6th May 2010
The Department of Arts and Culture's primary
aim is to develop and preserve South African arts and culture to
ensure social cohesion and nation building.
We in the IFP recognise the central
significance of arts, culture and heritage in the cultural, social
and intellectual life of the country.
Like many other departments the Department
of Arts and Culture's main area of focus now is the 2010 soccer
World Cup. We are concerned however that out of the six programmes
of the Department of Arts and Culture the only Programme showing a
marginal increase is Programme 1, Administration, at 0.51 percent.
Increasingly debilitating is Programme 2,
Arts and Culture in Society which shows a real decrease of 22.15
percent. Most of this allocation goes to the National Arts Council (NAC).
In real terms the budget of NAC which played a big role in arts
funding has been decreased by R15 million.
Ironically, the President's State of the
Nation Address re-iterated the important role played by Arts and
Culture in Society. This is a trend which remained unchanged since
at least the previous three budgetary cycles.
With the 2010 FIFA World Cup the rest of the
world will be focused on South Africa so this is the ideal
opportunity for us to showcase the country's art and culture during
the sports extravaganza. It remains to be seen whether the
Department's mandate and potential will be maximized to take
advantage of the opportunities provided by the FIFA World Cup beyond
There must be a greater effort to support
and promote South African arts and cultural activities in all areas
of our country and especially in the rural and underprivileged
areas. This can have a positive social effect for the communities in
these areas and lay the basis for long-term commitment to artistic
With more than half of our young unemployed,
the IFP believes that arts and culture can have a positive effect on
the lives of the youth, but the biggest challenge is ensuring that
they have access to facilities and organisations that promote these
Unlearned youth, especially those who have
been unable to obtain a matric certificate pose a huge risk to
social cohesion and community-mindedness.
These young people clearly do not have the
best chances of becoming strong, healthy and participatory in
The Department of Arts and Culture could
therefore play a constructive role to reduce crime and poverty as
well as to increase health and development of marginalised young
The Department must be seen to provide real
empowerment opportunities for unemployed people from the second
economy through training and job creation in arts, culture and
heritage. It should further provide access to markets and skills as
a tool for urban renewal, rural development, and job creation.
Youth cultural groups and other creative
organizations should have regular access to multipurpose arts
support centres. At these centres they should have access to funding
advice, advertising and planning skills in order to develop their
capacity to grow.
Another area of concern we have as the IFP
is around the medium of instruction in schools. The right of
learners to use the language of their choice in schools is very
critical if we want to truly preserve our diverse cultures.
South Africa is blessed with a rich and
diverse cultural heritage and this is one of the defining features
of our nation. It is important that these different cultures and
traditions are not forgotten, they must not only be preserved and
confined to museums and festivals but also kept alive and continue
to be a part of our lives.
In the light of these budget cuts and with
the FIFA World Cup on the spotlight, it is important that funds are
spent wisely in this period, so wasteful spending and under spending
must not be tolerated.
The IFP support the budget vote.
I thank you.