Address by Deputy Minister Ntombazana Botha at the launch of the Community Arts Centre Awards
MEC W Thusi
Councillors from the Ethekwini
Art Centre Managers
Community at large
Origin of CACs – family units, skills e.g. weaving, passed on from generation to generation.
CACs set up by the British in the 1950s – to teach the natives European arts and craft
CACs during the apartheid era – Centres for political and cultural expression
CACs as space for young people (many displaced since 1976)
After 1994 the purpose of these CACs has been misconstrued or misdirected
With developments that have taken place since 1994 we need to re-focus and direct the work of CACs
CACs should work towards same goals of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and peaceful country.
This is not possible if there is hunger, poverty, unemployment and diseases of poverty.
CACs are well located to provide training to equip communities to be able to respond to the challenges.
CACs serve as resource and information centres
The role of the Community
CACs are the responsibility of the community and should be owned by the community
CACs must be located within a community to be accessible to the community
CACs must be community driven/people centered.
Must address the needs of a particular community.
It is not Government that must identify the need, it is the community that must identify its needs and therefore the need to establish a CAC
At IIMBIZO or IZIMBIZO communities raise the very same issue of venue or facilities where they can meet to do craft and other creative work – but Government is not responding appropriately of quickly enough
Many CACs where established with adequate consultation with communities for which they were intended
No proper hand over to communities was done
The facilities are not suitable for the kind of programmes which are to be conducted at CACs (small and inappropriate), e.g. in Mdantsane alone, with a population of approximately 180 000 there is only one CAC
No community-based management structures (governing bodies) were established to run CACs
CACs used as facilities for running projects instead of training programmes
No defined roles for National, Provincial and Local spheres of government
Policies and Programmes
Forum of CACs or Association has met several times to discuss CAC policy
Cannot formulate policy without being guided by the overarching government policy and strategic plans which are based on the needs of the people of this country
Since 1955 we have used the Freedom Charter (an expression of the needs and desires of the people of South Africa) as our guide and developed our indicators against which we measure progress
Appreciate support and guidance received from various countries, especially the Flemish Government who assisted us with policy development, management training for CAC managers and capacity building
The bottom line – CACs need to recognize the rich cultures, creativity and talents in the community and seek to articulate and translate into implementable programmes that will respond to the challenges and needs of the community.
CACs as centres of excellence and awards
Many challenges of a developing nation and a developmental state viz. building and uniting our previously segregated nation; addressing issues of poverty, unemployment, skills shortage, hunger, diseases, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, degeneration of the social fabric, etc.
To achieve all this CACs need to be properly structured and adequately resourced (not only financially)
Awards are about excellence or striving for excellence
Appropriate timing as we look forward to 2010 Fifa World Cup
More training for projects in Quality Assurance, Pricing, Intellectual Property rights (Copyright, Patents, etc), marketing, entrepreneurship
Role of stakeholders
Primary stakeholder is the community (community to determine programme and governance)
All 3 spheres of government must take responsibility – Local Municipalities for infrastructure; Prov and National for programmes
Municipalities to identify suitable facilities and take responsibility for servicing and maintenance
Ward Councillors , Ward committees and Community Development Workers – to ensure there is a CAC at least in every ward
All spheres should include CACs in the IDPs and budgets (as part of LED)
CACs awards as incentive
CAC goals (same as government priorities) of halving poverty and unemployment by 2014 through the medium of Arts, Culture and Heritage
ACH is a cross-cutting issue and should be integrated in all our policies and strategies, e.g. reducing crime, healthy lifestyle, correctional and rehabilitation services, etc.
Criteria to be adequately canvassed and understood by all