Modern, Growing, Successful Province

DSAC Budget Speech

Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Premier
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the Provincial Legislature
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is with deep humility and a sincere sense of appreciation of the responsibilities accompanying this position that I deliver my maiden budget speech to this House. Today I stand here, born and bred in Lutzburg, not too far from Augrabies, the Place of the Great Noise or “die Plek van die Groot Geraas” where the majestic Gariep River cascades more than a hundred meters into the belly of Mother Earth spoiling us with the splendor of her eternal beauty as she snakes through our arid landscape bringing forth life, fertility and prosperity. 

I am also eternally grateful to God for the privilege to serve the people of this province and would like to thank the African National Congress for the trust bestowed upon me in executing the mandate of this sixth administration. 

Honourable Speaker, as I am delivering my maiden budget speech, I am mindful of the historic milestones which form the context and background of this budget vote. With your permission Honourable Speaker, I would like to single out a few:

  • This year we are celebrating 25 years of freedom and democracy.
  • This year we marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Comrade Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu. His heroic sacrifice will never be forgotten. His blood is still nurturing our freedom tree.
  • We lower our banners in recognition of the contributions of thousands of women during this women’s month who selflessly sacrificed in laying the foundations for our hard-won freedom and democracy. 
  • The 120th anniversary of the Leliefontein Rebellion of 1899 in Namakwaland and 220th anniversary of the Namakwa Uprising of 1798-99. Long Live the spirits of those unsung heroes and heroines who perished in defense of their birthright.
    Honorable Speaker, today we also pay homage to the departed souls of influential, inspirational artists and sports people who have played an important role in the development of our sector
  • Nomhle Nkonyeni a Legendary artist
  • Jonny Clegg a renowned South African musician and symbol of reconcialition
  • Mark “Mlungu“ Bachelor Former Bafana Bafana soccer star,.
  • James Small Johnny Clegg a member of the victorious 1995 Rugby World Cup team,
  • Alfred “Bucks Sekunkwe a local sculpter and painter
  • Dennis “Eier” Jacobs, one of our local sport legends.

May their souls rest in eternal peace

Honourable Speaker, after the recent elections, the mandate of the ANC-led Government was renewed by the people of this province. As the ANC, we are humbled by the renewed mandate, albeit with a reduced majority, from the people of the NC. This result clearly shows that the ANC remains the beacon of hope for our people , the ANC continues to be our political home, our vehicle of change.

Honourable Members, the ANC-led Government has identified Seven Strategic Priorities to give effect to this mandate. From these priorities, the department of Sport, Arts and Culture has identified with Strategic Priority 5: “Social Cohesion and safe communities”.

Over the next five years as part of mandate to drive towards a society that is socially integrated , a society that has a sense of belonging with national identity and cultural diversity we will through our programmes in sport, arts and culture contribute towards our united vision of a “Modern, Growing and Successful Province” as championed by our Premier, Dr. Zamani Saul.

Honourable Speaker, when we established the democratic state in 1994, history afforded us with a very rare opportunity. We were afforded an opportunity to not only work administratively to dismantle apartheid but also in crafting a new legal framework, passed by our parliament and entrenched in our constitutional framework.  Through these measures we managed to establish democratic institutions informed by democratic values, social justice, fundamental human rights and a deep desire to improve the quality of life of all South Africans.

However Honourable Speaker, we have noted with grave concern how, in our most recent past, these democratic institutions of our Republic have been eroded and its credibility being compromised.

Honourable Speaker, as we enter the MTSF period, our programmes will enable us, over the next five years, not only to build on the good work that was started by my predecessors over the last years, but also to focus and reprioritize in line with current priorities.

This department will continue its efforts to ensure clean governance and accountability to our tax payers through the various channels in our Provincial Legislature. Our commitment to reduce irregular ,unauthorized and Fruitless expenditure has yielded a positive decline in irregular expenditure to a nominal R10 000 for 2018/19 from the astronomical R27 million  in prior Financial years .We received our Fourth Consecutive unqualified Audit Outcome from the Auditor General with only two technical matters of emphasis.

As a department, we are expected to contribute towards creation of employment opportunities to reduce the burden of unemployment and poverty. Honourable Speaker, it is well-known that the resource allocation for this department does not match the demands it faces on a daily basis. In an effort to augment our resources to respond to the needs of communities, we have entered into numerous partnerships with non-governmental organizations. I would like to highlight our collaboration with Gift of the Givers, led by Doctor Imtiaz Sulliman and other social and corporate partners.

Our Library Services contribute towards Education through the provision of literature to communities, to rural development through the building of infrastructure and to crime prevention through holiday programmes. The provision of library services (buildings, books and material, support staff) remains at the core of the provincial function. The provision of free public internet access is a very positive milestone, especially for rural communities. Reading promotion programmes are mirrored in every district in support of Education.

Honourable Speaker, this year we will respond to the challenges raised by our community with disabilities in relation to accessing library services. We will provide audio-books for those with hearing disabilities; extend our relationship with the SA Library of the Blind to increase services to the visually challenged. We also commit to ensure that 185 libraries will provide free internet access by the end of this financial year.

It therefore  gives us great pleasure to report back to this House on some of the commitments made during the last budget
speech:

  • We successfully hosted the 10th Annual Northern Cape Writers Festival in partnership with the Sol Plaatje University. We further hosted the 3rd annual Summer School for Writing where over 20 up and coming writers and poets were exposed to some of the best creative writing programmes In the Country; I am therefore excited to announce the developmental impact of the writers festival as an aspiring young local writer Ms Siska Julies won an International Literary Award for her book “Honey Bee’’
  • We also hosted a very successful National Book week programme in collaboration with the National Book Development Council in the Gamagara Municipality;
  • We continued with our collaboration with the Department of Correctional Services as well as the Department of Education

Honourable Speaker, 2019 has also been declared by UNESCO as the “Year of Indigenous Languages”.  As part of our commitment to the development , promotion and preservation of indigenous languages  we will continue to support the Department of Education with the implementation of the Nama language as part of the curriculum in schools in Kuboes and Riemvasmaak. Over the next five years we will expand indigenous languages in the school curriculum by introducing Nama in 10 schools, two schools per district, across the province.

Through our Twinning Agreement with the Kharas region in Namibia, we will commence with the training of Nama language interpreters and translators.

We will be paying tribute to   Ma Elsie Vaalbooi during Heritage Month , by  unveiling a tombstone in her honour , as part of our appreciation and acknowledgement for the role she played in the preservation of the N|uu  language. Ms Vaalbooi was instrumental with the development of our Northern Cape Provincial motto  Sa ||a !aĩsi 'uĩsi (“We go to a better life”), which is in the Nǀu dialect of the Nǁnǂe (ǂKhomani) people .

Honourable Speaker, we are the custodians of the bountiful cultural and natural heritage of our province, we have a responsibility to ensure its preservation for posterity, for future generations, for our children and their children’s children.

Our province is home to two inscribed World Heritage Sites, viz. the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape and the !Khomani Cultural Landscape. Both these sites have been inscribed for their outstanding universal value linked to humanity and its relationship with the environment. With the change in climatic conditions globally, we need to research the impact of this change on especially the endemic fauna and flora species found in these World Heritage Sites and how this will impact on the values these sites were inscribed for.

Honourable Speaker

The face of the provincial heritage landscape is gradually changing as a result of our focused “Honouring Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation Struggle” programme implemented since 2008/09.

Our current programme to honour the unsung heroes and heroines of the Liberation Struggle enables us to tell stories of our own heroes and heroines who left their footprints in this Province. They will also enable us to honour these heroes and heroines, for the benefit of our history and our heritage. As indicated earlier, three provincial projects have been included as part of the National Liberation Heritage Route, Mayibuye Uprising Route, Upington 26 and the Langeberg war of Resistance.

The department, in partnership with our listed public entity, McGregor Museum, will be hosting a traveling exhibition on the 100th Anniversary of the Korana War as well as hosting an exhibition for Ahmed Timol at the Sol Plaatjie University.

We will also complete the repatriation and reburial of the remains of 9 people that was donated unethically to the University of Cape Town for research by a farmer in the 1920’s. The repatriation of the 9 bodies with the University is to restore the dignity that was stolen from them, to recognize them as fellow human beings and to give their family members the rightful opportunity to remember them. They will be reburied in Sutherland during the course of this financial year. 

Honourable Speaker, We need to circumvent the mushrooming or emergence of gated communities through hosting community conversations and dialogues on nation-building, diversity and social cohesion. We will have to arrange public platforms to engage minority groups on their anxiety, fears and concerns. We need to conduct a survey or evaluation racism transformation to determine the extent of our success and shortcomings in this critical area of work.

Honourable Speaker, we heard the Premier’s call when he stated during his inaugural address in Lerato Park, and I quote, “We should harness the rich local talent and create opportunities for our young people.”, close quote.  

Honourable Speaker, as we embark on our endeavour to inspire hope into young people we will continue to provide financial assistance to artists to enable them to access opportunities that they identified. We will continue to support our artists with the meager resources available to us. For this year we have supported artist to participate at the annual National Arts Festival held in Makhanda, formerly known as Grahamstown.

Our craft artists in the province will benefit from the envisaged collaboration with the Northern Cape Economic Development Agency on crafts development, exhibitions and to showcase their products at various national and international Expo’s. We will also further strengthen our relationship with the Northern Cape Tourism Authority to find innovative ways to promote arts and culture tourism. In order to provide much needed funding for artists, we will strengthen the Northern Cape Arts and Culture Council to conduit funding for artists and improve the footprint and access to Lottery funding.

Honourable Speaker, We will also continue with the process to rationalize the three agencies and the one listed entity operating under the guidance and leadership of this department. We are doing this to align the sector in line with the revision of White Paper on Arts and Culture, thus creating one mega entity for Arts, Culture, as well as Museums and Heritage.

Honourable Speaker, This month on August 9 we Women’s Day celebrated under the theme: “25 Years of Democracy:”Growing South Africa together for Women’s Emancipation”. These celebrations marked 63 years since women made their voices to be heard in the struggle against apartheid. On that heroic day, women gallantly showed their bravery by marching to the Union Buildings in protest of the Pass Laws.

On the 8th of May this year, women again came out in their numbers and declared to the rest of the country, in no uncertain terms, that the future belonged to them. We take this opportunity to congratulate the Women of our province for coming out in their numbers to exercise their right to vote.

Honourable Speaker, the construction of new infrastructure over the past  MTSF cycle (2014/2019) yielded positive economic spin offs, sustained and enhanced societal living standards and resulted in capital investment of over R125.6 Million and construction of 18 new community libraries throughout the province .

The infrastructure investment also boosts the economy in the districts through the creation of the much needed indirect and direct short term employment. Vodacom our corporate partner will invest in groundbreaking infrastructure development to value of R14m by constructing 40 new connectivity towers that will benefit our communities.

As a department, we are expected to contribute towards creation of employment opportunities to reduce the burden of unemployment and poverty.

Honourable Speaker. At the beginning of my speech I have reflected on the progress and achievements we have made in this sector over the last few years. The Library and Archive Services play a crucial role to ensure access to information and to equip communities, especially young people, to participate in the rapidly developing knowledge society in the world around us. We aim to realize our old motto of “If you know better, you can do better!” through placing relevant information and creating standards for the management of records in the Province. In this way, we will create an empowered knowledge society where information can be extracted and applied by every individual who sets foot in a library or public office in the Northern Cape.

Needless to say, through the provision of library services, this department has a footprint in every community throughout our beautiful province. 

Madame Speaker, in order to realise the dream of a Modern, Growing and Successful Province, we will ensure that all users of our services are able to access information at our Libraries to contribute to their information needs in pursuit of socio-economic development. The Honourable Premier of the Province announced that the Department will roll out free public internet access to 185 libraries during the 2019/ 2020 financial. It is our intention to reach all 223 libraries by the end of the MTSF period.

Honourable Members, we are pleased to announce that seven (7) Book clubs from our Province participated for the first time in the National Funda Mzansi competition hosted by the National Library of South Africa. We managed to win two awards: Book Worms Club from ZFM for English debate and Gamorona Book Club from JTG for Setswana spelling.

We hope to get more Book Clubs to the national championships as we continue in our quest to promote reading and writing in the Province.

Honourable Speaker, the Northern Cape has benefitted from a ring-fenced conditional grant for the past few years which is enabling the province to turn around the deteriorating book stock in public libraries and provide cutting edge information in various media. We will also prioritise procurement of library materials to respond to the needs of people with disabilities. This includes but is not limited to e-books, audio books for the hearing impaired as well as Braille library material for the visually impaired. To this end, we are supporting the SA Library for the Blind with an annual transfer amount of R 1 million. We are confident that this is a positive step in the right direction to ensure the provision of a fully inclusive service, without bias or prejudice. We will reach out to the blind by providing books through Braille books.

During our consultations with Municipalities they shared with us the financial burden that this function continues to place on them. They have also shared with us their costing models and funding proposals that will assist in lessening the burden of this function on their budgets.
We will therefore use this information to assist us in finalizing the Business Case that we will submit to Provincial Treasury and our National Department.
Madame Speaker, as part of our mandate, we will continue to deliver the following services:

  • Continue to improve on our District Monitoring and evaluation capacity at all District Libraries;
  • Hosting a number of creative writing workshops to assist up and coming writers and Poets;

Honourabe Speaker, as we turn our focus to Archive services, we are pleased to announce that this programme has continued to achieve all of its planned targets.

Honourable Speaker, in July, we celebrated National Archives week under the theme: “ Archival Footprints: The relevance of Archives into 25 years of democracy”
During this important week, we were able to host a number of learners from schools in and around Kimberley to visit the Khotso Flatela Archives Repository where we demonstrated to them the work done at the repository and why it is regarded as the memory centre of the Province.

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage all Departments, Municipalities and Government Entities to transfer their A20 records to the Repository.

Honourable Speaker, the focus for this financial year will be to ensure that we consolidate our relationship with Municipalities through SALGA and to ensure compliance with the Archives Act of 2013.

We will continue our engagements with the North-West and Western Cape Provinces as we seek to finalise the long process of repatriating our archival records from these Provinces.

In responding to the call by the Premier to build a Modern, Growing and Successful Province, we will this year commence with initial work to develop a Policy on Digitization of our Archives as well as prepare a roadmap towards Electronic Records Management in the Province.

Honourable Speaker, this department also contributes to infrastructure development through maintenance of libraries, community arts centres and sport facilities. We will continue to facilitate MIG funding to municipalities to improve on the sport, arts and cultural facilities in our communities. We will also continue to identify unused facilities and rehabilitate them for our purposes in an effort to reduce costs.

  • The major accomplishment for this year is the continued refurbishment of the Mervin J. Erlank Sport Precinct. This is a multiyear project which primary purpose is to convert existing school hostels into reliable, efficient and well resourced office accommodation for the departmental provincial head office officials. Furthermore consultants have been appointed for the construction of additional office space at MJE Sport Precinct, the designs are completed and costed and will soon be going out on tender. An amount of R5 Million is budgeted for the project in this financial year.
  • The department concluded the planning, design and costing of the Niekerkshoop library and will soon be going out on tender.
  • The construction of the Greenpoint library has already started, this project is a multiyear project and amounts to R13m.

Honourable Speaker, I will fail in my duty if I do not highlight the challenges we are experiencing. Over the past year the department managed to intensify the maintenance of its aging infrastructure and it is still presented with a huge financial challenge to budget adequately to address all maintenance challenges. It is a fact that our infrastructure is aging and continues to need renewal and refurbishment or replacement as it nears the end of its life especially the container libraries.

Honourable Speaker, as we focus attention to one of our core programmes, we wish to pause for a moment and salute our sport men and women who continue to put this Province on the map through their efforts on the various national and international sports fields.
Please allow me, Honourable Speaker to congratulate the following sports men and women:

  • Chendrick Van Wyk who won Silver in 100m and 200m in World Student Games in  Italy
  • Maxine Engelbrecht one of our staff members in Namaqua district office for making it to the Female Springbok Rugby Team.
  • The Tafel Lager Griqua Rugby team for winning the 2019 Super Sport Challenge
  • The forty-three young gymnasts who were part of Team SA who represented us at the 16th World Gymnaestrada in Dornbirn, Austria from the 7th to the 13th July.
  • Boitumelo Special School Soccer Team  for winning a Gold Medal  at the that Special Olympic Summer World Games hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Abhu Dhabi and Dubai.
  • The boxing federation by ensuring that the National Boxing Tournament is hosted in Kimberley.

You are all indeed true ambassadors of our province.

With regard to School Sport, Honourable Speaker, it is with great depredation that I must report that we have not yet made the progress we should have with regard to school sport. Despite the challenges we are with we will continue to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) through our school sport programs.

In aspiring school sport excellence and supporting the development of athletes in schools the department will, through the school sport programme, facilitate provincial championships for the identification of athletes to participate and represent the province in the National Championships in this year.

We will continue to play a critical role in monitoring and oversight of MIG funding to municipalities. We will further continue to strengthen the relationship between the department and COGHSTA to ensure that funding allocation set aside for Sport Infrastructure is being utilized for intended purposes.

Our other key priority is to focus on achieving a PSL status in Football; our interaction with SAFA will deliver a clear Programme of Action towards achieving this status. We will consult extensively on the road map on this project.
The department will host the following recreational programmes as we pursue to build an active and healthy nation.

  • The National Recreation Day
  • The Big Walk 
  • The annual Youth Camp and the
  • The annual Indigenous Games.

Honourable Speaker, our Premier has also challenged us to be innovative out-of-the-box thinkers and problem-solvers.  Today I stand here and commit myself and the department I lead, to take up your challenge and do our best to be that catalyst for change through the range of services we offer to our communities, but more specifically, to our young people. We will explore initiatives to respond to the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by facilitating access to the opportunities created by the advances in technology.

Given the current economic climate, it has become even more important to be cautious when spending tax payers money. We need to work smarter and bring about out-of-the-box solutions. We just have to do more with less without compromising and negatively affecting service delivery.

Honourable Speaker,
The budget for the 2019 / 2020 financial year of the Department totals an amount of R 404, 882 million and the allocation is as follows,

Programme Equitable Share Conditional Grant Total
P1. Administration R 90,387, 000 -

R 90,387, 000     (22%)

P2. Cultural Affairs  R 67,118  000  - R 67,118  000     (17%)
P3. Library and Archives Services  R 15,874,000 R170,904  000

R 186, 778,000   (15%)

P4. Sport and Recreation R 27, 513,000 R 33, 086,000 R60, 599,000      (46%)
TOTAL 2019/20 BUDGET R200, 892,000
(49, 6%)
R 203, 990 000
(50, 4%)
R 404, 882 000

 
In conclusion, Madam Speaker, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Head of Department and her management team for the warm welcome I have received since assuming office and to the officials in the Ministry under the leadership of the Head of Ministry. Thank you for making me realize the scope and extent of the work of this department.

I thank you.
Baie dankie
Ke a le boga
Enkosi

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Private Bag X5016 
Kimberley 
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