Budget Vote of the Department of Arts and Culture

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06 May 2010

Honourable Speaker
Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Members of Parliament
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Today we deliver our Budget Vote in the year in which we celebrate 16 years of freedom and of deepening our democracy.

Speaking in his State of the Nation address, President Jacob Zuma, declared that 2010 would be the year of action. He pointed out that “the defining feature of this government will be that it knows where our people live, understands what their needs are and will respond faster. We will not allow a distance to arise between government and its people.”

The arts, culture and heritage portfolio seeks to bring government closer to the people and the people closer to us.

DIALOGUES ON SOCIAL COHESION

In October 2009, we reached a milestone by holding the National Social Cohesion Colloquium “Building A Caring Society” in Durban on the 29th and 30th October 2009. This gathering attended by academics, civil society, government officials and other stakeholders laid the ground for the National Conference this year.

The Colloquium raised issues around intergenerational dynamics and the need to reconcile parental authority with children’s rights.

Concerns were also raised about the gender relations between men and women within the home and the community.

Delegates argued that there cannot be social cohesion without social justice and they stressed the need to fully address the legacies of the past as the inequalities created by apartheid systematically impoverished black people.

The Colloquium also raised the need for the inculcation of a Charter of Positive Values as well as the consolidation of the project of moral regeneration.

The Department of Arts and Culture is preparing to hold provincial dialogues on Social Cohesion preceding the National Conference to be held in the second half of this year.

ENGAGEMENT WITH CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS SECTOR
A highlight of our engagement with the Creative Sector was the imbizo organized by my Department and led by President Zuma and relevant Cabinet Ministers conducted with the performing arts sector in November last year. Cultural industries were one of the critical areas prioritized by President Zuma and his Cabinet Ministers when they addressed the artists. The Department is therefore embarking on the Mapping of Creative Industries in order to reposition and mainstream Creative Industries into broader government goals.
As part of a research and industry mapping exercise, the Department is also partnering with the United Kingdom and engaging key stakeholders in their skills development arena.

In a visit undertaken by Deputy Minister Mashatile to the UK, he also extended a provisional invitation to the leadership of the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Skills to visit South Africa and provide guidance in the development of the envisaged South African academy.

The DAC is in the process of finalizing an agreement with the European Commission on a call for proposals on Youth Empowerment Programme through arts, culture and heritage. This will see the acceleration of skills development and empowerment of the youth in partnership with the European Commission.

An important issues is the matter of social security for artists. We are hard at work together with the private sector on this matter.

MUSIC

On the broad international front, South Africa was also chosen as Country of Honour at MIDEM, the annual music market, in 2010. DAC supported the participation of many musicians and emerging independent music producers in this event.

At a special ceremony prominent artists, Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu, were honoured with French national arts and culture honours by the French Culture Minister, Mr Frederick Mitterrand for their excellent and long-standing contribution to the global music industry.

Both Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu were awarded the National Order of the Ikhamanga Silver last year and Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwanga were awarded the National Order of the Ikhamanga Gold this year. Peki Emelia “Nothembi” Mkhwebane also received an Order of Ikhamanga bronze.

At the forthcoming 22nd African Festival on Wurzburg in May this year, South Africa is to be the Country of Honour and will be give a prominent status. My Ministry shall lead a delegation of artists, including musicians Jonas Gwangwa, Don Laka, Vusi Mahlasela and Lira amongst others. (It is a very large African Festival with an attendance figure of over 100,000. A South African Musician will be honoured.)
On the 28th of April 2010, I inaugurated the Downtown Music Hub Board following the purchase of Downtown studios by my predecessor, Dr Pallo Jordan. Downtown studio was purchased from Avusa in the 2009/2010 financial year and the vision is to develop the studios into a Music Hub which will be a music heritage centre as well as the state-of-the-art local content music production hub that will produce high quality content for the market place.
Under the able stewardship of Don Laka assisted by Nothemba Mlonzi, this Music Hub will be central towards supporting independent music creators and producers in terms of business investment.
My Department has continued to support the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, also known as Africa’s Grandest Gathering. This event has grown over the years to having an audience of over 32,000. This Festival provides a great opportunity for South African musicians to perform together with their international counterparts and makes a huge contribution to the local economy and to tourism. Workshops are also organized for young emerging musicians, cultural journalists and technicians.
We are pleased that SABC has announced that there will a 100% local content for three month co-incing with the World Cup. But we demand that this should be taken beyond this period as the norm!

AN AFRICAN ARTS AND CULTURE EXPERIENCE FOR 2010

In pursuit of the objective of making the FIFA World Cup a truly African experience, I have engaged with the CWUSA (Creative Workers Union) and the LOC together with FIFA representatives to ensure that we showcase the vast talents of South African and African artists are well represented at all the arts and culture components of the FIFA World Cup. Thus far our meetings have borne fruit and we shall continue to make our voices heard and through our actions achieve a lasting legacy for arts on the African continent.

DAC delivered a grand Confederations Cup at both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as a superb show at the Final Draw in December last year. This provided you with a preview of the ceremonies to come which are going to be spectacular. The Department is supporting the arts and culture component especially of the Opening and Closing ceremonies. I would like to thank the Task Team that I appointed for their sterling work in helping to prepare the artistic programme for the final draw that was held in December and the arts and culture programme for 2010.

The Public Viewing Areas, which are government supported, are an important milestone allowing the public access to view the games on large screens. A tapestry of all the disciplines of Arts and Culture would be displayed and performed at these PVAs.

The African Village, which is the welcome venue situated in Ekhuruleni Metro, will host the African qualifiying countries, popularly known as the “African 6 Pack” which will showcase the best that these countries can offer. The exhibition will centre around cusine, fashion, books and arts and crafts.

A build up to this exciting cultural tournament programme will be the Gauteng Carnival taking place from the 4 to 6 June and the Africa Days celebrations on the 29th May. The Africa Day Concert will showcase the African countries’ most celebrated artists. Over provinces will host similar events in their PVAs including African artists.

The overarching message of DAC is to use this World Cup as a platform to instill in the country, our social cohesion and nation building programme. This has found expression through the “Fly the Flag for Football Campaign” and the National Anthem which have made a definite impact throughout the country.

Last Saturday saw the national finals of “My 2010 School Adventure” project which helps through arts and culture to conscientise learners about their history, heritage and the role of the arts. This project has also taught them to be good citizens before they are good hosts.

As part of this unifying aspect DAC has propagated multilingualism and has launched various terminology lexicons. In the 2009/10 financial year, the primary and secondary term-creation phases of the soccer terminology project were distributed electronically to soccer commentators for both radio and TV, soccer fans and linguists.

Another important and exciting outcome is the creation of a centre of African excellence in performance arts in the Windybrow Theatre where a new artistic director was recently appointed to stage performance arts from throughout Africa. The Theatre has been refurbished to stage Africa’s outstanding artistic work.

We plan to put out an entertainment guide advising visitors and citizens of the cultural and heritage shows and sights available in each of the host cities. Africa ke nako!

LEGISLATION
The Department will, in the course of this year, submit numerous draft bills as part of its legislative program. These will not only help us implement recommendations of the policy review process but also effect constitutional imperatives. The bills include:

The Cultural Amendment Bill to streamline institutional governance and accountability
The Community Libraries Bill to ensure equal access to all citizens
The SA Language Practitioners Bill to regulate the sector
The SA Language Bill to effect multilingualism.

CONTRIBUTION TO FILM INDUSTRY
We are pleased to announce that we have decided to support the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) with a R10 Million grant to set up co-operatives in rural areas and townships that focus on bringing cinemas to our people and developing skills in areas related to film production.
We keenly wish to see South Africa attain further success in the film industry as the value chain benefits a wide number of businesses and creates many jobs.
We have also supported the Durban Film Festival where there were also training workshops for producers, directors, cinematographers and various technicians.
As part of our on-going cultural collaborations with the global community, we are proud to report that South Africa will finally be signing the Film Co-production Treaty with the French republic. We are also working on signing agreements with Australia as well the Republic of Ireland in the year ahead in film co-production.

DESIGN

The Department of Arts & Culture continues to unleash talent that reignites the Design sector. The epitome is Fashion Fusion program – one of the highlights of the SA Fashion Week – which pairs the creativity of rural based crafter with leading fashion designers to produce sustainable products sold in leading stores nationwide and globally.

This program has not only opened up job opportunities but taken fashion design to a greater height.

SOUTH AFRICA ARTS AND CULTURE AWARDS (SAACA)

This year National Heritage Month celebrations will focus on the contribution of South Africa’s Living Human Treasures in the preservation and transmission of living heritage. In this way we hope to highlight the contribution of communities in individuals who possess a high degree of knowledge and skills required to sustain livelihoods through generations.

This year for the first time the Department of Arts and Culture will be holding the South African Arts and Culture Awards (SAACA) on Heritage Day 2010. This will cover arts and culture disciplines such as craft, dance, fashion, design, visual arts, music, literature, theatre and film as well as special categories to honour those who have become living legends.

CRAFTS

The theme for Heritage Month last year was “Celebrating our Crafts, Celebrating our National Heritage”. An Exhibition of the Crafts of Limpopo was displayed. In a public private partnership launched during Heritage Month last year, the Department of Arts and Culture together with Old Mutual has offered crafts entrepreneurs trying to set up businesses a highly competitive interest rate in the first five years and sound business advice and further assistance.

The South African craft industry continues to make headway in terms of building an export market with two exhibitions recently mounted outside the country - namely Connection Arts and Crafts Exhibition at the Borges Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina and a craft exhibition at the 2nd Pan African Cultural Festival in Algeria, both of which provided exposure to different markets for our crafters.

Crafters also had a chance to exhibit in Nigeria at the 10th year South Africa – Nigeria Relations which was a success. Our crafts were also exhibited in Cuba. We have also mounted a crafts exhibition in Havana’s Africa House in December 2009.

The DAC is also participating in EXPO 2010 Shanghai, China, the theme of which is “Better Cities – Better Life”. We are showcasing the vibrancy of South African cities and urban cultures. A DAC crafts exhibition “Beautiful Things” is being mounted at the Expo.

This started in May and ends in October 2010. During this period we are also sending some of our leading women artists to participate in a Women’s Day celebratory event in August. We are also going to celebrate “Mandela Day 18th July” in Shanghai when many top and emerging musicians will perform at a Concert at the EXPO 2010 Shanghai.

There will also be a parade and special activities in the Pavilion. We are one of one hundred and eighty countries participating at this EXPO which is expected to draw over 70 million visitors from the world over.

CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

The Department will host a national Cultural Diplomacy conference in Pretoria from the 20th to the 22nd May 2010. The event will attract some leading cultural figures, intellectuals, academics and artists to deliberate on the formulation of cultural diplomacy policy for South Africa in the 21st Century.

South Africa also hosted the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture, held in Newtown Johannesburg from the 22 to 25 September 2009. It was hosted by the National Arts Council of South Africa supported by Department of Arts and Culture (DAC).

The fact that this 4th World Summit took place on African soil afforded a large delegation from the continent a chance to attend and participate in this world event. An African Chapter of IFACCA has been set up in Harare on the 30th April.

The Department of Arts & Culture recently hosted a televised breakfast session to launch The African Artists for Haiti Initiative. Significantly, this happened on the 100th day of the earthquake disaster that devastated the country. The aim of the Initiative is not to only use arts and culture to raise consciousness but to galvanize the artistic sector and the general public to make concrete contribution to alleviate the quality of life of the people. We are pleased that representatives of the Gift of the Givers are also in the House today – they have contributed immensely in mobilizing assistance for the people of Haiti

Haiti was the first African republic established more than 200 years ago by slaves who liberated themselves which inspired all Africans in the continent and Diaspora to fight for their freedom. It signifies the epic movement of African people towards liberation and self-determination.

RECOVERY AND REPATRIATION OF SOUTH AFRICAN CULTURAL AND HERITAGE ITEMS.

Mr Giuseppe Ciucchi, a South African businessman of the Stonehage Group, who acquired the flag on auction in London and returned it to South Africa, has written to me offering to present it to the State. I thank him for his public-spiritedness and his patriotism. He is represented by Mr. Koos Rossouw who is present in the House today. We have the flag in our midst. I must also thank Colonel Jaco Kloppers, who supplied the department with invaluable information which enabled us to act swiftly in the matter.

The recovery of the Freedom Charter was also only possible due to the generosity and public spiritedness of many people and organisations. We would also like to thank the Lilliesleaf Trust for their role in this regard. Tomorrow we shall be hosting a handover ceremony in which the Deputy President will receive the Freedom Charter on behalf of our government and nation..

The recovery of the Freedom Charter, signed by Chief Albert Luthuli and the Congress Alliance leaders, has been a victory against those who wish to steal our precious heritage items.

We commend the National Archives and SAHRA for refusing artworks of outstanding significance from being exported out of South Africa. These works were “The Harvesters” by George Pemba and “Landscape” by J H Pierneef. We have these precious art works in the House today.

The rescue of these iconic items of our heritage has highlighted gaps in our legislation and I wish to assure the House that my department is addressing these with the greatest urgency. Certain amendments to the South African Heritage Resources Act (No 25 of 1999) will be made in the Third Cultural Laws Amendment Bill. These are intended to close the loopholes currently being used by commercial concerns outside our country to loot our cultural heritage.

Over the coming year the National Archives will focus on digitizing audio recordings in the Rivonia Trial collection. We intend to partner in this delicate and highly technical task with the CSIR and UNESCO because the Rivonia Trial records are now listed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

The Republic of Korea will be hosting an exhibition based on collections listed in the Memory of the World Register and South Africa will be showcasing the Rivonia Trial Records in this exhibition.

WOMEN

Plans are afoot to have an annual Dulcie September Memorial Lecture hosted jointly by the Department and the University of Western Cape in this financial year. We intend inviting African writers to an event that celebrates women’s writing in the same period. The Ministry has also been invited to the annual commemoration done at the Dulcie September High School by the Mayor of Arcueil.

Following my undertaking last year to celebrate the significant role of South African women SAHRA initiated the public consultation process for the grading and declaration of the graves of Charlotte Maxeke, Lillian Ngoyi and Helen Joseph by consulting the families and critical and interested stakeholders. The whole process will be completed by July 2010 and I will make a public announcement during women’s month in August 2010 to celebrate the role of women in establishing South Africa’s democracy.

LITERATURE & LIBRARIES

South Africa was chosen as the Market Focus Country at the recent London Book Fair which took place from the 19th to the 21st April. This honour provided an ideal opportunity to showcase South African authors, publishers, booksellers and libraries.

The unprecedented situation arising from the Icelandic volcano prevented my Ministry from attending as well as many delegates from our South African delegation.

I would like to thank Ambassador Skweyiya for ably representing us at this gathering. However because of the unavoidable lost opportunities, further visits are being made available for the South African book sector to showcase our achievements both in Edinburgh and Haye later this year.

But the DAC is committed to enhanced participation in the home-grown Cape Town International Book Fair in July. The fair has become the biggest book fair in Sub-Saharan Africa This year the Cape Town Book Fair will celebrate its 5th anniversary..

This year’s theme is where the story begins. In line with its aspiration to become the pan-African book fair, this year the fair is working with the Goethe Institute to bring 20 publishers from other African countries to the fair.

The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) in collaboration with the National Library undertook to reprint some out-of-print books that are considered as classics in indigenous African languages. A total of 27 titles in all the nine previously marginalized languages have been reproduced and distributed to public libraries across the nation.

I am pleased to announce that we have embarked upon the second phase of the project which involves the re-issuing of a total of 18 titles (2 in each indigenous language). These titles include Apha Naphaya by DM Jongilanga, Ikusasa Alaziwa by OTM Nxumalo and Megokgo ya Bjoko by Oliver Kgadime Matsepe.

To encourage a reading nation we shall endeavour to publish great African classics such as “Mhudi” by Sol Plaatjie and great works from Africa and the African Diaspora.

I would like to report that the National Arts Council has purchased the collections and documents of the late and great writer, Mazisi Kunene, South Africa’s first Poet Laureate.

With this valuable collection, we shall be able to keep a lasting legacy of one of Africa’s finest literary sons who all through his life maintained writing in isiZulu even in exile. We hope that in due course this collection will be made accessible to scholars and the wider public.

The DAC has supported the Baobab Literary Journal with the purpose of providing a regular publishing platform for budding writers to appear alongside seasoned ones. This publication has included contributors from various countries across the African continent and the African Diaspora.

DAC continues to support the “Time of the Writer and the Poetry Africa Festivals” annually held in Durban. These festivals also delivered developmental workshops for young emerging writers, a schools programme and an initiative with Correctional Services to promote writing in prison.

The implementation of the Community Libraries Conditional Grant continues apace. Since the project started 111 libraries have been upgraded and 11 new libraries have been built. It is expected that 12 new libraries will be built this year.

While eleven libraries may have been built, four have been burnt down in various service delivery protests. Cases have been reported to the police and criminal investigations are ongoing.

We call upon the youth of our country and all youth structures and formations to rise up and protect their libraries – they are the gateways to the future. Freedom comes with responsibilities and we must instill in our people a consciousness that it is a shared responsibility to protect knowledge, culture and institutions of learning for present and future generations.

HERITAGE

My Department and the National Heritage Council are embarking on a programme to outline and establish a National Liberation Heritage Route covering all our provinces and other Southern African countries.

As we continue to honour our freedom fighters through National Legacy Projects I would like to inform the House that on 6 April 2010 there was a handover of the house of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu by Mrs. Martha Mahlangu, his mother to the nation to preserve and promote Solomon’s legacy as an integral part of its heritage.

I am also in consultation with the family of John Langalibalele Dube as regards plans to restore, preserve and promote the house as an integral part of our heritage.

In August this year, I shall unveil the design of the Sarah Baartmann Centre of Remembrance after which construction of this Centre will start next to her gravesite in Hankey, in the Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

We will pay homage to the Khoi and San by developing a national heritage route that comprises sites of historical, cultural and spiritual significance within the relevant provinces in the country.

The 30th anniversary of the commemoration of the Matola massacre in February 2011 will be marked by the unveiling of the design of a monument and an interpretive centre at the site in Mozambique. The Department of Public Works and the Government of Mozambique have each appointed principal architects to work together on the design.

Freedom Park, one of the nation’s flagship heritage projects nears completion with the launch this year of one of its main elements - the museum //hapo: the “Dream”.

I recently inaugurated the new Board of the Robben Island Museum which is in the capable hands of Ms. Thandi Modise, the Chair. The Board has set itself the task of appointing a suitable CEO for the Museum and efficiently qualified management.

Our President in his State of Nation Address reminded us that this year marks 150 years since the Indian indentured laborers were brought to this country. We are working with the Presidency and the Provinces to build up to a national commemorative event in November 2010.

IMPORTANCE OF NATIONAL SYMBOLS

Both the Anthem and the flag are a crucial aspect to World Cup. The great show of patriotism is expressed through the pride in flying the flag and the proper and emotional rendering of the National Anthem.

It is now encouraging to see that South Africans are taking a positive step in embracing these two primary national symbols. The Anthem is now profiled extensively in the media and the people are most willing to learn to sing it. The Flag is seen flown everywhere, even in cars. South Africans are taking initiative to buy the Flag rather than wait to be given. Such an act deserved to be acknowledged and further encouraged. Over a million hand-held flags have been distributed at recent National Days and Events in different parts of the country. A national publicity campaign involving the printing of the anthem in all languages and the national symbols will kickstart in the coming month.

My Department together with the Presidency will continue to lead the commemoration of National Days and consult with the entire nation and relevant stakeholders.

I would like to thank the Portfolio Select Committee chaired by Honourable Member, Mr Farisani, for their steadfastness in their oversight role.

I would like to thank Deputy Minister Mashatile for his unflinching commitment and support in this portfolio as well as my Director General, Mr Themba Wakashe and the new COO, Ms Veliswa Baduza, for their hard work.

I would like to make special mention of Mr K Buthelezi who chairs our Audit Committee for their advice.

Together we can do more to work towards the realization of a truly non-racial, non-sexist and democratic country.

Let us work together to make the dream of arts for all a living reality for all our people.

I thank you.

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