Budget speech for Mpumalanga Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation presented by MEC MNS Manana
18 May 2012
Members of the Executive Council,
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee,
Ladies and gentlemen.
I feel humbled today to present the Budget Debate of Vote 11 (Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation). The department is given the responsibility to deal with issues which constitutes the cornerstone of our communities. These are issues without which, our communities can perish. There is no doubt that national building; social cohesion and cultural diversity constitute an embodiment of whom we are, what our aspirations are, where we come from and consequently our future.
Honourable Speaker, the issues mentioned above defined the nucleus of the struggle against apartheid, struggle against racism, sexism, discrimination and domination. This was the struggle for national liberation. This year the governing party celebrate its centenary; marking the achievements made so far but also acknowledging that the struggle continues for we are not yet totally emancipated
We are guided by the principles of the Freedom Charter and consequently the Constitution of the country. We remain the torch bearers and vanguard of the transformation of the cultural landscape of the province. As we do that we engage with both the tangible and intangible things.
During the 2011/12 financial year the department was allocated a budget of R373.102 million to implement programmes on culture, sport and recreation. It would be in order Honourable Speaker to give a summary on how this appropriation was spent.
Construction and upgrading of libraries
One of priorities of the department for the previous financial year was the implementation of infrastructure projects. The construction of both the Hluvukani and Botleng libraries has been completed. The communities from these areas will now be able to access library services closer to where they are staying. We procured 47,020 library materials to improve the situation in our libraries but also to transform the library material so that they are relevant to the demographics of the province and country. Honourable Speaker, in order to be relevant to the digital age, 105 public libraries were provided with internet access.
This will allow patrons and friends of the library to access more information as they seek to develop and empower themselves. R29.922 million has been set aside for the 2012/13 financial year to complete the construction of libraries in Masoyi, Libangeni, Perdekop, Driefontein and Klarinet.
This process will also see the completion of upgrading projects in Shatale, Middelburg and Ermelo. We have ensured that as we construct these libraries, the prioritised Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) areas are given attention. Further, R11 million has been budgeted to install Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in public libraries for accessing internet, new library system called Sita Library and Information Management System and IT software and hardware.
Establishment of a cultural hub
Honourable Speaker, we now live in a highly economised culture, one that has accommodated class, division of labour and instrumental rationality to a greater degree. This on its own has a detrimental effect on culture and the moral fabric of societies. This is too narrow a view of modernity as the dominant focus on capitalism and the public sphere overlooks important aspects of contemporary society. South Africa is a developmental state not aspiring to result into a dependent state but which will have some form of modernisation. Be that as it may, modernisation will have to give due regard to our culture and fabric of our society. Our culture defines us.
Honourable Speaker, our comprehension of cultural heritage is captured in various ways and also explained in different forms. Former President Thabo Mbeki captured the imagination of the whole nation in May 1996 when addressing the National Assembly through his infamous statement "I am an African".
But also the coat of arms and national symbols takes this a step further. Our contribution to this understanding of cultural heritage was the establishment of the Mpumalanga Cultural Hub.
This project will cater for the promotion through the arts, of free and creative expression of our cultures. At the core of this would be the development and promotion of excellence in the arts. The Cultural Hub will cater for music and opera, film, literature, visual arts, craft, theatre and musical theatre, etc.
It should be indicated that the Cultural Hub is directly linked to the Mzansi’s golden economy strategy aimed at enhancing the sector’s contribution to the government effort to create job opportunities.
The Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation has engaged the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport to facilitate the process of land acquisition. The legalities and land acquisition processes are underway and should be completed shortly. The Mpumalanga Cultural Hub will be established in the Ehlanzeni District. In short, for the 2012/2013 financial year focus shall be on finalising the architectural design and building plans. A budget of R27 million for both the land and planning has been set aside.
Mpumalanga high altitude training centre
Honourable Speaker, last year I announced that government was going to start with Phase I of the process of establishing a High Altitude Training Centre at the Emakhazeni Municipality. Today, I am glad to report that we have already purchased the land where the High Altitude Centre is going to be built. Over and above this, the following milestones amongst others have been achieved: The Independent Development Trust has been appointed as the Implementing Agent, the conceptualisation and design process are in progress, and the environmental impact assessment is also in progress.
Phase II of the project have commenced and the concentration is the installation of offsite infrastructure, the completion of the social and economic studies, appointment of professional team and the completion of the architectural designs.
Sport and recreation
Last year the national Department of Sport and Recreation convened a national Sport and Recreation indaba attended by all sport and recreation stakeholders. This was a watershed Indaba as it was able to adopt and produce far reaching resolutions relating to amongst others: sport quotas, school sport, infrastructure development, etc...
As a consequence to these resolutions; school sport was elevated as a theme for 2012/2013 financial year for the country. Further, the Director-General of Department of Basic Education, Mr P B Soobrayan has issued a notice to all schools to register and participate in physical education. To effectively facilitate the implementation of the school sport programme in the province, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation and the Department of Education is being drafted and will be finalised soon and a provincial technical task team has been put in place.
We have started the process of registering all the 1 846 schools in the province and so far 792 schools have registered. Currently arrangements are being made with respective federations to sign an agreement so that there is cordial relationship as we endeavour to successfully achieve the desired goals. The prioritised sporting codes for the school sport programme are Athletics, Football, Netball, Rugby and Cricket.
Due to the fact that the School Sport programme is intensive, the provincial technical task team will be responsible for establishing and coordinating the roll-out of the league systems at all levels, culminating into the national school Olympics and top school league.
We are going to train 880 educators and volunteers as coaches, technical officials and team managers in code specific technical matters. In order to be able to coordinate this programme, a budget of R19 million has been set aside.
Honourable Speaker, the national Department of Sport and Recreation together with the South African Local Government Association and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as part of the Sport and Recreation Indaba Resolutions, will be convening a Municipal Sport and Recreation conference from the 28th to 29th May 2012.
This conference will provide an opportunity for Sport and Recreation South Africa to present the national Sport and Recreation Plan to all Municipalities of the country. The conference is aimed at resolving on measures to address the issues of funding of sport facilities, Access to Sport and Recreation facilities, norms and standards of Sport and Recreation facilities and Municipal Games and the Pathways of Teams and Athletes that participates in these games.
Honourable Speaker, Mbombela Stadium has continued to host high level matches and other events. We have experienced the hosting of Bafana Bafana, Premier Soccer League (PSL), Nedbank finals and Rugby matches. Once more, the people of this province, more especially the soccer loving family have been recognised by the South African Football Association. This recognition is due because of the support given to high level matches by people of this province. The Mbombela Stadium has been chosen amongst the stadiums that will be hosting the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013. We take this moment to salute people like Manyovu Mnisi who, together with other soccer loving fans, work tirelessly to ensure support to all sport activities taking place at the stadium. Siyabonga Manyovu!!
We are excited by these developments and we commit to galvanise all stakeholders to ensure that not only do they support these games but also, the games are held in a safer and peaceful environment. These games without any fear of contradiction will have a positive injection in the economic activities of the province and hope our people more especially the small enterprises will benefit from these games.
Honourable Speaker, the third largest marathon in the country (the Loskop Marathon) was held on the 21 April 2012 starting from Middelburg to Loskop. This is a 50km and 21km race funded mainly by the department attended by a record breaking number of athletes (5300).
The male record was not broken again this year but the female record was broken by Tabitha Tsatsa from Zimbabwe who walked away with the bonus prize of R100 000. Over and above the funding given as a sponsor, the department also supported 200 athletes from disadvantaged communities to participate in this event.
Sakhile Zimbiri and Derick Mtsweni got position 3 and 5 respectively in the 21km race for Junior Male, while Marie-Louise Zikalala, Smangele Mahlalela and Nomcebo Makua got position 3, 4 and 5 in the 21km race for Junior Female. These young kids represent future runners of the province and we are confident that in the near future they will be champions in the long distance marathon. Congratulations, I am informed that they are in the gallery.
The programme of ensuring that the sport federations in the province comply with the transformation charter is well on course. During this financial year, nine (9) federations namely; football, netball, rugby, cricket, athletics, chess, basketball, gymnastics and volleyball will be assisted and monitored to ensure that they comply.
Through our recreation programmes, the department will, in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Development implement the golden oldies games meant for the aged. This programme will be implemented in all the municipalities. We have a soccer team of the golden oldies in the gallery.
The Indigenous Games are beginning to be one of the popular recreation activities in the country. This year the TAFISA International Indigenous Games will be held in Russia and Mpumalanga as part of the national team, will send the Jukskei team because they won a Gold Medal during the 2011 National Indigenous Games. A budget of R8.5 million has been set aside for the Siyadlala Games and the Hubs this year.
Honourable Speaker, following our successful bid to host the 2012 World Gold Panning Championships in Italy in 2009, the department in partnership with the South African Gold Panning Association (SAGPA), sent delegates led by MEC MNS Manana to participate in the 2011 Gold Panning Championships in Poland, as well as to host the South African Hospitality event. This gave South Africa an opportunity to showcase the country and Mpumalanga in particular as a tourist destination of choice and guaranteed the world our readiness to host the 2012 World Gold Panning Championships in Pilgrims Rest.
I am glad to announce that at the end of September and early October 2012, we are expecting the 20 member countries of the World Gold Panning Association to converge on our shores. Our historic town and tourism icon of Pilgrim Rest will be abuzz with gold panning enthusiasts and supporters. During the event, they will have an opportunity of sampling our culture, cuisine, interaction with our people and our beautiful tourist attractions. We hope to present an event of a standard that would make us proud as a country.
Honourable Speaker, in order to cherish our future, we need to cherish our history first. The past is all around us. We live our lives against a rich backdrop formed by historic buildings, landscapes and other physical survivals of our past. But the historic environment is more than just a matter of material remains. It is central to how we see ourselves and to our identity as individuals, communities and as a nation.
It is a physical record of what our country is and how it came to be. Historic landscapes or iconic buildings can become a focus of community identity and pride. At a more local level a historic church or park can help define a neighbourhood and create a sense of local cohesion.
The work done since democracy was ushered, bear testimony to the fact that the importance that we continue to attach to our heritage is growing. The South African Liberation Struggle constitutes an important chapter in the history of this country.
In early March this year, the department supported the Nkangala District in unveiling a monument at the Delmas Magistrate Court in commemoration of the Delmas Treason Trial. The event culminated in a memorial lecture highlighting the events that transpired during the trial as well as testimonies of the struggle heroes who were involved.
Under the auspices of the same Liberation Heritage theme, the department officially opened the Nomoya Masilela Museum in Bethal on the 28th March 2012. The museum constitutes of an exhibition about our liberation Icon "The Lion of the East", Gert Sibande and the Potato boycott. Schools and communities are urged to visit the museum as it is now deemed to be more reflective of the inclusive histories of our people and country.
Indeed the highlight of our celebrations of our liberation icons was when we unveiled the approximately four and a half-life size statue of Dr. Pixley Ka Isaka Seme in Daggakraal on the 31st of March 2012.
In the current financial year (2012/2013), as an initiative to ensure that we cover a significant ground of this history, the department wishes to conduct research for identification, recording and production of a comprehensive research report on the hitherto undocumented sites relating to the liberation heritage. To this end we will engage the national Department of Arts and Culture and the National Heritage Council to solicit the necessary funding to complete this research as they are the drivers of the National Liberation Heritage Route Project.
The department will continue in its quest with the Indian government to ensure their involvement in our attempt to recognise, honour and celebrate the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the liberation of our country through the establishment of an exhibition at the Volksrust prison cell.
Under the theme of Liberation Heritage, the department will this year commission a theatrical production that will be hosted in all three regions. The objective of this would be to create awareness and advocacy of our liberation heritage through the use of our performing artists in the province.
The department will continue to support the commemoration of the Samora Machel Plane tragedy (Mbuzini Tragedy) and the Emgwenya (Waterval Boven) Train disaster of 1949 to keep the memory of victims of the two tragedies alive for the education of both the present and future generations.
The geographical name standardisation process in the Mpumalanga province has over the last three years seen enormous progress propelling the province to be a national leader in this sphere of government programmes.
This however did not come without challenges that often manifested in the consistent lack of a framework that will deal with objections. The Mpumalanga Provincial Names Committee is in the process of developing an objections policy, which has undergone extensive consultation with various stakeholders across the province, in trying to get inputs and opinions of the community at large. We hope to conclude this process within the current financial period.
The framework will provide a guide to individuals or organisations wishing to seek recourse against perceived shortcomings by the designated structures in adhering to prescribed procedures governing the geographical names standardisation process in the Mpumalanga province.
Like all processes involving public participation, standardising geographic names thrives on stakeholder involvement because its primary beneficiaries are all the sections of society particularly the members of the public.
It is therefore safe to say that for the process to have any meaning at all, stakeholder participation including, members of the public, political parties, community based organisations, non-governmental organisations, traditional leadership and state departments amongst others, the department will be conducting a summit on geographical names in the Ehlanzeni region during the current financial year, in order to engage extensively with stakeholders.
This is in view that stakeholders need to be educated on the importance of standardization, being, to correct heritage distortions, to promote a common national identity, compliance with United Nations (UN) resolution, to standardise the use of place names, facilitate emergency service responses, facilitate development planning and service delivery, tourism and branding.
Arts and culture
Working together with our municipalities we have consistently supported arts and culture structures in the municipalities through the support we give to cultural fora and other relevant structures. The main purpose for the support of community based structures is to empower and expand capacity in the management of their own businesses. To further promote participatory democracy and assist to sustain the development and promotion of arts and culture and related matters in the various municipalities in the province.
During the previous financial year support was given to arts and culture forums, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Izithethe Arts Institute, Mpumalanga Traditional Art Market, Innibos, launching of the Mpumalanga Provincial Ensemble, Casterbridge Music Academy, South African National Theatre Association and the Mpumalanga Performing Arts Laboratory. For the 2012/2013 financial year an amount of R1.55 million has been set aside to continue provide support more especially the critical legacy structures.
Support to cooperative establishment through the arts. “My Village my art”
The majority of artists and crafters operate in an environment which is fragmented and challenging for the crafters to grow as business as well to access funds from donor institutions and to be able to register or affiliate with associations which strive for artists and crafters rights. To bridge this challenge, the programme will organise contact workshops in order to empower these artists about the various opportunities available in the arts industry sector.
The plan is to facilitate for the establishment of three co-operatives in the province. This will assist cooperatives to operate as business trade centres and identify exhibition spaces in the three districts especially where there are big business activities such as malls and others spaces. These structures will be assisted with curation of their products in order to ensure quality standards, appeal and customer satisfaction. This project will be done in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism and a budget of R800, 000 is appropriated for this purpose.
The film and video project
Honourable Speaker, the script writers’ project was initiated as a developmental programme for the marginalised languages; namely Siswati and IsiNdebele in the province. There were 25 students that enrolled in the first phase of the project and this was completed in the year 2010. In the financial year 2011/12, the department took the project further by funding for the development of the scripts into six half-hour short films based in the province.
Only 15 out of 25 learners completed the training for the scripts programme and were clustered into six groups to further work on the scripts and re-produce them into short films. This exercise was completed in September 2011 with the assistance of the service provider and the scripts are ready to be short.
The department has invested R800, 000 in the production and the service provider (Thaumatrope Pictures) will also raise R1, 4 million in the form of the DTI local production rebate and R1,6 million in commercial funding and trade exchanges. Taking into account the economic multiplier effect of Film Production of 2.5 times, this results in an impact of R10 million on the Mpumalanga economy.
Many of the crew will be selected from Mpumalanga-born workers and approximately 8 240 working hours will be billed on the project, at least half of them being paid to residents of Mpumalanga. These include 2 of the directors, the production manager, arts directors and trainees in all departments.
The project has experienced delays due to efforts to include the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as the Broadcast partner on the project. However, this delay allows inclusion in the project of the newly appointed SABC regional general manager for Mpumalanga and has resulted in a renewed relationship between the SABC and the department. It is envisaged that the project will be ready to shoot in early July and deliver in September/October 2012.
Moral regeneration project
We all have a responsibility to foster nation building, reconciliation and social cohesion. We all aspire to have one nation united in diversity. One of the biggest challenges facing humanity is immorality. This is what informed government to launch programmes on moral renewal or regeneration.
Moral Regeneration provides our communities an opportunity to reflect upon and promote awareness on the values of the charter of positive values. The successful Ubuntu Moral Regeneration festival that was hosted in the Ehlanzeni district had its theme centred in the advocacy for the charter of positive values that is building a caring society. This year, we will stage the festival in all districts so that all the people of the province benefit from the advantages that come with the staging of these festivals.
We are happy to announce that the provincial government has approved a Language Policy for the province and this will henceforth enable other spheres of government to develop their own language policies relevant to their environments.
This refers to districts and local municipalities. A Language Bill to this effect is being drafted and it will be presented for approval in the current financial year.
The department will continue to provide support to develop, promote and sustain multilingualism within the province as we seek to effect redress for the historically marginalized official languages in the province. The following institutions will be supported in the current financial year: Mpumalanga Provincial Language Committee, Mpumalanga Writers Association, Siswati and IsiNdebele dictionary units and the bible society. This will assist to strengthen civil society’s participation in the development, promotion and protection of communities cultural, linguistic and religious rights. An amount of R800, 000 is allocated for this purpose
In conclusion, we understand the milestones we have set for ourselves; we also comprehend the prevailing material and immaterial conditions. But we remain resolute that the resources appropriated to us will be utilised to achieve the set goals and objectives of this financial year.
Let me take this opportunity and extend my appreciation to the Portfolio Committee under the leadership of Honourable NC Mamabolo for her leadership in the Portfolio Committee. The commitment of staff in the department under the leadership of the Head of Department (Ms S Mjwara) is encouraging. I would also like to thank the staff in the Office of the MEC for their unwavering support and for going beyond the call of duty in supporting the Office of the MEC. A big thank you goes to my family for always supporting me and also understanding that they have to share me with the nation.
I would like also to congratulate the following people: Mr Ray Phiri for receiving the Lifetime Award during the SAMA Awards and Ms Lungile Libambo for winning the Miss Mpumalanga Pageant Show. We would also like to wish Team South Africa well as they represent the country in the London 2012 Olympic games.
Honourable Speaker I therefore present to the House Budget Vote Number 11 of the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation.
The summary of the financial allocation for 2012/13 financial is as follows:
Programme 1: Administration
R 81, 087
Programme 2: Cultural Affairs
R 75, 447
Programme 3: Library and Archives
R 107, 234
Programme 4: Sport and Recreation
R 61, 049
Issued by: Mpumalanga Culture, Sport and Recreation
18 May 2012
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