Registration of Cultural Councils with the Western Cape Cultural Commission
The Western Cape Cultural Commission is a statutory body consisting of members nominated by the public, short-listed by a standing committee of the Western Cape parliament and appointed by the minister responsible for Cultural Affairs.
One of the aims of the Cultural Commission is to give effect to article 70 of the Constitution of the Western Cape that states the following: "Provincial legislation must provide for the establishment and reasonable funding, within the Province's available resources, of a cultural council or councils for a community or communities in the Western Cape, sharing a common cultural and language heritage."
With regard to cultural councils, the following vision, mission and strategy have been drawn from the Western Cape Cultural Commission and Cultural Councils Act (Act 14 of 1998).
To encourage the multicultural democratic community of the Western Cape to:
- Respect cultural diversity.
- Create an appropriate climate for the preservation, promotion and extension of culture.
- The arts and literature.
- Modes of life.
- Fundamental rights of the human being.
- Value systems.
To implement its vision, the Western Cape will:
- Protect and promote rich cultural diversity.
- Encourage an interplay between cultural communities.
- Extend international cultural contacts between Western Cape and overseas.
- Promote involvement of youth in culture in the Western Cape.
- A voluntary association of persons.
- Based on the principle of freedom of association.
- Representative of a community or communities sharing a common cultural and language heritage.
- Established for a community or communities in the Western Cape.
In terms of Chapter 2, section 19 of the Act, a registered cultural council may, inter alia, decide to:
- Preserve, promote and develop culture in the community or communities it represents.
- Monitor, investigate, research, provide education on, solicit support for and advise and report to the Cultural Commission on cultural matters in the community or communities it represents.
- Report to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, as established in terms of section 185 of the Constitution, any matter relating to the constitutional and other rights of the community concerned.
- At the request of the Western Cape Provincial Government or of local authorities in the Western Cape, furnish advice on any culturally related matter.
- As it deems fit, establish contact with other cultural groups in the Western Cape, other provinces and other countries.
- Report any cultural threat to the Cultural Commission for possible investigations and proposed solutions.
- Apply to the Cultural Commission for financial support for:
- Culturally related projects.
- The holding of conferences.
A cultural council:
- Must be accountable for any funds received from the Cultural Commission.
- Must be responsible for its own administration work.
- Cannot claim remuneration for its members from the Cultural Commission or the provincial department responsible for cultural affairs for performance of its functions.
The function of a cultural council is therefore to create a formal structure that will identify and disseminate the interests of a community with a strong cultural focus. By registering, these interests will be made known to the Western Cape Cultural Commission, as well as national, provincial and local government. In return, the cultural council may apply to the WCCC for funding to promote itself through cultural projects, research and conferences.
The purpose of registering cultural councils is to help the Western Cape Province define its cultural diversity and character.