Address by Deputy Minister Ntombazana Botha at the Certification Ceremony
Board Members of MAPPP SETA
CEO of MAPPP-SETA
CEO’s of DAC aligned institutions
All Protocol Observed
It gives me much pleasure tonight to address you and to acknowledge and give recognition to achievers in the creative sector. I am sure that all of you will join me in congratulating all those who will be receiving Certificates of Competency.
DAC AND APEX PRIORITIES ESPECIALLY EPWP
In his State of the Nation Address, in parliament, two weeks ago, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, said “Six years ago, leaders of our people came together in a Growth and Development Summit and reached agreement on the tasks all of us should undertake to improve the quality of life of South Africans, particularly to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014.”
He said “these ideals are shared by virtually all of humanity, as reflected in the Millennium Development Goals. To this end, he correctly made a clarion call to all government departments to expand and improve the quality of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in our effort to push back the frontiers of poverty. These improvements of the EPWP programmes constitute an integral part of our government’s Anti Poverty Strategy under the leadership of our Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa,
Ms Baleka Mbete.
The Department of Arts and Culture and the sector in its entirety also have to play a major role in halving unemployment and poverty by 2014. We are expected to upscale the sector contribution to this cause.
Our sector prides itself about its potential to create sustainable jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities even in areas where people have minimum or no formal education. Be that as it may, we also need to note that some of our our cultural workers, artists as well as heritage practitioners have no business acumen to sustain their trades. Thus, there is a huge task ahead demanding that the sector devises strategies to empower our people to be able to make a decent living using their trades. However, these skills development programmes will not succeed unless there is a social contract of some kind between the public, private and non-governmental sector that will lead to empowerment programmes and bankable projects that can be supported towards self sustainability and self reliance. Partnerships between the various stakeholders in our sector could yield great results that could constructively contribute to the Millennium Development Goals.
I must repeat, there is a need for strategic partnerships if we are to make an impact in halving unemployment and reducing poverty by 2014. Given our grim past, we need to transcend the old stereotypes, work together to build these partnerships and encourage cooperation and collaboration for skills transfer, sharing of expertise, sharing of experience and prudent use of financial resources. In this way we will be able to unlock the potential of our people, grow the sector as well as contribute actively to the economy of our country.
DAC/MAPPP SETA PARTNERSHIP
I now want to focus a little bit on the training partnership entered into between the Department of Arts and Culture and Media Advertising Publishing Packaging and Printing (MAPPP) SETA in 2006.
The MAPPP SETA has a very special and important role in the development and growth of entrepreneurial skills in our sector. This means that this institution has a major task in our efforts to halve unemployment and reduce poverty by 2014 as enunciated in the Millennium Development Goals.
The MAPPP SETA needs to double its effort and contribution to support projects and ordinary citizens in their efforts to receive accredited training. It also has to play a meaningful role in the EPWP of government, where there is an integral component of skills development.
However, I would like to request the MAPPP SETA to consider engaging its beneficiaries in more ways than one including hosting one day workshops, seminars, information sessions, and other mass education programmes that can be accessed by South Africans from all walks of life. It is not my task to direct institutions on their mandates but, most South Africans have no or little access to information about the good programmes that government has put in place since the advent of our democracy in 1994. The MAPPP SETA is no exception. Having said that, I wish to commend the MAPPP SETA for the work it has done thus far bearing in mind that a lot still needs to be done and that we need to accelerate the pace.
There are mediums that we have not really explored in communicating our programmes to our people. Some of them include public radio and community radio. TV is not necessarily the only medium we have to be competing for in reaching the historically disadvantaged communities, most of whom live in rural and peri-urban areas.
There is a need for institutions such as the MAPPP SETA to work alongside government and be more visible, particularly during Izimbizo Focus Weeks so that it, too, can showcase its capabilities to our people, particularly when DAC holds its Izimbizo. This will further demonstrate the partnership between DAC and the MAPPP SETA.
The training partnership between DAC and the MAPPP SETA should be aimed at ensuring that the supported beneficiaries increase their skills base, improve their employability potential and subsequently ensure that they land into realisable exit opportunities either as business entities and/or as individual entrepreneurs. This will further support our efforts of transformation as we expand the training provider base.
Having said all this, “Do we realise the extent to which we undervalue our potential and limit our creative thinking”? I think this cannot be allowed as it contributes greatly to our levels of laxity, despair and eventually unemployment. Remember, restrictions and barriers posed by low levels of education should not affect the arts, culture and heritage sector because in this sector no one can stop anybody from either thinking creatively or using their God-given skills and talents.
We must always remember that in the creative sector, if you have hands, legs and a mouth and even if you have little or no formal education, you can create employment for yourself. As I often say, women who are prepared to think creatively, whether they live in rural areas or urban areas, if they use their God-given gifts and talents they can change their lives for the better. The MAPPP SETA in partnership with our Department of Arts and Culture should create an enabling environment for this to happen.
I want to remind you that the DAC Investing In Culture Programme is an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) aimed at using arts, culture and heritage to nurture a spirit of economic independence and entrepreneurship. Last year we said “the expected impact of this IIC programme is to create a platform for everyone to be community builders, creators of wealth and contributors to the local and national economies as communities use readily available resources and skills within their reach.” The IIC programme is not only about pulling people out of joblessness and state support, it is also about improving their skills base and subsequently make them employable or entrepreneurs where possible.
CATEGORIES TO BE CERTIFIED
Today, as we award certificates to distinguished South African project beneficiaries and officials we showcase to all and sundry that it has been possible for the department in partnership with MAPPP SETA to contribute to the fight against poverty through skills development.
Ladies and gentlemen, the categories clearly indicate that here we talking about “training opportunities for all” given the different entry requirements.
Competency certificates will be awarded to beneficiaries from various Provinces:
- Hundred and fifty six (156) crafters on Craft Production, (NQF 2),
- Fifty eight (58) assessors
- Seven (7) moderators
- Five hundred and sixty (560) crafters successfully completed Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) training from Level 1-3.
To ensure a scaled up and smooth implementation, the Provincial Coordinators have already been trained and qualified as both Assessors and Moderators on Craft Production, Craft Enterprise and Craft Operations Management , NQF 2, 4 and 5, respectively.
Congratulations to all recipients of certificates, “the best is yet to be” and please continue to instil that sense of independence and hope to others.
With the opportunity that have been created by ANC led government to expand and improve the EPWP, I would like to see more people taking advantage of the training offered in this programme as well within this and other complementary initiatives in the future.
Ladies and gentlemen, the ANC led government has created a lot of opportunities for us and as it continues to accelerate service delivery it is up to us to take advantage of these opportunities.
Amongst other upcoming events to mount the contribution of strategic partnerships both in public and private sector as well as affording marketing opportunities for the sustainability of these projects, on the 26th of February 2009, myself and colleagues from the Free State will be in Welkom, Lejwaleputswa opening a retail outlet owned by Afribatho Project.
I am hopeful that this and other projects under the Investing in Culture (IIC) programme and beneficiaries that have participated in this training initiative will produce good quality products in large quantities to meet the growing demand for South African Arts and Culture products, especially with our country hosting the Confederations Cup in three month’s time (in June) and 2010 Soccer World Cup in less than 468 days from now.
This is a great opportunity for marketing your products in the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 Soccer World Cup – your craft, your traditional dances, your music, your theatre productions, you name it, its all marketable.
I cannot leave this podium without reminding you of the upcoming elections on the 22nd of April 2009, as this is another opportunity of making your mark and thus making your voice heard. Please make sure that you and members of your families and friends who are eligible to vote, register and vote wisely on the 22nd April. It is your constitutional right and your responsibility to determine your own future by casting your vote.
I would like to acknowledge all of you and thank the beneficiaries for making good use of the opportunities that were provided by the Department and the MAPPP SETA. Congratulations you’ve done us proud.