Begrotingsposdebat: Kuns en Kultuur / Budget Vote Debate: Arts and Culture

2017-05-23
Dr Pieter Mulder

Chairperson,

Under the leadership of this minister many entities of his department moved from clean audits to qualified audits. From the taxpayer’s perspective and from a media perspective, this reflects very badly on the present minister. If I wanted to play cheap politics, I must ask that he be replaced as minister immediately. This happens easily in these days.

But that would not be fair. Why not?

Because many entities moved from clean audits to qualified audits because of GRAP 103. This accounting standard requires that everything in entities collections must be valued. An impossible task that is negatively affecting the audit outcomes of most of the entities. How do you determine the value of a collection of 1000 butterflies, or Mahatma Ghandi’s glasses?

What makes it even more unfair is that there was an exemption given to the entities by the minister of Finance (from measuring heritage assets) for the periods 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 - Government Gazette 39777. Many museums, like the War Museum of the Boer Republics that we visited as portfolio committee, received clean audit reports for all the previous years, but not for exactly that period because of GRAP 103 (heritage assets).

At the moment entities lose donations, because the donors have a policy not to donate to entities with a qualified audit.

Honourable minister, it is important that the department, the entities, National Treasury and the Auditor General come together and identify what can be done to rectify this matter.

The reed dance is an important cultural event and part of Zulu culture. King Goodwill Zwelithini asked the department that the reed dance venue be improved. (All cultural groups in South Africa have important cultural events and are asking the department for money for these events. But within limits.)

In the newspapers, we read about R132 million already spent and another R29 million budgeted by the department for this. According to the Sunday Times the new facility will cost around R1 billion. According to the Sunday Times King Goodwill Zwelithini is urging that the project must go ahead despite the price. The minister must give us the real facts.

Who is the second biggest landowner in South Africa after the government? King Goodwill Zwelithini.

King Goodwill Zwelithini receives R59 million tax payers’ money every year just for his households. The king has already been paid by the state around R550 million over the past decade. Could it not be financed from these amounts?

To be fair to the minister I must again say that he inherited this problem. He had ordered construction to stop and a forensic investigation to take place. That is positive. But if the department continue funding the building at Enyokeni, they without doubt will be setting a precedence.

(I can think of many other organisations and cultural groups that will demand the department to do the same for them as well.)

Ek kan aan baie kultuur- en ander organisasies dink, ook Afrikanerorganisasies, wat sal eis dat die departement dieselfde vir hulle doen. Om watter rede kan die minister dit nou weier?

Dit is bemoedigend dat die departement die verbetering van die situasie by PanSAT as ʼn prioriteit stel.

(It is encouraging to note that improving the functioning of PanSALB has been listed as a priority for the Department.)

Just as the previous Board was starting to have success in turning Pansalb financially around, the minister unilaterally decided to dissolve the Pansalb Board. Sir, I am still convinced it was a mistake. A mistake which puts the development of multilingualism in South Africa back many years.

I then predicted that South Africa will lose years before a new board will be appointed and be able to understand and start addressing the current problems of Pansalb.

One problem for example is the establishment of the National Lexicography Units and their position as orphans through the amended PanSALB Act of 1999.

In their wisdom, both the Review Committee on Chapter 9 Institutions and the minister of Finance in the letter to President (2003) recommended that, “Lexicography Units at PanSALB be moved to DAC”, -- but these Units are still made to be a financial responsibility of PanSALB. At the moment, they are all financially in trouble and their problems are not addressed.

Hierdie woordeboekeenhede speel so ʼn belangrike rol om al die amptelike tale van Suid-Afrika te dokumenteer, van woordeboeke te voorsien en so die taalverskeidenheid van Suid-Afrika te bevorder.

Dit lyk na net nog ʼn voorbeeld dat die regering en die departement nie regtig ernstig is oor die bevordering van Suid-Afrika se taalverskeidenheid nie.


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