Report of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on an oversight visit
from 26 - 28 July 2011, to public entities in the
The Portfolio Committee on
Arts and Culture having conducted an oversight visit to the
The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture, inspired by its Constitutional mandate and Rules of Parliament to ensure effective oversight and greater accountability of entities funded through transfers from the Department of Arts and Culture, embarked on an oversight of entities residing under the auspices of the aforementioned Government Department in the Western Cape Province for the period 26 to 28 July 2011.
2. Terms of Reference
The entities that the Committee conducted oversight over were the Robben Island Museum (RIM), Afrikaans Taal Museum (ATM), and the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA).
The objective of the oversight visit was multifold. The visit sought to ensure that:
· Entities were carrying out the mandates for which they were established.
· To improve transparency within government operations and enhance public trust in government.
· To assess whether the entities complied with Government Priorities.
· To assess the challenges that the entities were faced with.
Core to all of the above the Committee’s intention was to detect and prevent abuse, arbitrary behavior or illegal and unconstitutional conduct of the abovementioned entities.
The delegation consisted of:
Hon Ms TB Sunduza (ANC) - Chairperson and leader of the delegation
Hon Ms TE Lishiva (ANC)
Hon Ms TLP Nwamitwa- Shilubana (ANC)
Hon Mr DW Mavunda (ANC)
Hon Mr P Ntshiqela (COPE)
Hon Ms HS Msweli (IFP)
Hon Mr SZ Ntapane (UDM)
Mr G Wagner - Spokesperson of the MEC
Mr W Vrieslaar - Ministerial Staff
Mr J Van Der Westhuizen - Acting Committee Secretary
Mr V Muhadi - Committee Researcher
Ms V Magadana - Executive Secretary to the Chairperson
In 1959 the
On 4 September 1996 Cabinet
The Museum had however received
“Qualification and Disclaimer” audit opinions from the Auditor General for the
past four years. This had led
Upon arrival on Robben Island the Committee was welcomed by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr S Mkhize, who was accompanied by Mr M Llale, Chief Financial Officer; Mr L Mpahlwa Chairperson of the Sub Committee on Heritage of the Robben Island Museum Council; Advocate Ms S Goordeen, Company Secretary; Mr R Whitting, Senior Manager: Heritage Department; Mr S Khangala , Senior Manager: Marketing; Mr J Munsamy, Senior Manager: Ferries and Cargo; Mr M Mabe, Senior Manager: Human Resources; Ms N Noal, Acting Head of Department: Public Heritage Education Department; Ms N Blacky, Unit Manager: Administration Support.
The Committee was taken on a guided tour of
the Island by Mr T Mabaso who was also a political
prisoner on the
Upon conclusion, the
Mr Mkhize commented that the new Council had been very active in its participation and attendance of various programmes and activities of the Museum and that prior to his appointment Council also provided hands-on leadership.
The Chief Executive Officer
indicated that Senior Management was in the process of reviewing the
reported that the
Among the other building environment projects that the Museum has undertaken was the upgrade of the Harbor to accommodate people living with disabilities and also the restoration of the female asylum and refurbishment of the WWII guns. The first phase of the restoration of the guns was completed in March 2011.
Mr Mkhize pointed out that funding for the restoration of the bluestone quarry was in place and that he was happy to report that the restoration process would commence shortly.
The Chief Executive Officer
indicated that the
He also highlighted the
achievements of the
The Chief Executive Officer
indicated that the
The Chief Executive Officer
indicated that the Robben Island Museum Management
was looking at a clustered approach to the governance of the
Comparative studies the Chief Executive Officer indicated that the Robben Island Council was planning to visit all sites of
slavery or liberation struggles in West and
During the ensuing discussions the Committee wanted to know if the Auditor-General also conducted visits four times a year to the Robben Island Museum; What the nature of the relationship with the Department of Energy entailed; Wanted clarity on the generation of electricity on the Island; How many critically funded posts were vacant and what had been done to remedy the situation; How the Robben Island Museum was managing if they also have to attend to unfunded mandates; Whether there was a timeframe attached to the diversification of tours to Robben Island;
indicated that the Auditor General was conducting quarterly visits to the
One important group in this
respect was the “Association of True Afrikaners” that was founded in the house which
is now utilized as the
It is also the purpose of the Museum to present various aspects of the Language, its development, its variants and its character in the modern context, so that visitors could understand that it is indeed a living, growing language that is constantly adapting itself to the modern world.
The delegation was welcomed
by Mr J Louw, Chief Executive Officer of the
In a brief presentation to
the Portfolio Committee the Chief Executive Officer addressed the Committee on
the challenges that the
The lack of funds inhibited
· The Museum’s ability to employ permanent staff
· The Museum’s skills development plans
· The Museum’s marketing programmes
· The Museum’s international cooperation and representation programmes
· The Museum’s projects
He also indicated that there had been changes in Tourism trends and this had an adverse effect on the number of visitors to the Museum. He attributed the decline in visitor numbers to the recent global recession.
Mr Louw also highlighted their successes. He indicated that they have embarked on sustainable events that guaranteed income, and that they have increased visibility of the Museum through effective public relations and media exposure.
Mr Louw reported that the Museum was opening a new Interpretation Centre for the Taalmonument and that the Building Contractor would conclude building towards the end of September. He indicated that the Centre would comprise of two offices for staff members who were running operations from a wendy house at the Monument and the Taalmuseum in town. The Centre would also consist of a lecture hall that was earmarked for educational programmes and small conferences.
He also indicated that
through their “Sponsor-a-Bus”
project over 6000 School Pupils over a period of six years from as far as Vanrhynsdorp ( 273km from Paarl)
and Hawston (100 km from Paarl)
, who would not otherwise been able to visit the Taal
Museum and Monument, have experienced the trip thanks to the Museum’s
innovative “Sponsor-a-Bus” project.
This project, he said, had been made possible through generous contributions
from the National Department of Arts and Culture, the
Mr Louw indicated that transport costs have escalated drastically, in recent years, and that they had to attain additional sponsorship to ensure the sustainability of the project. In addition to aforementioned project the Museum also had various other projects that included activities for school children on Nelson Mandela Day.
Mr Louw said that the Museum offered Internships and Part Time employment to Tourism Students and that they were also fostering relations with Local and Regional Tourism Organisations.
also pointed out that the
During the ensuing discussions members were interested to know if the Taal Museum liaised with the various Universities in the country, If the Taal Museum has approached the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund for funding, If the new building would alleviate Taal Museum of some of their challenges; If the Taal Museum has approached the Director- General of the Department of Arts and Culture to request for more funds and if the Taal Museum also liaised with other Government Departments.
The Chief Executive Officer indicated that the Museum was liaising with the Department of Education and the Department of Transport. He also alluded to the inaccessibility of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund. He informed the Committee that the Museum had missed the deadlines for submission of application for funding on four occasions. He pointed out that there was a lot of uncertainty, on their part, surrounding the opening dates for the submission of application for funding from the National Lotteries.
The two offices he said would be occupied by the Marketing Manager and her Assistant. The Museum also intended utilizing one of the guides at the Monument as a receptionist. He pointed out that the Museum intends building an additional two offices at the Monument and that these would be built with the grants that the Taalmuseum received.
Members wanted to know if
the funds that the
The Chief Executive Officer reported that 75% of their budget was allocated to the payment of salaries and that the remaining 25% were utilized for the operations of the Museum. He indicated that the Museum employed 21 staff members and that 9 were professionals and 12 semi professionals. He also indicated that they currently had no disabled people in their employ. This was attributed to the fact that no persons living with disabilities have ever shown an interest in being employed by the Museum mainly due to the size of their facilities.
Mr Louw indicated that the Museum did indeed received visits from Black Schools and that their outreach programmes stretched as far as the Karoo and that all their exhibitions were offered in the three predominantly spoken languages in the Western Cape Province namely Afrikaans, English and Isixhosa. He pointed out that most High Schools that offer Tourism as a subject were targeted and that most of the District Municipalities were of immense help in that regard.
Upon conclusion of
deliberations the Committee was taken on a physical site visit of the
Ms September then guided the Committee to the top floor of the Museum. This floor she indicated presented the story and the personalities behind the development of the language. The exhibits were imaginatively presented as games, soundtracks and interactive displays. The exhibits were translated in English so speaking Afrikaans was not a prerequisite to interact with the exhibits.
The delegation then
proceeded to the
On the left (West) of the approach to the Monument stood three columns representing the languages and Cultures of Western Europe namely Dutch, French, German, Portuguese and others. The columns progressively diminished in height to express the diminishing influence of the European languages on Afrikaans.
To the right (East) of the
approach was a podium which represented the Southern tip of
further informed the Committee that where the two arcs of Western Europe and
The Malay language and
culture was represented by a wall on the stairs leading towards the Monument.
This wall was positioned between the two arcs of Western Europe and
Ms Hendriks further elaborated on the symbolism of the main column. She informed the Committee that it represented the accelerated growth of Afrikaans. The column stood in a pool of water, which further reinforced the concept of Afrikaans as a living, growing entity requiring sustenance for its continued existence. She said that the play of light inside the monument, caused by the pond and openings in the main column, symbolized the language as a “gleaming tool”
A second shorter column
4.3 The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA)
The delegation was welcomed by Ms LS Van Damme, Chief Executive Officer of the South African Heritage Resources Agency and she was accompanied by Ms JB Khumalo, Chief Financial Officer of the South African Heritage Resources Agency, Prof S Fikeni, Chairperson of the Board of the South African Heritage Resources Agency, Ms HH Gous, Executive Officer: Corporate Affairs at the South African Heritage Resources Agency, Ms B Samuels, Public Relations Officer, Mr D Sibayi , Executive Officer: Human Resources.
Chairperson of the Committee opened the meeting and indicated to the South African Heritage Resources Agency that the Committee had expressed a desire to also interact with employees to assess the conditions that they worked in. The Chairperson also indicated that the management of SAHRA should include Human Resources issues in their presentation with emphasis on the devolution process that the agency has embarked upon.
The Chief Executive Officer, Ms Van Damme indicated to the Committee that legislation prescribes that responsibilities be passed over to Provincial Agencies. Previous Council of the South African Heritage Resources Agency insisted that the Agencies previous Human Resources structure be unbundled. The Head Office of the Heritage Resources Agency previously supported Provinces. The focus of SAHRA was also diluted to take care of Provinces and that there was currently a backlog of 10 years in this regard. She also pointed out that Provinces only received R 2 million in this regard and that it posed a serious challenge, but notwithstanding the challenges there were due processes underway.
The Minister of Arts and Culture has in the meantime, at Minmec level, made it clear that Provinces should take up their mandates and set up their own Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities (PHRA’s)
Ms Van Damme pointed out that the South African Heritage Resources Agency derived its mandate from the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 and that the operationalisation of its mandate found itself in the Built Environment, Archaeology, Paleontology, Meteorites, Heritage objects, Maritime and underwater Cultural Heritage, Burial grounds and Graves Division, National Inventory, The Centre for Training Research and Education, Grading and declaration, Finance, Human Resources and their Corporate Affairs Division.
On the Finances of the SAHRA she gave a brief breakdown of the following:
· Revenue - R36 204 000
· Interest - R500 000
· Permit Fees - R12 000
· Council - R75 000
· Office of the CEO - R400 000
· Legal Office - R580 000
· Public Relations - R745 000
· Devolution Process - R400 000
· Human Resources - R1 628 000
· Corporate Affairs - R5 915 000
· Human Resources Management - R2 705 900
· Kwazulu- Natal - R130 000
· Salaries - R21 887 159
· Finance Department - R2 175 000
The Chief Executive Officer indicated that the SAHRA had a video conferencing system installed during the previous financial year to connect the satellite offices. The aim of this was to cut down on transport costs. She pointed out that the SAHRA had 36 properties under their control, but that there is a challenge in the collection of rentals and that they had a limited budget available for the maintenance of the properties.
On their National inventory Ms Van Damme indicated that a need for a digital inventory of resources in State ownership has to be developed and that the development of the South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS) would form part of the National Audit Project to serve as repository of Information collected during inventorisation. In this regard the State Information Technology Agency could assist with the identification of suitable service providers for the development of the South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS)
Ms Van Damme further pointed out that their Human Resources has since 2009 been a function on its own and that their Performance Management System has been revised and that the implementation thereof has been monitored. She also indicated that the SAHRA has embarked on a restructuring process to address devolution matters.
Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage the Chief Executive Officer indicated
that SAHRA is participating in the Department of Arts and Culture Growth
Development Plan. She indicated that there is an international agreement
Ms Van Damme further indicated they have capacitated 87 people on 3 courses and that 2 divers and 2 swimmers were trained for Underwater Cultural Heritage. She pointed out that they are also experiencing challenges in this regard and that there was a need for greater site assessments and research.
Chief Executive Officer further pointed out that the SAHRA has sent 150
Some of the challenges according to the Chief Executive Officer also included the lack of capacity and resources and that the South African Heritage Resources Agency simply had no funds to retain heritage objects that were prohibited from exportation. She attributed their failure to retain heritage objects that were prohibited from exportation, to a lack of cooperation among institutions concerned with the management of heritage objects. She mentioned that Transnet outsourced the identification and categorization of some of their disposable assets and that these assets included old locomotives. These assets were bought by wealthy corporations and private individuals and could have been utilized as a tool to create employment and thus complying with one of Government Priorities.
Van Damme indicated that the South African Heritage
Resources Agency signed a memorandum of understanding with
She indicated that some of the challenges that they were faced with entailed the transfer of assets, rights, liabilities and obligations of the South African Heritage Resources Agency to the Provinces; the establishment of the Provincial Heritage Resources (PHRA’s) by Provinces and the allocation of the necessary funds for this; finances and an Act that was not costed at the time of its promulgation.
Ms Van Damme also pointed out that the Heritage Resources Agency submitted request for funding to the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund and to the Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Public Works.
Upon conclusion of the presentation members wanted to know: If The South African Heritage Resources Agency had a working relationship with the National Heritage Council; Wanted clarity on the discrepancies in allocation of funds to the Provinces; If the Heritage Resources Agency requested funds from the Department of Public Works; What the Heritage Resources Agency was doing to empower civil society; What the Heritage Resources Agency was doing to source funds; What the Heritage Resources Agency was doing to promote careers in Heritage; What distinctions could be drawn between the mandates of the South African Heritage Resources Agency and the National Heritage Council; What the criteria for the issuing of permits were
Chief Executive Officer responded that indeed the Heritage Resources Agency
does have a working relationship with the National Heritage Council and that
The reason for the difference in funds allocated to the various provinces was that the different offices had different issues to deal with. The Chief Executive Officer pointed out that the South African Heritage Resources Agency had requested an audit of the total funds that the Agency required. The Director – General: Department of Arts and Culture has approved the request and a service provider has been appointed to cost all Heritage Agencies. There has also been a proposal by the Minister- MEC (MINMEC) that the costing should be taken to Cabinet and Treasury. She also indicated that the establishment of the Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities should be the responsibility of the Members of Executive Councils from the various Provinces. The various properties currently owned by the South African Heritage Resources Agency should also be transferred to the Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities. She indicated that the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund had allocated the Heritage Agency with a reference number for their funding request. The African World Heritage Fund was also approached for funding, but the global recession resulted in the Heritage Resources Agency being refused the necessary funding
the civil empowerment question she responded by indicating that, though the
Heritage Resources Agency was faced with budgetary constraints there were
attempts to empower civil society. She pointed out that Conservation Management
Plans involved the communities and that there was a pilot project that focused
on youth. She indicated that their Maritime week involved Grades 10-12 and that
five children per Province were afforded the opportunity to spend time on
Fikeni, Chairperson of the Board acknowledged that
there was confusion in drawing a distinction between the mandates of the South
African Heritage Resources Agency and that of the National Heritage Council. He
pointed out that it was the responsibility of the South African Heritage
Resources Agency to grade the
conclusion the Heritage Resources Agency accompanied the Committee on a site
visit to the
The Committee further acknowledged the funding challenges that the South African Heritage Resources was experiencing.
MEC of Cultural Affairs gave an undertaking to liaise with the City of
The Committee recommends that the Minister of Arts and Culture should ensure the following:
While acknowledging that the lime quarry was an environmentally sensitive area,
the Committee recommends that it be opened by the
6.2 The entities should foster stronger relations with the media and the use of social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
6.3 The National Youth Development Agency should be utilized to train young tour guides.
6.4 The National Heritage Council and the National Lotteries Distribution Fund should be approached for funding to create more programmes and projects to benefit the communities.
On Tourism which is one of the drivers of Economic Development, the
The Afrikaans Taal Museum must extend its operations
beyond the confines of the
The Museum should foster closer relations with the Provincial Education
6.9 The South African Heritage Resources Agency should create partnerships with other Government Departments.
6.10 A distinction should be drawn between the mandates of the South African Heritage Resources Agency and the National Heritage Council.
6.11 The Department of Arts and Culture and the MECs of the various provinces should resolve the issue of the Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities.
Report to be considered