Department had been told by National Treasury that it cannot continue to transfer funds to it.

There was a problem with funding the road linking the two centres. The Department had proposed that the subsidy of Freedom Park, which was a Declared Cultural Institution, be increased in order to maintain the reconciliation road. However, this option was rejected by the Voortrekker Monument. Dialogue was continuing to try to resolve the matter, focusing on the broader significance of the road and its symbolism with respect to reconciliation and nation building.

Department of Arts and Culture briefing on the status and future of Ncome Museum
Ms Newton said that the Ncome Museum and Monument was constructed to correct the anomaly of a one sided historical perspective on the 1838 war between Voortrekkers and amaZulu; to usher in an era of critical and constructive engagement for the development of a more balanced narrative; and to work towards promoting national reconciliation. Construction had been in two phases.  Phase 1 showed that additional facilities to benefit the surrounding communities would enhance the Museum and its purpose. Phase 2 was therefore unveiled by President Zuma on Reconciliation Day 16 December 2014. It included a multi-purpose hall with industrial kitchen; staff offices; a mini library; work room and curio shop for artwork; 8 tourist huts; four staff houses; one security guard house; a mural wall painting; an exhibition and the Reconciliation Bridge.

The Msunduzi/Voortrekker Museum Council became the accounting authority of the Msunduzi/Voortrekker and Ncome museums and the Director became the accounting officer of both institutions. Funding of R13.146 million for the Ncome Museum was channelled to the Msunduzi/Voortrekker's account. The current process of the revision of the White Paper on Arts and Culture leaned towards the rationalisation of both institutions and their councils.

The Reconciliation Bridge had unfortunately been closed by the Blood River Monument shortly after the opening of phase 2, due to funding issues around maintenance and operations. Because the Blood River Monument was also not a declared cultural institution, the DAC could not sustain funding to the Monument.

Freedom Park briefing

Mr Ronnie Makopo, Chairperson, Freedom Park, said that on 1 September 2014, at an engagement with the Voortrekker Monument a resolution had been reached that would allow for an interim arrangement so that the Road would be open from 1 March.

Ms Jane Mufamadi,Chief Executive Officer, Freedom Park, outlined the situation regarding the Road. After several deliberations the DAC proposed the following solutions:

- Transferring the funds to Freedom Park for Freedom Park to extend its security services to both the affected entrance gates
- Freedom Park to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Voortrekker Monument so that Voortrekker Monument invoiced Freedom Park for the expenses incurred on Reconciliation Road.
- DAC would then enter into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with Voortrekker Monument in order to be able to release funds, which would be pursued as the long term option. This might also be done as a conditional grant.
- Interim arrangements should be put in place to have the Reconciliation Road opened as soon as possible.

Freedom Park also wanted to outline the following key points:
- 288 names were approved for inscription on the Wall of Names at Freedom Park
- Freedom Park had archived and loaded 1078 archival materials on Vernon Electronic archiving system
- A 50 Year celebration of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown
- Successful launch of an exhibition of the 30th anniversary of the Mamelodi Massacre in partnership with Mamelodi community and Ditsong
- Launched a book titled: 'Freedom Park, a place of Emancipation and meaning'
- Hosted highly successful dialogues with several veterans of the struggle including Professor Dennis Goldberg.

There were still some key challenges. Infrastructure maintenance: maintenance and repair costs continued to  increase dramatically due to increased wear and tear on Phase 1 structures. The possible solution was to use the interest revenue accrued from capital budget for infrastructure maintenance just to keep the park going. The second challenge was the high staff costs, which would be addressed by only filling the key strategic vacant posts, and saving costs from others. It was already undertaking an internal realignment and deployment for staff to deal with any misalignment. There was increasing operational expenditure. Freedom Park would continue to implement cost cutting measures as directed by National Treasury.

In answer to the challenge of low revenue, Freedom Park intended to invest significantly in marketing to increase tourist volumes and double the hosting of high premium events. It would also be expediting the conclusion of all pending legal matters. There was a need to create a balance between revenue generation and affordable access to the Park by ordinary South Africans. In order to ensure the financial sustainability of the Park, it would be exploring alternative revenue sources including fundraising to fill the revenue gap.

Finally, in regard to the closure of the Reconciliation Road, Freedom Park would implement the DAC proposed solutions to the challenges without delay.

The Chairperson commended the initiative of the Board

Voortrekker Monument briefing
Mr Wouter van Wyk, Chairperson of the Board, Voortrekker Monument, said that in view of the fact that the Committee had received the report last week he would highlight only the most important points. The Voortrekker Monument was obviously one of the biggest monuments in the country, and attracted a large number of national and international tourists.  This meant that it contributed to the image of South Africa and had an important role to play both in terms of the image of the country and also in terms of morale. Unfortunately the visitor numbers from China had dwindled, but overall he was grateful for good relations with neighbouring countries. The meetings held at the monument were always in a good spirit.

The biggest challenge was funding. On the one hand it was stressed that there was a clean track record in terms of financial management, for which the Monument was grateful, but on the other hand it had to be understood that such a large monument would have concomitant expenses. If this institution could not find sustainable funding then its operations were under extreme duress, as was the the case at this moment.

This institution had three main sources of income: visitors; donations from the public sector and grants from the Department of Arts and Culture. Voortrekker Monument found itself in a very precarious position at the moment. As could be seen from the submission, the funding that was received from the DAC for many years had diminished and in addition to that it was unpredictable. Another issue was that visitor numbers had dwindled and this had a very negative effect on the gate takings. The economy was unstable at the moment and this meant that the ability to find funds from willing and able donors from the private sector was under extreme pressure.

Replacing the people who had resigned, and even employing the number of staff it needed at a decent salary was not an option at the moment and there could not be any staff development. The premises were not able to be properly maintained. The Voortrekker Monument institution has been placed under severe financial pressure.

He noted the comments about the Road between Voortrekker Monument and Freedom Park and wanted to say that not only was it a physical asset, but was regarded as a symbol of reconciliation, so it was hoped that it could be operative to be experienced by people as a gesture of real reconciliation between different parts of the society.

The same applied to the Reconciliation Bridge between Ncome and Blood River. Due to the distance, a similar meeting with Msunduzi Museum had not been held despite the wish to do so. However, staff members there had indicated that there were good relationships between the two facilities, and the Board was willing to engage any time with the people from Ncome Museum.

The fact that Ncome Museum and Blood River were physically geographically isolated complicated the issue in terms of maintenance and operations even more. Part of the road was not tarred, which meant that many potential tourists were not likely to go to these two museums if they had to travel on a dirt road. Also, this made the building costs and maintenance costs higher because many things had to be brought from afar, and complicated the doing of the maintenance.

There were many challenges at Blood River in terms of fencing, paving and security. Blood River was owned and maintained as an Article 21 company and this was a financial strain on this institution. It made a loss of about R500 000 per annum and  it needed to be funded from the Voortrekker Monument  in Pretoria just for operations to be able to continue, which in turn placed extra strain on the Monument. d. This was an extra strain. 

He made the point that the discussion with the DAC had been intermittent, and it was difficult to have to wait for responses, and placed strain, uncertainty and tension on staff members who already were troubled by the lack of job security. This also made it difficult for the Board to plan and make decisions. In December 2014 a good meeting was held with the Acting Director-General, with many possibilities being raised although there had not been any further progress. The Voortrekker Monument Board would welcome an opportunity to interact with the DAC regularly, as well as to meet with officials physically, and try to get all the obstacles out of the way. He concluded that he believed that the challenges could be overcome. The Monument fully intended to co-operate with neighbours and the DAC in order to overcome the obstacles.

Msunduzi Museum and Ncome Museum briefing
Prof Sekibakiba Lekgoathi, Chairperson of the Musuduzi and Ncome Council, said that this Council was appointed and started to work in December of 2014. 80% to 90% of Councillors were new, with only one or two people carried over from the previous Council. There were many overlaps in terms of the presentation by the DAC and he would not repeat those.

Mr Mlungisi Ngubane, Director Msunduzi Museum, also said that he would not repeat issues and moved straight to Slide 4 of the DAC presentation as there was a need to make a slight correction. The DAC had said that 'The funding to the amount of R13 146 000 for Ncome Museum was channelled to the Msunduzi/Voortrekker Museum' account'. However, the R13.146 million had actually been for both Ncome and Msunduzi Museums.

The main challenge that the institutions of Ncome were faced with was the management of the institution. These two institutions were 400km apart from each other, so it took considerable time in travelling between them, on a poor road. It was surprising that the Department of Transport only regarded the upkeep of this road as a number three priority.  and this meant that there was a challenge in managing both of them as it took a lot of time to travel between the two. Honourable Members were aware of the road between the two and that it  was in a bad  condition. In discussions with the Department of Transport it was surprising that this road was only priority number 3, given that it was the economic vein of the area. The Portfolio Committee had raised the fact that the reception area was poor, after visiting the area, but funding was the major challenge preventing an improvement.

He said that the possible solutions were for the opening of the Reconciliation Bridge, improvement of the road, and an increase in funding. IT infrastructure, human capital and site maintenance were also in need of attention. Further exhibitions and projects were needed.

The Chairperson said that it was important to look at the challenges and how to deal with them.

The Chairperson asked what ad hoc funding meant and what the implications of this were.

Dr P Mulder (FF+) said that both institutions were important as there were about 100 000 potential tourists. Attitudes were an issue to explore. There was a financial problem as the Voortrekker Monument was not a public institution and he asked how this could be solved. He also asked what ad hoc funding was and if there was any policy on this, as well as whether any other institutions received money on this basis.

Ms Newton replied that adhoc funding in this context was essentially based on request, in a non guaranteed structure. So in essence it was given for one year as and when the budget was available. It was obvious that from the perspective of the institution, this was not ideal, but in essence the Department had made a plan where it could, to help not just the Voortrekker Museum but many other institutions with whom there was an adhoc funding relationships. Each of the individual funding transactions as listed in Section 3 were essentially governed by their own MOU with their own internal logic based on the actual funding requirement or funding request at the time. One of the big gaps was that there was no MOU guiding the relationship between the parties when the roads or bridges were constructed, that would then define the long term relationship.

Ms A Matshobeni (EFF) asked why the road was closed in the first place.

Ms Matshobeni said that the presentation on Ncome was really disappointing as it did not speak to the real issues and was rather a series of slides. This should be a stand-alone Museum. It was too far away, at 400km from the others, and it was difficult to go to that area.

Mr Makopo replied that in the next presentation there would be a much more substantial presentation in terms of the narrative. He conceded that it would have been better to give the whole presentation, but on page 11 of that presentation the activities that had actually taken place at Ncome Museum were listed. This should help address the question of the lack of visibility. Several activities had actually taken place. Last year there was Youth Day. Activities were geared towards social cohesion. The limitation was that activities took place on one side. It would be great to have Blood River Monument people involved in these activities, and to have people across racial lines involved. One of the council meetings was held in Ncome Museum. 

Mr Makopo admitted that there had not been sufficient sense of urgency in addressing the road closure. It was accepted that there might have been negligence. The Institution's focus was to focus on the solution, which was to open the road on 1 March, to cover the cost of security  on that road, and to look into the roles of the DAC, Freedom Park and Voortrekker Monument.

Ms Matshobeni said that DAC should establish Ncome as a separate institution.

Mr T Makondo (ANC) agreed with the suggestion that Ncome should be a separate institution. It was not old, but maintenance had been neglected.

Mr Makondo expressed concern that the Board of Musunduzi had never initiated a meeting with Blood River Monument to negotiate, as had happened at Freedom Park. The Board was seemingly concentrating on Msunduzi. He suggested the need for Ncome Museum to have its own Board and to be established as an entity. This should happen as a matter of urgency. Lessons should be learnt from Freedom Park.

Ms Newton replied that, with regard to Ncome becoming a Declared Cultural Institution, whilst the recommendations from the Portfolio Committee contributed to a very powerful argument, there was a real cost consideration, because if independent entities were established it led to replication of costs such as human resources and IT. 80% of the DAC budget already went to institutions and in the current fiscal climate the reality of creating new institutions would essentially mean cuts to other institutions. This was a big policy question. 

Mr Makondo said that the Freedom Park gate was to be opened in 2014, and the Committee was told it was closed because of operational issues. He asked if this was correct. No substantive issues were raised nor was there a suggestion of how to resolve them. He wanted the Committee to be apprised of how the institutions would make sure that the gate was not closed again.

Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) said that she would like to see a MOU to understand exactly what was happening now. In regard to the Voortrekker Monument she also did not understand the details of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The presentation said that funding had been transferred almost every year to the institution, but she wanted to know what was the amount mentioned in the MOU and how much was transferred. If there was funding being given, then why was the gate closed?

Ms Newton replied that contractual obligations had been met. The Voortrekker Monument was not unique in this situation, as many other organistions had the same problems and were also making requests to the DAC for funding.

Ms Tsoleli emphasised that money should be accounted for. The DAC had said that it was waiting for a comprehensive report from institutions. The Voortrekker Monument Board said that it had had problems ever since the road was opened as the operational costs had increased. The Committee must be given the details of how these increases had occurred, and by how much the costs were increased. She asked further if it was a question of attitudes or the monitoring process. The DAC should be careful when entering into MOUs.

Prof Lekgoathi said that the Ncome opinion on communication would be provided. There had been communication between the DAC and Blood River Museum, with the knowledge of Ncome Museum. The Director of Council had indicated what the issues were and people already knew about the closure of the gate. On the first day a meeting was held, a letter was drafted to the DAC and the Minister to indicate what the issues were. There was disappointment a day or two after the opening of the Reconciliation Bridge, as it was then padlocked, and that did not support the meaning of reconciliation. In retrospect, it was short sighted of the museums to communicate only with the Minister – some letters were acknowledged, but others were not. Instead, it would have been more helpful to communicate with the staff on the Blood River side.

Ms Tsoleli said that on the day after the Committee went to Ncome and Blood River, the Bridge was closed, and she felt that attitudes were problematic, because the closure took place on the Blood River side. She said there was a need to understand why this happened, only two days after the Bridge had opened. She urged that a price could not be put on reconciliation.

Mr G Grootboom (DA) said that he understood that at Voortrekker Monument and Freedom Park there was a problem with the maintenance of the roads and the agreement to pay for security at the gates, so that necessitated some proviso under which the road would be open. The road was closed because of a breach of confidence, as finances that were expected did not come. The other issue that was cited between Blood River and Ncome was the safety and security, which included paving on the Blood River side. He asked whether an agreement for funding had been reached; if so, what the the current status of this agreement was. He also asked if the Department had undertaken to do security. He felt there was a failure to see the real issues.

Ms Newton said that the Road between Voortrekker Museum and Freedom Park was about 1km, a fairly steep road but relatively short. In 2014 the request for the road was R1.4 million, which covered essentially administration, general maintenance of the road, armed response, general security, personnel and insurance. This was quite a costly infrastructure. The Bridge had similar kinds of dynamics. The DAC, over the next three years, had had to take an R89 million cut in what had already been acknowledged by the Portfolio Committee as a very small budget. The institutions had largely been protected from that cut, but capital works, conditional grants and the goods and services budgets had all been cut across all programmes. This had severely constrained the Department's ability to extend assistance to a wider group.

The Chairperson asked what the agreement was in regard to the opening of the gate, and what the exact issues were leading to the closure. She wanted to know if the institutions had talked to the municipalities.

Mr Mulder wondered whether, if the Department budgeted for three years, this could not allow the adhoc arrangement to be a bit longer.

Ms Newton said three year contracts were certainly possible. The challenge was the nature of the funding request. National Treasury was opposed to the Department providing operational funding to any entities that were not public entities, and this had been told to the Committee before. It was very hard to predict availability of ad hoc funding, and that was the real problem.

Ms Tsoleli said that she now understood how adhoc funding worked. She asked if there was a contractual agreement and if it was adhered to. She also raised her concerns that the DAC had been accused of not communicating regularly with the different entities or not giving timeous responses.

Costs, funding and relations regarding the Voortrekker Monument, Ncome, Reconciliation Road, the bridge and Blood River
Mr Irwin Langeveld, Director, Department of Arts and Culture, said that it was important to emphasise at the outset that the requests for funding from the Voortrekker Monument had not been met in full. It had been said that funding was on an ad hoc basis firstly, and secondly depended on the availability of funds. In the case of the Reconciliation Road, the Voortrekker Monument amounts for 2014/2015 totalled R1.2 million for administration, general maintenance, armed response and so on. In 2015/2016 the same items escalated to R1.3 million and finally in 2016/2017 the request was for R1.4 million. Against this must be seen the amounts approved: R3 million in 2013/14, but then only R607 000 and R1.3 million in the following years. There were thus shortfalls. The Memorandum of Agreement with the Voortrekker Monument had mentioned amounts that were available being paid, not the amounts requested. For both the Reconciliation Road and the Reconciliation Bridge in Ncome, security, elements of the operationalisation, fencing and paving at Ncome were included in the Memorandums of Agreement.

At Ncome, the costs of the fencing and the paving were initially agreed upon with the Voortrekker Monument and colleagues at Blood River, and when the project was started, these  two elements worked out to just over R250 000. Towards the end of the project and in the steering committee meetings, Blood River indicated that the cost estimates had been underestimated and the real costs had to be increased. As far as was possible the variation was included in the final funding that was made available to Blood River and Reconciliation Road, after approval by the National Treasury. The proposal that a joint task team must now develop a Memorandum of Agreement instead of a Memorandum of Understanding, with a communication timeline, would go quite far in taking the process forward. 

The Chairperson said that there were issues that could not be left hanging for a long time as they caused a lot of unease. Communication was key in any interaction and there had to be clarity on what was supposed to happen, how and when it was supposed to happen. It was also important to have a strategy to cover the eventuality that it did not happen.

Freedom Park summary
Mr Ronny Makopo, Chairperson, Freedom Park, agreed with the sentiments raised by Members, and emphasised that if the two institutions for reconciliation could not be reconciled, it would be very difficult to  reconcile the broader society in general.

The agreement reached covered two issues. One was the agreement on grant funding from the DAC to Voortrekker Monument. The Freedom Park institution's competence and mandate was seen separately. Voortrekker Monument said that because the road had been opened, some operational expenses had been increased for the sustainability of their own institution, which had got nothing to do with Freedom Park. However, in the spirit of open negotiations, a proposal was made for a joint task team consisting of DAC, Freedom Park and Voortrekker Monument. By the time the process of engagement was due to start, the Portfolio Committee had issued the invitation to this meeting. In future, the joint task team would deal with the issues. The two CEOs were mandated to go and do the financial costing for the security. The second issue was about who would have to collect the money for Freedom Park and for the Voortrekker Monument. The original date of opening the Road for 10 February was extended to March to allow for the assessment on costs. Within the next six months, Freedom Park would facilitate the engagement between the three parties to deal with the specific issues, then come back to give a report on implementation.

He emphasised that there was a separate agreement between DAC and Voortrekker Monument, and between DAC and Freedom Park, which did not only relate to the road, but to broader issues covering cooperation and collaboration.

The Voortrekker Monument summary
Mr Wouter van Wyk, Board Chairperson, Voortrekker Monument, appreciated the opportunity to present and said that the discussions were pleasing.  He was able to respond to many of the questions in detail but this would take a very long time, so he would like to address the broader issues. The fact that the Committee had invited him as the Chairperson of two private institutions to this meeting confirmed that these two private monuments were of national interest. The Voortrekker Monument and Blood River communicated matters to the people of South Africa. The track record of these two institutions, the things they did, and the way they presented their exhibitions and activities, enhanced and demonstrated the spirit of reconciliation. They fully agreed with the Committee that reconciliation must be demonstrated, not merely spoken about. He felt that it was clearly in the interests of the DAC and government that the institutions must be able to function properly. Ncome and Blood River shared obstacles and difficulties, but it did not augur well if a visitor found one with modern and well-cared for facilities, and the other in disrepair. The situation with Freedom Park and the Voortrekker Monument was much easier because they were situated in a metropolitan area. Budgeting and managing finance for these two sites had been spoken about, and the ad hoc funding had been quite difficult.

Voortrekker Monument was very grateful for the gesture from Freedom Park and urged that both institutions must be fully appreciated. The Voortrekker Monument wanted to contribute to the good image of South Africa and to the spirit of reconciliation amongst its people.

The Chairperson said there had been a lot of discussion on the issues of the Bridge and the Road and this had to be dealt with decisively and as soon as possible. Budgets were being cut severely, so it was important to do proper planning. The Committee was asking that the institutions report back in the next 29 days. Many things had been mentioned but she had not heard anything about the maintenance of the road. The Committee would like to see an action plan with the list of challenges and how to tackle them, working with the DAC and other departments, municipalities and stakeholders, as well as considering if there was a difference between private and public institutions. The salient issues could not be ignored. Everything had to be discussed in a holistic manner. Constant communications between the CEOs was important.

Mr Makopo said that there was a lot to learn from the Musunduzi Museum in terms of the way they worked. A communication process had been started with the Minister of Arts and Culture. The declaration of Ncome as an independent institution would come with its own funding, but they had to take their own initiatives and if Ncome and Musunduzi were merged both could be managed especially if funds were available. The DAC still had an important role to play.

The Chairperson said that the institutions should do the best that they could with the minimal resources. When institutions reported back it was important for all of them to work together. The Committee encouraged the DAC and institutions to apply their minds to all the challenges, agreements, MOUs and their implications when developing the action plan.

Other Committee Business: Minute adoption
The minutes of the meeting on 26 January 2016 were adopted.

Draft Committee Report of the Oversight visit to Limpopo Province 20 – 24 July 2015
The Report of the Committee on the oversight visit to Limpopo Province 20 – 24 July 2015 was adopted

The meeting was adjourned.

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