The Standing Committee on Community Safety, Cultural Affairs & Sport (WCPP) deliberated on and approved the budget vote of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS). The ANC opposed adoption of the Committee’s report.
Members asked several questions about allocating funds for various cultural and sporting events, programmes and projects. Key concerns were the reasons for decreased funding for certain programmes and events such as the Cape Town Carnival and the Stellenbosch Triennale.
Members inquired about the measures being implemented to prevent corruption and mismanagement of funds within the Department. They also questioned how the DCAS planned to ensure that underserved communities and marginalised groups had access to cultural and sporting opportunities, despite limited resources.
Members of the public were also present at the meeting and were given the opportunity to express their thoughts on the issues being discussed. Issues raised included the need for greater transparency and accountability in the Department's budgeting and spending practices, the importance of investing in grassroots sports development, particularly in rural and under-resourced areas, and the need to prioritise cultural diversity and representation in the Department's programming and initiatives.
Ms Anroux Marais, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, said the business of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) was centred around providing hope to the people of the Western Cape. DCAS created safe spaces that connected people to libraries, theatres, museums, and sports facilities. They provided work experience opportunities for the youth and showcased stories of those who achieved success despite challenging circumstances. She believed the proposed budget would bring hope, joy, and sustainability to the province.
Mr Guy Redman, Head of Department (HOD), informed the Committee that the budget decreased from an adjusted appropriation of R988 million in the 2022/23 financial year to a final appropriation of R895 billion in 2023/24, a net decrease of R42 million. The decrease was mainly attributed to a R30 million allocation for the Netball World Cup, which was not allocated for the current year, and a once-off ear-marked allocation of R16.4 million received in 2022/23 for the virtual and digitisation services in the Western Cape provincial archives, which was not made because digital scanners had now been procured.
Mr Redman said the Department aimed to broaden access to protective factors and intervene early in people's lives to put them on a path to becoming productive citizens. The planned outcomes of these interventions were related to the departmental policy objectives outlined in their annual performance plan (APP). These were to promote social cohesion by creating a shared future and a sense of belonging; helping people become productive citizens by providing them with a sense of purpose; and looking at new ways of working and operating models.
He said the budget included significant contributions to libraries to combat the digital and information divide.
The Chairperson said it was good to know that a sporting or cultural event occurred in the Western Cape every week. He noted that whenever he attended any of these events, he saw the Western Cape Government logo, which resulted from the hard work of the people in the Department. It was sad that this Department had the smallest budget in the entire Western Cape government, despite the impact of its work being seen across the province. He appreciated the increased focus on youth development and mentioned that the Minister was committed to taking charge of the provincial Youth Development Strategy, which was much needed.
He reminded everyone that the Cape Town carnival was happening that Saturday and that in the next year, the Department should take the carnival to another city. George was a good candidate for a community carnival.
Ms A Cassiem (EFF) referred to a lack of services and enquired if there were any plans to allocate funds for establishing pop-up libraries in informal settlements distant from community libraries. She emphasised the importance of providing access to libraries for children in those areas, as they often had to walk to other communities to complete school projects or enjoy reading. She suggested using a container as a library.
Ms D Baartman (DA) said she appreciated the Department's allocation of R5.5 million for the Beaufort West library that burned down the previous year. She asked about the outcome of any investigations into what happened. She also enquired about implementing the Mzansi Golden Economy strategy and how artists could access the R2 million allocated to it. She asked how many jobs would be created by the R7 million assigned to the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) for museums, archives, and library services.
Ms R Windvogel (ANC) inquired about the role played by the Department in implementing the Khoisan Act in the Western Cape and about any engagement with the Department of Local Government on the establishment of the house of traditional leaders.
Mr P Marais (FF+) asked how many coloured writers had been consulted in the vetting process for library collaborations to provide a diverse perspective on their struggles. He asked about government's approach to customary initiation ceremonies and what measures were being taken to prevent deaths. He also asked about the funding and expected outcomes for organisations involved in customary pilgrimages. He asked about the allocation of R7 million for the EPWP program and whether efforts were being made to ensure that citizens of other provinces and countries also benefited. He asked for government's stance on cultural attitudes towards the Khoi in certain communities.
Mr M Kama (ANC) said there was a view that the Department was underfunded, given its role. The budget presented to the Committee had decreased by over R42 million. He asked for details of engagements with the provincial treasury on the need to increase the budget.
He referred to the vision of creating a socially inclusive, creative, active, and connected Western Cape. He asked what programmes the Department would run to tackle the serious challenge of racism in the province and dispel distortions about the Khoi and certain communities. How much was budgeted for this?
It had been stated that expanding library services would not be through new libraries being built. He asked whether the 374 libraries were enough for the province and requested an understanding of what informed the decision. Would libraries that had been destroyed by fire or protest action be refurbished? Would libraries that were too small or not conducive for reading and learning be expanded in the future?
He referred to a research report on sport and recreation's significant contribution to the socio-economic development of the province. How was the budget responding to the findings and recommendations of this report? Which recommendations were implemented, and which ones were not?
Mr G Pretorius (DA) raised the issue of access to the recreation programme. He said he once represented a municipal ward in George, which was a vastly rural area where many children were bussed to schools. The school buses only ran in the morning, so the learners had no opportunity to participate in extramural activities after school. These youngsters were forgotten people and this situation should not be allowed to happen in modern South Africa. Without access to opportunities, individuals were doomed to become farm workers. Transport was crucial. Was the Department working with other departments to ensure that the youth and learners had access to opportunities in towns like Beaufort West and George?
Minister Marais said that all their programmes aimed to promote social cohesion.
Mr Redman stated that the Khoisan matter was the responsibility of the Department of Local Government (DLG). The Department had activated a programme for traditional and institutional management, and an allocation of R6.3 million had been made over the medium-term framework. This amount would change depending on the outcomes of the Commission on Traditional Leaders. The DLG handled most of the work on recognising traditional and cultural groups as these were governance-related issues.
On customary initiation, he said the Western Cape Government (WCG) had structures to ensure a safe rite of passage, including a provincial Initiation Coordination Committee with representatives from the National House of Traditional Leaders, Department of Community Safety, and Department of Health. The government was working to bolster its monitoring capabilities to prevent deaths during initiation.
The EPWP programme was governed by guidelines that required personal details of participants to be submitted and checked against a national database. He emphasised that they stuck strictly to the guidelines provided for the programme.
Regarding infrastructure in libraries, he clarified that the building that burned down in Beaufort West was not a public library but a distribution centre from where books were allocated to the region. The region did not have a distribution centre, and it was essential to have one to ensure efficient services. The budget available for infrastructure was from a national conditional grant that was very precarious, with a significant part of it going towards funding warm bodies. The priority was to keep people employed, and they constructed smaller modular libraries that could work in informal settlements and smaller communities. They had also started a programme to allocate books to children in centres located in schools. He emphasised the need for resources to maintain and operate libraries, which most municipalities lacked. Additional funding was required to build more infrastructure for libraries.
Ms Cecilia Sani, Directory: Library Services, said that their service delivery model included pop up libraries. They worked with municipalities to provide library services in communities where a physical library could not be built. This was done through the use of wheelie wagons, which were filled with books and kept in a community location and serviced two to three times a week. They also had smaller modular libraries and worked with municipalities to identify areas with no library service to see what kind of service could be provided, even if it was through joining up with schools to provide books.
The official cause of the fire at the library distribution centre had not been confirmed yet, but it seemed that load shedding caused a short in the building's electrical system, resulting in the fire.
She clarified that their collection development policy allowed for 60 percent of books they bought to be by local authors, and they did try to purchase as many books as possible in line with that policy. Books authored by coloured writers were available in their public libraries.
Ms Sani said they were building bigger modular libraries at existing library service points which were currently small container libraries. However, they did not have the budget to build proper new library service points requiring new staff, books, and everything. Despite this, they tried to provide other services, such as modular library wagons to schools, to ensure their services reached all community members.
Ms Jane Moleleki, Director: Arts, Culture and Language Services, explained that the Mzansi Golden Economy strategy was developed by the National Department of Arts and Culture with the aim of creating sustainable job opportunities for artists in the fields of art, culture, and heritage. In response, the Western Cape developed an Artists in Schools programme to assist teachers in unlocking artistic potential in learners. The programme was being implemented in schools in the West Coast, Winelands, and Central Karoo regions, specifically in schools where art was not offered as a subject.
Ms Jacqueline Boulle, Chief Director: After School Programme, said the programme involved employing young unemployed individuals to work with children in various community settings, including farms, streets, community homes, and churches. The goal was to engage with children outside the school environment and provide them with support and activities. The programme was piloted the previous year and was being expanded into other areas. WCG organised the transportation of learners, and if there was a need for learners to remain at school, negotiations with the bus company were made through the WCG. Her sports colleagues worked closely with the WCG to provide after-school programmes.
Dr Lyndon Bouah, Chief Director: Sport and Recreation, said they worked closely with principals in the affected areas to try to change the school clusters to ensure that children received transportation and nutrition. In February of the previous year, the Department hosted a farm worker conference attended by Minister Marais and civil society representatives, A number of resolutions were taken, and farm worker committees were established in each of the six districts of the Western Cape. The Department was working with the farm workers commission of the Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation to establish leagues in the various districts. Pilot programmes would be conducted in two districts in the current year, with the intention of building corporate governance and capacity.
The Department has a close relationship with the University of the Western Cape, where a longitudinal study on sports has been conducted since 2012. Recommendations from that study were taken up by the Department and civil society. An annual study was important for evidence-based decisions concerning sports and recreation. The next sports report would be released in September 2023. It would consider the learnings from the COVID pandemic and the drought of 2017-2019.
Regarding Mr Kana’s question about funding for the Department, Mr Redman said they had made a strong case and received additional funding for matters involving the youth. A failure to address youth at risk resulted in increased strain on services such as health. By focusing on healthy lifestyles and early interventions, future problems could be avoided. The budget for the initiation programme had increased to R3 million a year.
Ms BG Rutgers, Chief Financial Officer, said that in the previous financial year, the Department received additional funding of 67,847,000, which included various allocations such as for after-school programmes and R16.4 million for scanners in archives, which were not reallocated in the current financial year. These allocations, along with the R30 million for the Netball World Cup, which was not taking place in the current financial year, contributed to the net decrease.
Mr Redman explained that they had been given additional funding to address matters relating to carried risk. They were comfortable with the amount received, but would have preferred more. He believed that if DCAS was well-resourced, there would be less need for help to deal with other challenges. It required a fundamental shift in approach by the government to appreciate that the budget would continue to decrease. Hospitals face challenges due to the increasing number of clients they received, and the right approach would be to address the root cause of the problem. He argued that the focus should be on closing the tap rather than mopping, which meant taking money away from departments under pressure and investing in resources for 15-year-olds to prevent future problems. He emphasised the need to change people's behaviour towards healthy lifestyles to reduce hospital visits.
They had made a strong case on initiation and the importance of ensuring zero deaths, resulting in an increase in funding from R300,000 to R3 million review.
An official from the Department said the EPWP programme. It focused on jobs in libraries such as book sorting, library operations, and administration. Additionally, it would provide opportunities in the enterprise content management (ECM) sector for archival digitisation, cultural tourism, facility management, as well as in administration, finance, and supply chain management. The EPWP participants would receive training in these fields, providing them with the necessary skills to find permanent employment after completing the programme.
Ms Windvogel asked for the names of the towns in rural areas where the wheelie wagon libraries were located.
Mr Marais asked for facts and figures in the EPWP.
Mr Kama asked about the grant for libraries. He suggested that some of the funding should go towards the librarians. He mentioned that in one of the libraries they visited, the chief librarian was the only qualified librarian and the others were just assistants. He expressed concern about ensuring that the funds were used appropriately and that qualified librarians were employed.
He asked whether there was a plan to establish a house of traditional leaders in the Western Cape to deal with cultural issues.
The Chairperson provided some context about a recent oversight visit to a library. The Committee was surprised when the librarian disclosed that she would be suspended after their visit. She claimed that she was not involved in staff recruitment and that the head of corporate services had control over the library and prevented certain members from using it. He asked how the Department's money was being spent and noted that the municipality had been uneasy about this issue. He suggested that the Committee revisit the library to see if any changes had been made.
Mr Redman confirmed that funds had been transferred to the municipalities. Municipalities had their own recruitment processes and what was described should not have happened. He mentioned that the national body for librarianship had raised this concern, which was not unique to their region but a country-wide situation. Municipalities often viewed librarians as unprofessional and assigned other employees to work in libraries instead. They were working on a professionalisation charter for the sector to ensure municipalities did not engage in such practices. They also had a programme in place to monitor how funds were being spent and were clear on the guidelines that should be followed.
The EPWP target for the year was 425 opportunities spread throughout the province.
Regarding traditional leaders, the process of recommendation needed to be concluded first. The number of recognised traditional leaders would determine whether there would be a provincial house. The decision to establish a provincial house would be based on meeting the necessary thresholds, as guided by the law and the National House of Traditional Leadership.
Libraries had been established in rural areas throughout the province, including smaller rural areas and farms. He would provide a comprehensive list of these locations.
Mr Michael Janse van Rensburg, Director: Museums, Heritage and Geographical Names, said the number of EPWP positions would increase for the 2023/ 24 period due to additional funding. There were over 200 EPWP positions at affiliated museums across the Western Cape province, such as Beaufort West, Oudtshoorn, Swellendam, Prince Albert, Bot River, Hermanus, Somerset West, Montagu, Paarl, and Cape Town. The figure of 200 did not include other areas such as sports, cultural, archives, libraries, and tourism. The total number of EPWP positions across all these areas was close to 800.
Mr Kama referred to the Department's view that public spaces and a sense of community were crucial in building safe communities. He said there was insufficient deployment of resources for recreation centres and sports clubs. Neglect of such spaces led to their takeover by criminal elements.What was government's plan to intervene in these areas?
Ms Windvogel asked about the Youth Development Strategy outlined in the Department's APP. Why had a Youth Director position not been created? She expressed concern about a pensioner being appointed as the Head of the Youth After Schools Programme and requested that a more suitable candidate be appointed to the role.
Mr Redman referred Members to a table showing the percentage of key programmes in hotspots. The DCAS were very visible and present in hotspots and participated in all the forums to drive interventions in those areas.
Ms Boulle acknowledged that the decrease in funding must impact every community. However, the focus had been on prioritising certain programmes in hotspot areas. It was important to remain committed to working with communities once initiatives had been started. The Treasury had allocated new funding to expand their presence in hotspot areas.
Mr van Rensburg said that some of the 18 hotspot areas were more interesting than others. They had been working in Hanover Park until two to three years ago, but they had to stop their work there due to violence. They would need to discuss the possibility of going back there.
Neighbouring schools were also part of the Mass participation; Opportunity and access; Development and growth (MOD) Programme. Several sport clubs were represented in most of the 18 hotspots. There were recreation centres in most of the areas and they added an extra five recreation areas each year if the budget allowed. The following Friday, they would have a workshop to plan activities and programmes in the 18 areas with the Departments of Community Safety and Health. They had a number of activities in Delft and worked closely with the City of Cape Town to avoid duplication.
An official outlined the role of Heritage Western Cape (HWC). Its responsibility was mainly as a permitting authority, and property owners were responsible for maintenance and conservation. HWC provided necessary permits and also collaborated with conservation bodies, and municipalities to monitor conservation in the province. HWC declared provincial heritage sites. As part of the EPWP, HWC planned to employ heritage ambassadors in areas such as Langa, Nyanga and Gugulethu to research, write up, and promote underutilised community facilities.
Another official said the majority of staff in youth programmes were young people, including coaches in the MOD centres.
Ms Windvogel reiterated her question about why the Department was not creating a youth directorate or a small youth office, and also inquired why the head of youth had indicated that youth programmes were dominated by them.
Mr Kama asked whether he correctly concluded that 142 libraries did not provide public internet access. If so, where were they and how did the department plan to ensure that all libraries were connected?
How long has the position of director of sports development been vacant? What were the reasons for the vacancy and what progress was being made in filling it? He enquired about the funding allocated for sports development and how much was given to support various federations such as football, cricket, and athletics. He questioned why the Department disagreed with a funding model to ensure proper funding for federations to develop sports in the province. He emphasised the importance of sports for young people and mentioned a softball club in Lavender Hills, which had previously received funding. He wanted to know how much funding was given to the club from 2019 to date and what other support the Department provided to the club.
Mr Pretorius expressed gratitude to the Minister for appointing new governing bodies in George for museums in George and their much-needed renovation. He asked about the return on investment for museums, considering the significant amount of money being spent on them. He questioned the need for museums and whether the funds could be used elsewhere, acknowledging that it was a controversial topic. He also brought up the difference in preserving historic buildings in Swellendam and George and wondered where the responsibility for aesthetics committees lay.
He referred to the old magistrates building in George, which belonged to the national Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and stood on nearly seven hectares of land separated from the provincial hospital by a wetland. The police, who were the tenants of the building, allowed it to become rundown, which was concerning. He suggested that the land could be repurposed and wanted to know the future plans for it. The Department of Health would be pleased to hear about the potential to use the fallow land.
Mr Redman said the vacancy was due to a retirement in October 2022, and interviews had been conducted to fill the position. The process was now awaiting final approval through cabinet processes.
Ms Sani addressed the issue of internet access. The rural library connectivity project with the City of Cape Town's SmartCape would connect 333. There were currently 42 libraries without internet access, of which 12 were in correctional services facilities where internet provision was not allowed. The remaining libraries were in different regions, and the reasons for the lack of connectivity varied from the absence of infrastructure or network connectivity to security issues in smaller container libraries.
An official from the Department explained the policy for funding sports federations. They had an opportunity to apply for funding from January. Between June and the end of September, a team conducted virtual and physical visits to districts to provide workshops and gather information. Once completed, the federations were requested to put all information online to make the process easier. A total of 145 federations were eligible for available funding of close to R12 million. From October onwards, the Department checked AGM minutes and audited financial statements. Good governance, attendance of meetings and compliance with equity targets were taken into consideration when recommending federations for funding.
A federation was entitled to apply if it was a member of a sport council. South Africa had 16 priority codes. Besides these, Olympic codes were also eligible. There were 200 clubs in the club development programme. The SA Football Association had a big presence in the field programmes. They also worked to do training and other activities.
They would investigate the Lavender Hill matter. All funding was given in an application-based process. If someone did not apply, they would not receive funding in a particular year.
An official explained that the Western Cape government had a youth forum responsible for delivering on the youth strategy, which was about to be reviewed. They had set up a separate office to deal with youth and after-school programs. She acknowledged that the component was not adequately staffed, and they were waiting for the development of new structures and departments to boost capacity. The youth office was staffed by a competent and experienced individual who had made great strides in bringing in partners and funding.
Mr Redman said the argument for museums was that economic growth and other positive outcomes could not be achieved in a fragmented society, which was why there was a need for museums that serve as spaces for reflection and processing of the past. While the form that museums took differed over time, their fundamental stories needed to be told. There would always be a need for museums, especially given that community cohesion was at risk. The World Economic Forum identified community cohesion as a risk, and museums could play an important role in promoting inclusivity and getting communities to be cohesive.
Mr Janse van Rensburg said that the George Museum was a provincial museum, and most recent renovations were necessary to comply with occupational health and safety standards. There had been challenges with communication and enforcing maintenance on national sites and other private properties. The Department was creating a list of properties and a costing approach to find a way to fund and legally hold the owners responsible for reimbursing expenditure.
Mr Kama expressed concern about the role of certain sporting codes or interests in capturing sports councils' resources. How did the Department ensure that all federations had a fair opportunity to access funding? He enquired about the amount of funding given to the province in the previous financial year and whether the Department was doing enough to involve young people in sports.
Ms A Bans (ANC) questioned the budget cuts in the Department, particularly in sub-programmes such as administration, library and archive services, and SAP programmes. She asked if there were plans to get additional budget and if the Minister could lead the charge for this increase. She believed that the Department could potentially address all the province's problems if sports were taken seriously.
Mr Redman agreed and assured the Committee that everything possible had been done to emphasise the importance of long-term thinking and investment, particularly in light of challenges faced in the climate and health spaces due to past underinvestment. He emphasised the need for a fundamental shift in budget approach, instead of waiting until members of the public became clients of the Department of Health and Department of Social Development. Dealing with symptoms would only provide temporary relief. Instead, targeted interventions based on data could be made, and resources could be shifted as trends changed. He emphasised the need to invest in five-, ten-, and fifteen-year-olds, as the results of such investments would be seen in the future.
An official from the Department responded to questions about sport councils. He said the role of sport councils had been outlined in the national sport and recreation plan since 2011. In the Western Cape, the sport councils operated through democratic voting by the executive, with the Department attending meetings and providing input as an observer. The Department respected the process set out by civil society and ensured their rules were followed. The six district sport councils were Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation.
An arbitration forum ended in 2018. The Department advertised for members to apply to continue it in 2019. They received only three applications. However, the national Department indicated they were starting their own dispute arbitration forum.
Mr Redman said the DCAS would provide information on the funding for different federations. They were actively seeking funding for youth and art programmes and had secured significant funding through the Presidential Stimulus Programme (PSP). The Minister had raised the question of the PSP performance of the different provinces. If some did not perform, the national Department would cut the entire grant to all provinces. If a particular province was struggling, the necessary statutory processes had to take place to redirect the funds to other provinces.
Mr Pretorius asked about the regulatory framework for the transfer of payments to municipalities and restrictions on municipalities. Did such a framework exist and, if not, was there an opportunity to create one?
Ms Sani confirmed that all funding transferred to municipalities included a detailed business plan on how the funds should be utilised. Monthly expenditure reports were received. Additionally, quarterly monitoring visits were conducted at each municipality to meet with the municipal library managers, CFOs, and other relevant personnel.
An official from the Department explained the process for financing the construction or upgrading of sport facilities. The process started on 1 July of the new financial year, and municipalities had until September to submit applications for the following year. Once financing was approved, the submission was presented to the government and the municipalities were informed of the allocation. The team would then assign employees to do quarterly reports and visits to monitor the progress of projects.
Mr Redman explained that their statements related to the conditional grant allocated for public libraries and sports infrastructure and the grant received from the national government. The Division of Revenue Act allowed for the retention and return of unused funds as a result of inspections.
Members of the public who attended the meeting were given an opportunity to make inputs.
The Chairperson of the Gugulethu Sports Council expressed gratitude for the invitation. He emphasised the importance of having information as a leader.
He highlighted the poor condition of the sport facilities in Gugulethu. He mentioned inviting the city mayor, the MEC and others to come and see the facilities. He said the budget of the Premier contained a small amount for school sports, and they should extend the facilities instead. He expressed a desire to build a relationship with schools to ensure that children could attend their clubs after school. He talked about the need to monitor the allocated money to ensure it was being used for the right purposes. He expressed willingness to work with organisations to develop sport and appealed that the money should go to the right people.
Another Gugulethu Sport Council member outlined five essential pillars for the growth and sustainability of every sport. These were participants, coaches, infrastructure, competition, and quality of opportunities. He stressed the importance of investing in children and creating a safe environment to foster future leaders. He said sports played a crucial role in uniting and creating job opportunities for South Africans.
He expressed concern about the neglect of townships by the tourism industry and called for organisations to partner with them to create sustainable models that would empower township residents. He also highlighted the issue of funding being allocated without work being done and stressed the importance of accountability from governing bodies to ensure that funding went towards youth development.
Finally, he proposed that sports organisations be compelled to create mini-events within townships and offer clinics for the benefit of the community.
The Chairperson emphasised that Committee meetings were open to the public and could also be accessed online.
He requested that the HOD provide specific details about the World Cup, legacy projects, and infrastructure projects planned around that.
The HOD, Mr Redman, emphasised the importance of working with partners within civil society to achieve success with their limited staff of just over 550. He called on everyone to appreciate the fundamental role that sports, arts, and culture played in the holistic development of human beings.
The draft committee report on the budget of the DCAS was tabled. The Chairperson read it aloud, asking for support from the Members. Members indicated their support. The report concluded that the Standing Committee on Community Safety, Cultural Affairs, and Sport supported vote 13; Cultural Affairs and Sport in the schedule to the Western Cape Appropriation Bill.
The Chairperson announced that the report would have an extra paragraph in accordance with Standing Rule 90. This paragraph stated that the African National Congress expressed their minority view of not supporting the vote as they desired more funding for the Department.
The meeting adjourned.
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.