White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage
All our legacies, our common future
Department of Arts, Culture, Science And Technology Pretoria, 4 June 1996
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 2: ALL OUR LEGACIES
CHAPTER 3: NEW POLICIES AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS
Principal areas to be addressed
CHAPTER 4: ARTS AND CULTURE
The National Arts Council
The Performing Arts Councils
Library and Information Services
Human Resource Development
Building new audiences, developing new markets
Rights and status of the artist
CHAPTER 5: HERITAGE
National Monuments Division
National Geographic Names Division
National Heritage Council
CHAPTER 6: INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL CO-OPERATION
MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER OF ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, DR. BS NGUBANE
South African society has been undergoing fundamental transformation over the last two years. In accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, non-racism and non-sexism, every sector of our society is facing change. While this may be unsettling for some, for many, it brings hope that their needs, views and aspirations will now also become part of the mainstream. South Africa's first democratically elected Government has contributed to this process by creating our first Ministry of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. South Africa is indeed on the brink of experiencing a cultural Renaissance.
The arts, culture and heritage cannot be an exception in this transformation process, since they too were overtly affected by the maldistribution of skills, resources and infrastructure during the apartheid era. In fact, given that the arts are premised on freedom of expression and critical thought, transformation in this area is crucial to empowering creative voices throughout the country, and is thus integral to the success of the democratic project.
The vision outlined in this draft White Paper has been distilled from numerous sources, voices and submissions. The most significant of these is the Arts and Culture Task Group (ACTAG) Report which represents the views of a major part of the arts and culture community, including practitioners, educators and administrators. I would like to thank everyone who made a contribution and participated in the ACTAG process and in particular the members of the ACTAG for their sterling work and commitment in undertaking the consultative and writing processes which led to the production of their detailed Report.
The aim of this document is to promote the arts, culture, heritage and literature in their own right, as significant and valuable areas of social and human endeavour in themselves. It spells out the institutional arrangements required to implement a new vision in which they are developed, practised and celebrated among all our people, and it indicates the changes required of existing institutions to assist this. It also deals with the rights of practitioners within these domains. Other issues relating to areas such as cultural industries will be dealt with through Departmental policy development or White Papers, such as that for the Film Industry, which is under preparation.
The role of the State in funding arts, culture and heritage is a complex one. In some countries, no State support is forthcoming; in others the State plays a decisive role. We must be attuned to our own particular situation, and wish to develop exactly that "arms length" relationship which is fundamental to freedom of expression. At the same time, all funding from the public purse carries certain obligations with it, and these obligations of accountability must be applied with due responsibility and creativity. Promotion without undue promulgation would be our ideal.
I would also like to thank the White Paper writing team and the core reference group for the White Paper for their work, and especially to acknowledge the contributions of the international advisers, Dr. Michael Volkerling of Victoria University, New Zealand, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of The Netherlands.
There has been much consultation and debate in arriving at this point. No doubt, there will be further debate and reaction around this draft White Paper. I am convinced though, that the vision and institutional arrangements outlined here represent the best way forward for our country at this point.
I sincerely hope that the major role-players will unite behind this vision, in the best interests of the arts, culture and heritage.
MESSAGE FROM THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, MS. B MABANDLA
South Africans have waited many years for a democratic, post-colonial national arts and culture policy. The arts community have debated and researched models to ensure that this policy creates a truly progressive and enabling dispensation.
This draft White Paper represents a fledgling democratic cultural policy which is both powerful in the potential which it contains, and vulnerable in its newness.
The ambit of arts and culture policy will always be highly charged and emotional because the arts, culture and heritage are concerned with the most central aspect of humanity, the formation of identity. Notwithstanding these divergences, I would like to ask all those concerned about the arts to unite behind this document and to assist in the realisation of its goals. I therefore urge you to support the principles informing the draft White Paper.
The basis of a policy of reconstruction for the arts, culture and heritage was laid through the ACTAG recommendations. This Ministry initiated the ACTAG process and we are committed to the principles and spirit that inform it. I believe that this spirit imbues every chapter of the draft White Paper.
We believe that indigenous South African art forms can and will reach a standard of excellence, and if anything, can set new and even higher standards of excellence because they grow out of the diversity which characterises our vibrant cultural inheritance.
This renaissance in South Africa's arts will depend on a policy that ensures equity and is committed to promoting a consciousness that celebrates diversity. Through this document we are laying a basis to reclaim our heritage. It is my hope that many new heritage sites will be identified and proclaimed, as the recent example of the Tswaing Crater Museum illustrates. In particular, we are committed to ensuring that women are central to these developments, and will ensure that women's cultural groups receive equitable attention.
Now is our time to sing, to dance, to paint, and to create. This is our right as citizens of South Africa. There is so much to look forward to, and so much work to be done. I trust we can do this as a united community with a common goal in mind.
ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE TEXT
ACTAG Arts and Culture Task Group
BDCSA Book Development Council of South Africa
CAPAB Cape Performing Arts Board
DCI Declared Cultural Institution
CBO Community Based Organisation
NAC National Arts Council
NHC National Heritage Council
NGO Non-Governmental Organisation
OAU Organisation of African Unity
PACOFS Performing Arts Council of the Orange Free State
PACs Performing Arts Councils
RDP Reconstruction and Development Programme
PACT Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal
SADC Southern African Development Community
UNESCO United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
... a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world
President N.R. Mandela, Inaugural Address, 10 May 1994
This draft White Paper sets out government policy for establishing the optimum funding arrangements and institutional frameworks for the creation, promotion and protection of South African arts, culture, heritage and the associated practitioners. It is inspired by the best traditions of democratic societies the world over, where these features are valued in themselves and are treasured for their contribution to the quality of life.
While it is the goal of the Ministry to ensure adequate public subsidies for the arts, culture and heritage, the policy outlined in this document is located within the reality of existing budgets and the requirements for fiscal discipline.
The Department has set its mission to "realise the full potential of arts, culture, science and technology in social and economic development, nurture creativity and innovation, and promote the diverse heritage of our nation". The Department therefore supports:
the arts, culture and heritage, by valuing diversity and promoting economic activity;
the linguistic diversity of our country as a resource in empowering all South Africans fully to participate in their country's social, political and economic life;
the equitable development and preservation of our experiences, heritage and symbols.
This policy statement addresses issues of the arts, culture, heritage and literature. Arts and culture are also important industries: they offer potential employment and wealth creation opportunities. Investment in arts and culture provides a stimulus for activity in the broader economy. Participation in arts and cultural activity frequently involves the use of transport and other public utilities, creates media value, and the need for catering and other support services. Libraries are an important component of cultural life. They support lifelong learning and also stimulate the private purchase of books. The scale of these interdependencies is substantial. The Film Industry in particular will be covered in a subsequent White Paper, whilst other matters will be dealt with through normal Departmental policy formulation.
In formulating these policies we seek to locate the activities of the Ministry within the framework of reconstruction and development, through addressing its goals of meeting basic needs, building the economy and human resource development and realising the intentions of the Growth and Development Strategy.
The document further articulates the Ministry's vision for the arts, culture and heritage as arrived at through extensive consultation, and seeks to generate further debate and feedback from the public, practitioners, local, provincial and national authorities and other interested parties.
The advent of democracy in South Africa has provided unique and exciting opportunities. For the first time in the history of our country, all arts and culture practitioners have the right to participate in creating public policy and structures which directly affect their lives and livelihood, and the quality of life of the community at large. The Council of Culture Ministers serves as the point of contact between the Ministry and provincial interests, and is in turn supported by a Technical Committee comprised of Directors of Culture. Their views are reflected in this draft White Paper.
Against this backdrop, the Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology appointed the Arts and Culture Task Group (ACTAG) in November 1994. This Task group, comprising artists, arts educators and cultural administrators, was mandated to consult as widely as possible in formulating recommendations for a new arts and culture dispensation consistent with non-racist, non-sexist and democratic ideals.
After extensive consultations including written and verbal submissions, regional conferences, public hearings and a broadly representative national conference, ACTAG submitted its report to the Minister in July 1995. The ACTAG process also drew on the advice of international experts from UNESCO, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA and Sweden.
ACTAG represented the voice of practitioners, expressing their views and concerns. The Ministry considered the ACTAG report and subsequently conducted further investigations, including activity-based costing, to determine the viability of the various policy options it proposed. This draft White Paper then, is a combination of ACTAG's proposals, the Department's investigations, input from the writers of this draft White Paper and its Reference Group, and the Ministry's own views based on its understanding of the workings, possibilities and constraints facing the Government.
This draft White Paper deals with one of the most emotive matters to face the new government. Cultural expression and identity stand alongside language rights and access to land as some of the most pressing issues of our times. Unsurprisingly, the dominant themes which characterise these fields have commonality with themes elsewhere: governance, access and finance are the major challenges, and it is these which we must tackle head on. Despite the relatively small budgets associated with promotion of the arts, culture and heritage, changes in allocation are perceived by some as a threat to identity, whilst for others change is too slow. This draft White Paper seeks to bring clarity to these and other issues facing the arts, culture and heritage. It seeks to recognise, preserve, and to build.
For the purpose of this document the following definitions will apply:
Arts refer to but are not restricted to all forms and traditions of dance, drama, music, music theatre, visual arts, crafts, design, written and oral literature all of which serve as means for individual and collective creativity and expression through performance, execution, presentation, exhibition, transmission and study.
Culture refers to the dynamic totality of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features which characterise a society or social group. It includes the arts and letters, but also modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions, heritage and beliefs developed over time and subject to change.
Heritage is the sum total of wildlife and scenic parks, sites of scientific and historical importance, national monuments, historic buildings, works of art, literature and music, oral traditions and museum collections and their documentation which provides the basis for a shared culture and creativity in the arts.
This policy document is based on the following values:
Access to, participation in, and enjoyment of the arts, cultural expression, and the preservation of one's heritage are basic human rights; they are not luxuries, nor are they privileges as we have generally been led to believe.
The Bill of Rights of the Constitution states:
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes ... freedom of artistic creativity ... (paragraph 16)
Everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice ... (paragraph 30)
It is the role of government to facilitate the optimum conditions in which these rights may be enjoyed and practised.
A fundamental prerequisite for democracy is the principle of freedom of expression. Rooted in freedom of expression and creative thought, the arts, culture and heritage have a vital role to play in development, nation building and sustaining our emerging democracy. They must be empowered to do so.
Humans are holistic beings. They not only need improved material conditions in order that they have a better quality of life. Individuals have psychological, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual expression, all of which require nurture and development for them to realise their full potential, and act as responsible and creative citizens.
Arts and culture may play a healing role through promoting reconciliation. Our approach to culture is premised on international standards in which culture is understood as an important component of national life which enhances all of our freedoms. Culture should not be used as a mechanism of exclusion, a barrier between people, nor should cultural practices be reduced to ethnic or religious chauvinism.
South Africa is now once more part of the international family of nations. We not only derive benefits from such acceptance, but also have the responsibility to pursue and implement internationally agreed and accepted norms and standards in various sectors of our society, including the arts and culture.
ALL OUR LEGACIES
We can neither heal nor build, if such healing and building are perceived as one-way processes, with the victims of past injustices forgiving and the beneficiaries merely content in gratitude. Together we must set out to correct the defects of the past.
President N.R. Mandela: Opening speech to Parliament, February 1996
South Africa is emerging out of a troubled history. For the first time since the conquest of these shores, we enjoy democratic freedoms. The collision of cultures does not necessarily lead to subjugation and hegemony. It may also lead to subtle cross pollination of ideas, words, customs, art forms, culinary and religious practices. This dynamic interaction has always played a role in cultural enrichment which has resulted in an extraordinarily fertile and unique South African culture which binds our nation in linguistic, cultural, culinary, and religious diversity in so many forms. Embodied in this interaction is the role of technology: access to technology; its transfer; artistic expression through technology. These too are dynamic.
At first these exchanges took place at the margins, as our different societies met; later, interaction and destruction quickened with the importation of slaves. It raced forward under the impact of industrialisation a century ago, when indigenous cultural forms began to collapse under the demands of mining and agriculture. The advent of formal apartheid , with its overt use of culture as a political strategy, led to further stifling of expression, and indeed, to distortion. Yet cultural expression will always find a way to survive in the heartland. Our art forms, oratory, praise poetry, storytelling, dance and rituals live on in the collective memory. They are waiting in the wings to be reclaimed and proclaimed as part of the heritage of us all.
South African composers, sculptors, singers, choristers, dancers, artists, photographers, musicians, writers and designers have done us proud. They played an important role in the quest for democracy. They are world class and have the power further to enrich our experience.
Education is part of culture, and culture is itself transmitted through education. Indeed, the curriculum has been described as "a selection from culture". Previously education was used to deny the value of other cultures. This must not happen again. It is a national tragedy that we have to admit of the need for a project to restore the culture of learning.
It is a national tragedy that we speak of a culture of violence, in the community, in the family, against children. If culture is the glue holding the social fabric intact, then it is evident that the centre does not hold. For these reasons, not to invest in the arts, culture and heritage would constitute grave short-sightedness on the part of government and a failure to recognise the healing and recreational potential of arts and culture in a period of national regeneration and restoration. Like technology, culture is all pervasive. Indeed, the failure of many technology transfer initiatives arises precisely because insufficient care has been taken to understand the cultural dimensions of what seemed merely to be technical.
The two discussion documents of the RDP published in November 1995, namely the Urban Development Strategy and the Rural Development Strategy, provide the socio-political context within which our policies will function. Both documents catalogue the various disparities of income, access to basic infrastructure, spatial distribution and other constraints which currently limit the self-actualisation of the majority. The span of issues concerns education, trade and industry, health, environment and tourism. Implementing the policies suggested in this draft White Paper will therefore involve co-operation of many government departments.
Like every other sector of our society, arts, culture and heritage have been fundamentally affected by our past. The distribution of public funds in support of these activities, the geographical location of physical infrastructure, the dissemination of skills, the staffing, management and governance of institutions - all reflect significant bias in favour of a highly selective slice of artistic expression. The culture whose emergence and growth is consistent with the goals of our young democracy would be an inclusive, and even eclectic one. This statement is made with full recognition of the wish expressed by arts practitioners that government maintain an "arms length" relationship with the arts. Government respects this view.
Public funds for these purposes were previously channelled to different communities through the respective education departments of the tri-cameral and "homeland" system since culture constituted on "own affair".
Where cultural institutions were deemed to serve audiences across the perceived racial divide, they were funded through the Department of National Education as a "General Affair". Given the nature, governance, mandate and geographical location of the institutions funded by the DNE, they also primarily served white audiences.
Most public money for the arts went directly to particular end-user institutions. Limited resources were available through the DNE for national organisations, while the Foundation for Creative Arts was the only means for artists and cultural institutions which were not directly funded by the DNE, to access public funds. However, since the annual FCA budget was so small, it was limited in what it could support.
Infrastructure to support the creation and dissemination of the arts and culture is largely located within the centres of major cities. Such museums, galleries, theatres and community arts centres are generally inaccessible to the large majority of people living in these cities, not least because of their distance from where people live.
Furthermore, the provision and maintenance of arts infrastructure heavily favoured the urban cities of the previous four provinces - Cape, Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State - rather than the "homelands", except in the former Bophutatswana where there was an arts council and four Mmabana community centres with arts and sports facilities. Black urban and rural areas are thus generally lacking in even the most basic arts infrastructure. The existence of high quality infrastructure, historically linked with the old provinces makes for a constant tension in respect of provincial equity.
The kinds of artistic and cultural forms and institutions supported by public funds, determined the kinds of skills taught at the feeder educational institutions. Thus it was for example, that universities and technikons geared their education and training towards the needs of the performing arts councils through opera, ballet, music and drama departments concentrating on the European classics. Generally, tertiary institutions designed for blacks did not have training departments for the arts so that aspirant black artists would have had to apply to traditionally white universities to acquire skills and knowledge.
Until quite recently, performing arts work and exhibition opportunities for black artists at publicity-funded arts institutions were limited. With limited job opportunities, training in the arts was not pursued with the same vigour by black people as other areas.
But if training as practitioners was biased in favour of whites, training as arts managers and administrators was almost completely absent for anyone in South Africa.
With few job opportunities for black people in the arts market place, the education system designed for black people generally did not include arts education. Thus were very few black people formally trained as arts educators in any discipline.
The current arts and culture dispensation still largely reflects the apartheid era in the distribution of skills, access to public resources, geographical location of arts infrastructure and the governance, management and staffing of publicly-funded arts institutions.
The implications of this are manifold. No government can legislate creativity into effect. At best government can seek to ensure that its resources are used equitably so that impediments to expression are removed, that the social and political climate are conducive to self-expression, and that the arts, culture and heritage allow the full diversity of our people to be expressed in a framework of equity which is committed to redressing past imbalances and facilitating the development of all of its people.
NEW POLICIES AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS
The cultural diversity of our people is a major national asset. The RDP will support an arts and culture programme which will provide access to all and draw on the capacities of young and old in all communities to give creative expression to the diversity of our heritage and the promise of the future. White Paper on Reconstruction and Development, 1994
In the context of the historical legacy outlined above, a new vision for the arts, culture and heritage is required. That vision springs from our adherence to Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "everyone shall have the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community (and) to enjoy the arts ... ". It is the objective and role of the Ministry to ensure that this right, the right of all freely to practise and satisfy artistic and cultural expression, and enjoy protection and development of their heritage, is realised.
In preparing this draft White Paper, the Ministry is guided by the prescriptions of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 regarding competencies between national and provincial levels as specified in paragraph 104. Firstly, the Ministry, through paragraph 44 of the Constitution, is expected to develop minimum standards that apply generally across the Republic. Second, cultural matters are listed under Schedule 4 as concurrent national and provincial legislative competencies.
Essentially therefore, the prime role of the national and provincial governments is to develop policy which ensures the survival and development of all art forms and genres, cultural diversity with mutual respect and tolerance, heritage recognition and advancement, education in arts and culture, universal access to funding, equitable human resource development policies, the promotion of literature and cultural industries. These are our "minimum standards".
The provincial budget allocation for arts, culture and heritage forms a segment of the budgets of the various Departments of Education and Culture.
Provincial governments are accountable against the agreed minimum standards for the way their budgetary allocation for arts, culture and heritage is spent.
In this period of transition to budgeting from zero, it will remain difficult precisely to quantify adherence to minimum standards. However, as a starting point, Provinces might be expected to demonstrate that their expenditure:
promotes the full range of art forms, cultural activities and heritage
develops cultural industries
widens access to arts, culture and heritage promotion and development.
The Ministry might commit a portion of its own budget specifically to run pilot projects in the Provinces with the aim of developing practical means of giving substance to the above policy.
The role of the Ministry would be to monitor and evaluate progress toward these goals.
- To guide the realisation of the above vision, and to facilitate practical programmes to this end, policy will be guided by the following operational principles:
Human Rights: Shall ensure that all persons, group and communities have the right to equal opportunities to participate in the arts and culture, to conserve and develop their cultural heritage.
- Freedom of Expression: Shall ensure that all persons are free to pursue their vision of artistic creativity without interference, victimisation and censorship.
- Access: Shall ensure unhindered access to the means of artistic and cultural activity, information and enjoyment in both financial and geographical senses.
- Equity: Shall ensure the equitable distribution of resources to all forms of art and culture, with due regard to the specific needs of each art form.
- Redress: Shall ensure the correction of historical and existing imbalances through development, education, training and affirmative action with regard to race, gender, rural and urban considerations.
- Nation building: Shall foster a sense of pride and knowledge in all aspects of South African culture, heritage and the arts. Shall further encourage mutual respect and tolerance and inter-cultural exchange between the various cultures and forms of art to facilitate the emergence of a shared cultural identity constituted by diversity.
- Multilingualism: Shall promote multilingualism in the arts in accordance with the Constitution.
- Diversity: Shall ensure the recognition of aesthetic pluralism and a diversity of artistic forms, within a multicultural context.
- Autonomy: Shall ensure the full independence of publicly-funded arts institutions, organisations and practitioners from party political and state interference.
- Arms length: The state shall facilitate mechanism for peer evaluation and decision-making regarding the funding of arts and culture activities.
- Participation: Shall ensure the right of artists and the public to participate in all aspects of the arts, including participation in decision-making structures.
- Accountability: Shall ensure that all arts bodies and institutions receiving public funds are accountable to the arts community, the public and a democratically elected government.
- Transparency: Shall ensure that all decisions and information pertaining to the arts, culture and heritage are open to public scrutiny.
- Conservation: Shall be committed to conserve the full diversity of South African heritage and traditions.
- Achievement: Shall recognise achievement and foster the development of shared standards of excellence.
- Innovation: Shall encourage artistic creativity, experimentation and artistic renewal.
- Co-operation: Shall encourage inter-disciplinary co-operation and resource sharing between different art forms and institutions.
- Exchange: Shall encourage exchange and interaction between local, regional, continental and international culture.
- Security: Shall protect the rights of all artists to fair employment practices, to protect their intellectual, artistic and cultural rights.
Sustainability: Shall encourage self-sufficiency, sustainability and viability in the arts and culture.
In the process of change, the Ministry recognises the stewardship role it has to play in ensuring that capacity inherent within existing institutions is deployed to the full, that change is consistent with national reconciliation, and that sustainable redress is carried through. The Ministry acknowledges the fine professional work embodied in the various institutions it funds: the four Performing Arts Councils and the seventeen Declared Cultural Institutions. It seeks to effectively harness these resources and release this expertise and creative energy to realise the goals of reconstruction and development.
Finally, we recognise that a global sea-change is taking place: we are living through the information revolution, and must not only remain abreast of the impacts it imposes on us, but must actively shape these to our own circumstances. Old distinctions between art and communication are breaking down, and previously distinct areas are merging. Some already speak of the new activity of "edutainment", where education and entertainment have blended through computer-based systems. Time and space are now less of a constraint than before, since information effectively transcends all boundaries.
Principal areas to be addressed
In the light of the historical legacies outlined earlier, and the above vision and principles, the seven most crucial areas to address in giving practical content to a new, just and fair arts, culture and heritage dispensation are:
transparent and catalytic mechanisms for distributing public funds
transformation of all arts and culture institutions and structures
redistribution, redress and access
human resource development: practitioners, administrators and educators
integration of arts and culture into all aspects of socio-economic development
the rights and status of practitioners, and
sources of funding.
Addressing these areas satisfactorily would represent an holistic response to the legacy we have inherited. It would take account of the most important components of development, expression and sustainability. And throughout these policy thrusts must be a commitment to excellence.
In seeking mechanisms for the reconceptualisation of the arts, culture and heritage, it is useful to list the various organs where our creative expression is generated, housed or embodied. These comprise the following:
arts, culture and heritage associations and organisations
arts galleries and collections
individual practitioners, educators and learners in the arts, culture and heritage
institutions carrying out associated education, training and research
libraries and information systems
media and advertising
performing arts institutions
Government will primarily interact with these various organs through various statutory bodies as detailed below. By establishing such statutory bodies, mandated to secure free expression and redress, government will maintain an "arms length" relationship with the practitioner community. As is the case with other existing statutory bodies, the Ministry will be involved in the budgetary process and allocation to these statutory bodies. It will not pass judgement on artistic expression.
ARTS AND CULTURE
... to affirm and promote the rich and diverse expression of South African culture
Reconstruction and Development Programme
The National Arts Council
In accordance with the principles of access, redress and participation, it is proposed to establish the new National Arts Council (NAC) as a statutory body. The Council will seek to bring equity to the arts and culture dispensation. The National Arts Council would receive a parliamentary grant through the Department. It would provide funding by transfer payments to individuals, organisations and institutions and will be subject to the provisions of the Reporting by Public Entities Act No. 93 of 1992, and other Treasury requirements.
The principal task of the NAC will be to distribute public funds to artists, cultural institutions, NGOs and CBOs. Criteria for this distribution, consistent with the goals of the RDP, will be developed to promote the creation, teaching and dissemination of literature, oral history and story telling, music, dance, theatre, musical theatre, opera, photography, design, visual art and craft which fully reflect our diversity.
In addition the NAC will provide study bursaries for study in the fields of arts and culture, to practitioners, administrators and educators.
The NAC may carry out research, especially regarding policy linked to its mandate. It will also execute investigations and research at the request of the Minister.
The NAC budget will conform to the norms and standards of the Department of State Expenditure, constructed against agreed criteria. These criteria will be based upon considerations of economy, efficiency and effectiveness, and indicate how the goals of reconstruction and development are to be fulfilled. These criteria will be jointly developed by the Ministry, Council of Culture Ministers, and the NAC. The NAC will provide an annual account of expenditure in the normal way, and will provide an evaluation of the activities it has funded.
Representation on the Board of the National Arts Council will be both provincial and art specific. Each province will select an individual to represent their interests through a publicly transparent process. Where such body exists, this may be the chair of the Provincial Arts Council. In addition, a public selection procedure will culminate in the appointment, by the Minister, of an additional nine to fourteen members, representative of the arts and culture as well as those with specialist skills of benefit to the functioning of the Council. The NAC will be broadly representative of all South Africans.
Members of the NAC Council will serve three year terms renewable only after a three year lapse. However, one third of the members should be re-elected to maintain continuity.
The Council will establish discipline-based panels comprising practising artists, educators and administrators in particular fields who will advise on the merits of funding applications and on policy matters. Panel members will serve for two years and be eligible for further service after a two year lapse.
The NAC will itself function under a Chief Executive officer supported by a small professional staff.
The Foundation for the Creative Arts (FCA) was formed in 1989 as a Section 21 company under the Companies Act of 1973 to provide public support to the creative arts not supported through the PACs, and played a similar, but minor role, with very limited funding to that of the proposed NAC. In the light of the recommendations to establish the National Arts Council, and the limited remit of the FCA, the FCA will be de-registered and its infrastructure and resources will be incorporated into the NAC.
The Performing Arts Councils
At present, the largest portion of public funds for the arts goes directly to four Performing Arts Councils (PACs), which are registered in terms of Section 21 of the Companies Act of 1973. There are few opportunities for artists, other than those employed by these state-subsidised institutions, to access public funds to support the creation and dissemination of their work. The activities of these institutions, their continued access to State monies, and their putative transformation, has created more controversy than any other issue facing the Ministry. But their transformation has already begun, with the appointment of representative Boards, the rightsizing of their infrastructure and opening of their facilities to a broader spectrum of arts practitioners.
Central to the equitable functioning of the arts is the further restructuring of the PACs, (Cape Performing Arts Council - CAPAB; Performing Arts Council of the Orange Free State - PACOFS; Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal -PACT; and the Playhouse Company, formerly the Natal Performing Arts Council) in order to free and reallocate public resources to other disciplines and areas in need of redress.
The four PACs have been the primary recipients of national public funding for the performing arts, absorbing 46% of the Department's arts and culture budget. Within the new dispensation, this can no longer be the case as there are now nine provinces as opposed to four, so that the same resources now have to be distributed more widely. Moreover in their present form, given that they are urban-based, heavily resource-consuming structures, they will still be unable significantly to assist in realising the RDP's goals of access and redress.
Of the previous Independent States, Bophutatswana was the only entity to develop a Performing Arts Council, with its associated Mmabana Cultural Foundation. The future of these facilities will be considered when addressing the differential development of arts and culture in the country.
Within an emerging framework of co-operative governance, the national government will no longer take primary responsibility for funding the PACs and their activities. Provinces and the local municipalities in which they are located should play a more active funding role since it is their inhabitants who benefit most from the presence of the PACs.
Accordingly, the PACs need to be restructured in such a way that the infrastructure and skills built up over decades are not lost, but are redirected to serving the artistic and cultural priorities established by the NAC. At base, their activities must align with the general objectives of the Government.
In arriving at these policy positions, a detailed study of the PACs was commissioned. This study collected data, provided activity-based costs for each Council, and considered various options for funding allocation.
In 1995/96, the PACs operating income was R160m, of which box office receipts accounted for 18%. R112m was granted by the State, which represents a very high level of subsidy.
Analysis of box office returns shows these do not even cover administrative costs. The inescapable conclusion is that government is subsidising expensive art forms and infrastructure for a small audience at an unaffordable level. The activity based costing exercise indicates that ballet and opera consume in the order of 30% of the total expenditure. These activities are exclusive to PACT and CAPAB. The community arts development function accounts for approximately 34% of the Playhouse Theatre budget, and 25% for that of PACOFS, whilst the PACT and CAPAB outreach and development component of their ongoing repertoire absorbs about 5% of their budgets.
As matters stand, the theatres of the PACs are all rented at zero cost from the Provinces where they are located. It is proposed that the physical infrastructure of these buildings, offices, theatres, etc., should be the joint financial responsibility of the central government, municipality/metropolitan area and Province in which they are located, as is the case with the Johannesburg Civic Theatre. Access to the use of this physical infrastructure should not therefore privilege any one institution of the national arts and culture community.
The PACs will receive declining subsidies from central government as transfer payments over the next three years. At the end of this period, government will subsidise the core infrastructure, core staff and essential activities of the PACs. All other allocations will be funded through the National Arts Council. This will require them to diversify their funding base as well as to restructure their ticketing policies. Additionally, the companies associated with performing arts councils, like all other performing arts organisations, will be able to apply to the National Arts Council for grants-in-aid. This shift in funding signals the transformation of the PACs from virtually free-standing production houses to becoming infrastructure accessible to all. This process of change will be complete by the year 2000, and will be assisted by the resources of the NAC and Ministry.
Concurrent with budgetary rightsizing, and their gearing toward meeting the imperatives of the RDP, the PACs will become playhouses. Their future administration will be negotiated and discussed with the Provinces and NAC. The involvement of the NAC in these negotiations will ensure that the insights of practitioners are brought to bear on the matter.
This strategy involves an immediate cut of 22% in the 1996/97 subsidy to the PACs. A proportion of funding freed from this streamlining process will be channelled by the National Arts Council for distribution to a wider variety of artists, cultural groups and art disciplines.
Eventually, as the PACs are right-sized and more funds are accessed from Treasury through the ongoing efforts of the Ministry, the admittedly limited public resources for the arts will be spread more widely. In this way, the existing performing arts infrastructure is geared toward reconstruction and development, and all forms of dance, music and theatre are recognised as legitimate components of our cultural heritage.
Visual arts crafts and design are integral to arts, culture and heritage. Although visual arts and crafts are distinguished from each other in this document, the view which informs this policy is that the visual arts are inclusive of all the forms detailed below. The distinctions made are for convenience only. They do not imply any adherence to fixed divisions.
Visual arts include painting, sculpture, graphic art, photography, drawing, mural painting, paperworks, performance art, tapestry, fibre art, video, installation works, computer graphics, etc.
Crafts cover a spectrum of creative disciplines from original craftwork art to commodity craftwork. The largely market-driven production of commodity craftworks utilises a range of synthetic and natural materials, skills and techniques.
Design involves the application of inter-disciplinary technology to art, crafts, architecture, town planning, engineering, advertising, textiles, jewellery, clothing, furniture, typography and a host of other fields.
Visual arts, crafts and design are important components of the arts, culture and heritage environment in South Africa. They provide employment for large numbers of people in rural and urban communities and in a wide range of formal and informal industries.
To overcome the lack of co-ordination within the visual arts, craft and design, co-operation with governmental, parastatal and non-governmental organisations at national, provincial and local levels will be facilitated.
The Ministry will ensure public institutions, such as museums, which have previously focused attention almost exclusively on a narrow definition of the visual arts, take cognisance of our craft and design heritage and acknowledge this in their acquisition and education policies.
The Department will investigate the feasibility of establishing an Artbank or other mechanism to serve as a self-funding agency which provides opportunities for the development and marketing of cultural industries.
The Ministry will actively promote the Constitutional right of every learner in the General Education and Training Phase to access equitable, appropriate life-long education and training in arts, culture and heritage to develop individual talents and skills through the transformation of arts education within the formal school system and the development and extension of community based arts education structures. The rich and diverse expression of South African arts, culture and heritage shall thereby be promoted and developed.
Education in arts, culture and heritage should embrace opportunities for making, performing and presenting as well as appreciating the many expressions of South African cultural heritage to realise the right of all South Africans to participate fully in, contribute to, and benefit from an all- inclusive South African culture.
Arts, culture and heritage education must entail an integrated developmental approach leading to innovative, creative and critical thinking. The whole learning experience creates, within a safe learning environment, the means for shaping, challenging, affirming and exploring personal and social relationships and community identity. Experiencing the creative expression of different communities of South Africa provides insights into the aspirations and values of our nation. This experience develops tolerance and provides a foundation for national reconciliation, as well as building a sense of pride in our diverse cultural heritage.
The Ministry is committed to making an impact on economic growth, development and tourism through targeting the development of cultural industries which are organised around the production and consumption of culture and related services, and investing in an infrastructure for arts, culture and heritage education.
Arts, culture and heritage education which redresses past cultural biases and stereotypes, as well as the imbalance in the provision of resources shall be addressed by encouraging its location in educational structures at all levels of learning. To this end the Ministry will be represented in all appropriate national arts, culture and heritage education policy, curriculum and accreditation structures. Where relevant, the Ministry will also establish inter-ministerial arts educational advisory bodies to ensure communication in line with this policy.
Consistent with the recommendations of the National Qualifications Framework, the Ministry will seek to ensure that the expertise and skills of arts and culture practitioners, developed in and through informal processes, are appropriately acknowledged and accredited.
The Ministry acknowledges the importance of arts, culture and heritage education in both formal and community based structures. Both sectors contribute to arts education in different and mutually complementary ways. Arts educators and planners should be encouraged to build on the different opportunities offered by the two sectors, as well as to develop strategies which offer learners mobility between them.
Our literature, the written record of our many languages, embodies a richness which sets us apart from other nations. Unsurprisingly, our policy views literature as an important component of the arts, culture and heritage. The Ministry aims to promote, develop and make accessible the rich and diverse traditions of all South African literatures in written and oral forms. The development of previously marginalised languages is regarded as a prerequisite for meaningful multilingualism and real language equality.
The role of the Pan South African Language Board, as delineated in the Pan South African Language Board Act No 59 of 1995, is noted, as is that of the Language Task Group (LANGTAG). This policy, therefore, is confined to literature. It acknowledges and is concerned to ensure that literature and language policies are integrated with, and complementary to each other as part of a larger whole.
The transformation of literature in education must be seen in the context of widespread illiteracy and a history of language discrimination. This, and the absence of an entrenched reading culture even among the literate sectors of society, calls for full utilisation of literature in education policy to develop speaking, reading, writing, comprehension and critical skills.
A language and literature education curriculum which ensures coherence and continuity between pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education should be a long-term goal. Measures to achieve this will be sought in co-operation with the Ministry of Education.
The electronic media are amongst the most powerful means for promoting and developing literature. To enable them to contribute in this field, this policy supports the introduction of programmes devoted to literature, writing and reading in all the language services on public, private and community radio and television services.
The Ministry will encourage public, private and community broadcasting services to commission local writers, create incentives and provide training opportunities to write and develop literary materials for the media. The Ministry will support the promotion of literature and reading in the popular press and other printed media.
It is recognised that translation is a primary literary activity to be promoted and supported as an integral part of the development of literature. Grants for the translation of literary works in the various South African languages as well as from foreign languages into local languages may be made by the NAC. The training of translators is integral to language and literature education at all levels. The Provincial Language Committee should be part of the whole training process.
Library and Information Services
Libraries are an integral part of society, providing access to educational, cultural, and recreational documents, programmes and resources. Various types of libraries and resource centres play a vital role in the provision of information, support to formal and non-formal education, and the promotion of a culture of reading and learning. Policy is needed to address the shortcomings of the past and the challenges of the future. In particular, with transformation taking place at both the metropolitan and local levels, a national policy which sets the norms and standards is required. A robust library and information services (LIS) is an essential factor in reconstruction and development.
Information is a prerequisite for raising educational standards, advancing democracy, participation in decision-making, developing the economy and enhancing the quality of life. Community libraries and resource centres have exceptionally important role to play as facilitators of lifelong learning, and should be linked to arts, community and education centres.
South Africa has some excellent libraries and a relatively sophisticated infrastructure for information provision and management, but the vast majority do not have access to the most basic LIS. The distribution of LIS is characterised by severe disparities across income, race and spatial divides. These inadequacies will be addressed through national norms and standards, provincial co-ordination and the involvement of local government and community structures.
There is a range of community based libraries, the majority of which are funded by local government. Yet this provision is also inadequate. Structures need to be put in place for possible co-operation between community and school libraries. At present community libraries are stretched to capacity to provide resources to scholars and part-time students, without any contribution from the education authorities. This situation may be improved by the allocation of grants-in-aid, and mechanisms for this are under consideration.
Constitutionally, libraries are viewed as a provincial competence, and the co-ordination, development and finance of community libraries therefore becomes a joint responsibility of provincial and local governments. Modes of linking community and school libraries for improved effectiveness and cost efficiency should be explored. Certain functions, such as the development and maintenance of joint databases and purchase of books and other library materials, which should ideally be rendered at local level, may be effected at provincial level for economies of scale.
The Department currently funds three national libraries, the State Library in Pretoria, the South African Library in Cape Town and the South African Library for the Blind. The sub-directorate for Meta-information has a co-ordinating function for government departmental libraries and is also responsible for international relations. There is presently no structure for promotion and co-ordination of LIS at national level. An inter-ministerial working group has been established to advise on the matters relating to LIS.
It is recommended that a national advisory council be established to assist in the formulation of LIS policy, to provide co-ordinating networks and mechanisms and set priorities for extending national LIS. It will provide a vehicle for co-ordination at national level and may advise provinces on linkages between the national and provincial governments.
The primary need for infrastructure is in rural and black urban areas, close to where people live. The establishment of urban and peri-urban townships as dormitories, without proper facilities for recreation and leisure, is a feature of apartheid. This deprivation cannot be continued in the new dispensation which is concerned with improving the quality of people's lives at a local level. Such improvement must include the development of facilities to educate, nurture, promote and enable the enjoyment of the arts, film, music, visual art, dance, theatre and literature.
To this end, the Ministry intends to develop the concept of multifunctional, multi-disciplinary community arts centres through a number of pilot projects. Such centres might cater for music, dance, film and theatre, gallery and production, house a library and Internet access, as well as a museum. A national audit of such infrastructure will be undertaken co-operatively by all levels of government to guide future planning and the allocation of resources. This strategic partnership will involve provincial and local arts and culture forums and communities in the determination of needs and plans for the development, governance and maintenance of arts and culture infrastructure.
The multiplier and catalytic effect of such centres in creating work opportunities for artists, in generating income for local communities and in improving the quality of life at local level by providing access to international, national and local artists in all disciplines, will be worth the financial investment. In addition there is scope to combine artistic and cultural activity alongside sports and other forms of recreation. To this end discussions are ongoing with the Department of Sports and Recreation to seek full utilisation of the proposed community sports centres
These centres will serve two of the Ministry's most important principles i.e. providing access and redressing imbalances. The Ministry recognises that it cannot achieve this ambitious vision by itself. The Ministry will seek to develop relationships with the private sector, provincial and local authorities around the country, the international community, and various local communities themselves, to make this vision a reality. RDP have already earmarked for the pilot projects, and we look forward to increases in these funds in future years.
A full strategy for craft promotion is under development as part of a Cultural Industries Growth Strategy.
Human Resource Development
Crucial to the growth and sustainability of the arts, is the development of skilled human resources. This would include educating and training:
arts and culture practitioners to create and produce works of art in the various disciplines
educators to educate and train children, youth and adults in the arts and culture
administrators, curators and managers to organise and manage cultural institutions and projects.
These education and training programmes would be organised within the National Qualifications Framework. To ensure that the training needs of cultural industries are met, the Ministry is represented on the National Training Board. 57. Another educational imperative is the need to educate and train potential audiences and markets for the arts.
Until now, the formal educational system - when it has included arts education - has largely served the needs of the cultural institutions developed during, and which came to reflect, the apartheid era. In seeking to address these shortcomings, the Ministry maintains an ongoing dialogue within the Ministers Council on Culture, and with the Ministry of Education. Furthermore, the Ministry, through its associated Science Research Councils, will seek further to develop capacity in tertiary level arts education. All of these initiatives are furthered in commitment to the principle of lifelong learning.
Building new audiences, developing new markets
The future of the arts and cultural expression lies in the development of new audiences and markets. Current audiences are largely determined by the location of infrastructure, the availability of disposable income, and the nature of the artistic forms on offer, all of which generally reflect the legacies of our apartheid past.
In developing new markets and potential audiences, the Ministry is committed to a four-pronged strategy:
entering into discussion with the Ministry of Education with the aim of introducing arts education at school level for all children, to cultivate a long term interest in the arts
ensuring that existing infrastructure is used for the benefit of all
developing arts infrastructure close to where people live i.e. through community arts centres, so that they grow up with, and have easy access to the arts and
generally raising public awareness of the arts, especially through supporting the growth and sustainability of a range of arts festivals, which will both provide more work opportunities for artists and create greater audiences and markets for the arts.
It is impossible for government by itself to achieve the vision outlined in this document. While government accepts that it has a major role to play, it needs to form co-operative alliances with other partners, and facilitate their participation with incentives where possible.
The Department will explore creative inter-departmental co-operation in seeking to unlock potential public resources and expertise for the arts. For example, a relationship with the Department of Trade and Industry may assist in the further development of the cultural industries. Co-operation with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, particularly in the light of Satour's declaration of 1997 as the year of Culture and Tourism, will help to boost cultural tourism. The advantages of co-operating with the Department of Education in developing human resources and with the RDP in developing human resources and infrastructure, have already been dealt with.
The Ministry will devise national funding policy in consultation with the relevant provincial authorities in order to provide a provincially diverse, yet nationally coherent arts policy. This process should resource infrastructure, projects and practitioners. Provincial and local governments should provide funds on an ongoing basis to ensure sustainability as well as, where possible, additional funds for infrastructure.
It has been suggested that a percentage of funds raised through the proposed state lottery be earmarked for the arts and culture. It is the Ministry's goal to access 5% of the funds distributed through the lottery.
Discussions are taking place with the Department of Public Works to develop the possibility for art works to be displayed in public buildings. Agreement on this would open up significant opportunities for the arts community. This initiative exemplifies the commitment of the Ministry toward creating partnerships across the sectors.
In some parts of the world, tax incentives are used to induce the private sector to play a major role in developing and promoting the arts. Other measures aimed at enhancing the quality of life for communities include the requirement that large building projects allocate a small percentage of their budgets for the incorporation of artworks into the overall design, for the enjoyment of the general public.
Given the absence of specific arts related tax incentives for the private sector, government has to find other means of encouraging private sector involvement in the arts. Under present circumstances, donations made by the general public for arts and culture do not qualify for tax relief unless it can be shown that the donation is in promotion of sales advertising.
Existing law does provide some scope for dealing with other situations. Section 18A of the Income Tax Act provides for 5% of taxable income to be regarded as before tax expenditure provided it is made to an "educational fund". Such a fund (in practice frequently a trust fund) must exist for the sole purpose of receiving donations to be used exclusively for education and training purposes by universities, colleges and schools. On the other hand, Section 10(1)(fA) exempts from income tax any charitable, religious or educational institution of a public character. The Ministry will, where possible, assist cultural NGOs to utilise these provisions.
Some countries provide for tax exemption in the case of bequests of artistic or heritage items for public benefit. The Ministry will explore how the current frameworks may best be utilised for such tax efficient donations, and at the same time seek to widen tax benefits for the promotion of the arts, culture and heritage.
Cultural institutions which are currently publicly-funded would need to become more commercially driven and organised along business lines. The Ministry will seek the co-operation of the private sector in providing assistance to such institutions in their drive towards a more business-like approach.
There are numerous examples of high profile private sector involvement in the arts. The Ministry recognises though, that the private sector will become increasingly involved in the arts if they can be convinced that it will impact positively on their profits. Accordingly, the Ministry will facilitate partnerships between the private sector and cultural institutions and NGOs to explore and achieve mutually beneficial relationships. In particular, discussions are underway to establish a National Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts.
The international community
The international community has played and continues to play a major role in the reconstruction and development of South African society. Numerous foreign governments provide generous support to cultural NGOs, which has helped to ensure the survival of many into the current dispensation.
The Ministry will continue to encourage the international community to provide support to cultural NGOs and projects, but will also seek the international community's assistance in developing and training our human resources, building organisational capacity and developing infrastructure such as community arts centres, as part of a coherent plan and strategy.
Rights and status of the artist
In the past, publicly-funded cultural institutions and practices allowed, and at times encouraged the exploitation of artists. With the decline in subsidies over the years, the salaries of practitioners, technicians and administrators in arts institutions are unacceptably low.
The Ministry will encourage the creation of optimum conditions in which artists may practice their art, and enjoy their right to freedom of expression in a relatively secure working environment and with the same protection enjoyed by other workers.
Accordingly, the Ministry will encourage the review of existing legislation, especially the Performers Protection Act No. 11 of 1967 and the Copyright Act No. 11 of 1978 (and amendments). Other Acts relating to labour relations, taxation and social security also require interpretation against the particular working conditions of artists.
"A nation without a past is a lost nation. And a people without a past is a people without a soul". Sir Seretse Khama, first President of Botswana
Countries preserve their heritage through permanent collections of various kinds, and through restoration and care of sites having religious, political, cultural, scientific, archaeological or environmental significance. In so doing, they declare what has value for them, what they seek to preserve as evidence of their own as well as other's development and achievement.
Attention to living heritage is of paramount importance for the reconstruction and development process in South Africa. Means must be found to enable song, dance, story-telling and oral history to be permanently recorded and conserved in the formal heritage structure.
Heritage institutions and practitioners in these fields comprise another essential aspect of our national life. It is the policy of the Ministry to provide opportunities for equitable development of heritage programmes and institutions through redress measures and democratisation.
This section of the draft White Paper deals with the measures intended to preserve and enrich these two aspects of heritage. The Ministry is mindful of the comprehensive work carried out on this sector by the ACTAG members. The recommendations which follow serve as first steps, building on their foundation.
The Department currently provides funding for the Declared Cultural Institutions, and in so doing recognises that museums and the National Zoological Gardens have the potential to play a vital role in the development of arts, culture, heritage and science in South Africa. They provide opportunities for life-long learning which are not found at other types of public institution. Not only are their scientific resources and expertise a major national and regional asset, but they also promote tourism and other entrepreneurial activities.
The Declared Cultural Institutions are 'national' in the sense that they are budgeted for by the Department because of ad hoc decisions made in the past, but they are not all of 'national' status in terms of their collections or the services they provide. Indeed, several provincial and municipal museums are more 'national' in this respect than some of the nationally funded institutions. The Declared Cultural Institutions must therefore be evaluated according to agreed criteria of what constitutes 'national'.
There are some 400 publicly funded museums comprising small municipal institutions, provincial museum services which co-ordinate both large and small institutions, and large nationally funded museums which each attract more than half a million visitors a year. The majority of these museums are managed at local and provincial level.
The Department has also given regular financial support to seven other heritage organisations which comprise companies under Section 21 of the Companies Act of 1973. All these organisations are important elements in the strategy for development of the heritage sector.
Nonetheless, the provision of museum services has lacked co-ordination, there having been no national museum policy. Planning has been fragmented, many communities do not have access to museums, and cultural collections are often biased.
Funds are needed so that new museums and museums outside the current national network can also have access to national funding. The Ministry's policy therefore calls for transformation through a systematic process of restructuring and rationalisation.
Against this background the Department will carry out a review of the Declared Cultural Institutions as one of its most immediate tasks. The Review will be guided by the following principles:
reconceptualisation of national museums to present a nationally coherent structure
provision for a dynamic infrastructure which will allow for future inclusion of other heritage institutions
to ensure effective and efficient use of limited resources
facilitation of the sustainable development of heritage appreciation through exhibitions and focussed educational programmes
the promotion of national museums through co-operation with provincial museum structures
promotion of scientific activities in the national system of innovation.
In the interim, state-funded museums have been encouraged to redirect their outputs to new activities which reflect the overall goals of the Government. Fundamentally, allocations will become subject to performance measures.
National Monuments Council
The National Monuments Council is a statutory body which administers the National Monuments Act (Act No. 28 of 1969, as amended). Equivalent legislation was promulgated and administered by the KwaZulu Monuments Council, the Ciskei Historical Monuments Board and the Transkei Department of Education. All these acts should be incorporated into one act.
The term 'monuments' is narrow and for this reason the term 'heritage resources' is preferred. Heritage resources protected by current legislation include places of natural beauty, buildings, street landscapes, objects of historical importance, geological, palaeontological and archaeological sites and objects, rock art, shipwrecks, and graves of historical figures and of victims of conflict. The latter are administered by the War Graves Division of the National Monuments Council.
The imbalance regarding what counts as a national monument must be corrected. National monuments should not be seen in isolation, but should be identified in a systematic programme for "cultural mapping". Communities would be encouraged to locate and mark the heritage sites important to their identity. The Ministry, together with provincial counterparts, will endeavour to support communities in carrying out such audits.
The National Monuments Council will therefore be reconstituted as a division within a broader National Heritage Council (NHC). The National Monuments Act, which currently governs the National Monuments Council, will be replaced with new legislation which maximises co-ordination across all the fields of national heritage conservation. The National Heritage Council will comprise the assets, posts and resources of the National Monuments Council head office in Cape Town and the War Graves Division in Pretoria.
The National Heritage Council will act on recommendations for new sites to be declared national monuments, or for objects to be declared national cultural treasures. The protection and conservation of heritage resources is acknowledged by the Ministry as an important function of both environmental planning, urban and rural development planning.
The work of the current War Graves Division will be broadened to include the maintenance of graves of victims of conflict within South Africa, and conducted abroad by South Africa. The NHC will determine and execute national policy for graves of victims of conflict.
National Place Names Division
The existing National Place Names Committee is an advisory body which has been in operation for 53 years. It advises the Minister and the Department on the naming of places in South Africa, on the gradual correction of the spelling of geographical names, on changes to place names and on the compilation of dictionaries of geographical names.
The members of the National Geographical Names Division are appointed by the Minister and represent institutions and departments such as Telkom, the Post Office, Transnet, Surveys and Land Information, Language Services and experts from other fields.
The present mandate of the Committee is to consider proposals received from interested parties for the approval of new place names and for changing existing place names in South Africa. The Committee may also advise on the revision of names at its own initiative to keep pace with changes in spelling and styling. The principles applied take account of linguistic, historical, cultural and practical considerations to avoid duplication, offensive names or confusion between similar names.
The Ministry is convinced of the need for terminological corrections. As part of the process of transformation towards democratic decision-making, the National Place Names Committee will be renamed as the National Geographical Names Division and fall under the National Heritage Council. Its remit will be broadened through appropriate legislation. The National Geographical Names Division, in consultation with provincial authorities, will be responsible for identifying existing place names in need of revision, co-ordinating requests for advice on new geographical names, communicating decisions effectively to the relevant Ministries, the public and liaising with international organisations concerned with geographical names.
The National Heritage Council
Given the range of tasks required to transform support for heritage, and in accordance with the principles of access, redress and participation, it is proposed to establish the new National Heritage Council (NHC) as a statutory body. The Council will seek to bring equity to heritage promotion and conservation. The National Heritage Council will receive a parliamentary grant through the Department and will provide funding by transfer payments to institutions and projects under its remit. As such it would be subject to the requirements of the Reporting by Public Entities Act No. 93 of 1992. Other funding by the NHC might be through matched subsidy or core funding, depending on the resources available to applicants.
The NHC will also advise on policies for research, collections management, curation, exhibits and education, and establish such panels as may be needed to promote its mandate The Council will also play a co-ordinating and consultative role in advising on national cultural symbols.
The National Heritage Council will consist of twenty three Members: nine members with professional expertise across museums, art galleries, archives, living heritage, heritage resources, architecture, education and natural sciences, finance and law; five members of civil society, and one member nominated by the MEC responsible for cultural affairs of each province. There will be due regard to demographic, race and gender representation. Members will serve three year periods of office, renewable after a three year lapse, except that one third of the members may be immediately re-elected to maintain continuity. The NHC will itself be supported by a Chief Executive Officer and a small professional staff.
Funding requests will be divided into two groups, on-going operational and project requirements. Budgets for operational expenditure will be reviewed by the NHC, whose Board will then recommend to the Department what percentage of the amount requested should be provided to each institution. This assessment will be based on the uniform application of defined criteria, such as performance measurement and regional requirements.
Project requirements will be submitted annually, in the form of project proposals, to the NHC. These proposals will need to satisfy a number of specific criteria, such as research and educational, conservation, recreational, tourism and cultural value. Furthermore, in order for projects to qualify for Department funding, requests must be able to clearly demonstrate the national relevance of the proposed projects. All institutions will be free to pursue other projects which are not Departmentally funded. If a project which is initially funded from other sources develops to a stage where it may qualify for Department funding, the relevant institution will be able to request further funding from the NHC.
The Ministry and the NHC will establish a national initiative to facilitate and empower the development of living heritage projects in provinces and local communities. The recognition and promotion of living heritage is one of the most vital aspects of the Ministry's arts, culture and heritage policy. The aim is to suffuse institutions responsible for the promotion and conservation of our cultural heritage with the full range and wealth of South African customs.
The strategy will be to facilitate the development of a structure and environment in which projects can be initiated by communities themselves. Resources will be sought to:
record living heritage practices
develop an inventory of living heritage resources
encourage awareness programmes amongst communities whose heritage has been neglected and marginalised
encourage museums to conserve living heritage through audio-visual media.
In the planning domain, urban planners require sensitivity of the need to consult communities so that land can be set aside where needed for traditional practices such as initiation. Building regulations and standards may need adaptation so that traditional building methods, materials and house styles can be used or adapted where appropriate and so that knowledge of essential skills can be passed on to others.
The Department will liaise with the Department of Education and provincial departments responsible for cultural affairs to develop information for heritage education in school curricula and non-formal education so that students and the youth are encouraged to take pride in their own living heritage.
The Ministry and NHC will consult with practitioners and provincial heritage services to develop a strategy and code of ethics for using living heritage resources for cultural tourism. This should be done in collaboration with Satour and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The strategy should empower communities, particularly in rural areas, to promote traditional customs and performances.
Such a programme could have a ripple effect on job opportunities in the tourist industry by making marketable living heritage products such as videos, CDs, tapes, crafts and books available for sale. The cultural crafts industry will in turn have an impact on product and service development.
INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL CO-OPERATION
Against the background of a long history of cultural isolation from the rest of the World, it is the goal of the Ministry to facilitate international cultural exchange so that more South African artists take their places on the world stage,
and so that local art and artists may benefit from international experience, exposure and expertise. The fact that South African culture consists of African, Asian and European traditions links it to the rest of the world.
The imperative of the Ministry's policies for international relations is to maximise opportunities for South African arts, culture and heritage practitioners and institutions to interact with the rest of the world.
Priority areas are to:
enable administrators and managers to acquire training and experience abroad, and for research to be done into international arts and culture administration courses with a view to implementing similar courses here
enable international arts educators to play a role in the non-formal training of practitioners, administrators and arts educators in the short to medium term
enable a corps of artists in each discipline to benefit from international exchange programmes
encourage the participation of South Africans in international exhibitions, arts festivals and arts forums of note
encourage local arts institutions to host international artists-in-residence for period during which they will pass on their skills to local artists.
The NAC will liaise with international arts and culture institutions for the purposes of promotion and development.
The NHC will liaise with international heritage organisations regarding cultural sites for the World Heritage list, and other matters regarding heritage conservation.
Having returned to the community of nations, we have an opportunity carefully to consider our regional and international relations. We are of Africa, yet have poorly developed cultural relations with our neighbours, as well as our numerous partners in the South, especially Asia. In developing these new links we shall of course maintain and also extend our links with the North.
Particular attention will be given to liaison with other Southern African countries to share knowledge, training and facilities for a regional network of information on indigenous African customs and beliefs. The focus of this exchange will be to forge closer ties between South Africa and its neighbours in support of regional development and the need to create common markets and audiences for the arts, culture and heritage industries of the region.
These initiatives will link with the UNESCO World Decade for Cultural Development which ends in 1997, and the World Decade for Indigenous People which began in 1995.
We shall build on our unique convergence of cultures to develop international links for cultural exchange on the basis of mutual respect.
Africa is faced with the challenge of re-establishing itself within a rapidly changing global environment. The rich and diverse traditions of African arts, culture and heritage and their contribution to the development of world culture is universally recognised. The Ministry's policy on relations with Africa will be based on fully reintegrating South African culture with that of the continent.
South Africa's return to the Commonwealth enables it to interact with the British Isles and Canada, as well as countries in Africa, Oceania, the Caribbean and Asia. Most Commonwealth states are characterised by linguistic and cultural diversity having developed from British colonies to independence with a mixture of expatriate and indigenous cultures.
Many if not all of these countries make provision for public participation in developing and promoting their arts, culture and heritage through Councils similar to those proposed in this document. This offers an opportunity for South Africa to enter into a wide range of programmes with member states by means of bilateral agreements as well as multilateral or joint projects and programmes under the auspices of the Commonwealth Institute and other co-ordination bodies.
Official cultural policy previously favoured relations with Europe and North America which resulted in a particular bias. The Ministry's policy asserts the fact that we are an African country with many cultures and traditions, of which these tradition are an integral part. This policy therefore regards relations with these countries as essential for the continued development of our country within a framework of multi-culturalism.
Through membership and association with various multilateral organisations (UNESCO, SADC, OAU), we can make our contribution to world cultural affairs, and at the same time, benefit from international experience and expertise by becoming signatories to various international conventions on the arts and culture.
ALL OUR FUTURES
Like other aspects of our society, arts, culture and heritage must undergo a fundamental transformation if they are to achieve the vision embodied in our commitment to human dignity, the achievement of equality, and advancement of human rights and freedoms. In so doing , the basis will be laid for an exciting, vibrant artistic practice and cultural life in which artists realise their full potential, the nature of our democracy is enhanced and a better quality of life for all is attained.
By addressing seven crucial areas -
the provision of infrastructure, human resource development, greater access to public funds to support the creation and dissemination of art, the development of markets and audiences, integration with the RDP, increased funding for the arts, culture and heritage, and securing the rights and status of artists, it will indeed be possible for everyone to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, and to enjoy the arts.
Our vision is to be promoted through two new statutory bodies, charged with the responsibility for transformation and the management of funding to beneficiaries with sensitivity and accountability.
Ours is indeed no simple task, given the ease with which the arts, culture and heritage may be abused for sectional purpose. The opportunity now presents itself for us to rise above the pettiness of selfish practices. The enthusiasm with which the new national flag was greeted tells us that it is possible to find common ground. This is the essence of national reconciliation and nation building, and it is to this sentiment that the draft White Paper addresses itself.