Address by Minister Mthethwa at the Budget Vote of DAC, Good Hope Chambers, Parliament of South Africa, Cape Town, 17 July 2014
UNLEASHING THE ECONOMIC POWER OF THE ARTS
Honourable Xoliswa Tom, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Arts and Culture
Ladies and Gentlemen
We may all recall that memorable moment on 9 May 1994 when then President Nelson Mandela, speaking at his inauguration, pledged:
“We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world."
As we celebrate 20 years of Democracy, we have learned with deep sadness of the passing away of the African literary giant, Nadine Gordimer.
We offer our condolences to her family, friends and the arts community. We can say that through her pen and the actions of all our people on the world stage, we as a nation have indeed walked tall “without any fear” and with confidence, dignity and pride.
On the eve of Nelson Mandela Day, we can say that indeed Tata we have acted true to your pledge to the people of South Africa and the world. We have embraced the vision of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society in our relations with the world.
Yet we can do so much more to ensure that ours is a country where everyone fully participates in cultural life and is able to access cultural resources.
Singenza lukhulu ukuqinisekisa ukuthi abantu bakithi inkululeko yabo bayijabulela ngendlela ehloniphekile futhi enesizotha.
Kungumsebenzi wethu ukuthi sigqugquzelele umoya wobunye nokuzwana isisekelo sakho kube kungumlando wethu onothile, ukubekezelelana, ukwethembana, ukwazisana kanye nokuxoxisana uma kufanele sixazulule izinkinga futhi sandise isiko lokubambisana nokuxhumana singabantu sonke.
Esikhathini esiningi esedlule ingcindezelo nobandlululo zibe nomthelela omkhulu ekwakheni izimpilo zethu, izindlela esiphila ngazo, amathuba umuntu okufanele awathole empilweni, ikakhulukazi ezintweni ezifana nemindeni, ukubuswa nokuphathwa kwezwe, amasiko, isimo somnotho, imiphakathi esiphila kuyo, izinto ezingamagugu ezwe kanye nendlela nje yokuphilisana singabantu ezweni.
The pattern of development and underdevelopment is one that continues to dominate our society today. It is layered upon the sediment of the past dispensation that functions as part of the foundations of the new order.
As a result, ours is an inheritance of multiple fractures that have yet to be healed, despite the unifying ethos of arts and culture.
The National Development Plan
Honourable Members, it remains our task to remake out of our fractured past a more socially and economically inclusive society that is proud of all its cultural expressions; and a people that act together to enable the birth of a new culture and create new forms of engagement towards greater unity.
The challenge we face as a society is the process of building our nation out of a vast cultural and economic legacy of difference and inequality. Thus the NDP is a response to five key dimensions, namely (1) Inclusive social and economic development; (2) sustainable investment and growth; (3) Decent jobs and sustainable livelihoods (4) A capable developmental state, and (5) Expanding opportunities.
Designed as a set of broad programmatic interventions, the plan proposes a roadmap of radical engagements with all sectors of society during second phase of our transition to 2030.
In his inaugural address this year, President Zuma stated,
“Economic transformation will take centre-stage during this new term of government as we put the economy on an inclusive growth path.”
The NDP states, “Arts and culture opens powerful spaces for engagement about where a society finds itself and where it is going. Promoted effectively, the creative and cultural industries can contribute substantially to small business development, job creation, urban development and renewal.”
Building on the foundations for radical economic transformation
As we enter the second phase of our transition to transform our society, a brand new era is upon us.
We shall turn our programmatic goals into practical interventions that together consitutes radical economic transformation.
Our plan for the next five years responds to the unfinished business of economic transformation as a framework for the economic vitality of our social and cultural fabric. It restores social transformation as a pillar for nation building and unity.
In order to build on our collective identity and national pride as South Africans, government has elevated nation building and social cohesion to a stand-alone outcome 14.
This identifies building a common national identity and creating a cohesive society among our top priorities towards the realisation of Vision 2030. .
Mzansi Golden Economy
In line with this strategy, we have begun a process of transforming the Arts sector to encourage and support pro-poor innovations necessary to equip citizens, especially youth, with theoretical and experiential knowledge.
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. This is part of the Mzansi Golden Economy which seeks to expand supply and work opportunities; grow audiences; transform the colonial heritage landscape; collect relevant data to inform policy direction; and develop artists to be economically self-reliant.
The incubators will enable us to measure the output of locally developed content in terms of music, artworks, films and stage productions amongst other artistic outcomes.
These creative arts incubators will be located in cultural precincts and villages which positions the creative sector at the centre of cultural life and economic development. Through constructing and upgrading spaces, these facilities will bring people together for social dialogue and cohesion. Together with the eThekwini Metro we are piloting a Fashion Hub in the city.
We are working on the development and implementation of five year strategies for fashion, design, animation, craft and performing arts.
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) will begin the rollout of pilot film hubs to grow township and rural audiences and provide infrastructure for emerging filmmakers to tell the South African story through film. We shall establish a Film Fund that will support the growth of the local film industry.
This will also lay the platform for the Department to create a specific venture capital fund that will finance the cultural entrepreneurs. This is in line with the goals set out in the NDP. The Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) Venture Capital Fund will be established over the next 3 years.
We will work closely with National Treasury to develop the MGE Venture Capital Fund for the creative arts which will take into the account unique needs of the artists and the sometimes erratic nature of the revenue streams that they have.
Through this fund we will invest in the early stages of artist development through taking their products to the markets.
This will close a big gap that is currently faced by artists who end up living from hand to mouth and dying as paupers.
We will launch the Mzansi Golden Market (Sourcing Enterprise e-platform). This e-platform will showcase the works of artists and enable the buying of a range of arts services online. It will encourage individual artists, art organisation and businesses to register. It also acknowledges that government is the biggest buyer of goods and services and will use this platform as their first choice for buying. This means unlocking opportunities within government and the private sector for the buying of goods and services in the arts and culture sector.
We will work closely with the Department of Small Business Development to ensure that cultural entrepreneurs can start their creative enterprises with no red tape and ensure that artists are the beneficiaries of incentives earmarked for small businesses.
As part of this phase of our five year initiative, we will engage with the Davis Tax Committee to conduct a comprehensive review of tax incentives in the arts and culture sector to enable cultural entrepreneurs to access opportunities that are otherwise prohibitive because of onerous financial barriers.
We shall intensify our work with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Communications to reform the South African intellectual property regime.
Honourable Chair, task teams set up to explore local content and music development will submit concrete recommendations to government. The Visual Arts Task Team is assisting with a visual arts national policy framework which will include recommendations on the creation of resale rights for art works that will enable artists to benefit through secondary markets for their work alongside gallerists, auction houses and art collectors.
We shall work with the Department of Communication and the SABC to increase and sustain support for local content and local content producers.
We shall closely monitor the local content commitments made by broadcasters and be more vigilant so that artists get full exposure of their work.
We are supporting the Interim Committee of the Creative Industries Federation appointed in March 2014 to lay the ground work for an organizing body that will foster unity and advocate the interests of all arts, culture and related disciplines. This Committee will shortly commence with nationwide sectoral engagements.
We have embarked upon a national mapping study to quantify the economic impact of our cultural industries.
Studies on the cultural economies of Limpopo and Mpumalanga have been completed and these indicate that the Arts and Culture sector is already making a significant contribution to the economies of these provinces. Studies on the remaining provinces have already begun.
We are reviewing the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage and I have engaged with the 28 entities reporting to the Ministry in this regard. The outcome of this engagement is that we have to take a hard look at their business models to improve their efficiency.
The Department of Arts and Culture supports 22 national and regional festivals including the Diamonds and Dorings Festival in Kimberley, the MACUFE Festival in Bloemfontein and the Calabash Festival in Mahikeng, that create significant platforms to promote local talent.
This year the National Arts Festival celebrated 40 years of its existence. This year’s festival is the biggest ever with 3000 performances and artists from more than 40 countries participating.
In honour of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity we shall host a month-long Africa festival in May 2015. This will showcase African fashion, fine arts, crafts, dance, literature, music, theatre, film and food culture. This will include a series of dialogues and seminars in a festival of ideas to forge African unity and exchange through the arts. We shall also take this opportunity to popularise African heritage as we continue to support the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) that enables African countries to better identify, preserve and promote their heritage.
Working towards Social Transformation
The quest for nation building and social cohesion in South Africa was recognised by the ANC already in 1969 at the Morogoro Conference in Tanzania, where the preamble to the Freedom Charter, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white”, was further unpacked through an understanding that the South Africa of the future will not be a country divided unto itself and dominated by a particular racial group. It will be the country of all its inhabitants.
The United Nations has subsequently defined a cohesive society as “one where all groups have a sense of belonging, participation, recognition and legitimacy”.
In our social cohesion strategy, we have advocated the development of Social capital as a resource created by relationships between people. It is crucial, therefore, that our efforts to build cultural entrepreneurs are rooted in initiatives within local contexts that encourage creativity, confidence, critical thinking and problem solving.
The challenge we face as a society today is to build cohesion. The Department will intensify its work to encourage active citizenry towards an inclusive society following the 2012 National Social Cohesion Summit held in Kliptown. This culminated in the adoption of 12 resolutions that amongst others included promoting community dialogue and holding a Report Back Summit. We are proud to have Advocates for Social Cohesion amongst us who are eminent persons in society to mobilise us towards common values.
Sizimisele futhi siyazibophezela singumnyango wezobuciko namasiko ukuthi bonke abantu bakithi babe yingxenye yokugqugquzelela ukugujwa kwamasiko nemicimbi ebalulekile yezwe. Umnyango wethu uzosebenza ngokuphindiwe ukweseka imigubho ephathelene nezinhlelo eziqondene nabantu besifazane ikakhulukazi ukweseka lomkhankaso ogqugquzelela ukulwisana nodlame kubantu besifazane owaziwa phecelezi ngokuthi i “Unite to end violence against women” lapho khona abantu abasebasha benza khona imibukiso elandisa ngokuhlukumezwa nodlame kubantu besifazane.
Umnyango wethu futhi uzokweseka zonke izinhlelo zezigcawu lapho abantu besifazane bengakwazi ukuhlala baxoxisane, babhale futhi benze imibukiso exoxa ngezinto ezithinta izimpilo zabo njengabantu besifazane futhi bakwazi nokunika umlando ngeqhaza elabanjwa ngabantu besifazane ekulweni nobandlululo nokutholaka kwenkululeko yalelizwe.
We shall seek to raise the consciousness of our people through the Liberation Heritage Route to trace the story of our struggle throughout the country and continent. In partnership with the National Heritage Council, we shall commence the national roll-out and implementation of the project in the provinces.
Work is also underway at tracing the heritage sites associated with Khoi and San communities as well as publicising their contribution to resisting colonial oppression.
We are establishing a Heroes Acre in order to locate the heroic deeds of our people in fighting for a non-racial and non-sexist democratic South Africa. This will stand as a monument where the public can pay homage to those who fought for freedom. This will be a permanent tribute to those who gave their lives for the struggle for freedom.
We are working hard to ensure that the remains of our renowned journalist who called himself “A Native of Nowhere”, the iconic Nat Nakasa, will be repatriated from New York to South Africa where he will be re-buried as a citizen of a free South Africa.
Talks are also underway to exhume and repatriate the remains of Moses Kotane, the great struggle icon, and Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party, nearly 40 years after his death, from Russia to a final resting place in South Africa. In this way we shall honour the request that has come from his widow, Mama Rebecca Kotane, who turned 102 in February this year.
As part of the transformation of the arts landscape, we are pleased to announce that on 10 June 2014 the main theatre of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg was renamed the John Kani Theatre in honour of our living theatre legend, actor, director, playwright and global icon and his immense contribution in taking South Africa to the world through his art.
20 Years of Freedom
We continue to observe the commemoration of 20 years of freedom through telling the South African story and fostering constitutional values through distributing the Bill of Rights to schools and on all national days.
All national days are happening under the main theme of celebrating 20 years of freedom and democracy in the country, focusing on educational programmes, public dialogues and community engagements. Going forward, we have embarked upon processes to change the way we commemorate national days.
In honour of our icon and late president, Tata Nelson Mandela, we encourage all South Africans in the month of July to dedicate at least 67 minutes of their time to improving the lives of others.
We are also pleased to announce that we shall be launching a renovated Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha where upgrades on the Bhunga Building are close to completion. President Jacob Zuma will unveil a bust of Tata Mandela in Mvezo, tomorrow, on Mandela Day.
Guided by the National Development Plan and the strategic approach of outcome 14 in transforming society and uniting the country, together with all our programmes and interventions, we are working towards building a creative eco-system and an enabling environment within which all our citizens can flourish and which will enable people to work together to achieve common goals.
In this way, we shall continue to honour and indeed work tirelessly in sustaining and growing this nation barely 20 years old so that it is indeed “at peace with itself and the world.”