George Mari, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Arts and Culture
In a move which has angered the Democratic Alliance, the KwaZulu-Natal Arts and Culture council has failed to provide grant-in-aid funding to a single Indian organisation involved in the promotion of the arts in the province.
Yesterday during a meeting of the provincial Arts and Culture portfolio committee, it emerged that the council has not handed over a cent of the R1.7 million grant, funded by KwaZulu-Natal taxpayers.
The DA is outraged by this move which smacks of marginalisation of the Indian community.
The same happened in 2010 and the DA was quick to point out this shocking oversight. The following two years saw funding allocated to Indian organisations. Now it appears that we are back to square one. Regrettably the funds have already been transferred, so there is no going back on this travesty.
According to KZN’s Arts and Culture department, the decision over how funding is allocated lies with the Council alone. Given this, the DA has called for the department to disband the Council with immediate effect and subpoena members to appear before the portfolio committee to explain their actions. We further propose that the department find additional funding to make up for this serious error.
The DA condemns the Council’s approach in the strongest terms. At a recent meeting with KZN’s Premier, Hindu leaders voiced their serious concerns over the side-lining of the Indian community in this province. The failure to fund Indian arts and culture organisations shows that this concern is indeed warranted.