2015/2016 Budget vote Speech by Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the National Assembly

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19 May 2015

Honourable Speaker

Ministers and Deputy Ministers

Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Hon. Rejoice Mabudafhasi

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee and other MPs

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

 

INTRODUCTION

It is an honour and privilege to present this Budget Vote of the Department of Arts and Culture in the fifth democratic Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on this occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter. 

Siyawubonga lowa mbuthano wabantu besilisa nabesifazane abahlukahlukene ababuthana ndawonye ngomhla ka-26 kuJuni ka-1955 ku’Ngqungquthela Yabantu (Congress of People) eKliptown ukuhlanganisa umbono walokho okwakungaba seNingizimu Afrika ekhululekile nenobulungiswa. 

Ngemuva kweminyaka ecishe ibe ngamashumi ayisithupha(60), siyizwe elinezinkululeko eziningi, okokuqala zaba kuMqulu Wenkululeko kanti manje sezikuMthethosisekelo ohlinishwa umhlaba wonke kanye naseMthethweni Wamalungelo.

Njengomnyango ohola umbono weNingizimu Afrika engabandlululi ngokwebala, nengabandlululi ngokobulili nebusa ngentando yeningi, siholwa ngumbonongqangi womlando wokuhlanganisa imiphakathi ehlukahlukene ngemizamo yethu yokwakha isizwe ukuze sibe yizwe eliphilayo nelinomqondo ophathekayo ezimpilweni zabo bonke abantu baseNingizimu Afrika   

Arts and Culture is therefore the space in which our dreams and aspirations of absolution and unity are shaped and the soul of the nation dwells and finds expression. 

In pursuit of things that change, we are seized with the challenge to recall the searing words of the late Tata Madiba, in his acceptance speech in May 1994, of leaving a deeply divided past behind. I quote:

“Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.”

The goals in the Preamble to the 1996 Constitution inform the pivotal role the Department must play to give practical effect to our rights and to the way in which citizens experience them.

Firmly rooted in the Freedom Charter, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the NDP, and in the election mandate of the 5th administration of the country, our aim in the Department has therefore been to articulate clearly the contribution of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector to job creation and economic development by giving citizens more scope to shape their own lives.

Madame Speaker, pursuant to these aspirations and goals, I can report the following achievements and plans:

 

ARTS AND CULTURE PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT

Outcome 14

Ladies and gentlemen, the recent attacks on foreign nationals demonstrate the need to have a proactive approach to nation building and social cohesion, particularly in hotspots around the country.

Rather than a broad approach, we need thematic community conversations that address the issues that give rise to the need for social cohesion and nation building.

Our mandate in this regard is a work in progress. We have had a report-back summit and successfully launched a national flag campaign around the Freedom Charter and African Union Youth Day as part of the process of mobilising an active citizenry towards social cohesion and nation building.

We can report that we convened a social cohesion report-back summit that was a massive success. The summit explored the implementation of 12 resolutions arising from the 2012 summit.

To this end, we are committing ourselves to implementing those resolutions and strengthening our social cohesion advocates programme, where advocates will be champions rooted in communities, not only from a national perspective but also at ground level, where problems in hotspots can be communicated to the Department and people on the ground.

Furthermore, our social cohesion advocates programme can be integrated into our National Days programmes and be further involved in our DAC programmes in order to make them relevant for people on the ground. We have some of the social cohesion advocates here with us today.

Mzansi Golden Economy

The basic architecture of the Mzansi Golden Market (MGM) has been established. We will shortly issue a call for a database of service providers to government as a first step to empowering people. The second step is for government to provide opportunities for people captured in the database.

This database will also be used as a tool to keep track of the bursaries we are awarding to students, and will provide opportunities for recipients of bursaries to engage with institutions and the DAC.

In the 2015/16 budget year, we will be launching an audience loyalty programme as part of the MGM.

The benefits of market development for the Sector are enormous. For example, language practitioners that compete will for the first time be given opportunities in the entire public sector (which in turn will have a viable database to tap into).

An integral component of the Incubator Programme and Mzansi Golden Market is the establishment of a fully-fledged Venture Capital Fund, and in the 2015/16 budget year we will invest R20 million to kick-start the process.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the process of engaging National Treasury to look at how Section 18a can be expanded to include the Arts and Culture Sector to allow people who make donations to receive tax deductions. 

Given the need to establish a clear model for the establishment of the National Art Bank, a detailed study was conducted to identify the most appropriate institutional model for the project and to develop key processes and policies, for the commissioning and procurement of artwork, for example.

Based on this study, the National Museum in Bloemfontein, which houses the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, was identified as the most appropriate host in the pilot phase of the organisation. An agreement has been reached with the Museum and in the 2015/16 financial year, the Art Bank will procure artworks and host a national exhibition to encourage government and private sector players to rent these works.

Flagship events

In 2014/15, the DAC supported 22 national and regional flagship events, including the National Arts Festival and the Cape Town international Jazz Festival, and a range of regional festivals as such the Kalahari Desert Festival in the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga Comes Alive in Mpumalanga, MACUFE in the Free State and the Marula Festival in Limpopo. 

These events are catalysts for economic development, given that artists are reliant on events for income and economic sustainability.

Through an ongoing monitoring and evaluation programme, using surveys and other instruments, the DAC has been able to determine the impact of some of these events on the local economy. Some of the most interesting findings of this research are that:

  • Local audiences in most cases represent up to 50% and more of the audience base, demonstrating that these festivals and events provide significant opportunities for locally based audiences to access arts and culture. The events provide significant opportunities for domestic tourists as well.
  • A very high number of these visitors were repeat customers of the festivals and on average 95% indicated that they would return for the festival in the following year.
  • Overall, based on this research, the National Arts Festival contributed R138,4 million to the local economy, which is consistent with the Festival’s own research, and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival contributed R129,2 million. MACUFE contributed R64,3 million to the economy of Bloemfontein, the Marula Festival contributed R20,8 million to the local economy of Phalaborwa, and Mpumalanga Comes Alive contributed R11 million to Mbombela.

Creative Arts Incubators

Last year we announced that we would be embarking on a strategy to launch Creative Arts Incubators. To date we have launched 3 incubators. These are the Casterbridge Academy in Mpumalanga on 10 April, the PACOFS incubator in the Free State on 15 May, and Artscape in the Western Cape on 18 May.

On 20 May, we will be launching the State Theatre incubator, and in June the Market Theatre and Playhouse Company incubators.

The total number of individuals incubated is 408.

These incubators are a very important tool to ensure that we create local content and unleash the economic potential of the creative sector.

CIFSA

Ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to announce that the cultural industries are able to unite and have one voice through the creation of the Cultural and Creative Industry Federation of SA, CIFSA, and the establishment of its governing body. . For the first time, government is able to articulate the voices of artists through one voice. We applaud the vision of President Zuma for calling for this unified structure. 

Visual Arts Task Team

I have appointed a Visual Arts Task Team for a one-year period to assist the Department in an advisory capacity with a visual arts national policy framework forlocal content and music development and an Arts Bank. 

The team is functional and demonstrates that we are working closely with stakeholders.  

The Task Team will also engage in an advisory capacity with the White Paper revision process currently under way. 

In this regard we have been engaging in substantive consultations, which could continue until September. Post-September we will compile the first draft of the White Paper for public comment.

 

Once public inputs have been made, we will produce a final draft to be tabled to Cabinet early next year. The parliamentary processes can then take place. 

To this end, it would be useful for Parliament to supplement the process by having parliamentary hearings on the content of the White Paper. 

Film treaties

We are in the process of concluding film treaties with other countries, including Brazil and Poland. Our treaty with Poland will be concluded in July, linked to the BRICS summit of that month. We are also working on treaties with Algeria and Nigeria, both of which will be signed this year. 

INSTITUTIONAL GOVERNANCE

Over 80% of the DAC’s annual budget allocation is transferred to 26 public entities. The governance and monitoring of the work of these entities is a major focus of efforts in the Department.

In the year under review, a sector-wide strategic planning framework developed in 2013/14 was implemented through a series of sector-based workshops that culminated in a large strategic planning session involving the DAC, its entities and provincial government departments.

In refining this process, a series of indicators for each sector were developed, including a baseline report that provides baseline data on each of the indicators identified. In support of good governance, the boards/councils of 12 public entities were reconstituted and inducted in the year under review.

Moreover, shareholder compacts were signed with all entities to ensure alignment of their programmes with the Minister’s performance agreement. In addition, a series of forums was held for Chief Financial Officers and Chief Executive Officers, as well as occasions for the Minister to meet with the Chairpersons of the institutions’ boards to facilitate reporting and engagement on shared issues.

National Mapping Study

Kusabiwomali sethu esedlule, samemezela ukuthi sizobe siqedela Ucwaningo Lokuhlahla Indlela Lukazwelonke. Manje lolu hlelo sesiluqedile sesikulungele ukulwethula ngenyanga ezayo. 

Lolu cwaningo lwesilinganiso kwakuwuhlolo olwenzelwa ukuqondisisa isilinganiso nobubanzi bezimboni zokuzisungulela kanye nokuhlola umthelela wezomnotho woMkhakha. 

Some of the significant findings of the study include the fact that the Sector contributed over R90,5 billion to the South African economy (which is 2,9% of GDP) in 2013/14 and created employment for over 560 000 people, the majority of whom are below the age of 35. For comparison’s sake, agriculture contributed 2.2% to GDP and tourism contributed 7% to GDP. 

The Sector also contributed over R24 billion in taxes to the fiscus. The study further confirmed that the Sector has a significant role to play in the empowerment of Black South Africans, women and young people, with over 50% of enterprises owned by Black South Africans, 40% by women and over 30% by young people. 

Sizokhipha lolu cwaningo ngesakhiwo okulula ukusifunda ngenyanga ezayo. Kulo nyaka ithenda inikwe iNyuvesi iNelson Mandela Bay, ezogcina i-Cultural Observatory eminyakeni emithathu ezayo; uhlelo oluzoqhubeka nokuqoqa imininingwane ehlahla indlela ibuye iqaphe inqubekela phambili yamasu abalulekile anjengoMzansi Golden Economy (MGE) nokuqhuba olunye ucwaningo olwakha isisekelo solwazi loMkhakha. 

Ukuphatha

  • Uphenyo olunzulu

Njengoba nazi ukuthi ngamisa Umqondisi Jikelele ngonyaka odlule ngenxa yokukhula kokusetshenziswa kwezimali ngendlela engalandeli umthetho, eyaholela embikweni wocwaningo lwamabhuku ongemuhle. Umsebenzi walolu phenyo olunzulu uqale ekuqaleni kwalo nyaka.

Njengamanje kuqoqwa imininingwane futhi kuzokwenziwa nezinkulumohlolo ezinemininingwane egcwele okuzokwenziwa nezingxenye zabantu ezifanele. Sizokwazi ukunikeza olunye ulwazi ngalokhu ezinyangeni eziyisithupha.

In the meantime, the DG and the Department reached a settlement agreement and the process of finding new DG is under way.

  • Qualified audit

We did receive a qualified audit, which is a concern for us, and we have been dealing with the root causes of the audit findings.

To address some of the internal control deficiencies we were able to revise our procurement policy because that was the root cause of irregular expenditure. The policy is much now more relevant for the Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector. 

We were able to appoint a Chief Financial Officer and DDG of Corporate Services, and we are bringing down the vacancy rate as one of the ways in which to deal with problems of inefficiency and as part of our consultancy reduction plan. We will in the interim honour the contracts of current consultants until their contracts have lapsed.

This year, we will also review the consultants on our database in order to ensure that the right consultants are appointed to projects.

There will be zero tolerance where irregular expenditure is concerned. Our modus operandi will be consequence management. 

  • PanSALB

Madame Speaker, there is there is no denying problems at PanSALB. The entity has not been able to fulfil the mandate conferred on it by Constitution.

PanSALB has had no stable management and has been racked by a litany of internal legal quarrels that are undermining the operations of the entity.

I remain very concerned about the inability of PanSALB to fulfil its mandate, given the fact that we have now reached the deadline for national departments, entities and enterprises to submit their language policies to my Department as per the Use of Official Languages Act of 2012.

I have engaged the Board on numerous occasions and have given them time to come up with a turnaround strategy that is implementable and effective. In next few weeks we will share more details on the way forward.

We have also put in place a mechanism to regulate language practitioners against a set of norms and standards. However, a budget for the independent language practitioners’ council is not in place. As a result, this function will be managed by Department until we are able to establish a separate, stand-alone entity. 

CULTURAL DIPLOMACY PROGRAMME

Through the use of cultural seasons, which are cultural exchange platforms to expose our rich arts and heritage to the world, our cultural diplomacy programme has been an integral component of our Africa campaign and international relations.

In this regard, cultural seasons with Nigeria and Ghana are well advanced.

Our current work on cultural seasons will feed into the BRICS summit in July and we will shortly also be releasing the Luthuli documentary in memory of our struggle heroes.

We continue to support the Africa World Heritage Fund, and to this end the President has pledged US$1 million from the DAC and the Department of Environmental Affairs. 

Africa Month

Our celebration of Africa month has been a huge impetus for promoting African arts and culture to the world.

The Africa month programme is a festival of ideas expressed through cultural and artistic exchange. It is about using the African Cultural Renaissance Charter to promote AU Agenda 2063 for the integration of the continent.

This is a wholesome integration on social, political, cultural and economic matters.  Our theme is ‘We Are Africa: Opening the doors of learning and culture for peace and friendship from Cape to Cairo’.

This is a deliberate programme for South Africans to reconnect and unite with the rest of the continent. The programme is unfolding throughout the country in all nine provinces of this beautiful land. We are celebrating the role played by the OAU in decolonizing the continent from its formation in May 1963.

We are also post facto celebrating the decade since the launch of the AU in 2002. Our government’s programme on Africa Month is sharing Africa’s richness practically, through intellectual stimulation and development by our continent’s intelligentsia, scholars and activists, including Ben Okri, Pitika Ntuli, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Mongane Serote, Kole Omotoso, Sipho Seepe, Mushe Nkomdo and Yuruddin – to mention but a few. We are also using dance, music, drama and poetry in celebrating our Africaness. We Are Africa.

The Africa Month programme will be an annual event whose overall objective is to educate our people about the continent and the Diaspora. It is through such long-term and sustained programmes that we will succeed in undermining intolerances such as racism, xenophobia, Afrophobia, homophobia, and others.

We must go beyond condemnation of one form of intolerance or another. We take this opportunity to thank all South Africans who took part in different programmes emphatically denouncing xenophobia, stating loudly ‘Not in our name’. The true South African narrative is about ‘Opening the doors of learning and culture for peace and friendship from Cape to Cairo’. We Are Africa! 

HERITAGE

We reported last year on our intention to build a Heroes Acre. This is in line with the preamble of the Constitution of the Republic, which enjoins us to honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our country.

This national monument will depict the pre-colonial era, our wars of resistance, the liberation struggle and the different heroes who fought for social progress in this country.  Hundreds of statues will be erected in this place, representing distinguished leaders of our people, including non-South Africans who contributed immensely for our freedom and democracy. Through the Heroes Acre we will be writing our story, which will take South Africa forward. Our Department is working closely with the City of Tshwane and the Gauteng provincial government. We are targeting Heritage month to turn the soil so that the actual work can begin.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Liberation Heritage Route is a work in progress to memorialise the heritage of our struggle heroes. We have engaged the provinces to run three pilots of the project in the first route and links to heritage tourism in the provinces.

The next phase will look at the heritage route outside South Africa such as the Matola Raid in Mozambique. We will be unveiling a monument and opening an interpretive centre later in the year where visitors can come and see the impact of the raid.

We have linked this to the site where Samora Machel’s plane crashed on South African soil. To this effect, we will be pioneering a new model of cross-border collaboration as part of the Liberation Heritage Route.

The Matola Raid will be a first of its kind. That is why this is an exciting project for collaboration in both countries. 

Heritage Task Team

[Madame Speaker, on the 17th of April 2015 we invited all political parties represented in this Parliament and other civil society organizations to deliberate on the acceleration of the transformation of our heritage landscape. The meeting was occasioned by the debate surrounding the statues in the country but it sought to broaden the scope to cover the entire heritage discourse.]

Mevrou die Speaker, op 17 April 2015 het ons alle politieke partye wat in hierdie Parlement verteenwoordig is, en ander burgerlike samelewingsorganisasies, genooi om met mekaar te beraadslaag oor die versnelling van die transformasie van ons erfenislandskap. Die vergadering was die gevolg van die debat oor die beelde in die land, maar het ook gepoog om die omvang te verbreed om die hele erfenisdiskoers te dek. 

Twenty resolutions were adopted and a ten-member task team was appointed and is hard at work on this matter. They have been given a year to complete their work.

The salient resolutions were:

  • Intensifying the popularisation campaigns about South Africa’s key national symbols such as the preamble to the Constitution, the flag and the national anthem.
  • Public symbols that hitherto had reflected only one section of our history should become more inclusive and reflect total history
  • On place names, an audit of all offensive or hate names and others should be conducted and they should all be removed and a process initiated to allow local communities to find replacement names after proper and all-inclusive consultations.
  • The need for school curriculum changes to adequately reflect South African history and heritage in all its diversity and complexity.

Repatriations

During the budget vote last year, we committed our government to bringing back home the mortal remains of the renowned South African journalist Nat Nakasa from New York, USA,. He died in 1965 in mysterious circumstances – reported as suicide – after being forced by the apartheid government to leave his country, and never to return. Before his death he labelled himself as ‘a native of nowhere’, for he could not return to his motherland. 

On his return in August 2014, we boldly asserted that he is no longer a native of nowhere but a true South African patriot, an African and a citizen of the world.  

It was in the same budget vote that we mentioned another process, of bringing back from Russia the remains of the great leaders of all of our people, Malume Moses Kotane and his comrade, Uncle John Beaver Marks. They were repatriated to their ancestral land in March this year. Paying tribute to Malume Kotane, His Excellency President Zuma said, ‘We are laying to rest a towering figure in the liberation struggle. The story of South Africa can never be complete without mentioning this great son of our people who guided our revolution. Our children, the workers, women, youth and indeed all our people black and white, must know about this man who died in foreign lands, in quest for the freedom we enjoy today’. 

On Uncle JB, he said that his success was remarkable in that he managed to mobilize workers from various countries from Southern Africa under one banner and purpose. He raised their level of political consciousness and collapsed nationality and tribal divisions that the system had imposed to prevent collective action. To the Russian people we said and continue to say, ‘Russian people, loving people, here we were far from home, we shall love you, we shall need you for the things you have done for us’. 

South Africa-Mali project: Timbuktu manuscripts

Officially from 2003, South Africa, through a bilateral agreement with Mali, embarked on a project to assist with the preservation of the ancient manuscripts in Timbuktu. The focus of the agreement was the Ahmed Baba Institute, a government entity charged with the collection and preservation of approximately thirty thousand manuscripts, the majority of which were in serious need of repair.

The Department of Arts and Culture managed the implementation of this agreement through the National Archives. A trust (Timbuktu Manuscripts Trust) was established to manage mostly the fund-raising and the construction of a new building for the Ahmed Baba Institute.

The Department is currently sourcing funds for the remedial work on the building.

Other activities South Africa will be involved in are training, digitisation and awareness. From a preservation perspective, the ancient manuscripts are at risk from the weather conditions in Bamako.

In 2008, we had the opportunity to bring 40 manuscripts to South Africa for a travelling exhibition.. The manuscripts were exhibited in Cape Town, King William’s Town, Durban, Kimberley, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

In discussion with Ahmed Baba official Mr Garba Traore, it has been confirmed that the Conservation Laboratory is functional with three conservators working there. However, added to the damage from the rebels, the building has also suffered neglect as it has not been maintained properly and requires remedial work to be done. 

CONCLUSION

[Madame Speaker, I want to conclude by saying that as a reflection of the future we want, Arts and Culture is therefore an expression of convergences between social groupings that were artificially torn apart by the construction of racial categories coinciding in large measure with social and economic divisions during colonialism and apartheid.

Ours is the task to unrelentingly loosen the grip of the past on our future. It is a formidable but historically important task.] 

MADAME SPEAKER, Ke batla ho qetella ka hore  ha re nahana ka bokamoso boo re bo batlang, Botjhaba le Bokgabo ka mantswe a mang ke tlhahiso ya kopano ya dihlopha tse neng di arohantswe ka boomo ka ho ba le mekga ya karohano ka mmala e thulanang haholoholo le phedisano le dikarolo tsa ikonomi nakong ya bokoloniale le apareteite. 

Mosebetsi wa rona ke sebetsa  se matla se  tlosang ditlwaelo tse sa kgotsofatseng tsa mehleng e fetileng bokamosong ba rona. Ke mosebetsi o thata empa ho ya ka hisitori ke wa bohlokwa.

 Ladies and gentlemen, our goal has always been (and remains) the transformation of our society into a prosperous and socially cohesive nation. Our hard-won freedom has set us on this path.

 It is a path that chimes with Tata Madiba’s clarion call with which I began this address, and I quote again: “Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.”

 

We are each one of us duty-bound to see to it that Mandela’s call to action materialises in the aspirations of our nation.

I THANK YOU!