South African Department split

20 August 2002, South Africa

The Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) has reported on its role in the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST) split which occurred on August 1. The Network has reported that prior to the DACST Minister’s speech in May, it submitted an analysis of the 2002/03 DACST budget to its Portfolio Committee, revealing the disturbing trend of science and technology gaining substantially more funding than arts and culture over the last eight years. The report – which is said have subsequently received much newspaper coverage – led to PANSA’s call for the arts and culture branch of the department to be located in another ministry, for example tourism, where there would be a useful synergy. PANSA has commented that while the South African government may not concede that the announcement of the split is the result of the pressure that an organisation such as itself exerts, ‘it is less likely that such a move would have been made if PANSA did not exist and lobby as it does.’