NAC Expired Projects and Surplus Fund needs urgent investigation

Please find attached soundbite by Veronica van Dyk MP.

The DA will write to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, to request an independent investigation into the National Arts Council’s (NAC) Expired Projects and Surplus Fund Policy after two reports revealed that the Policy seems to contravene Treasury regulations and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

The DA has previously written to the Minister for clarity as to why this policy is still in place when it contravenes Treasury regulations 6.4.1 and 6.4.2, to which the Minister has yet to provide an answer.

The Fund was first investigated by the Business Innovation Group (BIG) in 2016 and again by the Public Protector in 2020 after the head of the South African Roadies Association (SARA), Freddie Nyathela, complained in 2015 that the then NAC CEO, Rosemary Mangope, applied for funding on his association’s behalf without informing him.

Both the BIG and Public Protector’s reports highlighted the Policy has “gaps which renders it prone to abuse”“not transparent”“unfair and uncompetitive”, “procedurally unfair” and “not consistent with the spirit of the law”. Yet, this Policy has not been repealed. The Public Protector’s report specifically mentioned that although Mangope had no obligation to inform Nyathela of the annual partnership proposal she submitted on his association’s behalf as the Policy did not explicitly provide for it, not informing SARA amounted to “improper conduct” and “maladministration”.

The fact that no effort seems to have been made to review or repeal this Policy after the release of the two reports, and the Minister’s silence on the matter show that there is no political will to rectify this travesty. Without Nyathela’s vigilance and due diligence, SARA would never have been informed of the funding application and that money would have disappeared into the great abyss of corruption at the ANC. It seems that the governing party is unwilling to close this trough, but the DA will not allow the ANC unfettered access to crucial funding for the arts and culture sectors.

The Minister must explain the continued existence of this fund, and all previous beneficiaries must be investigated to ensure that no further malfeasance happened on the ANC’s watch.

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