NAC and AGSA in dispute and need to come clean on Mzansi funding 

Issued by Veronica van Dyk MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts & Culture
26 Feb 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached Afrikaans and English soundbite by Veronica van Dyk MP.

The DA notes with concern a dispute between the National Arts Council and the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) regarding possible irregular expenditure in relation to money paid to the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra (MNPO).

This after the AGSA could not brief the Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture on Tuesday because the National Arts Council’s (NAC) management apparently indicated that they did not have some of the key outstanding information to submit to the AGSA, as certain processes were handled by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. The AG could accordingly not reach a conclusion.

In a letter by the AGSA to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Beauty Dlulane, they indicate that during the previous year’s audit, the AGSA raised a finding in the management report of the NAC on possible irregular expenditure in relation to a transfer made to the MNPO. A source revealed that the payment was made during the 2021/22 financial year and amounted to R41 million.

The NAC management apparently disclosed the amount in the financial statements for 2021/22 financial year transferred to the orchestra as irregular expenditure under investigation.

The NAC has in the meantime sent a letter to the committee of Sports, Arts and Culture to contradict the claims made by the AGSA.

The DA calls on the NAC and the AGSA to come clean and reveal all information related to this dispute. We also call on the AGSA to respond on whether the NAC indeed provided the necessary information to evaluate and conclude on and whether there was any non-compliance amount paid to the MNPO which constitutes irregular expenditure.

As a final step towards accountability and given the controversy and lack of transparency surrounding the MNPO, the DA will be calling for an independent investigation into the MNPO and everything related to it.