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NEW BOARDS IMMINENT (article first published : 2002-01-1)

Major arts institutions - among them the State Theatre, PACOFS and Artscape - receive new boards in 2002.

The terms of the boards of a number of cultural institutions are due to end in 2002. Taken altogether, arts institutions account for R101,180, 000 which represents a significant portion of the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology's (DACST) budget. These shifts come about at a time when the Cultural Laws Second Amendment Bill is being promulgated to become an Act.

Dr. Ben Ngubane, Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology announced this development after a meeting with provincial ministers of arts and culture (MINMEC). Of common interest among the ministers was how arts and culture can become a strategic partner or a basis for the social regeneration of South African society. MINMEC sees this as valuable contribution that the arts can make in South Africa. The Minister is due to present a discussion document on values in society to the Cabinet Lekgotla in January.

Another recent development within the field of arts and culture, centres on governance, institutional framework and strategic plans to further consolidate the management and funding of the State Theatre (Gauteng), Artscape (Western Cape), Sand du Plessis (Free State), the Playhouse (KZN) as well as the National Arts Council, Business Arts South Africa and other government-funded institutions.

The MINMEC meeting agreed on major principles including the implementation of conditions as set out in the Public Finance Management Act for arts-associated institutions; that all arts institutions will become declared entities under the Cultural Institutions Act of 1998. This also means that they will cease to be companies registered under Section 21 of the Companies Act. Also that DACST will contribute towards the operating costs of two theatres located in each province presently not accommodated in the current budgetary system.

Further consultation and implementation of these principles, particularly with regard to timing will begin at the technical committee level (a grouping of all provincial and national heads of arts and culture departments) and involve all three tiers of Government.

More details from Andile Xaba, head of Communications at DACST, on 012 337-8313 or 082 370-5336.




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