ANC Parliamentary Caucus

National Assembly

Budget Vote 37 Debate

Comrade Dlulane

9 May 2023

The ANC’s vision for the South African arts and culture is guided by the Freedom Charter that the “Doors of Learning and Culture Shall Be Opened where the government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life”

The Sports and the arts are important for social cohesion and nation building. It is also critical for our wellbeing.

The sixth administration has not been without its challenges that have negatively impacted the country’s vision towards attaining its goal as enshrined in the National Development Plan of 2030. In 2020 we were confronted by the COVID-19 pandemic which had a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of athletes and artists.

We saw artists occupying the national arts council demanding accountability on the distribution of relief funds and the presidential stimulus package to the creative sector, and as a carrying parliament, we took a stance to meet with the affected artists to listen to their concern.

As a committee we took zero tolerance to any form of poor governance and maladministration and therefore applied pressure on the Department to implement corrective measures. A forensic investigation was launched into the matter and responsible parties were relieved of their responsibilities. This is in line with the ANCs commitment of combatting corruption and addressing poor governance.

Honourable Chair, significant strides have been made by the Department in ensuring that over 4 700 schools and clubs were provided with sports equipment and attire in the last financial year, and over 100 000 learners participating in district school sport tournaments. There needs to be greater efforts in ensuring that majority of our 12 million scholars have an opportunity to participate in sport and the arts.

Sport not only benefits the long-term physical health and wellbeing of a child, but also improves their cognitive ability, team work, leadership and many more life skills they will use when they reach adulthood and in their future careers.

Honourable chair, the underfunding of national federations remains a concern from our side as over 70 national sport federations have to share only R110 million of the annual budget. This underfunding limits the federations efforts in achieving their transformation targets.

We therefore call for more funding for national federations to ensure that they expose their sporting codes in townships and rural areas.

Honourable chair, the scourge of Gender Based Violence and femicide continues to destroy our society where we see women and children being attacked, sexually assaulted, or even killed. Such incidences are immoral, inhumane and need to be combated in our society.

We call on the department and the broader society to ensure that they works together with all its stakeholders in the sport and creatives sector and ensure that GBV awareness campaigns form part of all the sport, arts and cultural events.

Our creative artists should contribute to creating awareness around these and other social challenges, the department should have targeted financial support for such initiatives.

Empowerment of women within the sectors will also ensure that women also have decision making powers to ensure that such campaigns come to life.

Honourable Chair, we support the President in the signing of the proclamation with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on clamping down on corruption relating to the funds of the National Lotteries Commission meant to build sport facilities and promote the arts within townships. Corruption is a problem our society is confronted with and working with our government institutions and the people, we protect our efforts of creating a better life.

Some of the most notable successes over the sixth administration and the plans the year that we have observed was as follows:

  • The establishment of the women’s national football league where government made an initial investment and continues to allocate R5 million annually for women’s football. The result of that was seen as Banyana Banyana went on to win the 2022 women’s AFCON. We do reiterate however that much more financial support is needed to support and professionalise the national women’s league whereby these players are able to secure contracts and earn a living wage for their sustainability.
  • Another notable achievement that we applaud the department is for implementing guidelines and ensuring a proper and safe return to sport post-COVID. Today we can attest that sport has fully returned to pre-COVID levels.
  • We are proud to also announce that South Africa continues to be a trendsetter in terms of hosting of international events. In 2023, we have successfully hosted the world indoor hockey championships, the Women’s Cricket World Cup in Cape Town.
  • The city of Durban is also about to host the World table tennis championships, and also we look forward to the much anticipated Netball World Cup that will be taking place in Cape Town in the next 3 months.
  • We recognise SAFAs interest in bidding for the 2027 Women’s football World Cup of which we have no doubt that we will make it a success.
  • We support those efforts as the sports economy is a significant and growing economic sector. It promotes sports tourism which is good for Job creation. We welcome this continues progress by the government
  • We again applaud the government for the good distribution of the social relief funds and the presidency for availing the 4th batch of the presidential Employment Stimulus Package (PESP) whereby funds will be distributed to the Artists and their organisations to create and maintain employment in the creatives sector.
  • In 2023/24, the Department aims to create 12 000 job opportunities across the workstreams and cultural development programmes of the Mzansi golden economy strategy and 40 000 job opportunities through the presidential employment initiative.
  • Honourable chair, majority of sporting codes internationally generate revenue through the sale of broadcasting rights, and we would like to make a call to the national broadcaster SABC to secure the rights to broadcast our national teams live on TV. The equitable distribution of sport sponsorship for women is our concern which requires a social compact.
  • We would like to congratulate our young athletes on dominating the African Junior Athletics championships win in Zambia recently. The team came first by winning the most medals at the championships.
  • The committee has recommended that the Department together with National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) should ensure that this Compact is urgently signed.
  • The Department should heed the recommendations of the AGSA to improve audit outcomes across the portfolio.
  • The Department should revisit its earlier engagements with the Davis Tax Committee for the inclusion of the arts into section 18(A) of the Income Tax Act to encourage donations to the sector.