Madam Speaker, it is important to empower our youth and communities through positive sporting activities. The engagement with different sporting codes has proven to be a powerful mechanism in combatting social ills within our communities and affords youth opportunities to excel, despite the many challenges they face on a daily basis. This, in turn sparks a sense of achievement and optimizes social behaviour and in effect promotes social cohesion, which is indeed lacking in some parts of our country.
This said Madam Speaker, the Standing Committee and Cultural Affairs commends the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport for ensuring a socially inclusive, creative and active Western Cape. The 2013/2014 Annual Report highlighted the different achievements which prove that the department has delivered on their strategic objectives and that there is strong synergy between good corporate governance and effective service delivery.
Madam Speaker, the Standing Committee commends the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, amongst others, for:
1. Receiving a clean audit for the 2013/14 financial year. Only two of the nine provincial sport, arts and culture departments received a clean audit.
2. Receiving the Best Project: Mass Participation (Social Sector) award during the national Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Kamoso Awards event.
3. Receiving a Public Service Commission (PSC) Professional Ethics Award. DCAS was judged to be the second best department in South Africa with regard to promoting ethics and integrity.
4. Receiving an award for being South Africa’s second best-run government department in the Strategic Management category of the MPAT (Management Performance Assessment Tool) Awards of the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency (DPME). Only departments that have no Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) findings on predetermined performance objectives (PDOs) are considered for such an award.
In the year under review, all 116 performance indicators were FULLY achieved. Major DCAS achievements included:
• Providing support to 110 sport organisations in the Western Province, Boland, South Western Districts and West Coast regions;
• Providing transfer payments to 78 arts and culture organisations;
• Supporting major cultural events such as the Absa Klein Karoo Nasional Kunstefees (KKNK), the Cape Town Carnival, Die Burger Suidoosterfees and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival;
• Supporting 353 library centres to deliver a library service and promote a culture of reading and learning;
• Supporting major events which included the CHAN (African Nations Championship) football tournament, the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour and the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon;
• Establishing the EPWP programme in all line function components;
• Launching the chess, cycling and netball “revolutions” in the Western Cape;
Madame Speaker we commend the MEC for continuing to streamline the operation of the MOD Programme which enables young people to participate in sports, arts and culture activities after school;
We commend the MEC for Expanding the rural library connectivity project to 121 rural communities in the Western Cape;
We commend the MEC for Increasing the reach of the “wheelie wagons” mobile libraries project to provide access to library services in underserviced rural areas;
We commend the MEC for streamlining the process of funding cultural organisations and sport federations;
Madame Speaker, we also note that job creation in the sport and recreation industry is being created via the MOD Programme;
• Forging various partnerships with other spheres of government nationally and internationally and with civil society organisations; and
• Hosting very successful Western Cape Sport Awards and Western Cape Cultural Awards events.
Madam Speaker, with all these accolades, there is always room for improvement. The Standing Committee would like to encourage the department to fill vacancies timeously to avoid any future impact on service delivery. Minister Mbombo and per Predecessor and her hardworking department from all organisational levels.
We wish them continued success and to carry on inspiring not only our youth but our province as a whole with positive alternatives so that they can live lives they value.
I thank you.