Artists and cultural workers raised their eyebrows sharply this week when state-funding body the National Arts Council (NAC) released its 2017/18 annual report.

Among the financial details provided includes money paid to its controversial board as remuneration for attending board and subcommittee meetings.

Chair gets almost R400 000

The report reveals that the chair of council, Hartley Ngoato, was paid R383 096 in the course of the financial year.

City Press has surveyed the last five NAC annual reports, which confirm that this is more than double the highest amount paid to a board chair. In 2013 Angie Makwetla received R167 598, considerably higher than any other year – until Ngoato’s unprecedented payout, which is three times the average paid to a board chair in the past five years.

In total the 20-person board received R1.869 885 million in the past financial year. This is considerably higher than any council bill of the past five years and almost double the average. Until this year the highest remuneration paid to the board was R1.189 531 million, again in 2013.

Was the deputy chair supposed to be paid?

The annual report also reveals that the NAC’s deputy chair, Jabu Dlamini, received R141 283 in honorariums for the past financial year.

The problem with this payment is that Dlamini is believed to work for the Mpumalanga department of culture, sport and recreation. As she already works for the state she is not not eligible for board stipends, according to Treasury’s rules.

Sources close to the board say the Dlamini matter has been raised at board meetings in the past.

The NAC did not respond to questions about board remuneration sent on Thursday. On Friday a member of the NAC’s communications team wrote to City Press saying, “The NAC is in the process of reviewing the responses to your questions and will give appropriate responses by next week.” Read more