Points for the DSAC

Points raised for the Department of Sports,
Arts and Culture

The following list is a compilation of issues raised on the #Im4theArts platform as expressed by the collective community. 

The purpose of this document is to provide the creative community with a list of issues to work with as it pertains to their particular circumstance.

This document acts in support of the CALL-TO-ACTION document issued to the creative community on 19 February 2020.

  • Outstanding Payments on committed funding A follow up and progress report on agreed deliverables since first meeting with the DG.
  • White Paper Call for clarity from DSAC to indicate progress on the fourth draft of the white paper and reasons for the delay even after it’s adoption by cabinet.
  • Funding Criteria
    * Clearly set out criteria that qualifies artists / individual practitioners and arts organisations for funding.
    * A review of the DSAC policies, processes, and structure. Clear criteria as to the percentages of funds that will be allocated to legislated cultural institutions, independent companies, emerging community-based artists and individuals.
    * No person / organisation benefiting from funding may serve on the funding review panels.
    * When work is given by Govt Sectors as well as DAC, monies owed to Artists should not take 6-12months to be paid. This system of 60 – 90 days and longer is crippling Artists. An enquiry asap into delayed and overdue payments.
    * No diverting of funding meant for the arts whatsoever.
    * A clear definition of who the arts and culture/creative and cultural industries/arts, culture and heritage/creative economy represents. Which sectors fall under the Department of Arts and Culture
    * DASC to amend the White Paper to make sure there is no discrimination when it comes to funding, as per the remedial actions of the Public Protector, which were made an order of the high court.
    * Cultural institution act review process
  • Funding Ombudsman and Appeals, Complaints and Whistleblowing.
    The need for a funding ombudsman acting as “Public Protector” ensuring that funds are disbursed strictly according to criteria. The Ombudsman to create and operate from a framework to receive, examine and find solutions to the ongoing grievances. Appeals, complaints, corruption reporting from artists and individual practitioners to be directed to the office of the Ombudsman rather a hotline. Provide support to whistleblowers of corruption. Mamela’s and the state theatre debacle
  • Transparency
    DSAC’s lack of legitimacy in the eyes of the broad arts community which calls for urgent intervention.
  • Individual Artists Funding vs Arts Organisation Funding
    Should the DAC be funding individuals directly or should the responsibility of the DAC be to transfer funds to well-structured and effectively managed arts councils that administer funds to artists and institutions with transparent and clear policies and guidelines. Policy needs to be amended to ensure institutions receive both structural funding and content funding to serve the arts well and to be able to create more stable employment for artists.
  • Corruption and Fraud
    Clear guidelines to recoup funds and prosecute individuals / organisations who are fraudulent and who do not use funding as intended and for purposes approved for. Eradicate the graft there is in the Ministry of Art and Recover stolen monies. Social and legal consequences for corruption and bureaucratic obstruction.
  • Legal issues According to Cultural Institutions Act, the Minister has to appoint members of Council which govern Cultural Institutions. (Section 5 of the Act) – this could be improved to checks and balances – For example with the Market Theatre Foundation debacle.
  • Department Officials
    Change of the guard and rooting out officials in the Department found to be blocking progress and replaced by people who can do the job fairly. Appointments based on merit and not cadre deployment. People in the Department who understand the broad dimensions of the Arts. No employee of any State entity may be commissioned by the DAC to moonlight on other work.
  • The DAC’s Incubator Programme
    A thorough review of the DAC’s Incubator Programme. Currently, the Incubator Programme offers very short term seasonal employment — sometimes a role in a two week play – which is hardly effective at building an arts economy. There must be an assessment of how many long term / full time jobs created by the Incubator Programme. The funds of the Incubator Programme should be strategically directed to creating a National Skills.
  • Employment Programme
    * Employment programme that allows interns to be employed for a full year in either an artistic / arts admin position. The criteria for internship must address the national crisis of unemployment of young graduates; and it should be aimed specifically at acting as a bridging service for young graduates.
    * DSAC to create a mechanism and selection criteria within a workable framework so Artists are seconded and absorbed for a period as interns within the 12 Agencies of the DSAC on stipends equitably as the DSAC footprint is national. Many government departments make use of EPWP (expanded public work programme) participants who are paid a small stipend. The same system could work well if applied to young arts and heritage practitioners.
    * The DSAC to prioritise training, job exposure for artist over and above the once-off and usually rip- off festivals and events. With an emphasis on the business of the arts across the board. A call for DSAC to address the worsening unemployment of the creative artists in South Africa.
    * Arts practitioners as ” in residence ” individuals in every school. The idea of having practitioners in schools as a way to introduce the arts into the school curriculum while at the same time supporting artists and community arts projects. Reviewing the municipal workers act in relation to artists in residency. We are being squeezed out of arts administration job’s as we are performers too. The act states we should have no other job when the arts our vocation requires us to be on the ground while sitting in the very same boardrooms.
  • National Tourist Circuit
    Develop a policy to support both a national touring circuit for the arts; and for the exportation of South African arts abroad. Commit strongly to a campaign to curb the emigration of Black South African opera singers abroad; and strengthen a National Opera Company that retains talent and presents work that can be exported internationally.
  • Applications
    Simplify Application Forms and make them easily accessible to everyone. The forms should be written in simple English and in all languages (decolonise the system). At the moment it’s an Online system and not everyone has a luxury of a PC at home let alone DATA, and it’s not user friendly.
  • Prioritising Local Content
    Formalise a fair regulatory system and/or an equity system that will protect our works, Artists and Local Content against International Markets.
  • Bursaries for the Arts
  • Artists
    A body that can educate/assist artists with legal and economic matters. Better communication space where artists can look for collaborators and network. A space where artists can look for collaborative work and build a culture around artists in SA. Negotiate the artist tax with SARS….25% tax is too high. Funeral cover for artists. Royalties from airplay Municipalities called upon to engage the services of local artists before engaging artists from other areas. Can the issue with promoters booking the same faces over & over again be looked into especially when it comes to government funded events.
  • Venue Support
    State Funded institutions to made available to artists to curate and stage events free or at a discounted standard fee. Supporting proper professional live music venues in the grass root sector. Grass root venues are the main tool and important part of our industry to preserve the ongoing showcase work for the artists. Consistent and offering ongoing employment to artists.
  • Education
    Reintroduce Arts and Culture in the education system. Both in the formal curriculum and at extracurricular level. Travel grants for artists to participate in international competitions, universities and make available more scholarships. Performance Opportunities for the Children and Youth in conjunction with the arts education.
  • Living Legends
    A programme to honour and appreciate artists while they are still alive. Clarity on what is happening with the living legends since the court case involving Welcome Msomi.
  • Status Updates on Performers protection bill Copyright bill SARoadies matter with DAC raised in parliament with portfolio on arts and culture Vatiswa s letter and matters raised therein
  • Community Arts Centres
    A request for infrastructure in our communities. Building of theatres and youth centres
  • Iziko Museums, and the disastrous impact it has had on some of the museums that were incorporated into this so-called flagship, particularly the SA National Gallery. A review of local and provincial government support of museums and other public cultural entities, identifying where excessive bureaucracy undermines performance.
  • Splitting Arts and Culture from Sport
  • Union for the Sector
    The formation of an official union, and the standardisation of fees. Similar to the American and UK systems to avoid underpayment and exploitation of artists. Standardising performance fees for all the artists, to resolve the exploitation of underpaying artists. A national minimum rate for hourly, daily, weekly, monthly rehearsals and performances.
  • National Lotteries Commission Review
  • Donors and Philanthropists
    How can the state inspire more investment in the arts? Allow private donors to make contributions to Arts Organisations and receive a tax break for this. A call that the State takes a more rational approach to arts investment so that tangible benefits can accrue to donors / philanthropists of the arts. Currently, it is hardly inspiring in terms of tax benefits for corporations (or private philanthropists) to invest in the arts. Tax deductibility for gifts and contributions to a/c projects could liberate large cash flows to such groups, generating a more vigorous sector. Works well enough in many nations.
  • Artists Database
    Create a roster for performing artists for national holiday events so that artists can get opportunities to perform for the public at these DAC events. We can’t have the same artists at every event.
  • International Events
    There needs to be a proper policy for international events, informed by long term developmental objectives (eg strengthening the institutions of the global south) rather than throwing money at ‘established’ events (eg Venice Biennale).
  • Central Office
    Establish a central art operations office. Paid governing body. All artists from all fields become a member. And use it as a starting point of all interactions with government agencies.
  • Funding Agency
    Creation of a separate arts and culture funding agency under the strategic direction of an independent board to be constituted after a public nomination process and staffed by suitably qualified people. The said structure must be funded by a sustainable government grant and be allowed to register a stand alone non-profit wing to raise funds from the private sector.

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