WOMEN TAKING ARTS, CULTURE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS TO THE NEXT LEVEL IN THE NORTH WEST
When it comes to the development of arts, culture and traditional affairs in the North West, three of the key players are energetic, self-motivated and vibrant women. They hold critical positions that help the Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs (Cata) in that province achieve its goals. They live by the Department’s mission: “To enhance job creation by preserving, protecting arts, culture, heritage and the institution of traditional leadership.”
In paying tribute to women making a difference to the lives of many in the province, we profile the three. They are fine examples of women making a difference in society and inspiring others in the process.
The MEC for Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs in the North West Provincial Government Ontlametse Regina (“OR”) Mochware is a dynamic political leader who enjoys taking on new challenges.
Born on 21 June 1960, in the small village of Gamanyai near Ganyesa in the North West province, she has risen to become a key figure in both the administration and political life of the province. She is a married mother of five – three boys and two girls – who manages to balance her family time and community service.
MEC Mochware is a teacher by profession, in possession of a diploma in secondary and higher education, as well as a bachelor of arts in education and business management. She also furthered her studies and obtained a certificate in executive leadership in municipal development and a certificate in municipal finance.
She is a leader; a self-motivated woman with impeccable management skills, being an excellent facilitator, negotiator and a problem solver.
“OR” started her working career as a teacher in 1980. From 1997 to 2005 she was a school principal – recognition of her commitment and dedication to her chosen trade.
She also served her local community as a part-time municipal councillor/speaker from the year 2000 to 2005. She later retired as a teacher and followed her political ambition to become a fulltime councillor at Kagisano Local Municipality in the Dr Ruth Mompati District.
During 2006, she was elected as the mayor of Kagisano Molopo Local Municipality where she served for eight years.
In May 2014, she rose to become a political adviser to the then premier of the North West Province, a job she performed until December 2015. Owing to her political maturity and the level of growth she had gained, MEC Mochware was called by the African National Congress to form part of the North West Provincial Legislature in January 2016.
She was later mandated to be the MEC for the Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs in the province, a position she still holds.
Irrespective of her demanding political and professional life, “OR” still finds time to perform her Christian duties, hence she is a church leader and a member of the Mothers Union of Tlakgameng Methodist Church.
She is a founder and former chairperson of Basadi Emang (Women Coalition), a former chairperson of Boagisani Ladies Club, a former chairperson of Middle School English
Club for Ganyesa and Vryburg, and a former member of Vryburg Core Induction Team for Education.
Her previous roles in government include:
• Deputy chairperson of SALGA North West.
• Member of the SALGA NW Bargaining Council.
• During the year 2010, she was chosen by North West Provincial Government to represent the province at a gender mainstreaming programme in Sweden.
• Board member of the North West Transport Investment. • Deputy chairperson of the Performing Arts Centre of the
MEC Mochware is a former chairperson of ANC Kagisano Ward 8 Branch, a former ANC Women’s League Regional Executive Committee member for Vryburg region. She is an ANC regional executive committee member, ANC Provincial Executive Committee member from 2011 to date, ANC Provincial Working Committee member from 2011 to date and the ANC Women’s League deputy secretary of Ward 5 in Kagisano Molopo from 2013 to date. She is also an ANCWL provincial executive committee member and ANCWL provincial working committee member from 2017 to date.
Armed with an array of qualifications in the financial sector, Nono Bapela has been the go-to person when it comes to getting things right in the civil service. She has cut her teeth in different spheres of government making a mark in her various activities serving the people of the North West.
Her appointment as an administrator of the ailing Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in 2015, a mere two months after being named the institutions acting municipal manager, in an interventionist capacity under the constitution, is an indication of the high regard in which she is held in governance circles.
Bapela has spent most of her working life in provincial, district and local government after her short stint as a trainee at giant audit firm Ernst & Young and just under two years as an internal auditor at Sefalana Employee Benefits Organisation (Sebo).
Since then, she has been regional director for the North West Office of the Public Service Commission, CFO of the Tswaing Local Municipality, chief director at the NW Education Department and municipal manager for the Moses Kotane Local Municipality.
Bapela is proud of the work her department is doing. “As a department, we want to be a key player in the country in terms of developing artists, cultural workers and traditional leaders and their constituencies.
“It is a lot of hard work but it is fulfilling. We firmly believe that we can do our bit in helping the country work towards a united, non-racial and non-sexist society that seeks to prosper. Further, we have seen that job creation in the arts and related sectors is neither a mere slogan nor a pipe dream. Over the past few years, we have shown how culture and arts can benefit communities in terms of the economy. Indeed, one of the direct beneficiaries from our endevours is the tourism sector.
“Over the past few years, we have hosted successful national events that have had a direct benefit to our artists and the community in general. These include the South African Music Awards, South African Traditional Music Achievements Awards and the South African Film and Television Awards. On top of that, we launched our own Mahika Mahikeng Cultural Festiva, which brings multitudes to the capital city and the province. That festival, in particular, is growing in leaps and bounds.”
Bapela says local artists and cultural workers have benefited directly through workshops conducted by experts in their various fields in the business of music and arts in general.
There have also been advances in working with communities under traditional leaders. Not only is the department working closely and supporting institutions of traditional leadership, but it has also managed to forge links between its work in arts and culture and the cultural practises in rural communities.
“This was demonstrated during our annual celebrations of Africa Day in the province in the villages and our own Re di neela jaana (This is how we do it/ live our culture). In the case of Africa Day, we get schools around the province to each represent an African country – complete with its flag and culture – all put on display by our rural youth.
“With Re di neela jaana, each village in the province comes and displays its cultural practices in a day-long festival of fun for all. In that way, we keep the youth up to speed with their own culture.”
A seasoned civil servant and a former academic who takes pride in her work, the departmental chief financial officer looks to jump her next hurdle in style by enhancing her academic credentials and contributing to bettering the civil service.
“My personal ambition is to complete my PhD in public finance and to contribute to improving our province in terms of Public Finance Management and good governance,” says Mme Pulane Mojaki. “My particular aim is to continue improving our financial performance at the Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs.”
Her chief directorate is responsible for the following functions: financial accounting services; budget and cash flow management; supply chain management;
risk management; asset management; transport management; as well as salaries administration and management.
Born and raised in Mahikeng’s Makgobistad Village, the 41-year-old mother of three has a string of academic achievements to her name. She obtained a bachelor of commerce degree with accounting and auditing as majors, followed by a bachelor of commerce honours degree in management and a masters of business administration (MBA) in finance, all from the University of North West.
That was all after attending Diphetogo Primary School in Montshiwa (Mahikeng) and Batswana Commercial Secondary School, also in Mahikeng.
She has extensive and wealth of work experience in the field of public finance. She has worked in the public service for the past 17 years and grew within the ranks from level 06 up to the current level 14. She has worked for both national and provincial governments.
Mojaki has dedicated most of her working life to serving the people – working her way up the ranks. Prior to being CFO, she held the following positions: director for financial accounting at Cata; provincial director finance (North West Province) for the Department of Home Affairs; deputy director (Ffnancial accounting) North West Provincial Government Department of Agriculture and Rural Development; assistant director (financial management) North West Provincial Government Department of Health; state accountant (expenditure and budgeting) National Department of Education; state accountant (expenditure) National Department of Education.
Prior to that, she was a junior lecturer at Technikon North West for one academic year.
To complement her academic qualifications, she has undertaken training in the following: advance management development programme; essentials of budget formulation; supply chain management; standard chart of accounts; Batho Pele principles; Expenditure and revenue management; Walker financial systems; general principles on FMS; state expenditure; basic accounting system (BAS); as well as LOGIS literacy.
MEC ONTLAMETSE MOCHWARE
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT – NONO BAPELA
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER – MS PULANE MOJAKI