Commissions of Enquiry
- 1 As a General Term
- 2 South African Commissions of Enquiry into the Arts and related matters
- 2.1 The Eybers Commission of Enquiry (1945)
- 2.2 Committee of Enquiry regarding the National Theatre Organisation or The De Bruyn Committee (1961)
- 2.3 Commission of Enquiry into the Performing Arts in South Africa (1977) or The Niemand Commission
- 2.4 Commission of Enquiry into the Creative Arts (1981) or The Schutte Commission
- 2.5 The Commission for Researching the Restructuring the Performing Arts in Natal or CRAN (1993)
- 2.6 Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Lingusitic Communities (2002)
- 3 Return to
As a General Term
This refers to a group of people (though there have been one-person commissions), set up to investigate something in order to find out more information about it and possibly to make recommendations for steps to be taken or improvements to be made. Can be appointed pre-emptively as a result of perceived irreguilarities, or in cases where doubts or dissatisfaction with the status quo exists. Often appointed by a government, political party, association or business management.
Issues regarding the arts and artists have over the years also been subject to Commissions of Enquiry.
The Eybers Commission of Enquiry (1945)
Also referred to as the G.W. Eybers Commission or most often the Eybers Commission, this was a commission of enquiry instituted by the Minister of Education, Arts and Science (Mr J.H. Hofmeyr) in 1945 to study the educational and social needs of the country after the second world war. Headed by G.W. Eybers, the commissions voluminous report recommended the founding of a National Council for Adult Education. Eybers was the first director, and being a theatre lover, he in 1947 approved the formation of an advisory committee devoted to theatre, headed by the chairman of FATSSA, P.P.B. Breytenbach. It was under the aegis of this sub-committee that FATSSA obtained its first grant of £400, plus a loan of £3,600 in 1947, to organise professional tours in 1948, and - in effect - to establish the National Theatre Organisation (NTO). (See Rinie Stead, 1985b)
Committee of Enquiry regarding the National Theatre Organisation or The De Bruyn Committee (1961)
A Committee of the Department of Education, Arts and Science, chaired by ** De Bruyn. It was appointed in 1961 to investigate the financial and organisational problems encountered by the embattled National Theatre Organisation (NTO). The committee consisted of **, and heard evidence from a wide range of people and institutions, including the management of NTO. Though their report was never published, the reccommendations were that (a) NTO wind up its business in 1962 and (b) that it be replaced by four povincial performing arts councils in 1963. (See also National Theatre Organisation and Performing Arts Councils.) (Stead, 1985b, *)
Commission of Enquiry into the Performing Arts in South Africa (1977) or The Niemand Commission
Also more commonly known as the Niemand Commission.
This was a commission appointed by the state and arsising from the inability of the Performing Arts Councils to manage their work within the budgets available at the beginning of the 1970s. On 18 April 1975 Government Notice No 762 was issued wherein the State President appointed a commission of inquiry to report on the development of the performing arts as means of cultural enrichment of the South African society. The commission was to be chaired by Justice J.H. Niemand and consisted of J.G van der Merwe, J.D. Marx, H.J. Coetzee, C.D. Fuchs, D.P. Inskip, C.G. Kerr and M.J. Gobbelaar. The secretary was Doris Breytenbach. , The focus was to be on: (1) the need for training facilities for artists, technicians, theatre specialists, etc., (2) the staffing requirements of he Performing Arts Councils over the next decade, (3) the financing of the PAC's and an estimate of their requirements over the next decade, (4) the geographical borders within which each PAC should operate, (5) the extent to which the rights of the two official languages are catered for and an outline of the cultural needs of the two language groups, (6) the protection of the current high moral and religious values of South Africa in productions, and (7) the possibility of co-ordinating and making opera, ballet, drama and musical facilities available nationally. standards , language issues and the moral implications of the performing arts. Memorandums were received from more than 250 people and organisations over the two years, among which were numerous state and semi-state institutions, including the Institute for Languages, Literature and the Arts at the Human Sciences Research Council, the managements of commercial theatre, the SA Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Co-ordinating Council for the Performing Arts?*, as well as heads of state departments, rectors and professors of universities and well known artists and theatre practitioners. Commission members H.J. Coetzee and Michal Grobbelaar also undertook a trip to Europe to to gather information on causes and results of decentralisation of performing arts bodies through government intervention. While there had been a strong push for the founding of a National Arts Council (along the lines of the British Arts Council) by many of the submissions, the fragmented structures of educational and cultural management in Apartheid South Africa prevented the commission from making the proposal. The final report was published by the Government in 1977, and then basically ignored by the government.
(See Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Performative Arts in South Africa, No ***, 1977; Niemand in Hauptfleisch, 1985); **) [TH; FdV]
Commission of Enquiry into the Creative Arts (1981) or The Schutte Commission
The Commission for Researching the Restructuring the Performing Arts in Natal or CRAN (1993)
A commission specifically appointed in the province of Natal during the transformational period (1989-1991???)when the Performing Arts Councils were being re-evaluated. ***
May, C A (1993) Community Survey Results, Phase One: Durban Metropolitan Region, unpublished research report, Commission for Researching the Restructuring of the Performing Arts in Natal (CRAN), Durban.
Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Lingusitic Communities (2002)
A commission appointed by President Thabo Mbeki in 2002 in terms of Chapter 9, Section 181, 185 and 186 of the Constitution, by Act No. 19 of 2002 and called the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities Act, 2002.
Objects of the CRL Commission
The objects of the CRL Commission are:
To promote respect for and further the protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
To promote and develop peace, friendship, humanity, tolerance and national unity among and within cultural, religious and linguistic communities, on the basis of equality, non-discrimination and free association;
To foster mutual respect among cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
To promote the right of communities to develop their historically diminished heritage; and
To recommend the establishment or recognition of community councils in accordance with Section 36 or 37.
Powers and Functions of the CRL Commission
The Commission may do all that is necessary or expedient to achieve its objects referred to in Section 4, including to:
Conduct information and education programmes to promote public understanding of the objects, role and activities of the Commision;
Conduct programmes to promote respect for and further the protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
Assist in the development of strategies that facilitate the full and active participation of cultural, religious and linguistic communities in nation-building in South Africa;
Promote awarenessamong the youth of South Africa of the diversity of cultural, religious and linguistic communities and their rights;
Monitor, investigate and research any issue concerning the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
Educate, lobby, advise and report on any issue concerning the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
Facilitate the resolution of friction between and within cultural, religious and linguistic communities or between any such community and an organ of state where the cultural, religious or linguistic rights of a community are affected;
Receive and deal with requests related to the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
Make recommendations to the appropriate organ of state regarding legislation that impacts, or may impact, on the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
Establish and maintain databases of cultural, religious and linguistic community organisations and institutions and experts on these communities;
Bring any relevant matter to the attention of the appropriate authority or organ of state, and, where appropriate, make recommendations to such authority or organ of state in dealing with such a matter.
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page.