Address by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, on the occasion of the signing of the Shareholder’s Compact with CEOs and Chairpersons of DAC boards and councils

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04 Apr 2014

Programme Director

The Chairpersons of our Boards and Councils

CEOs of our Institutions

Officials from the Department of Arts and Culture

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We are gathered here today to sign shareholder’s compacts for the financial year 2014/15 between the Department of Arts and Culture and our institutions.

By signing these compacts we are recommitting ourselves to doing even more to ensure that the arts, culture and heritage sector contribute towards promoting social cohesion, nation building, national healing and the economic emancipation of the people of South Africa.

This signing ceremony is taking place at a time when we are preparing to complete the 2009 to 2014 term of governance.

This is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the work we have done since 2009 in advancing the overall objectives of government.

We look back with pride that we have managed to stabilise governance in many of our institution.

Today, many of them have functional Boards and Councils that provide overall strategic direction and oversight.

We have taken steps and are making progress in aligning the priorities of our institutions to those of the Department and government in general.

We have strengthened the monitoring and evaluation of our institutions.

The signing of shareholders compacts, which we are doing today and have done for several years now, is but one indication of the progress we are making in strengthening accountability as well as monitoring and evaluation of our institutions.

Through the establishment of the CEOs Forums, we have begun to improve communication, coordination and joint planning between the Department and our institutions.

This was evident when the Department, working together with the National Arts Council, delivered a highly successful 2012/13 South Africa, France Cultural Seasons.

Equally, the Department continues to work well with Business Arts South Africa in mobilising private sector buy-in and support for our programmes.

Our co-branding strategy is delivering the desired results of linking what our institutions do to government programmes.

As we complete this term of governance, we do so confident that we have registered important successes and that we have laid a firm foundation for the next term.

The shareholder’s compacts we are signing today must strengthen our resolve to build on the foundation we have laid.

They must guide us to do even more to ensure that our sector continues to take its rightful place in the ongoing process of socio-economic transformation.

As we move into the future, we must draw inspiration that our sector is now no longer seen as a nice to have add-on.

It is one of the key drivers of economic growth and job creation.

Equally as we do our work we must be mindful that at the beginning of the 2014/15 financial year, social cohesion and nation-building are now a separate government outcome which will be monitored on a continuous basis.

Collectively these developments place an enormous challenge on the shoulders of all of us in the sector.

Our challenge is to double our efforts to ensure that where-ever we are, be it in the Department or in our institutions, we do more to support economic growth, job creation, social cohesion, nation building and national healing.

The challenges we face also require of us to re-think the way we have been doing things.

They remind us that it can no longer be business as usual!

In particular we are called upon to do more to realign the work of our institutions with the overall goals of government as outlined in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030.

We are also called upon to do more to ensure that the planning and budgeting processes of our institutions are in line with those of the Department and National Treasury.

Equally, as proposed in the Draft White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage we must begin to think seriously about consolidating our institutions, boards and councils.

This we must do in order to maximise the impact of our work, limit duplications, save costs and improve funding for our sector.

In line with this understanding, I have tasked the Market Theatre Council to provide oversight to Windybrow Theatre.

This request has also been extended to the management of the Market Theatre to oversee Windybrow’s day to day activities.

This arrangement will provide us with an important test-case that will guide us as we explore the possibility of consolidating these institutions and their governance structures.

We also take this opportunity to remind our institutions that they have an obligation to find new and innovative ways of increasing and diversifying their income sources.

Linked to this is the need to keep a tight leash on spending, especially spending on non-core items and activities.

To improve further our monitoring and evaluation, we are proposing that as from the 2015/16 financial year all the Strategic and Annual Performance Plans of our institutions need to be presented by Chairpersons and CEOs to the Minister before they are submitted for approval.

We will also improve interaction and engagement between the Minister and our Councils and Boards.

I take this opportunity to thank all of you, the CEOs of our Institutions as well as Chairpersons of our Boards and Council for the good work you continue to do.

We have indeed come a long way.

We have achieved a lot.

Going forward, let us fold our sleeves and work even harder to overcome the challenges we face and to take our sector to even greater heights.

Thank you.