The mandate of my department is to create an enabling environment in which arts, culture and heritage can flourish and play a significant role in Nation building and Socio-economic development.
To this end, MGE funding strategic mandate is to make critical investments to optimise the economic benefits of the arts in South Africa. By improving investments in key areas of creative economy, it is anticipated that job creation and productivity will be enhanced and the sector global competitiveness will be increased. Hence we initiated support for the establishment of provincial flagships/events to contribute to job creation and economic growth within the province.
As I have said in my response to question number 2635 asked by the Honourable Member, I hereby restate that, “Over the last few years, we have engaged the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra around the issues of funding of Orchestras.
Our point of departure is informed by the understanding that the resources allocated to us must be used prudently and spread fairly across the sector in the whole country.
For a few years in the past we used to fund the two Orchestras cited above. This was unfair practice.
We engaged them and inform them that this practices is unsustainable and unfair because it is only two provinces who are benefiting out of the nine.
We informed them that the Department of Arts and Culture has taken a decision to fund only a National Orchestra and the Cities in which the Orchestras are based will have to fund them.
To this extent out of their own volition, the City of Johannesburg decided to put aside an amount of 20 Million Rands (R20 Million) to fund the local Orchestra.
We call and encourage all the Cities and Provinces to fund their own Orchestras.
Of critical importance in this process is the transformation of the Orchestras to reflect the South African demographics. South Africans across the board must embrace and support them, however this support will come through when people feel the sense of ownership”.
I hope this clarifies the position of the department and brings this matter to rest.