Speaking notes by the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Hon. EN Mthethwa, on the occasion of the Special Adjustment Budget Vote,Parliament of RSA, Cape Town

Chairperson,

Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Honourable N Mafu,

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee,

Honourable Members,

Chairpersons and Chief Executives of Public Entities,

Distinguished Guests,

Members of the Media.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I extend my warmest greetings to all of you who have tuned in. We live in extra-ordinary times. As humanity we face unprecedented challenges brought about by the outbreak of this pandemic called COVID-19. The impact of this pandemic, can only be matched by that of Spanish Flu of 1918. In its wake, the Spanish flu claimed more than three hundred thousand lives in the Western Cape alone, that was five percent of the entire population of South Africa at the time.

Therefore, it is important for us to observe all the health protocols as outlined by the World Health Organisation {WHO} and the government to flatten the curve.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, forcing down the throat of humanity a new way of doing things, a new normal.

Under these new circumstances, we should do things differently. Government’s approach is “SAVING LIVES AND SUSTAINING LIVELIHOODS.

With strict observance of health protocols we are opening most platforms that can accommodate not more than fifty (50) people under the current environment.

As the Department we will continue with the programme sustaining livelihoods by going ahead with our flagship events using the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). This means our activities will be virtual.

Athletes.

For non-contact sport, we have resumed training and playing under strict health protocols and procedures.

For contact sport, we have engaged in a staggered process of first resuming with training. The next phase will be that of engaging in competitive activities.

The above outlined find expression in the detailed manner which we have gazetted thus far.

As we focus on the challenges at hand occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19, we have not taken our eyes off the ball as it relates to the bigger picture of transformation.

We have noted the referral back to Parliament of the two pieces of legislation Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) and Performers Protection Bill (PPB) by the President. We hope that Parliament is going to prioritize these bills.

We are still committed to ensure that the National Sport and Recreation Bill is attended too by this Parliament in the current financial year.

Nelson Mandela Day.
On the eve of Nelson Mandela Day, we laid to rest the mortal remains of the youngest daughter of the former President Mandela, Zindziswa (Zindzi) Mandela. A person who served our country with dedication. We salute her.
 
Three days ago, the world celebrated the Nelson Mandela Day. This is the day in which the world community, through the United Nations declared as Mandela Day in paying homage to this outstanding African son who contributed so much in global peace efforts and human understanding.
 
This day means, speaking out against prejudice and discrimination wherever we see their dark manifestations. It means, standing up against the indignity and deprivation that millions of our fellow human beings still suffer around the world.

The greatest tribute we can pay President Nelson Mandela is to carry on his message of hope and to continue the fierce defence of the value he stood for.

Living legends.

The financial year 2019-2020, we celebrated the lives of two living legends, they are Mama Noria Mabasa and Mama Esther Mahlangu. This is in line with our commitment to honour and celebrate the lives of our living human treasures.

The current financial year of 2020-2021 is dedicated to another two icons of our creative and cultural sector Ouma Katrina Esau and Gogo Madosini.

Ouma Katrina Esau is one of three Khoisan people alive who can fluently speak the NUU/ language. The NUU/ language is one of the Khoisan languages that is on the verge of disappearing due to the fact that it is not widely spoken in the Khoisan community who have adopted Afrikaans as their first language. She teaches the youth about the culture and traditions of the NUU/ people.

Gogo Madosini, as she is widely known is a music composer and performer who specialises in traditional isiXhosa music. Madosini is an expert uhadi, umrhubhe and isitolotolo player. Gogo Madosini manufactures her own uhadi and umrhubhe instruments from natural materials she harvest from her home villages in the Eastern Cape. She has performed her music all over the world and teaches the youth her wonderful yet rare musical skills.

We further resolved over and above recognising their contribution to the creative sector, as a token of appreciation of their contribution we will give each an amount of fifty-thousand Rands (R50 000).

 

 

Impact of COVID-19.

The government as a whole was forced to take drastic measures to mitigate the circumstances. This means one thing, that is reprioritizing the budget.

 

Because this was an unprecedented and unplanned global crisis, it meant that a significant amount of sport, arts and culture’s budget was reprioritized to contribute to the COVID-19 Relief Fund. This shift of funds has affected the Annual Performance Plan delivery targets of the department for 2020/21 financial year. This is because of the budget adjustments, as well as because of the measures of prevention of the spread of COVOID-19 pandemic. These measures of restrictions on numbers of people that can gather, the limits on inter-provincial and general travel and the need for social distancing, have led to realistic reduction of planned targets.

 

In the 2020/21 financial year the Department had an original budget of R5.7 billion and after the implementation of the Special Adjusted budget the Department has an Adjusted Appropriation of R4.7 billion.  A total amount of R1 billion has been reduced for COVID-19 purpose and the budget reductions were implemented as follows:

 

·     Compensation of Employees:  With the filling of vacancies, an amount of R10 million has been deducted out of R408 Million.

 

·     Goods and Services:  The reductions under this line item amount to R86.9 million has been deducted out of R610 929 Million, and it relates mainly on travelling costs and contractors for heritage projects, and the cancellation of major events due to the restrictions as per lockdown regulations.

 

·     Community libraries:  An amount of R312.5 million out of R1.4 Billion was reprioritized from this budget and the scaling back was on the purchase of library materials, the construction of selected new libraries and the upgrading of selected existing libraries.  In the remaining R1.1 Billion a further R10 million has been reallocated for the decontamination of community libraries and purchasing of personal protective equipment for staff to resume library activities.

 

·     Mass participation and sport development grant:  A budget reduction of R224.0 million out of R596 Million was implemented and Provinces will utilize an amount of R58.0 million for cancelled competitions to compensate the sport sector for the loss of earnings due to the restrictions on economic activity.

 

Transfer Payments: With the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) Programme and entity transfers has been scaled down by the Department.

 

·     An allocation of R95.0 million will compensate the arts and culture sector for loss of income due to the restrictions on economic activity.

 

·     Infrastructure support: The implementation of infrastructure projects at various museums and the National Archives, as well as some legacy projects, has been delayed due to the restrictions on economic activity and an amount R152.7 million has been reduced in this current financial year.

 

·     Transfers to Heritage Institutions, MGE and Individual Public Entities: The operational transfer payments of R82.1 Million has also been reprioritized.

 

·     Transfer payments: The reduction of Cultural and Creative Industries Development transfers to households, non-profit institutions and private enterprises due to the restrictions on economic activity, a budget cut of R28.1 million has been implemented.

 

·     Recreation Development and Sport Promotion Programme: The various activities were suspended, including lovelife programmes due to delays in infrastructure projects at community arts centres, as well as suspensions on goods and services and other transfer payments. An amount of R72.0 million will compensate the sport sector at national level for the loss of earnings due to the restrictions on economic activity.

 

COVID19 Pandemic affects on ACPD programme

Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected the arts and culture sector in that many planned programmes were to benefit the practitioners and their livelihoods. Many of them lost economic opportunities that they would usually enjoy through participating in cultural staging of events, training and leading in promoting community and social cohesion. This was largely exacerbated by the closing of theatres, galleries and performing arts institutions during lockdown. The expenses related to acquisition or inaccessibility virtual technical ways of presenting their work, as alternative media, was also not of assistance to many practitioners due to their lack of finances.  

 

Heritage Promotion and Preservation.

The programme like the rest of other branches has had substantial budget reductions from its baseline allocations as part of the reprioritization process to redirect and contribute funds to the COVID-19.

 

Amongst the sub-programmes are the following:

·     R2 054 000 has been cut from the R3 000 000 Heritage Policy budget.

·     R2 380 000 has been cut from R6 590 000 Bureau of Heraldry budget.

·     R2 229 000 has been cut from R3 552 000 Living Heritage budget.

·     R2 432 000 has been cut from R5 107 000 South African Geographical Names Council budget.

·     R4 209 000 has been cut from R10 172 000 Heritage Promotion budget.

 

·     The Department in cooperation with the Provincial Departments will continue to provide financial support toward the construction of 12 new libraries through the Community Library Conditional Grant instead of the planned 32 and 45 upgrades. The delivery of public library infrastructure provides a solid foundation for socially cohesive communities and life-long learning.

 

·     The allocated budget for the National Archives building project for the current financial year is R65 million. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the budget has been cut by R30 million.

 

·     An amount of R312 million has been reduced from the Community Library Conditional Grant for the 2020/21 financial year. These funds were earmarked for infrastructure projects, procurement of library material, ICT infrastructure and equipment. As a result the remaining grant funding will focus on compensation of employees and contractual obligations.

 

Circumstances imposed by the outbreak forces us to further tighten our belts in the effort to save lives and create conditions for the sustainability of lively-hood beyond the pandemic. All hands on deck.

 

I thank you for your attention.

 

SRSA has many events happening throughout out the year and we need volunteers!

Major Stakeholders