Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
2021/22 Financial Year Budget Speech
30 March 2021
Good day, molweni nonke, goeiemôre
Speaker, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown regulations have impacted our social, economic and personal worlds and forced us to think, function and embrace the new environment. The demands and needs of the past financial year have indeed imposed physical distancing and the use of technology in order to execute our mandate and remain relevant in this evolving digital environment. However, Speaker, it has also allowed us to reimagine our present and in turn future to socially connect and with imagination comes hope and in times of despair, hope is all we need.
The work of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) is aligned to all the strategic priorities of the Western Cape Government, inclusive of VIP 1: Safe and cohesive communities; VIP 2: Growth and jobs; VIP 3; Empowering people; VIP 4: Mobility and spatial transformation and VIP 5: Innovation and Culture, and with the R897 510 000 (897 million 510 thousand rand) appropriated for the 2021/22 financial year, the Department will focus on service delivery to all who call the Western Cape home, guided by the provincial and departmental Strategic Plan.
Speaker, the effects of the Coronavirus had significant social and economic impacts on the sectors we serve. The restriction of gatherings brought about by the lockdown regulations therefore had a devastating impact on the sport, arts and culture sectors which resulted in the cancellation or postponement of planned events in the 2020/21 financial year. The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in a loss of income and opportunities for the sport community, most prominently on individual athletes; limited opportunities for creatives to generate an income especially in the gig and live performance economy, and as such a loss of income for creatives along the entire value chain of the Cultural and Creative economy. These will have a ripple and lasting effect on the sport, arts and culture sectors over the 2021 MTEF.
The 2021 MTEF budget is therefore premised on prioritising the recovery of our sectors by aligning it to the Western Cape Recovery Plan in the areas of Jobs, Safety and Wellbeing and Dignity. Youth employment will be at the heart of the Department’s plans to contribute to the reduction of unemployment rates amongst youth in the province. The Department will leverage the whole of society through the Year Beyond, MOD and EPWP programmes. To achieve this, the Department will partner with donors, NGOs, Government, Schools, learners, parents and unemployed youth, to address social and economic challenges.
The Department is committed to execute its mandate and achieve its goals, despite the fiscal challenges that has seen a decrease of R42.858 million in our Compensation of Employees budget for the 2021/22 financial year. The overall budget decreased by R34.906 million compared to the indicative/baseline allocation in the 2020 MTEF. The following additional allocations were received for the 2021/22 financial year, in the areas of Library and Archive Services:
- R38.5 million to augment the Conditional Grant allocation in support of the Public Library Service. In the 2020/21 financial year, the Conditional Grant was reduced by R34.700 million by the national Department of Sport, Arts and Culture;
- R1.5 million to conduct research on a sustainable public library services delivery model; and
- R1.350 million for the implementation of a new Archives Website to enable researchers to access archival records online.
Western Cape Archives and Records Service
Speaker, our Archives and Records Service draws researchers from all over South Africa and the world, searching for information contained in our archival records. These Researchers range from academic and scholarly researchers to members of the public researching their respective family histories. For all the years, these researchers had to visit our repository in Cape Town to consult the records. I am excited to announce that the Department will be implementing an Archives website that will empower the public to conduct online research from anywhere in the world, thereby reducing, or in some cases eliminating the need for accessing the original master record. This website will enhance access to archival records and further contribute to social inclusion as any researcher looking for information will have equal access to records. Access to information will be improved, this being a big step towards universal access to archival records. Provision of online access will save time and costs for researchers, bridge the geographical barrier, and protect archival records from further damage resulting from physical handling.
Speaker, this year we will celebrate the Annual Archives Awareness Week in June, themed #EmpoweringArchives. It will indeed highlight the role of archives in empowering accountability and transparency, through access to information for holding governments accountable and ensuring that citizens know and can protect their rights.
Speaker, this coming financial year, the Provincial Archives and Records Service will continue the Records Management programme which assists governmental bodies, including municipalities, to manage records to improve accountability and good governance. Proper Management and care of public records has been in the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new way of work is centered around access to documents and records as the Records Management and Enterprise Content Management sections have played a huge role in this regard. Documentary heritage will also be an important and reliable resource to provide a historical perspective on how governments, their citizens and the international community addressed the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaker, motivated by our very own local poet and internationally renowned social philosopher hailing from Mitchell’s Plain, Athol Williams reminds that “Libraries are places of possibility…having access to a range of books of stories and ideas is exhilarating, like entering a garden with plentiful flowers and fruit. But there is also possibility in quietness…sitting at a table in thought, dreaming, surrounded by books…nothing beats a library”, the department continues to support and develop the biggest provincial library service in the country with 374 library service points.
We provide library service points in most of the very small rural communities of a few hundred people or more. Most of the small rural library centres are provided with free internet through the Rural Library Connectivity Project (RLCP). To increase free access to the needed gainful opportunities, we will have 229 rural libraries connected to the internet in the new financial year. Speaker, in many of these communities it is the only internet available.
To ensure blind and visually impaired people across the province have access to internet and reading material free of charge, the department in collaboration with the South African Library for the Blind, has established 27 Mini libraries for the blind facilities in existing public libraries, spread across the rural areas with an active membership of 167. In the coming financial year, we will continue to roll-out this much needed service across the province.
We are happy to announce that we will also be rolling out an e-book service for all our public library members in the province. The procurement of this service has just been concluded and an announcement will be made about the details shortly. This will enable our users to access library material from home or anywhere in the world with their Western Cape and City of Cape Town public library membership numbers.
Speaker, affiliated museums play a crucial role towards transformation of the heritage landscape and promoting social inclusion in the province. The unprecedented actions taken to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in the complete closure of museums since 23 March 2020 to 6 July 2020. Affiliated museums only received permission from the national Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture to re-open in late August 2020 during the lockdown level 3. Museums lost significant amounts in revenue with each passing day of the national lockdown. However, Speaker, museums in the Western Cape rose to the challenge as far as possible and entered the virtual space of publicly accessible, timed, online exhibitions and events which was new territory for many of them. While these online exhibitions and events ensured that the public still had access to the museums during the lockdown and positioned the museums well for visitors during the future recovery phase of the pandemic, it did not take care of the lost opportunities in revenue from people visiting museums via entrance fees. In order to ensure that museums in the Western Cape were able to access relief funding for the loss of revenue I approved COVID-19 Relief Funding for museums to the value of R 1, 305 million in 2020/2021. 19 museums across the province successfully applied, including non-affiliated museums such as the District Six Museum.
In 2021/2022 the department will make available R 6, 457 million towards annual subsidies for Province-aided Museums and R 393 000 towards annual grant-in-aid for Local Museums. These contributions will ensure that affiliated museums remain open to the public despite the economic devastation resulted from the COVID-19 lockdown.
We will continue our Human Remains Reburial Programme as it is a significant series of reburials of human remains that are in museums affiliated to the Department. In our departmental Guidelines for the Management and Reinterment of Human Remains and Associated Archaeological Remains, the preamble emphasises that museums are not appropriate institutions to hold human remains whether archaeological of historical. Regardless of how these were acquired, where such exists, proactive steps must be undertaken to ensure the deaccessioning where they are in collection and reburial of human remains. Aligned to these guidelines, we are now regulating our museums by handing over the remains to community representatives to be buried with the dignity and respect it deserves.
In the 2021/22 financial year, the department will ensure that human remains situated at Genadendal Museum is accordingly buried with appropriate dignity. In addition, to create an enabling environment to reduce unemployment, the department will make available R3. 589 million of the provincial equitable share towards the creation of EPWP job opportunities at affiliated museums across the province.
In terms of Heritage Resources Management, the Department will develop a world-class tourism experience at the prospective World Heritage Site of Diepkloof Rock Shelter and the related Elands Bay Museum serving as an interpretation centre, as part of the archaeological and palaeontological heritage tourism route, known as the Cradle of Human Culture.
Heritage Western Cape plays a critical role in the identification, conservation, promotion and management of heritage resources in the province. The department continues to support the work of its entity Heritage Western Cape through an annual transfer payment of R550 000. Speaker, we commend Heritage Western Cape for successfully shifting its processing of permit applications online within a week of the initiation of the national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and have continued the work of its committees and Council over the 2020/2021 financial year processing 1992 applications up until early March 2021. They indeed play a regulatory role in ensuring an efficient and effective system of heritage resources management. The work of the Fixed Capital and Property Development War Room identified the need for greater capacitation of the entity in its Pilot Phase which started in 2019. It is against this backdrop that Heritage Resources Management within the Department has been provided with earmarked funding for the capacitation of 15 additional posts, seconded to the entity. Earmarked funding comprises of R7.119 million in 2021/22, R7.475 million in 2022/23 and R7. 804 million in 2020/24.
Arts, Culture and Language
Speaker, we experienced during the past year, that growth, innovation and creativity are the best antidote to poverty and the need to remodel our operational boundaries became imminent.
The arts, culture and language programmes scheduled for the past financial year was profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown regulations as they could not be implemented for almost 6 months of the year. It resulted in many arts and culture organisations having to review the roll out of their yearly programmes, some cancelled and suspended their activities whist more resourceful organisations adapted and changed their approach.
Despite the challenges, the department supported 75 NPC/NPO organisations to an amount of R11.9 million during the 2020/21 financial year. Further the department developed a COVID-19 Relief Fund Strategy to provide relief to the creative industry and a total amount of R4.5 million was allocated to support 598 vulnerable artist and organisations. In addition, the department revised the NGO Funding Policy to accommodate the complete value chain in the arts. Speaker, the new policy is more inclusive and reflective of the myriad of art forms and individuals involved in the arts discipline.
For the 2021/22 financial year, in keeping with the current milieu, an online application process was developed for NPO’s to apply for funding support, we received 300 applications from all corners of the province. A total of R20.4 million was budgeted to support organisations in the arts and culture sphere. In the quest to promote and develop previously diminished indigenous languages to promote multilingualism, the department in partnership with the University of the Western Cape and Heal the Hood will commence a process to develop a Kaaps – English Bilingual Dictionary for Multilingual Speakers in South Africa. This initiative will attempt to develop linguistic and literacy resources for Kaaps speakers in South Africa and specialised training and workshops for the development of the Kaaps – English terminology will be rolled out. The process is planned to be rolled out over a four-year period and a total of R360 000 has been allocated towards the outcomes of the first phase. To promote the equal use of the three official provincial languages, we will continue to monitor the implementation of the Western Cape Language Policy by provincial departments and institutions in the province. We have circulated a survey to all provincial departments in March 2021 and will follow-up with onsite visits to establish the level of implementation of the Western Cape Language Policy. A report on these findings will be tabled.
On 24 March 2021, the Cabinet of the Western Cape agreed to lift the suspension of traditional male initiation rite of passage subject to the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the approval of the Western Cape Risk Adjusted Plan by the National Minister of Traditional Affairs. The Western Cape Province prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was regarded as one of the best provinces in the country due to its low rate of fatalities and incidences among initiates. Our province had a 99.1% success rate. To maintain this significant trend of dignified wellbeing, a road map for initiation practice was curved and one of the key interventions towards ensuring a safe rite of passage under COVID-19 conditions, is the training of traditional surgeons and careers. It is aimed at training 330 cultural practitioners before the opening of the traditional schools in June 2021.
A total of R2.3 million is allocated for the promotion and development of the performing arts in all districts and metros in our province. This year will also see the roll-out of the Artist in School Programme which serves to provide learners at identified schools with formal music and dance lessons. It will also impart teaching skills for artist involved in the programme. With our Managed Network Approach, we envisage expanding our reach and increase the impact of our programmes.
Speaker, this financial year will also be the end of the three-year term for both Public Entities; The Western Cape Cultural Commission and The Western Cape Language Committee.
Sport and Recreation
Speaker, our Sport and Recreation Directorate has also worked around the clock this past year to proactively respond to the unprecedented circumstances with innovative solutions as we understand that sport and recreation promote an ethos of lifelong activity and foregrounds social inclusion, wellness and expose youth to an environment that provides a healthy alternative to the social ills plaguing our society.
As COVID-19 dramatically affected the hosting of events, many events innovatively took on a virtual or hybrid format. While the industry may take 2 to 3 years to recover, the DCAS Major Events Component will continue to create space for sport tourism throughout the province by assisting federations to host inter-district, inter-provincial and international events in the Western Cape. In so doing Speaker, the events contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the province but more importantly provides temporary jobs in the regions they take place.
The Department has also allocated R 6. 587 million to fund sport federations in all 6 districts of the province in the 2021/22 financial year with administration, development and capacity building support.
Speaker, our Sport Promotion Directorate is serious about transformation within in sport and assisting marginalised groups by:
- Supporting DISWEC with R150 000
- R100 000 in transfers and a further R130 000 made available under goods and services for Disability Sport.
- An allocation of R 250 000 was made available for capacitating Women in Sport while R304 000 is available for Sport Legends for the 2021/22 financial year.
- The academy system will continue supporting 210 athletes in the six district academies, including the support to Paralympians residing in the Western Cape.
- As we build-up to the 2023 Netball World Cup, we have prioritized upgrading and providing Netball facilities across the province in support of the much-needed Legacy Project to increase access to the code to optimize our pool of talent for participation at higher levels of excellence.
Currently, 180 clubs have been supported through our Club Development Programme which includes clubs from rural and farming communities. Clubs in the programme have been assisted with transport, registration fees, capacity building courses, equipment and apparel. In addition, the Rural Sport development programme has been supported at a grassroots level through leagues and knockout tournaments, with the aim of reviving the interest in sport and unearth talent in the rural areas, with special focus on farming communities, thus creating an enabling environment for formal sports participation.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sub-directorate struggled to drive, support and assist various structures with the implementation of their activities. These activities would have included Indigenous Games activities, Golden Games activities, Big Walks, Recreation Centres activities, Wellness activities and the Youth Camp project. As these activities were cut by the national government, the sub-directorate supported and assisted where needed with the COVID-19 related tasks. These tasks included but were not limited to the humanitarian relief, feeding and assisting schools across the province. At the community level, the sub-directorate assisted by educating communities about cleanliness, social distancing and adherence to the lockdown alert levels.
After School Programme
As lead Department for the After School Programme the Department is extending After School Programmes to no and low fee learners across the province, professionalising the sector, upskilling practitioners and developing quality programme norms and standards. With the closure of schools in 2020, the programme adapted to provide @home physical learning resources for learners and online portals for practitioners. We have also used the opportunity to rethink how we work with the education eco-system, engage parents and educators and build peer networks. The afterschool sector has also played a key role in food relief. In the last year we set up an online portal and training and this will be further strengthened with the allocated R3.144 million for the 2021/22 financial year.
The YeBo Programme provides almost 500 volunteers per annum with experience and training, and 6 000 learners with academic support in literacy and numeracy and life skills in the 2020/21 year. Despite the pandemic, YeBo has expanded to include a data admin stream, Scouting in schools, @home learning and 10000 Stories Activators. In 2021/22 we hope to reach almost 1 000 youth and 10 000 learners to strengthen the capacity of the youth office to provide holistic support to youth on the programme, as well as pathway support to those exiting.
The MOD Programme continues to create an enabling environment through its MOD Centres. The implementation of the strategies developed to promote regular and consistent sport, arts and culture activities in the afterschool space is an ongoing process. Although these strategies have proven effective in some instances, progress is hindered by the lack of facilities, support from stakeholders, inadequate feeding, and because the programme leans heavily on voluntary attendance of learners. The promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, lifelong activity and environmental awareness and the infusion of life skills in all activities are part of the ethos within the MOD Programme and for this we will go the hard yards to improve as learners are increasingly exposed to next level participation and talent identification through school leagues and the growth of the Neighbouring Schools Programme.
A greater focus has been placed on good governance in the established clusters in the 2020/21 financial year, aligned to the education districts across the province. A more integrated approach has been adopted, with a focus on management of districts/ clusters, in order to ensure improved co-operation with the relevant stakeholders and role-players. This was especially required due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with new challenges faced. We continue to operate in twelve (12) clusters across the eight (8) education district and have separate clusters in the Garden Route district and Central Karoo education district, due to the vast distances between these districts.
Speaker, when it was safe to do so, talent identification (TID) was done in each district cluster group, that culminated in provincial activities in the third and fourth quarters. Due to COVID-19, no national competitions took place in the current financial year. However, we continued to focus on the strengthening of our relationship with provincial federation structures, as well as provincial code specific School Sport structures relevant to the 16 priority codes. This especially took place in the focus codes, which participated in provincial talent identification activities. Due to COVID-19 regulations, we mainly focused on non-contact codes such as softball and volleyball. This was done through regular interaction with the afore-mentioned structures. Learners were provided with Sport, arts and culture activities, albeit limited due to COVID-19, via talent identification opportunities to participate in the next level activities. This next level participation focused on learner access to code- and genre- specific activities, which in turn led to code- and genre-specialisation opportunities for the relevant school-going child. As indicated, this was limited to non-contact codes, as well as Arts and Culture genre, including dance, drama, juggling and music.
Speaker, as can be seen in the very little I could mention given the time limitation, during tough times with a constrained budget the DCAS is a formidable team with a clear sense of purpose. The work we do is not about us and has never been, and on that we are all clear. As we bid farewell to our HOD, the efficient, effective and brilliant Brent Walters, I can assure you that this will not change as he departs as it is testament to his leadership of this awe-inspiring team, united in our diversity, driven by our vision of a socially inclusive, active and connected Western Cape. We will support the new HOD as we have supported him as we understand our purpose and are resolute in our resolve to serve the people of the Western Cape with hope through sport and cultural affairs.
I thank you.