Address by Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi on the occasion of the Limpopo Arts & Culture Indaba Gala Dinner, MJ Gateway Lodge
Honourable Premier of Limpopo Province: Premier Stanley Mathabatha;
Honourable MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Mme Nandi Ndalane;
Your Worship the Mayor of the City of Polokwane, Cllr. Thembi Nkadimeng;
Arts, Culture and Heritage stakeholders;
Members of the media;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thobela, Re a letamiṡa
I am delighted to be part of this august occasion of the Limpopo Provincial Arts and Culture Indaba. This Indaba augurs well with the mandate of the National Department of Arts and Culture to promote nation building and social cohesion.
This Indaba happens at a time when South Africans from all walks of life commemorate the National Book Week under the theme “Going Places”.
The Limpopo Provincial Arts and Culture indaba also gives impetus to the celebrations of the 2014 Heritage Month themed: “Celebrating 20 years of democracy: Tell your story that moves South Africa Forward”.
Lest we forget, over a period of 300 years the people of this beautiful country have only lived and known peace in the last two decades.
We urge you to put together Heritage Month community programmes, that make South Africans both young to proudly commemorate our heritage united in our diversity. We should preserve, promote and cherish our heritage every day of our lives.
We have embarked on a national journey of promoting nation building and social cohesion, rolling out the Social Cohesion Community Conversations programme in all provinces.
The aim of these conversations is to get the Nation to speak in its diversity on issues that both hinder and promote our cohesion as a nation. We are also completing the process of producing Social Cohesion Toolkit, which will be used in guiding us towards nation building and social cohesion.
We have a programme for social cohesion advocates, where we have put together a collective of eminent persons to promote nation building and social cohesion in communities.
We will continue with the Flag in all Schools programme which aims to promote nation building, national identity and social cohesion.
This programme entails the decorum hoisting of the National Flag, the etiquette of singing the National Anthem, the recital of the Preamble of the Constitution by the learners, distribution of the South African hand flags and publications on national symbols as well as the CD Tool Kit on how to sing the National Anthem.
Mzansi Golden Economy - Call for proposals
Through Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy, we are creating a sustained, strategic intervention in the sector. We plan to continue to work with the sector in upscaling existing initiatives and creating certainty in the sector.
We aim to create a conducive environment for the arts to contribute to jobs opportunities, mainstream the sector as an important contributor to economic growth and skills development.
We are in the process of completing the Call for Proposals that we published in June this year. This has received tremendous response from the sector. Many of the applicants were first time applicants and Limpopo sector practitioners are bound to benefit.
Through our Artists in Schools programme, which is part of MGE, we have created opportunities for arts practitioners to impart their knowledge in schools.
Honourable Premier, we are pleased to announce that we will continue to support Marula and Mapungubwe Arts Festivals, as flagship cultural events of your province. Through this we are not only showcasing the best creativity of Limpopo Province, but are also creating many job opportunities, tourism opportunities and economic boost. We look forward to this amazing and diverse arts and culture offerings.
LIBRARIES & COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRES
We will continue with the building of Libraries in all provinces. Libraries play a pivotal role in giving communities access to reading material and are central in building a reading nation. As a country, we have inherited the legacy of thin distribution of library infrastructure, where libraries are located in the cities, thus depriving the vast majority of our population dwelling in rural areas.
We need to look at Library programmes that attract young people to reading throughout the year and not only to prepare for examinations. We plan to inculcate the culture of reading as an integral part of human development. Thus we have selected Limpopo to be amongst the six provinces that would host the National Book Week road show.
As we celebrate twenty years of freedom and democracy, we have a mandate to ensure that we accelerate our developmental strategies and reach out to all sectors of our society, especially rural areas.
Over the next five years, we shall be piloting several creative arts incubators across the country. These will be the hotbeds for cultural entrepreneurship and democratise access to tools of production. These will be the sites that we encourage as government for the creation of local content.
I encourage all our stakeholders to be part of the 11th Session of National Oral History Programme, which will be held on 14 to 17 October 2014, under the theme “Reconsidering the post-apartheid moment: Oral History and the Politics of Transformation”
Our first democratic President, Dr Nelson Mandela, once said:
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward”.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Premier of Limpopo Province, Mr Stan Mathabatha for working together to promote nation building and social cohesion.
MEC Mme Nandi Ndalane, I would like to wish your Department, Mayor of the City of Polokwane, Cllr Thembi Nkadimeng and all stakeholders fruitful deliberations and successful Arts and Culture Indaba that will move Limpopo and South Africa forward.
Ke a leboga! Na Khensa! Thank you! Ro livhuwa! Baie dankie!