A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

festivals
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

DEPT OF ARTS & CULTURE HAS LET SA DOWN (article first published : 2004-10-28)

Over R8,5-million is sitting unspent in the bank account of the National Arts Council while artists all over the country are giving up their crafts in utter despair – and on top of that the Council has had the audacity not to produce its audited accounts timeously.

At yesterday’s Arts and Culture Portfolio committee meeting in Cape Town, the audited accounts of the 26 relevant entities were presented to Members of Parliament, and I was utterly shocked at the state the Ministry has allowed the museums, theatres and other South African organizations in its care to sink to.

Minister Pallo Jordan has time and time again informed me that he “doesn’t micro-manage” – well here it is in black and white – it’s about time he descended from his ivory tower, rolled up his sleeves, and actually did something – anything – to save arts and culture in South Africa.

For the National Arts Council to be in breech of the Public Finance Management Act is outrageous, and for the accountants’ score sheet to give just five “clean” reports from the total of 26 takes one’s breath away. The Voortrekker Museum is in dire straits, and as for the rest – there are 15 accounting “issues” unresolved at the War Museum, 13 at the National Library, 11 at Pacofs – it just runs on and on. They’ve made pre-school errors – forgetting to provide for leave pay, failing to update asset registers, not running inventories at their shops, failing to disclose Directors’ remunerations, failing to supply supporting documentation for expenditures – in fact as business entities they are virtually totally dysfunctional.

The accountants yesterday stated at the meeting that the R8,5-million sitting idle at the NAC should have been handed out to this country’s artists. Perhaps, had the Council bothered to present its audited accounts, the Members of the Portfolio Committee could have pinpointed where exactly this money should have been deployed.

How has the State Theatre managed to move from a R4,3-million rand profit to a loss of R1,8-million? How has Pacofs managed the same trick, moving in a single year from a profit of R1,3-million to being R2,3-million in the red? How dare the Minister allow the museums of this land to degenerate to the degree that Robben Island is R4,5-million in the red, along with the Afrikaanse Taal, the Northern Flagship Institution, the Voortrekker – as well as our National Library, the National Zoological Gardens – and the grandly named South African Heritage Resources Agency that has managed to slide into debts of over R3-million?

To say that the Ministry of Arts and Culture is allowing our Heritage Institutions to under-perform is the understatement of 2004 – with enormous percentages of their budgets being utilised on salaries, leaving virtually nothing with which to actually conduct business. The National Museum in Bloemfontein spends 87% of its budget on staff costs! The State Theatre is virtually bankrupt, and of the annual report scoresheet out of 26 entities, only three scored a pass of the required 80% or more.

Our cultural institutions as a whole have an 88.46% failure rate as far as the accountants are concerned, and I have no option but to the grant Minister Jordan an F- for effort.

Further information from Dianne Kohler Barnard MP on 082 823 7047.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart