Address by the Minister Paul Mashatile, on the occasion of the closing ceremony of the French Leg of the 2012/2013 French South Africa Seasons

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17 Nov 2012

Programme Director

The MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation in KwaZulu Natal, Mrs Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Sapete

The Deputy Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Mrs Nomvuso Shabalala

His Excellency the Ambassador of the French Republic in South Africa, Mr Lapouge

The Co-Chairpersons of the Seasons, Mr Xavier Darcos and Ambassador Dikgang Moopeloa

The Director General of the Department of Arts and Culture, Mr Sibusiso Xaba

Commissioners-General of the Seasons, Mr Laurent Clavel and Mr Bongani Tembe - who is also the Creative Director of this Closing Ceremony

Government officials here present

Distinguished guests

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good Evening!

We meet here this evening to mark the end of a successful French leg of the 2012-2013 French South Africa Seasons.

When this leg of the Seasons began in July this year, we set ourselves a number of objectives that we sought to achieve.

These included the need to encourage cultural, economic, scientific, educational and a broad range of collaborative efforts between France and South Africa.

We also said that the Seasons should assist us to increase the level of awareness and appreciation of the French and South African art, culture and heritage.

In particular, we saw the Seasons as an opportunity for our local arts, culture and heritage practitioners to show case their talent, interact and exchange best practices with their French counterparts.

Ultimately our objective was to strengthen people to people contact, build further bridges that connect us and strengthen our bonds of friendship and solidarity.

Progamme Director I am delighted that together we have succeeded in achieving the goals we have set for ourselves.
As South Africa, we emerge from this leg of the Seasons with a sense of accomplishment; that cultural relations between France and South Africa have been taken a step further.

We emerge even more convinced that humanity is one; that our diversity is a source of strength; that what unites us far outweighs that which divides us and that ours is a shared destiny.

Through the Seasons we have succeeded in deepening mutual respect and appreciation between our peoples and our countries.

We were able to create an environment where partnerships and collaborations between our artists can develop and flourish.

We hope that these partnerships will lay the basis for further collaboration between our artists, particularly as we in South Africa implement the Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy; through which we will enhance our sectors contribution to social inclusion, economic growth and job creation.

It is our wish ultimately that these partnerships must lead to greater trade in local cultural and artistic products, access to new markets by our artists and thus contribute to the growth of our cultural and creative economy.
It is also our wish that flowing from the Seasons will be greater cooperation between our two countries in other fields such as in trade and commerce, education, sport and technological exchanges. 

Programme Director during our hosting of this leg of the Seasons, we drew a number of lessons that will assist us as we prepare for the South African leg of the Seasons in France next year.

I am delighted that our preparations are at an advanced stage.

We therefore look forward to a highly successful South African leg of the Seasons, which will kick off in Cannes.

I take this opportunity to thank officials from both South Africa and France for the work they continue to do to ensure the success of the Seasons.

Your hard work has not gone unnoticed!

We trust that your ultimate reward will be to see us advance towards a better, more humane and caring world through greater cooperation in the arts, culture and heritage.

Thank you.