The IFP recognises the central significance of arts, culture and heritage in the cultural, social and intellectual life of the country. The following principles underline the IFP’s policy on arts, culture and heritage.
The IFP believes that legislative competence in respect of arts, culture and heritage should be given exclusively to the provinces. Each province should be free to recognise and nurture its own unique heritage.
Governance of arts and culture
The IFP proposes the creation of a Co-ordinating Council for the Arts which will be responsible inter alia for the distribution of funds to cultural institutions, NGO’s and CBO’s. The co-ordinating council will comprise representatives of the provinces.
The IFP believes that arts, culture and heritage should be encouraged through appropriate tax relief methods. Spending in arts and culture should be directed to areas which have the potential for wealth creation.
The IFP believes that limited funds should be assigned to provincial theatre companies which produce world class theatre music, dance, opera and other art forms. They would be required to train students and conduct outreach programmes.
Provincial and local government should take the lead in supporting the visual arts, crafts and design as a way of preserving the cultural heritage of the various groups in South Africa.
Literature, libraries and information services
The IFP views libraries as institutions which improve the intellectual potential of the country, and the encouragement of reading and literature appreciation is closely related to the provision of libraries and information services. Literature and the performing arts feed into wealth producing industries such as television and film. The production of literature should be encouraged by inter alia granting appropriate tax rebates to individuals who produce profit making books.
Development programmes and partnerships
The IFP is keen to promote competitions based on local arts, culture and heritage. These competitions should be co-ordinated by government, operated by NGO’s and funded by the private sector.
The IFP believe that, in the main, a two language approach should prevail in each province. The remaining languages spoken in South Africa should be recognised and assisted in general terms.
National Heritage Council
The IFP supports the establishment of a National Heritage Council which will advise on policies for research, art collection management, curation, exhibitions and education. The IFP also supports the preservation of all monuments and historical sites, by provincial monuments councils.
The IFP supports the establishment of a film foundation to offer training and expertise in respect of film making to aspirant local writers, directors and producers.
Due to the ever increasing pace of scientific and technological development, it is imperative that South Africa maintains its high standards of education and research in these fields, and that opportunities be created for previously disadvantaged persons to enjoy an education and career based on the sciences.
The IFP favours the acceleration of all endeavours in respect of science education in order to counteract historical deprivation. Curriculum revision needs to be given constant attention. Mathematics in particular should receive special attention. Examination failure in science, at all levels, should be investigated and addressed effectively.
Children should be encouraged to take an interest in the sciences through exhibitions, quizzes, olympiads, and radio and television programmes.
Bursaries should be provided to enable students to pursue scientific studies at a tertiary level.
Research and development
Funding in respect of research and development should be maintained at a level which will keep South Africa internationally competitive. The establishment of national priorities for research and development will help to prioritise available funding. Research and development should be co-ordinated throughout government agencies and departments. Natural and human sciences should be regarded as separate entities for funding purposes.
National science establishments such as the Hartebeest Radio Astronomical Centre and the National Accelerator Centre should continue to receive government support.
To ensure that South Africa remains abreast of worldwide scientific and technological developments, the IFP will encourage international co-operation in all matters relating to research and development.
Responsibility for handling all administrative, theoretical and professional issues relating to research and development should be devolved to the various science councils i.e. the CSIR, MRC, HSRC etc.
Enthusiasm for the sciences should be stimulated through greater recognition and the presentation of awards for achievement.
Patents and intellectual property rights should be protected by appropriate legislation so that technology transfer can occur unhindered.