No fraud in Arts & Culture for financial year 2007/08

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04 Jul 2008

The Minister of Arts & Culture, Dr Z Pallo Jordan told Parliament that no fraud has been committed in the Department for the financial year 2007/08.

He was responding to questions asked by the Democratic Alliance.

“The Department had a clear record as required by PFMA for the year 2007-08. In fact, there were no criminal actions, suspensions or sanctions leveled against any official in the Department,” said Minister Jordan.

Also, questions were raised as to whether Bethelsdorp and the surrounding area has been declared a heritage site.

Minister Jordan said sections of the Bethelsdorp village, such as the Van der Kemp Church were declared national monuments in terms of the National Monuments Act.

He explained no application has been received to declare the entire Bethelsdorp and surrounding area a heritage site. The process for such an application would be dealt with in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999)

Another question was raised whether the Department had funded the Bethelsdorp Development Trust and whether it would do so in the future.

Minister Jordan gave a detailed explanation of how Department worked in terms of poverty alleviation and skills development.

First, the Minister confirmed that Department had funded the Bethelsdorp Trust during 2004/2005 financial year.

Secondly, he explained that the Poverty Alleviation Programme was conceptualized as part of the South African government’s efforts in addressing poverty within the country’s disadvantaged communities. This was seen as a short term to medium term strategic intervention.

“At first, most government departments were allocated funds from the Treasury Department to formulate run and support community initiatives that are linked to the particular department’s mandate.

“As a Department, we received the first funding in the 2001 the following couple of years the allocations had to be motivated for as these did not form part of MTEF Budget Cycle of government,” said Minister Jordan.

He said the name ‘Investing in Culture’ (IIC) was adopted in 2005 as the programme was more than poverty alleviation.

“Significantly, it also included skills development and economic participation of beneficiaries.

“In fact, the IIC programme provides empowerment opportunities for unemployed people from the second economy through training & job creation in arts, culture and heritage.

“The priorities thereof are to support the previously disadvantaged groups of which 60% ought to be women, 30% youth and 2% people with disabilities.

“Of the total financial support it provides, 40% thereof would be invested in the ISRDP & URP nodes,” said Minister Jordan.

The basic principles that inform the funding of projects are Technical innovation; Poverty alleviation; Capacity building and Sustainability.

For further information with the above kindly contact Sandile Memela, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Arts & Culture at 082 800 3750 or Premi Appalraju, Media Liaison Officer at 082 903 6778.